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Builder Magazine predicts business trends for 2012

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What does 2012 hold for home building? Best as anyone can guess — more uncertainty.

But builders should take heed of Builder Magazine‘s list of 10 business trends to look for in 2012 as they gather themselves and strategize for the year ahead. After all, one shift in strategy could be all it takes to navigate the murky waters many experts and economists are forecasting.

Here’s  some of the more intriguing trends from Builder’s list:

Energy Efficiency Isn’t a Fad
And that’s a good thing for the everyday builder, because demand for energy efficient products and building materials should lower prices. More importantly, energy efficiency can sell a home. John Caulfield writes, “A high-performance house is no longer an anomaly; it’s become a requirement for selling products to customers who may not know much about HERS regulations, but can read their monthly electricity and water bills. Many of the industry’s largest production builders market their homes as energy efficient. But they are also competing against smaller builders that hopped on the high-performance bandwagon years ago and have been able to tout the quality of their houses for a while.”

Inclusionary Marketing
We know the Internet has emboldened consumers to take the reins and research every last purchase like never before. That’s no different when it comes to buying homes. Luckily, the building industry is leveraging the power of social media to create efficient, cost-effective selling tools. Caulfield writes, “The web is where more buyers begin their searches, and the online connection that builders make with prospects and homeowners has never been more critical to selling and referrals. That fact was reinforced when Zillow.com, the real-estate search engine with 22 million visitors per month, in June introduced a new function on its site that gives greater visibility to new homes that are available in markets around the country.”

Modular Momentum
Urban infill projects have created opportunity for modular manufacturers to break into the housing sector. Caulfield writes, “More contractors and developers [are] looking for ways to rein in construction costs seem willing to at least give modular a second look. And several of the industry’s leading module manufacturers believe their time has come.”

To read more of Builder Magazine’s predictions for 2012, visit BuilderOnline.com.