If have a few thoughts....I have seen the Chicago markets do the exact same thing...It hasn't really effected me and what I do but most others have been effected. Its been two years now but I am hearing about some of these people really getting busy...as I am as well.
I think people clammed up and didn't spend any money due to the uncertainty of things but as they did this they "put on hold" many projects that they wanted done. Two years later the wives of these people have kept the pressure on these special projects and the husbands are at there breaking point ... LOL Of course I'm just having fun right now with this but I think there are some truths to the mentality. People put all their dreams on hold and now they want the economy to bounce back....consumers drive the market and I am seeing it come back. I also think the consumer is being acclimated to this new environment of uncertainty and relaxing their grip on the pocket books.
It seems like most of us see things pretty similar. I recently had an interesting conversation with a customer who is just now deciding to have some very large projects done. They have been talking about it for about two years, but kept holding back because of the uncertainty. Since the decision to do something right now was so abrupt, I asked them point blank if they feel the economy is better now. They laughed and said "No way." So I asked them why they are wanting to do so much right now. Their answer was very interesting. They had cut way back on their spending habits for two years. Cancelled big vacations, cut out dining out, etc. They worked on paying down debt and building savings. They did these things even though they weren't forced to. Now they've got the itch to spend, and are in a better position to do so. But there is another reason.
They are aware that their home is worth less than what they owe on it. They have a vested interest in their homes that goes beyond appraised value. They have careers here, and family and community ties here. Their home was never really about the investment, it was about a place for family and friends. Now, after a brief bout of nervousness, they are ready to make their houses more of a home.
Most of my customers have told me they will never go back to their old spending habits, but all of them said they are more likely to spend more money on the kinds of things I can do for them. Custom work that makes them more happy to be at home.
How do we go about finding more of these kinds of customers?