The Tracy Cross & Associates Market Research and Consulting Firm provides clients with useful, action-oriented strategies to address market conditions confronting those in the homebuilding industry.

The homebuilding industry is one of the economy’s most complex sectors, and accurate, useful marketing information is growing ever more crucial to success in this increasingly competitive arena. At Tracy Cross & Associates, we serve our clients by providing information that helps members of their development team—including the developer, the land planner, the architect, the landscaper, and the merchandiser—fine-tune their understanding of the buyer and the forces at work in the competitive environment.

Our clients avail themselves of our market research services in a variety of ways, as we tailor our capabilities to meet their specific needs. Many of our clients bring us aboard at the very start of a development project and use our services in each of the succeeding phases. In other cases, our engagements are connected with specific stages of a project. These include:

Pre-Acquisition Market Analysis. Some clients come to us prior to land acquisition to help them determine the potential of a property and better assess the value of the potential acquisition. This service can be especially valuable when a builder is expanding to a new geographic region.

Project Feasibility. Another common approach is to engage us shortly after the land has been optioned or acquired and the preliminary planning has begun. We might be asked to help evaluate the risks connected with the proposed plan and alternatives, and to suggest how the risks might be minimized.  Project feasibility and market analysis also may involve suggestions for refinement of the plan, including modifications of product type and price/rent strategies. Often, our research will uncover additional market segments to which the project might appeal, and will expand the options available to the developer.

Sales/Absorption Rate Forecasting. In many cases, clients will call on us to prepare forecasts of sales/absorption rates at different price points or rent levels, and to give forecasts based on various possible competitive and economic scenarios.  Clients find such forecasts particularly valuable as tools to help them decide among several different development alternatives or to determine ways in which their profit potential can be maximized.

Competitive Evaluations. In the increasingly competitive homebuilding marketplace, there is great interest in our services that identify indirect and direct competition to a proposed or existing development and then analyze the likely impact of competitor price/value positioning, features, and merchandising efforts.

Our homebuilding clients retain our services not just for specific projects, but for more strategic types of engagements as well.  These include:

  • Market Analysis and Trend-tracking. Clients retain us on an on-going basis to keep them informed of the changing market dynamics, to warn them of the emergency of saturated markets, and to generally alert them to hidden opportunities or dangers we might uncover.  Because of our involvement in real estate markets around the country, we also provide our clients with the information they need to keep abreast of new housing concepts and designs developed in other regions that might be adaptable to their local markets.
  • Analysis for Long-Range, Strategic Planning. Based on our analyses of demographic trends and patterns of economic development that will shape the future, we can identify corridors of growth and opportunity, thereby assisting in the development of long-range strategies. Often, strategic planning efforts include location analyses that seek regions of the country offering the best prospects for future growth. In other instances, we help municipalities or other government entities plan for a full continuum of future housing needs within their jurisdiction.

In addition to the work that we do for clients specifically in the homebuilding industry, a significant portion of our clientele comes from businesses involved in related activities—particularly financial service organizations or private equity firms that lend to homebuilders. These include:

  • Loan Feasibility Evaluations.  Lenders often use our services to supplement their own analyses regarding the ongoing marketability of a project.
  • Portfolio Evaluation.  Some financial organizations also have engaged us to help them evaluate the overall risk of their homebuilding loan portfolio.