The home improvement industry tends to look at homeowners as their target market. However, as the US housing market evolves, there is a new and growing market for the home improvement industry. That new market is renters. And as more people continue to choose to rent rather than buy, they’re making improvements to the places they rent.
This story from the New York Times describes how and why we’re seeing this trend. As more people choose to rent, the number of landlords also increases, who are the traditional customers for improvements and repairs.
In addition to the prevalence of landlords, the tenant—who is renting for longer periods of time in lieu of buying—is now a potential home improvement customer. Sometimes they fund home improvement projects themselves but other times the landlord agrees to pay some or all of the costs. The renter may propose a DIY project where the landlord pays for the materials or a professionally installed project; or, in the case of the couple featured in this article, the renter may propose to pay for a project in exchange for reduced rent. In either scenario, it’s almost always the tenant who is the one who has the idea for the project and gets it going.
Building material manufacturers who want to grow the sales of their home improvement products need to keep looking for new opportunities. Renters are one of those new and growing opportunities.