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.
Embracing Big Data Benefits Your Business—and Your Customers
Craig Webb / ProSales / August 13, 2014
Think of your LBM life for the past seven years as like being in a triathlon. The housing crash tossed you into the swimming part of the race, forcing you to focus on not drowning. When at last you stagger onto dry land, you can see blue skies, but you know the race isn’t over. For this leg, you climb onto a bicycle and continue the race in a new way. But unlike the swimming or running sections of the event, this leg won’t be decided solely based on how hard you work. It also will hinge on how good your bicycle is. In the building material supply triathlon, data is that bicycle, and it’s already helpingRead More
Housing Starts Decline in August
Brad Hunter / Builder / September 18, 2014
Today’s government data release on housing starts showed a 14.4% decline in the month of August, mostly driven by multifamily. Single-family detached home construction was only down 2.4% on the month. Total starts are still 8.0% higher than August of last year, and single-family starts are still 4.2% above the year-ago pace. The apparent stagnation in national housing starts is not universal. Looking deeper, and using Metrostudy’s more granular detail, we see that certain markets have seen considerable strength. In our local-market tracking, we are still seeing significantRead More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / August 11, 2014
We have been talking for years about the lot shortages that builders are facing. Now, it’s time to talk about how many lots are being developed. Builders and developers are now playing “catch-up,” with builders buying land and lots and developers/investors paving roads and putting in infrastructure to serve the builders’ needs at a frenetic pace.
The pace of lot delivery (completion, ready for the builder) has gone up 140% in the past two years, much faster than the pace of housing production has risen (+84%). Despite this increased pace, lot development STILL lags the pace ofRead More
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / October 30, 2013
Construction markets are showing signs of building momentum nationwide. Inquiries with architecture firms are up, construction spending is up, and inventories of new homes are dwindling but demand continues to rise. So what’s stopping you from diving in and taking your business to the next level?
If you’re like everyone else, you’re probably skiddish about the stability of the market. You’re still aching from the hangover of the recession. What’s going to get you back in the saddle? Metrostudy’s Brad Hunter spoke with HW.com about the lessonsRead More
Jean Dimeo / BUILDER / September 26, 2013
The recovery brought with it larger new houses. Why?
During the recession, many Americans—reeling from downsized paychecks and declining home values—scaled back their super-sized lifestyles. Sales of giant SUVs and four-door pickup trucks fell, new-home sizes shrunk, recent graduates moved back home with mom and dad, and newlyweds stayed in rental apartments. How quickly we forget the recent past.
Commerce Department data shows that the average size of a new home was 2,647 square feet during the second quarter of 2013, eclipsing the record of 2,561 square feet set in the first quarterRead More
Simon Hyoun / Hanley Wood / September 25, 2013
Let’s take as granted that most PowerPoint presentations are needlessly long and severely unattractive. Just thinking about the last one I sat through makes me reach furtively for my iPhone.
So why extend the pain of slide-based presentations by distributing them as an on-demand webinar? Instead, why not produce a simple, three-minute video that does the same job with more spontaneity, fun and visual elegance — at a comparable cost?
I’m talking about the whiteboard video, in which a subject-matter expert (SME) illustrates a concept on a dry-erase marker board. The best I’ve seenRead More
Jeffrey Lee / Hanley Wood Marketing / September 19, 2013
For content marketers, an editorial calendar is the ultimate stress reducer. Instead of scrambling to come up with a compelling topic when you have a newsletter to deliver or you’re overdue for a blog, you can simply pull up your strategically planned content calendar and get started.
But the forethought and planning that make editorial calendars such useful tools are also the traits that make them challenging to develop. Instead of just coming up with one enthralling article idea that you can use right now, you need to develop dozens of engrossing topics that will work throughout the yearRead More