Yes, I know. I can barely mention the word “green” in many offices without eyes rolling before I get out the “een” part. I understand. Green is the buzz, but is it buzz-worthy? It’s obvious that the media has jumped on the bus, but how does is translate into real business for production builders?
I’m not going to attempt to answer that question, but I do want to make everyone think about how the trend affects consumer behavior. “Green,” albeit an overused term in our industry, is becoming part of the population’s vocabulary. You need to understand your buyers’ behavior if you’re going to get in between them and their search for a new home.
Google has a wonderful tool, although they claim its still in testing mode, called Google Trends. This section of Google allows you to enter a word or phrase and get information about the frequency it’s been Googled. It does not return any specific data, like actual search volume, but it returns a graph in some arbitrary super secret Google-scale.
I’ve overlaid the trend for those searching using the words “new home” and those searching using the words “green home.”
The decrease in “new home” searches is no major surprise, but the increase in searches for “green home” is undoubtedly noteworthy. While I’m not suggesting anyone go and reengineer their entire product line based on this data, it would certainly pay to be aware of the trend. Make it a part of your vocabulary. Talk about your current practices that are environmentally responsible. The public, or at least a large portion of it, obviously cares. At the very least, this should affect your paid search strategy.