The housing sector is undergoing massive disruption, expedited by changing consumer demand, exacerbated by the climate emergency, and facilitated by advancements in enabling technologies. No one will be immune to this transformation. How can building professionals, manufacturers, and homeowners prepare themselves for the paradigm shift? Changes are afoot in the housing sector. Shifts consumer expectations are placing new demands on building professionals and manufacturers, accelerating the transition to next-generation solutions. COVID has driven a tremendous surge in demand for healthy homes. Municipalities from coast to coast are implementing mandates and incentives for net-zero, all-electric, solar-powered homes. Enabling technologies are delivering us into a new era of connected living to optimize energy use, load shifting, water conservation, and indoor air quality. And soaring lumber prices, materials shortages, and labor challenges are moving the industry towards alternative building systems like SIPs and ICFs as well as panelization, prefab, and offsite construction solutions. As consumers become savvier about options for healthier, higher-performance, smarter homes, they’re moving away from a straight price per square foot valuation metric towards one that incorporates sustainability, quality, and long-term cost of homeownership. Consumers are reprioritizing on a massive scale, and the market is evolving at a record pace. It’s more essential than ever for building professionals and manufacturers to keep up with these rapid market developments if they’re going to continue to offer products, solutions, and homes that meet the needs of Today’s Home Buyer. It’s time to develop the next generation of housing. Enter Housing 2.0, a comprehensive education and training program that Green Builder Media has launched in conjunction with industry leader Sam Rashkin, designed to help building professionals develop higher performance, healthier, more sustainable homes at a fraction of the cost. Housing 2.0 program will teach building professionals how to improve the homebuyer experience through innovation, exploring five main areas of the housing industry: 1) Sustainable Development, 2) Sustainable Design 3) Home Performance 4) Quality Construction 5) Effective Sales “There are profound opportunities in each of these five areas to improve the homebuyer experience,” Rashkin asserts. He explains that: Better designed communities can dramatically improve opportunities to engage neighbors and protect future value for each resident. Reassessed sustainable designs can more appropriately reflect how we live in homes and integrate key systems. Enhanced performance can transform occupant comfort, health, and peace of mind far beyond current practices. Improved construction quality can ensure superior technologies along with less defects and waste. Augmented sales processes can turn each homebuyer into a customer for life rather than too often lead into a ‘hit and run’ experience.” To illustrate the urgent need for change in the housing sector, Rashkin references the book, To Sell is Human, by Daniel Pink. The book details the current transformation that is taking place in our economy from information inequality, where buyers know much less than sellers, to information parity, where buyers know as much as sellers. “If there is a better buying experience available in the market today,” Rashkin says, “the knowledge of this opportunity spreads exponentially faster among consumers than it did just a few years ago because of social media and our extensive interconnectedness.” “The housing sector is a microcosm of this phenomenon,” Rashkin continues. “Over the past four years, the number of homebuyers searching the web to find a builder increased more than 250%.” Beyond searching for a builder, the entire homebuying experience is shifting online. According to COGNITION Smart Data, Green Builder Media’s suite of market intelligence services, an unprecedented 25% of consumers report that they are now willing to buy a home online without seeing it in person. Over 90% of prospective buyers use technology to search and select their new builder, and 89% of those prospects expect to receive digital communication throughout the home buying process. “Simply messaging about location, price and floor plan isn’t adequate anymore,” insists Rashkin. “Housing can no longer sit on the innovation sidelines. If home buying web content tracks what has become available for automobiles, consumers will soon have access to a whole array of new information including buyer reviews; advertised vs. actual selling prices; costs of popular upgrade features; length and coverage of warranties; call-back repair records; after-sales service programs; special recognition labels for green, energy efficiency, health, water conservation, and disaster resistance; comparative energy efficiency based on HERS® Index scores and actual utility billing data; and the list goes on.” Are you prepared? The swiftness of the transformation that is occurring can seem overwhelming, even dizzying at times. But the Housing 2.0 program breaks down the battle plan into digestible pieces, offering resources, ideas, and information about innovative solutions and groundbreaking approaches that will help you tackle these changes head-on. We invite you to join us as we develop solutions for the next generation of housing. REGISTER TODAY! By Sara Gutterman As cofounder and CEO of Green Builder Media, Sara is a visionary thought leader and passionate advocate for sustainability. A former venture capitalist, she has participated in the life cycle (from funding to exit) of over 20 companies, with an emphasis on combining sustainability and profitability. She lives in Lake City, Colo., with her husband, where she is an avid long-distance runner, snowboarder, and Crossfit trainer.