Ten Ways to Cope with Housing Market Changes
Letís face it, we live in a housing industry that is cyclical in nature and always changing. It is often one of the first industries to get hit with a slowdown ó but itís also one of the first to move the economy out of the doldrums.
There is no single, cure-all response to market change. You must first develop an attitude that makes it work.
You need to be sensitive to what buyers want and will pay for, not what you as a builder think they need.
In a tough housing economy, the major objective is not to worry about market share or profitability, but to think ďcash flow turnover,Ē become flexible and maintain liquidity.
The following are†10 marketing management guidelines that you can use in todayís challenging marketplace:
- Maintain a Steady, Casual Attitude. Donít panic. Be open to any and all possibilities and to the realities of the market and be prepared to do whatever you must to maintain your operation.
- Listen to What the Market Is Saying and telling you, whether you like it or not.
- Respond to the Market after you hear what buyers are saying. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers so you can understand their needs, wants, abilities, fears, etc. ó then deal with those needs.
- Never Stop Trying.† If one idea, program, tactic or strategy doesnít work, try another. Not everything you do will work with every buyer.
- Take the Lead in Your Market and beat your competition before they wake up. Be innovative and be ready to introduce†a variety of programs at the proper time.
- Work With Someone Who Can Help You Strategize, whether itís a marketing/sales consultant, advertising agency, partner or person who is creative and imaginative.
- Work With Your Lenders. Itís just as tight for them, but there are ways they can help you. Donít keep them in the dark.
- Cut Your Costs. From operating overheard to subcontractors,†vendors and all the people who benefit from your company, cut your costs.
- Seek Any Legal Means of Income and be forceful in obtaining what is rightfully yours.
- Donít panic. Continue to assess the market. Use your judgment. Itís your neck and your money.
William E. Becker, managing director and president of The William E. Becker Organization, has taught and written extensively on sales and marketing strategies. Becker is a charter member and past president of the Institute of Residential Marketing. He was named a Legend of the Industry by NAHBís National Sales and Marketing Council and an Icon of the Industry by the 50+ Housing Council, of which he is a trustee. He has earned several other industry awards and is a popular speaker at industry conferences For more information, e-mail Becker, or call him at 201-833-2610.