Research confirms what home builders have long known – women are the primary or sole decision maker in the majority of new home purchase decisions. Which neighborhood… builder… floor plan… countertops… embracing women’s preferences in the home is Marketing 101 – “know thy customer.”
Husband and wife walk into a model home pausing in the entry to remove their shoes. He’s seeing the great room’s corner fireplace; she’s noticed that the 6’-9” entry hall is wider than expected, the twin display niches on the left, repeating arches on all sides, the hickory floors, swank light fixture, and paint colors. Men tend to fixate on a single, often long view, focal point (think spotlight), while women tend to take in more of the whole picture and pick up more on the details (think floodlight).
With two young children, she’s looking for a layout with all of the bedrooms near each other, and at least for the time being, the bunk beds would fit nicely in bedroom 3, freeing bedroom 2 for use while her husband is still working from home. More than men, women tend to think about a new home purchase through the eyes of everyone in the home.
He picks up on the garage size and in particular, the big 18-foot by 8-foot high garage door. She tends to appreciate the garage size a bit differently, noticing especially the 20-inch recess at the back and 16-inch recess along the side for storage, minimizing hassles of traipsing around bikes and outdoor products. Coming in from the garage, they both appreciate the Drop Zone and closet, but she’s keener on the seat. And while he becomes aware the laundry room is off the rear foyer, she values having a window, sink, folding counter, and storage!
Storage is one of the “lenses” women have told us they use in evaluating home plans. In keeping with the idea that “storage can be beautiful,” she catches the cabinet-style twin doors into the deep kitchen pantry. So also, the quiet, soft-close cabinetry hardware, as women take in more through their senses than men.
The sunny sitting area at the rear of her suite’s bedroom brings visions of curling up on the chaise with her newest book. In the bathroom, she favors the doorless walk-in shower because it eliminates the task of squeegeeing the shower doors as well as the visual appeal and privacy of the glass block window. Transom windows over the vanity enhance applying makeup, another consideration she cares about that’s not on his radar screen.
The bottom line? Woman-Centric home design is better. From innovative solutions to improved livability and style, Woman-Centric home design talks to women (see also: Homes Talk To Women). That connection, on an emotional level, says to her that this builder cares, and that she/he understands what’s important to her.
Which is where we pick up next time – home builders having embraced this Woman-Centric approach in their businesses.