Independent growth marketing agency Space & Time has released results from its first ever Sustainability & the Homebuyer report at its annual Effective Property Marketing event. The research demonstrates that sustainability matters to the majority of those who are in-market for a new home but also shows that for most it is not a deal breaker.
Space & Time partnered with DRG to survey over 2000 people in March 2022 who are planning to buy a new home within the next two years. The report looks to understand what influences the homebuying purchase decision and what role sustainability plays in that process.
Features that influence the purchase decision
While 96% of respondents cite the importance of location in influencing the purchase decision, the majority also said that sustainability was an important feature (65%).
When asked to choose the most important influencer on the purchase decision, sustainability ranks in fifth place (4%), with location (49%), quality of build (24%), green space (10%) and transport links (7%) ranking ahead of it.
62% of those surveyed would be willing to pay more for a new home that is built with sustainable methods and that supports a sustainable lifestyle (electric car port, solar panels, triple glazed windows), underlining the appeal of purchasing a sustainable, future-proofed home.
The role of advertising
As part of the research, consumers were shown three different advertisements for new-build homes and asked which one they were most likely to engage with. Advertisements that featured sustainable messaging significantly outperformed those which highlighted traditional specifications such as ‘open plan living’.
The advertisement with sustainable messaging and a reference to potential cost savings performed best with 40% of respondents saying they would be most likely to engage with it.
The second best performing advertisement featured sustainable messaging but no cost savings (39%). The advertisement featuring traditional specifications performed least well, with 21% of respondents saying they would be likely to engage with it.
Among other findings, Space & Time reports that:
· 61% of those surveyed recalled seeing information or advertising relating to sustainable brands or products. Social media and websites were the most commonly cited channels at 23% each.
· More than three quarters of those who recalled seeing any information or advertising (76%) said they were motivated by it to buy a sustainable brand or product.
Chris Jones, managing director at Space & Time, said: “Our research clearly demonstrates that sustainability matters to consumers, and as marketers, we have an important role to play in helping businesses not only to be more sustainable, but also to effectively communicate the value of this to the consumer.”
Sharon Wright, associate director, strategy, Space & Time, added: “As customers look to brands to provide solutions, brands must start by defining their sustainability ambitions and embedding them into their business plans. Effective communications around sustainability will bring us closer to a sustainable future for all.”