Women are taking an increasingly active role in decisions regarding the home, influencing up to 85% of home improvement purchases. And it's no wonder. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors indicates that women account for 21% of purchases made by a single homebuyer. That's compared to only 9% with her male counterpart. In many cases, she becomes solely responsible for making all remodeling decisions.
"It's just like the automotive industry," says Bob Maceda of Stanek Windows. "With the knowledge that more women are buying cars than men, a car salesman would be foolhardy to show a woman a vanity mirror before he talks about price and performance. Women are savvy consumers, and we're talking with them about U-value and energy efficiency, much more often than color options or how easy our windows are to clean."
It's not just single women hopping on the home improvement bandwagon. In general, women have caught the remodeling bug. According to a CNN report, home remodeling shows such as Trading Spaces and Design on a Dime have helped to fuel the fire. Women see that they are perfectly capable of unleashing their creativity on their home and are willing to learn what it takes to get the job done. When a project requires a contractor, the woman has also taken a greater interest in the process rather than letting "the man of the house" handle things without her input.
"As we've watched this trend develop, we recognized it was important for Stanek Windows to change with the times," said Maceda. "Marketing and selling to women is different, and we knew we were going to have to change our approach to get her attention. We hired a group of consultants to help us understand the best way to get this accomplished, and our sales staff participated in training sessions to help them understand women's consumer habits."
According to a 2005 special report from BusinessWeek, women are contributing more to the family's bottom line than ever. As such, she has taken on the role of purchasing officer and spends a lot of time researching options to make confident decisions that have a positive impact on her family. This is yet another way that she continually contributes to an increasingly complex family dynamic.
"We've seen a marked increase in the number of women calling to request an in-home estimate," says Maceda. "In fact, the lady of the house is involved with all aspects of the decision-making process. Our sales staff has come to expect that our consumers are well educated when it comes to making a replacement window purchase. What they find more and more often is a woman asking informed questions, which shows that she's done her research."
Stanek Windows manufactures replacement windows.