DECIPHER™ Case Study 22:
William Lyon Homes
Primary Research Identifying Profile of Future Buyers
Based on this thorough and meticulous survey, CA was successful in identifying unique and precise characteristics of the prospective homebuyer. CA’s detailed approach eased marketing executive’s task of designing a specifically targeted advertising and promotion campaign. After incorporating CA’s findings and recommendations, the client realized traffic and sales rates over 50% higher than budget.
William Lyon Homes is one of the largest Western U.S. regional homebuilders. Headquartered in Newport Beach, CA, the Company is primarily engaged in the design, construction, marketing and sale of single-family detached and attached homes in California, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. Its core markets include Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver. The Company has a distinguished legacy of more than 58 years of homebuilding operations, over which time it has sold in excess of 76,000 homes. The Company markets and sells its homes under the William Lyon Homes brand in all of its markets except for Colorado, where the Company operates under the Village Homes brand. For the year ended December 31, 2013, on a consolidated basis, the Company had total operating revenue of $572.5 million, including home sales revenue of $521.3 million, and delivered 1,360 new homes.
While the construction site was in its final planning phases, one of the country’s largest privately owned homebuilders headquartered in Southern California was setting up its marketing strategy. Intimidated by the uncertainty of a hazy housing market and ever changing consumer tastes and preferences, executives decided to utilize CA’s expertise to determine the individual characteristics of their target market.
CA was engaged to conduct a comprehensive Door-to-Door Survey entitled “Who is the Buyer?” in the immediate vicinity of the upcoming new home development. The primary objective of the survey was to generate feedback from prospective homebuyers regarding their demographic, psychographic, and household characteristics. CA assessed motivations for selling existing homes, purchasing new homes, and understanding specific product preferences. Another key aspect of the study was deciphering the prospective homebuyers architectural preferences, as well as preferences for features and amenities. The objective was achieved through the completion of a comprehensive three-page 11×17 inch survey form with over 100 questions. The survey packet consisted of eight major categories. Category One involved indicating gender, age, marital status, and ethnicity. Category Two required identifying the number of children, age of children, number of people in household, and household profile. Category Three involved indicating the family’s economic information, such as level of education, annual household income, industry of employment, job title, and job location. Category Four incorporated questions that conveyed current and desired lot size, interior square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, current value, garages, and stories. Category Five involved a quantitative assessment of the products offered. The Sixth and Seventh class of questions incorporated scalar questions regarding room and space preferences, architectural features, options, and various other housing characteristics which could potentially impact the home purchase decision. Finally, the Eight Category involved ranking a predetermined set of options for various categories related to lifestyle (family lifestyle, children’s activities, and entertainment choices) and preferences (favorite car models, favorite stores, favorite interior colors).
Based on this thorough and meticulous survey, CA was successful in identifying unique and precise characteristics of the prospective homebuyer. CA’s detailed approach eased marketing executive’s task of designing a specifically targeted advertising and promotion campaign. After incorporating CA’s findings and recommendations, the client realized traffic and sales rates over 50% higher than budget. CA has been engaged in numerous assignments to examine the psychographic and demographic characteristics of prospective consumers, their tastes and preferences as well as their specific wants and needs. Such survey assignments are particularly helpful in product development as well as marketing and selling strategies.
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