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.
The Customer Is Always Right … If You Pick the Right Customer
Paul Winans / Remodeling / August 21, 2014
“The customer is always right” is an axiom that has been around for at least 100 years. The basic idea is that a business should more or less bend over backwards to do whatever the business needs to do to satisfy the customer. I am not sure if that is the best way to succeed in business. Rather, I would suggest a business needs to make sure that it only works with customers who think the business is right. What do I mean by that? One of the most dangerous aspects of being in a service business such as remodeling is the client selection process. Make a wrong decision at this juncture and your business canRead More
Top 10 Markets for New Residential Construction
Brad Hunter / Metrostudy / August 18, 2014
Housing starts numbers out today surprised many observers with its strength (+15.7%), but we find it to have been in line with our actual counts, released earlier this month. As we predicted, last month’s Census estimate was revised upward, and now the numbers are back in line with the trends revealed by the Metrostudy roll-ups. The last release of housing starts data from the Census Bureau caused undue alarm about a collapse of activity in the South. The Census release had shown a 29.6% decline for total starts in the South, but as we pointed out at the time, this exaggerated the weakness inRead 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