Our clients avail themselves of our marketing services in a variety of ways, tailoring 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 analysis. Some clients come to us prior to land acquisition to help them determine the potential of a property and to help them better assess the price that is feasible to pay for a parcel of land. This type of 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 also might involve suggestions for refinement of the plan, including modifications of product type and pricing 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.
Pre-appraisal analysis. A number of our clients find it advantageous to bring us in just prior to loan appraisal because the availability of an in-depth marketing study results in better appraisals. In addition, by providing appraisers with detailed, up-to-date market information, significant savings can be realized in appraisal costs.
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 and 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 of the patterns of economic development and major trends that will shape the future, we can identify corridors of growth and opportunity and, thereby, help clients develop long-range strategies. Often, strategic planning efforts include location analyses that seek regions of the country offering the best prospects for future growth.
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 home builders. These include:
- Loan feasibility evaluations. Lenders often use our services to supplement their own analyses regarding the feasibility of a project under consideration for a loan.
- Portfolio evaluation. Some financial organizations also have engaged us to help them evaluate the overall risk of their homebuilding loan portfolio.