Understanding the Homeowner Mindset

Understanding the Homeowner Mindset

Understanding the Homeowner Mindset

Catapult Insights & Innovation

Understanding people at their core is key to what we do at Catapult. Having a holistic view of a person, the things that are meaningful to them, and the mindset they bring into everyday life brings context to their actions and behaviors. It shines light on why people think, feel, and do the things they do, making it easier to predict what they are likely to think, feel, and do in the future.

That’s why we asked people what’s on their minds as part of our US Homeowner Home Improvement Survey. Getting a peek into recent conversations with loved ones and issues that are top of mind provides an interesting lens through which to interpret home improvement plans.

Issues like inflation and the economy were dominant concerns across the board, whereas other issues hit harder in different age categories. Political strife and the war in Ukraine are more concerning to those over 65. Women’s rights is notably more in focus those between 25-44 years old.

Catapult Insights & Innovation

But what does this have to do with home improvement?

The answer is surprisingly simple: control. Feeling in control is a basic need that can drive conscious and subconscious human behaviors. Entering a post-pandemic era, much of mankind is grappling with a massive loss of control over their everyday lives. At the height of the pandemic things were changing so quickly that it became difficult for people to plan much more than a week ahead of time. As everyday behaviors that were taken for granted suddenly became socially unacceptable, our collective ability to make our own choices receded.

It’s natural that people began turning attention to the one place they had the most control over: their homes. It stands to reason that extra time spent at home during the pandemic would highlight areas homeowners aspire to spruce up, but the added complexity of human desire for control is an important one that everyone in the home improvement category should be paying attention to.

Forces beyond homeowners’ control have always been present and limited what projects they could take on, but the current conditions are unique. When sanctuaries turned into shelters, people became primed to view their home as the last line of defense in exerting control over their lives. Although Covid restrictions are waning, it’s important to remember that the heightened emotional significance of one’s home will not fade as quickly – or at all.

Combine this with concerns about the economy and inflation and homeowners are feeling helpless in their desire to do the things they’d like to do.

As part of our survey, homeowners shared recent topics of conversation in their household which gave us a good read on their mindset. Here’s a peek:

So, what’s the implication of this for the home improvement category?

  • Homeowners might do fewer projects than they’re planning. Our previous blogs revealed more than 8 in 10 homeowners are planning a home improvement project in the coming year, but what happens when they learn their budget doesn’t go as far as it once did? We’re predicting some shifting priorities and delayed gratification as homeowners pause their plans until they can save enough money. This will agitate feelings of lost control, leading some to fester and others to forge ahead.
  • Some shoppers will look for thrifty alternatives. When waiting just isn’t an option, a subset of homeowners will adjust their expectations or consider lower priced products. Our bet is that they will focus their spend on one aspect of their project while skimping in others. Products that successfully position themselves as the centerpiece of home improvement projects will enjoy more leeway on pricing.
  • A supply chain ripple is on the way. In a few years when the economy rebounds there will be a tidal wave of backlogged projects being done, creating an echo of today’s supply chain strains. This will be relieved somewhat by the overstock sales that are anticipated in the coming 6 months, but the economic recovery that happens later will align with many homeowners who have put off projects around the house.

Give us a shout at hello@catapultinsights.com if you’d like to learn more about how you can leverage a holistic understanding of people to strategically grow your brand.

 

Justin Sutton

CO-FOUNDER
CATAPULT INSIGHTS

 

About the Survey

The Catapult Homeowner Home Improvement Survey was completed in July 2022. A representative sample of 1,090 US homeowners age 25+ were recruited from the Full Circle Panel and completed the short online survey. Contact Catapult Insights at hello@catapultinsights.com for more information.

About Catapult Insights

Catapult Insights in an outcomes-focused insights and innovation consultancy that uses research as a foundational tool to help brands grow, evolve and future-proof their businesses. Catapult creates customized creative solutions to tackle specific needs, adapting their approach to answer client’s biggest questions.  Their robust suite of research methods and consulting approaches gives clients an accurate picture of people today: their needs, motivations and behaviors, as well as a predictable view into the future.

