Five Things We Learned at the International Builders’ Show

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends

  • Date:

    February 11, 2014

Five Things We Learned at the International Builders’ Show



Industry Trends

For the first time, the International Builders Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) took place simultaneously during Design & Construction Week 2014 in Las Vegas, Nev.

The organizers of IBS touted “Expect More” as the theme of this year’s event, and that’s what we got during three days in Las Vegas. Here are five interesting things we learned from our IBS experience:

  1.  There have been substantial increases in home technology in just about every category including lighting, security, appliances, home comfort, windows, skylights – even toilets and fireplaces. The technology often involves digital settings, automation or control via smart phone.
  2. While remodeling is expected to continue to be strong – in fact, some experts project double-digit growth in 2014 – homeowners often feel overwhelmed by the number of choices during a remodeling project. This is likely one reason why they’ve become so dependent on reviews from their peers. In fact, according to Cisco, online product reviews have the strongest influence on buying decisions. In addition, many people are turning to social media sites like Houzz to hunt for tips and product information, from style choices to brand recommendations. This represents an opportunity for brands to position themselves as subject-matter experts. It could pay dividends to ask for reviews from satisfied customers. Reviews could even be encouraged with the promise of a reward.
  3. Don’t forget Fido. Pet owners account for 65% of the affluent segment. Pet-friendly products and features aren’t new, but demand is rising, and smart brands are really starting to put a stake in the ground. Great examples include pet-friendly flooring, dedicated bathtubs and clever storage systems for pet-related items.
  4. The number of Americans who state they want to “age in place” is higher than ever. Twenty-eight percent of homeowners are staying put five years longer than planned, and they're considering upgrades, both indoors and out. They don’t want to move but often want to make changes to their homes to make them their “happy places” for a long time – and because they’re established, they’re likely to have disposable income. This is a big opportunity. These people want to talk to you.
  5. On the flip side, Millennials have a much greater aspiration to purchase a home than previously believed. Of this group, 81% say home ownership is somewhat or very important. They’re in the market, and they have specific desires, from high-tech and green features to thoughtfully designed outdoor living and open indoor areas that allow them to entertain. By the way, this group is actually bigger than the Baby Boomer generation!

Over 75,000 industry professionals attended Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas this month. Did you go? If so, what did you learn?