According to recent data analysis from Pew Research on the American dream, only 43% of Americans believe that owning a home would help them to achieve their perception of the American dream. Gone are the days in which Americans strive for the traditional idea of the American dream, as many people do not rank purchasing a home as a high priority for their happiness and idea of success.
According to Pew, more and more Americans are placing less and less value on the idea of becoming “wealthy” and fewer are finding that material items can bring them true happiness. This research highlights the growing change in American culture and how the American dream as we know it, is being redefined.
With this shift in values and more emphasis being placed on individuals’ happiness and family life, this research reveals how the building industry can best approach reaching new and existing customers—in finding a way to add value to these aspects of the American Dream.
In keeping in mind how the building industry can help consumers be on their way to achieving the changing idea of the American dream, it’s also important to be cognizant of what obstacles are facing these consumers, and how they can provide a solution.
Although there may still be 43% of Americans who see buying a home of their own as an end goal, many are pushing back the timeline of when they’d actually see making such a large purchase. With millennials and young homebuyers currently entering the housing market, many have found it to be an expense that they aren’t able to afford in the near future.
So what does this mean for the building industry? This calls for all of us to become more adaptable, innovative and value-based. Breaking it down further, it comes down to three key dimensions: length, breadth and depth.
Focus on long-term relationships with your clients. This relationship doesn’t have to be cost-based in order for it to be valuable. It’s important to remember that customers build loyalty to people versus brands or products. For example, companies like GE have gone to great strides in developing long-term relationships with their clients, “We’ve been incubating and developing our next wave of customer loyalty, aligning ourselves to how our customers make money. Our basic thesis is that if we can make their business run better, they’re going to be more loyal.”
Consider broadening the customers that you work with. Although there is an excellent opportunity to work with R&R and single-family homes, consider also working with multi-family residence building—a segment very popular thanks to a surge in younger renters. Reach out to contractors that build for multi-family residencies and evaluate how you could best create solutions for multi-family clients and grow a base within that sphere.
Reconsider the products that you are offering. What new innovations are out there that would help your company stand out from the competition? Is there a certain concern in the industry that has yet to be solved? By asking yourself how your products and services can create a solution to a needed problem versus trying to simply use more aggressive sales tactics, you will be providing customers with something of value and will turn potential prospects into loyal customers.
By adapting to the re-defined American dream and creating solutions to help customers achieve those standards, you will be able to find more opportunities to create length, breadth and depth in your customer base.
See more from the March issue of Dealer Digest.