About Full Circle Research

Named the 2021 Panel Company of the Year by The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards (powered by Quirk’s) and a staple on Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Companies (‘17, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21), Full Circle leads the industry in data quality and niche communities. The only US-based, online consumer sample provider certified to ISO 26362; now certified to ISO 20252; and the Promoter of #QualityForAll, Full Circle’s award-winning survey experience HoNoR (Holistic Next-Level Research)® marries advanced tech, flexible community strategies and industry-leading quality controls to deliver immediate access to proven-purest data. One of the highest-scoring businesses on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list, Full Circle’s foresight, agility and innovations are a direct result of a uniquely consultative approach delivered by diverse industry veterans. To learn more, visit iLoveFullCircle.com

 

Following the Home Improvement Money   

Following the Home Improvement Money   

Following the Home Improvement Money   

Catapult Insights & Innovation

In our last blog we highlighted how Catapult Insights’ Homeowner Home Improvement Survey indicated that the majority of homeowners feel comfortable investing in their home and 85% have at least one home improvement project planned in the next year.

Next, we’re diving deeper into some of the key types of projects that are on homeowners’ lists – painting, plumbing, flooring and kitchen appliances.  Here’s what you should know:

 

Interior paint is the #1 planned project among homeowners and most plan to DIY. Spend varies, but 60% plan to spend under $500. However, some homeowners might be in for a surprise when they shop for paint as it is another product that is experiencing price increases this summer.

Fewer homeowners are planning an exterior painting project (16%) but among those who do, over half plan to hire a professional.

New kitchen appliances are high on homeowners’ lists with a quarter planning to purchase them in the next 12 months. They’re going to be a big investment for them too with 65% planning to spend at least $1,000 on new appliances.

1 In 5 homeowners have a flooring project planned in the next 12 months. This type of project is the most professionally-oriented project on our list with 60% indicating they plan to hire a professional. It’s no wonder given half plan to spend at least $2000 of their hard-earned money on this project.

1 in 5 homeowners plan to purchase/install new plumbing fixtures in the next 12 months. Half plan to spend at least $500, and nearly a third plan to spend $1000 or more. Homeowners tend to lean more on professionals when it comes to plumbing fixture projects with a little over half planning to hire a pro for their next project.

Catapult Insights & Innovation

Here are a couple of things to think about to make sure your brand gets a piece of the homeowner home improvement budget pie:

Understand the journey homeowners go through in your category when deciding where, how and what to buy. In our last blog we talked about how consumers’ journeys have drastically changed over the last few years.  With inflation driving prices up, we speculate that consumers could be in for a rude awakening right at the beginning of the journey when they start to estimate what their project will cost. This could cause them to either adjust their budgets or scope of projects. If you haven’t updated your understanding of your category’s consumer journey, now is the time. People have money to spend, time to do the work, and an interest in investing in their home through improvements. Make sure your brand is there to support them at the right points along their journey and can ease the pain points they experience along the way.

Revisit your approach to supporting consumers during their home improvement projects to make sure you’re building bonds and leading them to success. Helping homeowners get it right on the first shot will be critical. Redoing work is prohibitively expensive for more homeowners, so choosing the right paint colors, fixtures, materials, etc. will likely be more stressful and important than ever. Look for ways to assist in the shopping journey that lend assurances and help homeowners visualize before they commit. Tout return/exchange programs and recertified offerings to help shoppers buy with confidence. Look for ways to help homeowners feel like you’re in this project with them and committed to their success.

In our next blog, Catapult Co-Founder, Justin Sutton, is going to take a look at homeowners’ outlook on the world. He’ll explore what they’re thinking about, concerned about and talking about to provide context and understanding around the decisions they make.

 

Jill Miller

CO-FOUNDER
CATAPULT INSIGHTS

 

The Catapult Homeowner Home Improvement Survey was completed in July 2022. A representative sample of 1,090 US homeowners age 25+ were recruited from the Full Circle Panel and completed the short online survey. Contact Catapult Insights at hello@catapultinsights.com for more information.

Subheading: About Catapult Insights

Catapult Insights in an outcomes-focused insights and innovation consultancy that uses research as a foundational tool to help brands grow, evolve and future-proof their businesses. Catapult creates customized creative solutions to tackle specific needs, adapting their approach to answer clients’ biggest questions.  Their robust suite of research methods and consulting approaches gives clients an accurate picture of people today: their needs, motivations, and behaviors, as well as a predictable view into the future.

