In episode 6 of our podcast, Dean Wehrli interviews one of our Consumer Insights leaders, Steve Burch, about changing community amenities. Click here to subscribe to future episodes.
Steve discusses the importance of doing consumer research and segmentation before planning the community. Too often, the community is planned by a locally connected land entitlement expert and engineer who did no consumer research, and then the developer is forced into land-planning constraints that don’t optimize profitability. Pay more attention to which neighborhood goes next to which amenity. Here are some dominant trends that Steve and Dean address, garnered from years of experience as well as our survey of more than 23,000 new home shoppers:
- Parks. Pocket parks are vastly preferred to large central parks.
- Social gatherings over big clubhouses. You want to be “the community with a real sense of community.”
- Trails. Health and fitness matter more than ever. 68% want a variety of trails inside the community. Expensive amenities such as basketball courts and rock climbing walls might appeal to a passionate subset of the market, so those concepts should be tested first. One suburb of Atlanta passionately desired a private tennis club.
- Food. Farmers markets cost very little and bring prospective buyers into the community.
- Pets. Households without kids particularly value the pet amenities.
- Pools. Pools come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure you are putting in a pool that matches your new home community.
- Meeting space. With more than half of new home shoppers working from home one day per week, many customers desire a community meeting space or work space.
- Package delivery. Secure package delivery is critical, so developments with secure lockers or someone who can sign for a package make a huge difference.
Dean Wehrli, Northern California Consulting leader and podcast host extraordinaire, can be reached at (916) 647-3263 or by email.
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