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Why developers can’t afford to overlook buyer demographics

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Car and tech companies spend phenomenal amounts of money on consumer research to better understand their target customers and deliver what they want, but so often, I see developers overlook who is going to live in the homes they’re designing and focus only on the economics of the build. Taking that approach is like designing a car without considering if it will be used by a family with kids and pets or a single person who rarely has someone in the back. 

In this blog, I’ll outline why you need to design homes with a specific buyer demographic in mind and how it will equate to better sales.

Work out what features matter to your target buyer.

Obviously different developments lend themselves to different demographics because of their price point, but there are many things to consider outside of the price. People in different buying stages will value different conveniences and amenities and it’s essential that the interior design of your residences is targeted to each demographic and is done in such a way that it makes their daily life better.

Often developers focus only on the cost and quality of fittings and fixtures, upgrade options, and colour schemes. While these are important, they don’t address the liability of the property, and that is what’s truly going to matter to buyers. Think both in terms of what design features will be convenient for the people who live in the spaces, and also what you potentially be a huge inconvenience. Things like inadequate dimensions in a closet, no storage for bulky items, poor natural light, or awkward bathroom and kitchen layouts may not be apparent in the architect’s floor plan, but when the space is utilised, they become a daily frustration.

 

Consider the daily activities and requirements of your buyer demographics.

Entry-level buyers generally don’t value upgrade options; they’re just trying to keep their mortgage as low as possible and to potentially add value themselves later through renovations. Providing built-in storage can be a huge selling point as these buyers generally don’t own a lot of furniture and will appreciate the cost savings and convenience of not having to acquire large items to store things like spare linen and clothes. For entry-level buyers offering an ensuite or second bathroom can be very advantageous, as it gives them more potential to have a housemate to help cover costs. Shared amenities are less important, as these buyers typically spend a lot of time outside their homes.

Buyers looking for their first family home will also appreciate built-in storage, particularly for kids rooms, and durable flooring options to allow the home to withstand stains and spills. Offering space in the entryway for coats and bags will also be desirable to help keep clutter away from the main living areas.

Having a laundry space that is workable and has dimensions that allow for large washers and dryers to be installed is also essential. The same goes for the fridge cavity and available workspace in the kitchen. Having practical workable spaces will be a much bigger drawcard for these demographics than European appliances. For homes geared towards families who are upsizing or have older children, consider including study nooks and quiet areas in addition to the main living areas to facilitate studying or working from home. Shared amenities are of value if they provide a space that can be utilised by families, so consider adequate shade, play equipment, and seating that accommodates multiple households, as well as storage areas for kids’ bikes and strollers.

For homes selling to older buyers or those looking to downsize, consider more luxury creature comforts. Things like fireplaces, wine cellars, reading rooms, and enough space to hang artworks or place antique furniture and collectables. Consider easily accessible storage for things like golf clubs, ample closet space and private guest rooms in the residences. Offering more luxurious options for fittings and fixtures does present value to these buyers, as will quality communal amenities, leisure spaces, and guest parking.

 

It’s essential to consider the demographics of who will live in the property you’re developing.

Miscalculating this can lead to poor sales and a lack of interest once the project is complete.

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