Subheading: About Full Circle Research

Named the 2021 Panel Company of the Year by The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards (powered by Quirk’s) and a staple on Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Companies (‘17, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21), Full Circle leads the industry in data quality and niche communities. The only US-based, online consumer sample provider certified to ISO 26362; now certified to ISO 20252; and the Promoter of #QualityForAll, Full Circle’s award-winning survey experience HoNoR (Holistic Next-Level Research)® marries advanced tech, flexible community strategies and industry-leading quality controls to deliver immediate access to proven-purest data. One of the highest-scoring businesses on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list, Full Circle’s foresight, agility and innovations are a direct result of a uniquely consultative approach delivered by diverse industry veterans. To learn more, visit iLoveFullCircle.com

 

Homeowners plan for home improvement spending despite economic warning signs

Homeowners plan for home improvement spending despite economic warning signs

Homeowners plan for home improvement spending despite economic warning signs

Catapult Insights & Innovation

In our last blog post, we explored homeowner perceptions and plans related to the housing market and uncovered expectations for continued increases in home values, lots of positive equity, and few with plans to sell. This left us with a question – what are their plans for home improvement projects in this changing housing market?

To answer this question and learn more about what’s to come in the home improvement category we turned to the Catapult Homeowner Home Improvement Survey where we partnered with Full Circle Research to survey 1,090 US homeowners in July 2022. Here’s what we learned.

Home values are up and the majority of homeowners (89%) feel at least somewhat comfortable investing money into their home through improvements in the next year. And most (71%) say they’ve got the time for their projects.

Given this, it is no surprise 85% of homeowners plan to complete at least one home improvement project in the next year. In fact, they plan to do several.

Interior painting is the #1 planned project with 45% of homeowners indicating they plan to paint an interior room in the next year. Next up are landscaping and home decor updates, followed by new furniture and kitchen appliances. New flooring and plumbing fixtures are also on homeowners’ minds with 21% planning an update to each in the next year.

Larger projects are still on the table with 20% of homeowners indicating they plan to remodel an entire room. Kitchens and primary bathrooms are the top rooms on their project lists.

Homeowners are preparing to spend their hard-earned money on these improvements. Among those planning a project, 84% are say they’ll spend at least $1,000 in the next year with 43% planning to spend $5,000 or more. That said, inflation, rising Interest rates and concerns about a potential recession could potentially shift homeowner plans in the coming months.

With big plans, time to do the work and budgets, homeowners are going to need to prioritize what to do first. Low hanging fruit is often up first, tackling projects they feel comfortable accomplishing themselves. This behavior is compounded by issues finding professional assistance, causing some to stretch their DIY abilities and others to delay or reprioritize projects. Homeowners are also attentive to home projects that, if ignored, could lead to bigger issues in the future.

Catapult Insights & Innovation

DIY is top of mind with homeowners and 59% say they prefer to DIY to stretch their money when it comes to home improvement projects. However, plans for DIY differ by project type. Homeowners say they’re more likely to DIY interior paint and landscaping projects while more will turn to professionals for flooring, exterior paint, and plumbing fixtures.

Our recent Home Improvement Professionals Survey results indicates that many professionals are experiencing staffing issues.  Homeowners are feeling it too. 38% of homeowners say it is hard to find a professional to do their projects. Will this cause more to try their hand at new DIY skills?

What does this mean for durable goods manufacturers and retailers?

Continue to be ready for consumer demand. The durable goods industry and retailers have been put under immense pressure over the past few years and it looks like there isn’t an end in sight. Be there with new products and support to keep homeowners going on their home improvement journey.

Keep a pulse on what consumers want and need from their home improvement products and brands, and how their plans evolve as the US economy continues to change.  While we can’t predict the future, we think it is safe to say there are more changes driven by outside forces to come and those changes will influence consumer perceptions, plans and decision making.

Refresh your consumer journey understanding. The way consumers make decisions and shop has drastically changed over the last few years. Understanding where, when and how you can influence and support consumer decision making is critical to growing your business and creating loyalty. If you can’t confidently say you know the when, where, and how of your category’s consumer journey it is time for a refresh.

Innovate to stand out from the pack. Anticipate a surge in the DIY market as professional availability and costs remain prohibitive to many homeowners. This means a demand for both products and services to accommodate shoppers in more active roles than previously comfortable. Innovation efforts will be necessary to build end-to-end journeys that make homeowners feel comfortable, confident, and empowered along the way.

In our next blog, we will dive deeper into several durable goods categories – paint, flooring, plumbing fixtures and kitchen appliances, to find out more about what we can expect from homeowners’ projects in the next year.

 

Jill Miller

CO-FOUNDER
CATAPULT INSIGHTS

 

The Catapult Homeowner Home Improvement Survey was completed in July 2022. A representative sample of 1,090 US homeowners age 25+ were recruited from the Full Circle Panel and completed the short online survey. Contact Catapult Insights at hello@catapultinsights.com for more information.

