Daily Archives: June 26, 2009

Cocooning – having much impact on Real Estate in NZ?

There has, for the last 10-15 years, been an increasing percentage of the population for whom conducting themselves online is more preferable in many cases to being “face-to-face.”

In NZ in 2009 for $20 a month extra (at least that’s the case for Telecom) you can speak to just about anyone anywhere on a landline in Australia or New Zealand.

In contrast to this ostensibly easy and not expensive access to talk over the phone, we have still seen Facebook, MySpace and others gaining more traction each year.

Not logical right? Correct.

Skype is different as technically its really just a voice/video ph connection replacement, albeit for free to other Skype users. (for connection to landlines and mobiles you have to pay charges)

So is it possible that some of us more, shall I say, chronologically challenged persons just don’t get it?

Not to put too fine a point on it, I think the answer is yes.

I’ll try to explain.

It hit home for me about 10 years ago when I witnessed an exchange that transpired between two cashiers in a large retail establishment in Wellington.

It seemed that even though these two young lasses were less than 3m away from each other they thought it was more logical to txt each other. That’s even though they also had a telephone on each of their pods and could of internally rung each other and discussed the night before much less visibly that both of them txting each other. Together with this as they were less than 3m away from each other, with no walls or barriers, so even if one of them lowered their voice, the other would still hear.

That was my insight into the “developing” social skills that these teenage youngsters were germinating. What I thought was logical sure wasn’t by them!

With the current fiscal situation, spending being cut back, events like 9/11, the London bombings, the Bali ones in this part of the world still reasonably fresh in older individuals minds, wars on terror, overall reductions in traveling citing safety concerns, higher energy costs, threats from many corners, its quite understandable that we could see more insular behavior from people, and therefore more cocooning type activities.

Wikipedia reports

The term (cocooning that is) was coined in the 1990s by Faith Popcorn a trend forecaster and marketing consultant. Popcorn identified cocooning as a commercially significant trend that would lead to, among other things, stay-at-home electronic shopping. (well, she definitely got that right didn’t she?)

The term Cocooning has progressed to, of course, e-cocooning. Then a natural extension of that was to the term tele-cocooning.

Obviously the practical benefits of tele-commuting or working from home in many cases outweighs showing up to the office, and for some certain remote locations is the only choice. Tele-cocooning more broadly describes a “social/personal choice” rather than an action like tele-communting.

In all of this it was the more recent phenomena of social networking that certainly wasn’t predicted that well.

Cocoonings overall effect on Real Estate? ……..I believe still growing in NZ……….after all you wouldn’t build a new 3-4 bedroom home today with out a study, would you?

According to a recent 2009 AVID study, over 41% said they must have a home office/study while a further 35% “really want” one. Another 14% said it would be nice if affordable.

According to polled answers from US home builders, who thought that although there was a growing trend to downsize overall home size, that flew in contrast with things like 26.7% of folk “Must Have” an “Oversized Shower with seating” while 36.2% “Really Want” one, and a further 20% would if it was affordable.

PHOTO CREDIT – Shower Photo – Trendir.com

This report from a North American site talks about the next phase after cocooning….

The latest trends reflect the realities of life. After Sept. 11, 2001, a pall was cast over the nation, and people wanted to “nest” in their homes. Today, instead of cocooning, people are turning to “hiving” says interior designer Kathy Adcock-Smith. “They are doing more at home,” she says, “they are multitasking with entertainment, food, theater, and work.”

Home design hasn’t changed overnight, but it is evolving. Nesting calls for soothing, quieter colors, plushier fabrics, and lots of pillows. Hiving means livelier color, less clutter, multifunctional workspaces, and more opportunity for interactivity. Why shouldn’t you want to whistle while you work at home? Hiving also means having more luxury at home by scaling down.

“Hiving” entails making connections to others from within our homes.

“Borrowing from the metaphor of a beehive, abuzz with activity, hiving represents engagement, interaction and connection with the outside environment,” according to Yankelovich, a marketing consulting firm that tracks consumer attitudes.

Can you make outdoors attractive to Cocooners?

ABOVE IMAGE – Courtesy of Born Rich website

Well read this, (from  a US article obviously) and see if it rings a bell?

Inside Out

There is a large trend of indoor to outdoor living. People want to be outdoors, but they still want to feel as secure and comfortable as if they are indoors. This has led to the desire for screened in porches with fireplaces, outdoor patios and backyards with fireplaces or fire pits, and three-season porches that are decorated just as any other room in the house. Outdoor rooms are in demand. Furniture that can be used both indoors and out is another trend.

So overall this “Concooning” term is really just that, a term for something we have been observing in Real Estate for some years now, and yes it is having an impact, certainly on the style of new homes being built, and perhaps on the extent of renovations in older homes.

And the future….I’ll let Marketingcharts tell the story from a recent study….

Most of the anticipated cost cuts indicate Millennials are hunkering down and embracing an increasingly “cocooned” lifestyle, the survey finds. Seven out of 10 teens and twenty-somethings expect to eat more home-cooked meals; two-thirds plan to eat less fast food; and more than half (53%) say they will stay home more.