Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door is a phrase I first learned in a Harding University Marketing class. The phrase apparently originated with Ralph Waldo Emerson although Mr. Emerson's original statement was just a bit different. Here it is:
"If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods."
In 1889 the modern mousetrap was created and patented and even though Emerson had died seven years previous, Emerson was quoted as saying: "If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor..."
And so the catchy phrase has turned into a metaphor about the power of innovation and how people will buy something as long as it is attractive (form) and useful (function).
I recently read in Professional Builder magazine about how the "best companies have mastered the best form and function with an attainable consumer price. Many of these great companies do not represent the lowest price in their class. Apple is a model example of mastering this strategy. The company has flourished in a down economy, not by offering cheaper products, but by offering design and innovation that cannot be found elsewhere.
The same solutions apply in our business. In a recent survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting the question was asked, "What would it take to get you off the fence and buy a home in the near future?"
The three factors most prevalent in responses:
1. Price 2. Location 3. Home Design
Most homebuyers today know that rates are at historic lows and pricing has gone about as low as it can go and that generally they know in theory that it is a great time to buy. What is keeping them from buying? The third piece of the puzzle…design. Can consumers find better design today in locations they want and at prices they can afford? As Meatloaf once sang, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad".
We want to go three out of three and find our path in the wood to our homes broad and hard-beaten. Design matters more today than it ever has…and so the Taylor Homes Group strives to innovate in ways that don't increase costs. We focus on the best form, function and price because we know that, "If you build it they will come", is a great movie line, but it doesn't always work in home design.