About Catapult Insights

Catapult Insights in an outcomes-focused insights and innovation consultancy that uses research as a foundational tool to help brands grow, evolve and future-proof their businesses. Catapult creates customized creative solutions to tackle specific needs, adapting their approach to answer clients’ biggest questions.  Their robust suite of research methods and consulting approaches gives clients an accurate picture of people today: their needs, motivations, and behaviors, as well as a predictable view into the future.

About Full Circle Research

Named the 2021 Panel Company of the Year by The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards (powered by Quirk’s) and a staple on Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Companies (‘17, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21), Full Circle leads the industry in data quality and niche communities. The only US-based, online consumer sample provider certified to ISO 26362; now certified to ISO 20252; and the Promoter of #QualityForAll, Full Circle’s award-winning survey experience HoNoR (Holistic Next-Level Research)® marries advanced tech, flexible community strategies and industry-leading quality controls to deliver immediate access to proven-purest data. One of the highest-scoring businesses on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list, Full Circle’s foresight, agility and innovations are a direct result of a uniquely consultative approach delivered by diverse industry veterans. To learn more, visit iLoveFullCircle.com

Insights from the US Housing Market

Insights from the US Housing Market

Insights from the US Housing Market

The US housing market has been on a wild ride of late, and I can’t be the only one suffering from mental whiplash. After the bottom fell out in 2008 it was hard to fathom the rollercoaster climb in prices observed over the past few years, with recent signs of another potential bubble popping. Many predicted what goes up would soon come down, and now we’re seeing signs of a possible recession.

To learn more, Catapult teamed up with our trusted partner, Full Circle Research, to launch the Catapult Homeowner Home Improvement Survey focused on the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of US homeowners. Their beliefs, feelings and intentions revealed some interesting insights into what we can expect from the coming year, and we will be releasing a short series of blogs to share what we’re hearing.

 

Jill’s recent blog outlines where home improvement professionals’ heads are at, but how are homeowners feeling about the US housing market?

Generally, homeowners are feeling pretty good about their current position. We found 58% of homeowners anticipate their home value to rise over the next 12 months, and few expect prices to fall. Combine that with positive home equity (reported among 86% of respondents), and people feel like they have a reliable investment during a time of volatility.  

Further, 62% feel they could sell their home as-is with little effort. On top of that, 57% agree that now is a good time to be a seller. But then what? Buying their next home would likely be difficult amid bidding wars and continued rising home prices. Ultimately, only 6% have intentions of selling their homes in the next year, which may further exacerbate the inflated prices we’re currently seeing.

With a possible economic downturn, shortage of homes on the market, and continued inflation, the candle is burning at both ends. Rather than get caught in the middle, many homeowners are continuing to focus on home improvement projects in hopes of waiting out market corrections. Why not make home a little nicer while living in it, and perhaps enjoy a little added value down the road when selling and buying the next home isn’t so daunting?

Despite having decent, and often great, equity, only 8% are considering Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) to fund their home improvements.

Whether lack of awareness or conservative investing principles, homeowners appear to be working with the money in their pockets to make their home a better place. 

Some questions remained on our minds.

 

With limited resources, how are homeowners approaching home improvement projects? What is their mindset toward prioritizing their focus? And which durable goods categories should be making sure their supply chain is up to snuff to meet the coming demand? In our next blog, Catapult co-founder, Jill Miller, will dive into the home improvement trends and behaviors uncovered by our work.

 

Justin Sutton

CO-FOUNDER
CATAPULT INSIGHTS

 

About the Survey

The Catapult Homeowner Home Improvement Survey was completed in July, 2022. A representative sample of 1,090 US homeowners age 25+ were recruited from the Full Circle Panel and completed the short online survey. Contact Catapult Insights at hello@catapultinsights.com for more information.

 

About Catapult Insights

Catapult Insights in an outcomes-focused insights and innovation consultancy that uses research as a foundational tool to help brands grow, evolve and future-proof their businesses. Catapult creates customized creative solutions to tackle specific needs, adapting their approach to answer clients’ biggest questions.  Their robust suite of research methods and consulting approaches gives clients an accurate picture of people today: their needs, motivations and behaviors, as well as a predictable view into the future.

