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Katz: 'Selling homes demands new approach'.

A leading real estate marketing consultant has warned a group of New Jersey builders that it will be necessary to totally revamp strategies for attracting homebuyers to sell successfully through the rest of this century and into the next.

Speaking before the Community Builders Association of New Jersey, Ric Katz, president of Manhattan-based Pinnacle Marketing & Resources, Inc., stressed that virtually none of the. familiar, time-tested parameters for marketing homes are relevant any longer in light of radically changing demographics and economic patterns.

"Throw away your old precepts, strip down to four bare walls and start all over again," said Katz, "because the traditional ideas about house size, amenities and styles are all obsolete. Sure, there are plenty of customers out there ready to buy. But they're just not swallowing the big-house-with-lots-of-amenities approach. "

Selling successfully in today's very different market requires a new awareness of just who the new buyer groups are, noted Katz.

"In 1970, more than 90 percent of the homebuyers were two-parent households," he said. "Today, nearly a quarter of your buyers may be single parents and that may rise to 50 percent by 2010.

"In addition, nearly 40 percent of your market today are two-income couples, up substantially from two decades ago. These are economy-minded buyers, looking for 2,000 square feet of home for a price tag under $200,000. To reach them, that's what you'll have to offer."

Aside from many more single-parent families, Katz predicted, builders can expect to see in the next decade multi-generational extended families in highly concentrated urban ethnic enclaves, "telecommuters" living and working a couple of hundred miles from their offices, empty nesters returning to the urban environment and "dinks" (double-income, no kids) buying into suburban lifestyle communities.

"For single mothers especially, the practical problem of finding suitable housing for themselves and their children will rank in importance next to child rearing and tight finances," said Katz. "Being able to spend time at home while still |on the job' would constitute a tremendous advantage; builders will no doubt respond by adding of f ices with sophisticated communications equipment - much of it built-in for effective space, utilization - to their floor-plan designs."

Upwardly mobile ethnic groups, such as Asians and Hispanics, must also be taken into account, according, to the consultant. These groups have their own ideas about what they want in housing, and their demands must be incorporated into new marketing strategies.

For Hispanics, of which there is a large concentration in New Jersey, there will be demand to own homes in urban enclaves - many of which will be low-rise subdivisions in reclaimed urban neighborhoods, noted Katz. Two- and three-family situations, where a rental unit will help offset the mortgage or could house a mother-in-law and/or other family, will be popular, he added.
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Title Annotation:real estate consultant Ric Katz addresses Community Builders Association of New Jersey
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Dec 9, 1992
Words:463
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