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Rethinking how we market the family home

July 21, 2021

The events resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have led to an incredibly fast shift in how homes are being used, resulting in new challenges for developers and marketeers alike. It’s been really interesting to discuss these changes with our clients and sales agents…

Author | Paul Skuse, Oakfield Design & Creation

The events resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic have led to an incredibly fast shift in how homes are being used, resulting in new challenges for developers and marketeers alike.

With extra demands as a result of working from home or home schooling, houses and their living spaces are being redefined.

It’s been really interesting to discuss these changes with our clients and sales agents, and to reflect on how this is changing the way we market new homes.

With families competing for wifi hotspots, naturally lit or aesthetically pleasing backgrounds for Zoom calls, or quiet corners for study — bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms have become multifunctional spaces. Much sought after leisure time has also created demand for children’s TV or play areas and spaces for home cinemas, gyms and yoga studios.

While open plan living areas still prove to be popular with families as the heart of the home, we all need a bolt hole to escape to and we’re seeing the need to illustrate how studies, snugs and extra bedrooms are now just as important.

CHANGES IN MARKETING

The language we adopt in sales brochures and marketing campaigns is working harder than ever to help portray the changing needs of our audiences. What was previously marketed and furnished as a five bedroom home is now promoted as ‘four bedroom with home office or private studio area.’

Our CGIs are also working harder to visualise how to showcase these adaptable spaces.

NEW PRIORITIES

In 2020 Property portal Rightmove, reported buyers prioritising larger homes and outdoor space above other location factors, with half of renters and 39% of homebuyers stating that their priorities had changed.

It’s clear that the pandemic has been a catalyst for that change, and for many, life goals that were part of a five year life plan, are being acted on now. Access to quality green space and private gardens are being sought to provide new opportunities to connect with nature, pursue new hobbies or to grow fruit and vegetables in the quest for more self reliance — even to provide havens for home holidays. Garages which were formally dormant spaces are now making ideal gyms and offices and bike storage for the whole family is being utilised.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

As we are adapting our marketing efforts to meet the needs of what people need from homes, Architects and Housebuilders continue to look at how this impacts the design and planning process, with a greater emphasis on access to quality green space and flexible living spaces.

The knock on effect of hybrid and home working will be seen as the commercial real estate market changes and it will be fascinating to see how this evolves over the forthcoming months and years, as family and work life looks to find a new balance and the lines between each continue to blur.

How are you adapting your marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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