Archive for the ‘Value and Energy Efficiency’ Category

Homebuyer sentiment in WA shifts from square footage to quality and energy efficiency

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Quadrant Homes built its reputation in WA on the fact it built homes with more space for less money.  This approach was right in line with consumer demand for ever-increasing square footage.  But behind the scenes Quadrant was starting to embrace some of the principles of green building by producing homes to Built Green® 3-STAR standards and ENERGY STAR® certification was offered to homebuyers as an option.  But there was a disconnect between their marketing message “More House, Less Money” and their entry, under the Built Green® program, into more resource efficient construction methods.  No longer though.

As of the beginning of 2011, Quadrant is building all their homes to the new 2011 Northwest ENERGY STAR® standards.  So why does one of the most succesful production home builders in WA make such a commitment?  Following on serious market research conducted July and August 2010, Quadrant received the message loud and clear that while they still enjoyed a high brand awareness level, homebuyers’ expectations had changed.  “What happened was this buyer became more discerning as the market started to turn down,” said Ken Krivanec, Quadrant’s president.

As a result of the research, Quadrant immediately began to shift the company’s focus away from “More House Less Money” to “Built Your Way” in what the company calls an “Evolution to a Revolution.”  The revolution?  Homebuyers are seeking quality over quantity and are willing to sacrifice square footage to achieve that.  “Our [average] square footage is down year-over-year,” said Krivanec.  The market research also showed that energy efficiency was important to buyers – hence Quadrant’s commitment to build to a higher energy standard.

Other production builders should take heed.  Quadrant’s success has come from the fact that it gives homebuyers what they want.  And what they want now are smaller, higher quality, energy efficient homes.