Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Concrete Homes Share Modular's Problems

This blog is dedicated to the modular housing industry and the men and women that manufacture, market and build homes for the new home buyer. Over the years I've tried my best to do two things. The first is to help new homebuyers understand the benefits of having a quality home built off site by dedicated craftspeople and delivered to the customer's lot and secondly to try and come up with ways to help our industry go beyond just a 3% market share of new homes built. In some small way I think I've helped.

Then I read this article from the Wizard Strategy blog about another type of manufactured home that is also trying to figure out how to increase market share.

concrete home

Personally I have never thought about the concrete housing market and was surprised that they share our pain when it comes to recognition and marketing.

Here is the article by Mark Mitchell on his blog, Whizard Strategy:

 When will concrete homes be taken seriously?

I have always wondered why concrete homes have never become more popular.  They haven’t been able to grow beyond a few regions or a few builders and architects who aren’t afraid to be different.

Here are the 2 reasons why concrete homes haven’t caught on

1. Concrete homes just make too much sense. The benefits are too obvious.

I was working with Owens Corning and Dow when the concrete and foam building products started to gain some attention.  I remember how excited they were because they saw it as an easy way to sell more foam.

Although some people think they really got behind it, the truth is that no one ever really committed.  They thought that throwing around some marketing dollars would make it a sure thing. The reason that concrete failed, however, is because they never saw it as their business. They saw it as their customer’s business. Their customers were smaller inventor engineer types who didn’t have the sales and marketing expertise or resources to change the market.

These customers were smaller inventor engineer types who didn’t have the sales and marketing expertise or resources to change the market.

It just made so much sense that no one thought it would be a tough sale to the builder.  Most builders got sales call on switching to concrete. They took one look at the numbers and said “No Thanks”. Builders that I talk to have never received another sales call since.
One of the main barriers was and still is the price the contractor wants to charge the builder.  There was no concerted effort to overcome the builder’s concerns or problems.
No matter how much sense an idea makes, it’s important to remember that converting builders is hard work that takes time.

2.  Everyone is chasing a small market instead of building a larger one.
For years I have walked trade shows and I always see a number of concrete home component manufacturers each with their own booths. All of the messages are “My Concrete Home Product is the Better Than the Other Guy”.  I see the same thing with their advertising.
Read the entire article from The Wizard Strategy blog.

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