About Full Circle Research

Named the 2021 Panel Company of the Year by The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards (powered by Quirk’s) and a staple on Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Companies (‘17, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21), Full Circle leads the industry in data quality and niche communities. The only US-based, online consumer sample provider certified to ISO 26362; now certified to ISO 20252; and the Promoter of #QualityForAll, Full Circle’s award-winning survey experience HoNoR (Holistic Next-Level Research)® marries advanced tech, flexible community strategies and industry-leading quality controls to deliver immediate access to proven-purest data. One of the highest-scoring businesses on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list, Full Circle’s foresight, agility and innovations are a direct result of a uniquely consultative approach delivered by diverse industry veterans. To learn more, iLoveFullCircle.com

 

 

Research Exposes Home Improvement Professional Market’s Uphill Battle to Stability

Research Exposes Home Improvement Professional Market’s Uphill Battle to Stability

Research Exposes Home Improvement Professional Market’s Uphill Battle to Stability

Catapult Insights & Innovation

The insights experts at Catapult Insights recently partnered with online sample provider Full Circle Research to get a pulse on home improvement professionals in the US. And despite booms in new home construction, and record sales in home improvement stores, the reality presents an environment still plagued by inflation, supply chain issues and staffing shortages.

Inflation’s impact is growing. Nearly three-quarters of professionals (including plumbers, home builders and electricians) say that inflation has impacted their revenue over the past year. Two-thirds expect it to impact revenue over the next year.

Supply chain issues remain prevalent. Two-thirds of professionals say their revenue over the past year has been impacted by supply chain issues and over half expect those issues to still be present in the next year.

Staffing issues are expected to persist. Nearly half of the professionals we surveyed say that they experienced staffing issues over the past year and a third expect those issues to continue.

Catapult Insights & Innovation

So how can durable goods brands sustain profitability?

Attack supply chain issues head on. Build trust with home improvement professionals and stand out from your competition by being transparent. If you cannot guarantee delivery of product in a certain timeframe, proactively propose achievable alternatives. Simultaneously, be wary of ramping up production too much. Flooding the market when the economy is dipping and consumer spending might be tightening can wrack up holding costs. Balancing operations requires vigilant attention.

Recognize that your target professionals and DIY consumers are often competing for the same products on-shelf. Home improvement retail giants Home Depot and Lowe’s are king with professionals, with 84% and 75% reporting shopping there for business supplies. So, what happens when supply chain issues limit or delay product availability? They’re not only competing with each other, but also with consumers for valuable supplies. Consider exploring additional ways to help professionals and consumers navigate the retail shopping experience to streamline access to your products.

Increase focus on B2C marketing. Staffing issues and increased costs associated with hiring a home improvement professional may drive more consumers to consider DIY solutions (our soon-to-be-released Homeowner Home Improvement Survey data supports this as well). Consider your role in helping consumers successfully navigate these projects.  Perhaps leverage this scenario to build bonds with consumers and create lifelong loyalty.

What’s next?

Catapult’s Homeowner Home Improvement Survey results will be available soon. To get a first look, contact us at hello@catapultinsights.com.

 

Jill Miller

CO-FOUNDER
CATAPULT INSIGHTS

 

About the Survey

To provide the greatest value to its clients, Catapult Insights invests in consistent consumer research, especially within hard-to-reach audiences. For this Professional Pulse Survey, Catapult tapped online sample provider Full Circle Research, the industry leader for high-quality data, programming and hosting. This study was conducted from June 10 to July 13, 2022, and captured insights from 318 home improvement professionals in trades across the industry spectrum. To learn more about the survey, contact Catapult Insights at hello@catapultinsights.com

 

About Catapult Insights

Catapult Insights in an outcomes-focused insights and innovation consultancy that uses research as a foundational tool to help brands grow, evolve and future-proof their businesses. Catapult creates customized creative solutions to tackle specific needs, adapting their approach to answer clients’ biggest questions.  Their robust suite of research methods and consulting approaches gives clients an accurate picture of people today: their needs, motivations and behaviors, as well as a predictable view into the future.

 

About Full Circle Research

Named the 2021 Panel Company of the Year by The Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards (powered by Quirk’s) and a staple on Inc. 5000’s Fastest-Growing Companies (‘17, ‘19, ‘20, ‘21), Full Circle leads the industry in data quality and niche communities. The only US-based, online consumer sample provider certified to ISO 26362; now certified to ISO 20252; and the Promoter of #QualityForAll, Full Circle’s award-winning survey experience HoNoR (Holistic Next-Level Research)® marries advanced tech, flexible community strategies and industry-leading quality controls to deliver immediate access to proven-purest data. One of the highest-scoring businesses on Inc.’s 2022 Best Workplaces list, Full Circle’s foresight, agility and innovations are a direct result of a uniquely consultative approach delivered by diverse industry veterans. To learn more, visit iLoveFullCircle.com