News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Are You Making Customer Experience a Priority in 2015?
Peter Goldstone / December 15, 2014
It its recently-released 2015 CMO Spend Survey, Gartner uncovered a trend that speaks to a growing need in our industry: creating a unique and beneficial customer experience. But before we go down that road, are we clear about the definition of “customer experience?” Put simply, it’s how your customers perceive their interactions with your company. From sales and marketing engagement to fulfillment and customer service, to training and maintenance — the customer experience shapes your brand and can make the difference in a sale. A few data points to consider fromRead More
Dear Santa – A Wish List for Architecture
Ned Cramer / ARCHITECT / November 15, 2014
Dear Santa, Are you looking for innovative ways to spread the cheer this holiday season? Look no further, o bearded one. Wintertime is a good time in our house. The seasonal preparations begin in excited fits, far ahead of convention or necessity. My partner, for instance, usually starts playing Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack sometime in August. In the office, we embark upon planning for the coming year with greater exactitude: making budget requests, drafting editorial calendars, and so forth. For 2015, we’ve also been cooking up something special for you. BeRead More
Katie Gloede / BUILDER / November 3, 2014
The creative class, made up approximately 7.9 million Americans from artists to architectural engineers in three different categories, is characterized by young intermetropolitan mobility, according to a 2013 paper by Charlynn Burd of the US Census Bureau. The creative class categories include “analytic,” ranging from the biological and computer scientists, “synthetic,” ranging from architects to engineers, and “symbolic,” including artists, musicians, and the like. The creative class is most mobile during the age range from 25 to 39 whenRead More
Paul Winans / Remodeling / October 24, 2014
As a consultant to remodeling business owners, I spend a considerable amount of time on the phone. These hour-long calls, done with some regularity (ideally, monthly), can make a big difference in the success of a business. Anytime a business owner gets an informed outside perspective, there is the potential to speed up the progress of the company.
It’s not unusual for me to have a business owner request that I speak with one or more of her employees. By listening carefully to both the owner and the employee, I can provide insight on how the pair can improve their working relationship.
Brad Hunter / Builder / October 17, 2014
Housing starts rose by 6.3% in September, which places activity 17.8% above September of last year, according to the government report just released at 8:30.
Metrostudy’s view about the housing recovery remains unchanged. The total for 2014 will be little changed from 2013, but activity should increase in 2015.
The Top 4 Obstacles
There are still people who *should* be able to get mortgages who cannot (particularly those who work on commissions or bonuses, or are self-employed).
They have yet to help household formation rates, because those
The Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Confidence Index is reflecting growing optimism in our industry in sales, profit margins and staffing levels. As you will note in the chart below, scores across all three areas are now at post-recession highs. In 2014, increased optimism has not translated into strong growth in our industry, but our expectation is that 2015 will be better. What do we see in these tea leaves that gives us confidence?
The growing optimism on profit margins is likely the best indicator that 2015 is shaping up to be even more positive than the past year. Why?Read More
Jennifer Goodman / BUILDER / October 1, 2014
What’s old is new for many builders and home improvement companies, thanks to a trend toward retro branding that has taken hold in the advertising industry. These “Grandpa graphics” are modernized versions of vintage 1940s and 50s images that evoke a bygone era focused on handmade quality and business deals done on a handshake.
That old-school message works well for builders and home improvement firms eager to create a positive persona in the marketplace, says Dan Antonelli, CEO of Graphic D-Signs, an award-winning New Jersey advertising agency that works exclusively with small andRead More