Pandemic Product Deltas

Published September 2, 2021
Last updated September 2, 2021

More Time at Home

By most measures, we now sit 18 months into the largest shift in our daily lives that most of us have seen during our lifetimes. And it’s had an effect no matter where you are.

But one of the biggest shifts we’ve seen is how many more people are staying in their homes due to changes in their working life. And with being home more, that has meant a change in the way we look at the products in our homes.

So, we at Avid got the idea to take a look at the 18 months leading up to the pandemic and the 18 months that have passed since the beginning to check on the perception shift of the products people have in their homes upon moving in. So, what changed?

A Shift in Product Satisfaction

First off, the bad: what do people have a less favorable view of in their home than prior to seeing it everyday?

Well, the most significant drops we saw in product satisfaction was around the washer/dryer, refrigerator, water heater, and dishwasher. If you think about it, these all make sense when you’re using them a lot more. Things that would bother you when you’re only using an appliance once or twice a day will compound as you use them more and more.

It was also worth noting that while people seemed to like these appliances less, their stoves/ovens were overall more favorably looked upon, so not everything was all bad in homebuyers’ eyes.

But did anything actually improve significantly in opinion over the last 18 months?

Yes! Most of the products that homebuyers liked more as they spent time around them were things like hardwood/laminate flooring, paint, drywall, carpet, and cabinets.

Satisfaction with the Builder

Those more permanent fixtures that people chose are actually increasing in satisfaction. And the benefit to this is that these products have a much higher correlation with the overall satisfaction with the builder as a whole and happiness of the buyer with their home vs the appliances.

Maybe it’s the more “permanent” nature of these products, but if a buyer is unhappy with these, they tend to be far more likely to dislike the builder and not give recommendations.

Ultimately, what can we learn from this information?

Well, despite people looking unfavorably at their appliances, those have little bearing on their pleasure with the home or builder itself. These types of issues can also often be mitigated by educating the buyer around features and what to expect with their appliances. And as we’ve seen with most all of our data over the last few years, the big products within the home to focus on will always be the things homebuyers think about the least, like wall finishings, floor coverings, and paint (even if they don’t realize it).

If you want to move the needle for your buyers, educate them on features of appliances but really put extra effort into the finishes you’re putting into the home as that will increase perceived value much more.

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