Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Changing Customer ...

I'm preparing for a panel presentation at ULI (Urban Land Institute) next month. Our topic is basically about the changing consumer, what trends we are all seeing and how our various businesses are responding. With every new thing we are trying, what's working and what's not, and maybe a little bit about why.

The thought that occurs to me is for at least the past 3 years we have been talking, writing, hearing about the "changing customer". Like it's some kind of new permanent state, or new absolute - this "changing" customer. The changing customer is not the same as s/he was 3 years ago, and will not be the same next month. I think we need a new moniker for this illusive person.

The customer as of September 2010, versus the customer of April 2010. In the residential real estate business those are two different people. And what will they be like in December of this year? Fun to think about. There's no magic pill, other than SPEED of thought, and flexibility in approach. And the need to look outside ourselves, really, and deeply at this customer. I know that to be true - we don't have the answers inside the walls of our offices or boardrooms. They are out there in the marketplace to be observed and participated in.