HIRI DIY painting

Home-Basing: Trends & Insights on Homeowners’ Most Valuable Investment

Oct 22, 2020

Home-bas­ing is a term coined by Trust­ed Media Brands and refers to the act of stay­ing home and cre­at­ing expe­ri­ences there, as opposed to going out on the town. This trend has become espe­cial­ly pop­u­lar with quar­an­tines and stay-at-home orders in place around the coun­try this year. 

The HIRI 2020 Vir­tu­al Sum­mit includ­ed a pre­sen­ta­tion by Nick Grze­chowiak, Chief Con­tent Offi­cer at Trust­ed Media Brands, on this trend. Enti­tled Home Bas­ing: Trends and Insights on Your Most Valu­able Invest­ment,” it explored the trends in home­own­er and DIY­er pur­chas­ing activ­i­ty and helped Sum­mit atten­dees under­stand the data that cur­rent mar­ket research reveals around home-basing. 

Home Improvement Trends + the Modern Homeowner

The research from HIRI’s recent track­er stud­ies and prod­uct sur­veys shows home­own­ers are still spend­ing on home improve­ment prod­ucts. Home­own­ers are doing more home-bas­ing this year because of the pan­dem­ic, and that’s led to a rise in more home improve­ment projects.

Home Improvement Trends-Modern Homeowner

It’s like­ly we’ll see the word nest­ing’ here in this pre­sen­ta­tion,” joked Grant at HIRI’s Vir­tu­al Sum­mit this year.

Nick’s work for Fam­i­ly Handy­man (owned by Trust­ed Media) serves today’s home­own­er — and that home­own­er audi­ence has evolved over time. The mod­ern DIY­er looks a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than they did a gen­er­a­tion ago.

We’ve been see­ing a decline in what I call tra­di­tion­al’ DIY­er activ­i­ty, where some­one is pass­ing along knowl­edge and a skillset to the next gen­er­a­tion,” says Nick.

But despite that decline, DIY projects (and pur­chas­es) are on the rise.

That’s because there’s a new kind of home­own­er who tack­les projects on their home, and they know where to look for help and guid­ance. Tools, mate­ri­als and know-how are more acces­si­ble and eas­i­er-to-use than ever before,” explains Nick.

Insights on Today’s Homeowner

So what does today’s home-bas­ing cus­tomer look like, and how can home improve­ment com­pa­nies under­stand and reach them?

Com­pared to 20+ years ago, today’s home buy­er is more like­ly to be female, sin­gle and with­out chil­dren,” Nick explains. And if you talk to any new home­own­er, you’re like­ly to hear them talk about knock­ing down a wall or remod­el­ing the bath­room.

They’re moti­vat­ed to make the home their own,” explains Nick.

HIRI Insights on Today's Homeowner

In fact, 85% of Trust­ed Media’s Inner Cir­cle” of sur­vey respon­dents list­ed their home as their num­ber one invest­ment. So if they’re spend­ing mon­ey on some­thing, it might very like­ly be on a remod­el­ing project … some­thing that makes the space unique to them.

It’s some­thing they’re improv­ing and can hold onto, but hope­ful­ly some­day cash out on to do some­thing else,” Nick explains.

Setting Expectations: How Homeowners Are Spending

The home improve­ment mar­ket has been a con­cern since the rise of the pan­dem­ic ear­li­er this year, but HIRI and IHS Mark­it’s lat­est research shows an increase of 8.7% in spend on home improve­ment prod­ucts in 2020.

There are a few oth­er num­bers of note for home improve­ment companies:

  • Online and curb­side pick­up pur­chas­es went up in 2020: 21% of home­own­ers in HIRI’s research sur­vey bought their prod­ucts online, a sig­nif­i­cant increase from the 6% of home­own­ers who bought prod­ucts online in 2018.
  • HIRI expects home improve­ment prod­uct sales to taper off in 2021 since many home­own­ers tack­led their planned projects this year while home-bas­ing. The total home improve­ment mar­ket is expect­ed to grow by 1.5% in 2021.HIRI How Homeowners are Spending

Understanding the Home-Basing Customer

Home­own­ers aren’t the most pre­dictable con­sumer, and when there’s an eco­nom­ic cri­sis, it’s hard for home improve­ment com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions to make busi­ness deci­sions based on their behav­ior.

But those com­pa­nies need a way to mea­sure progress in their busi­ness, even when there’s a new nor­mal in the indus­try. You still have to make deci­sions about your busi­ness, and it helps when you can nav­i­gate those deci­sions with con­fi­dence (and data).

What we can prove is that DIY projects are increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar these days. Grant Farnsworth with HIRI explains that we’re see­ing a con­tin­ued nest­ing phe­nom­e­na” come into play in 2020, and home-bas­ing is becom­ing the new norm.

Here’s what home improve­ment com­pa­nies can plan on, despite the unknowns of a pandemic:

  • Home-bas­ing and aging-in-place go hand-in-hand. Many home­own­ers want to make their space their own, but they want long-term solu­tions. The improve­ments they make should ensure they’re more com­fort­able in their homes or have seri­ous ROI when it’s time to move out.
  • Because home­own­ers have had to nav­i­gate COVID restric­tions, the num­ber of in-store pur­chas­es are down by 20% from 2018 research.

This kind of data is impor­tant for home improve­ment com­pa­nies and how they sell to their cus­tomers. Web­site, social media and video have all been big com­po­nents in how Fam­i­ly Handy­man has evolved,” says Nick.

Helping the Home-Basing Customer

Home improve­ment com­pa­nies can adapt by improv­ing their own online pres­ence to help the home-bas­ing cus­tomer. Make your prod­ucts and ser­vices more share­able: Get your web­site and social media pres­ence in order, so that you can reach the home­own­ers who are search­ing for DIY ideas while they’re home-basing.

HIRI Helping the Home-Basing Customer

Not sure which prod­ucts to pro­mote? Take a look at what your cus­tomers are buy­ing, and it’s like­ly that their shop­ping bas­kets con­tain a vari­ety of prod­ucts. DIY­ers are buy­ing in more cat­e­gories and they’re spend­ing more mon­ey,” says Grant Farnsworth. Their bas­kets are get­ting bigger.”

Shift your company’s sales approach to accom­mo­date the home-bas­ing customer’s larg­er shop­ping bas­ket: offer dis­counts or prod­uct pack­ages that appeal to your cus­tomers, share prod­uct instal­la­tion videos that might inspire a new project or intro­duce new prod­ucts they might find use­ful in your blog feed.

HIRI Home-basing Outdoor Spaces

It’s espe­cial­ly impor­tant to under­stand how the eco­nom­ic cri­sis affects every­one: from home­own­ers to DIY­ers to con­trac­tors to archi­tects. Rec­og­niz­ing this can help home improve­ment com­pa­nies and retail­ers make more con­fi­dent deci­sions around how to pro­mote their busi­ness.

HIRI gives home improve­ment com­pa­nies insights and tools to bet­ter under­stand the retail con­sumer. Join Trust­ed Media and oth­er HIRI mem­bers and get even more use­ful data on how to han­dle the changes in the home improve­ment indus­try. Join HIRI for instant access to over $850,000 worth of home improve­ment indus­try data or sign up for our week­ly newsletter.

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