Prefabricated Houses

Daniel Kollar

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Daniel Kollar has been working as a market analyst at Interconnection since 2019. After studying at the Corvinus University in Budapest with a focus on marketing, he gained his first experience of market analysis at the market research company Nielsen in Budapest as a client supporter and analyst for Nestle. He is currently responsible for market analyzes in various industries. Markets: prefabricated houses, winter gardens, doors, windows, curtain walls.

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E-mail:kollar@interconnectionconsulting.com

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Mystery Shopping Shows Hopeful Developments in the Prefabricated House Industry

The annual online mystery shopping test conducted by Interconnection Consulting among leading German prefabricated house manufacturers shows that the potential of online customers is slowly being recognized. The manufacturers react faster to E-Mail inquiries and follow up more intensively than in previous years. The study analyzed the response of 52 prefabricated house manufacturers.

 

Manufacturers Finally Take Questions Seriously

The prefabricated house manufacturers were contacted by E-Mail because of a specific concern about a building project. In addition, four construction-specific questions (inspection, construction time, basement construction, warranty) were formulated. Compared to previous years, the study shows that the industry has recognized the potential of online customers, e.g. for lead generation. Thus, the manufacturers’ willingness to answer the four questions rose sharply. While last year only 59.4% responded to all four questions, this year the figure is 72.6%.

 

Manufacturers React Faster

The response time to E-Mail inquiries within the first 24 hours has also improved compared to the previous year. In 2021, 61.1% responded within this period, compared to 43.6% in 2020. Only one vendor did not respond to any of the four questions asked. The average response time to the E-Mail inquiry was 2.3 days. To close the deal, manufacturers opt for different strategies. Almost half of the manufacturers suggest a video chat as an initiation. However, two-thirds of the manufacturers are also inclined towards a telephone conversation. More than half, around 60%, invite a face-to-face meeting. There is also light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to follow-up. The follow-up rate doubled compared to the previous year. The big challenge, however, remains to turn inquiries into orders and this is where the wheat is separated from the chaff,” says Panorea Kaskani, the author of the study. The study asked about the following soft skills: USP, competence, empathy and needs orientation. Thereby, the four best manufacturers in alphabetical order are: DAVINCI HAUS, Fischer Fertighaus, Haas Fertigbau und Meisterstück-HAUS. “The prefabricated house industry has been forced by the pandemic to take E-Mail inquiries more seriously. But not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon with the same commitment, so there is a clear division between digital champions and digital apprentices“, Kaskani concludes.

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Prefabricated House Manufacturers Still Very Unfamiliar with E-commerce

The annual online mystery shopping test conducted by Interconnection Consulting in the Austrian prefabricated house trade shows that the potential for generating customers is not being exploited despite Corona, as this year’s mystery test reveals a very mixed result.

The Corona pandemic has not led to the desired digital boost in the prefabricated house industry, as the study shows. Not least the prefabricated house boom leads to falling back into old patterns, says Panorea Kaskani, the author of the study. Interconnection analyzed the online customer service of 35 prefabricated house manufacturers. The prefabricated house manufacturers were contacted by e-mail due to a specific concern about a building project. In addition, four questions were formulated. Compared to the mystery shopping test of the previous year, the test showed a modest result. For example, the number of manufacturers who responded to the initial email decreased significantly compared to the previous year, from 78.2% to 64.3%.  After a reminder email and telephone contact, the percentage of producer response increased to 90.0% (previous year: 97.1%).

The Golden Rule is Often Not Followed

The percentage of manufacturers who complied with the golden rule of “reply within 24 hours” also decreased. Only 54% were able to meet this criterion this year. Last year, it was still 61.8%. The average response time to an email enquiry was 2.4 days this year and thus remained constant compared to 2020. However, there are also positive developments. For example, the willingness to respond to the questions posed rose from around 81,4% percent to 92.1% compared to the previous year. Only five manufacturers do not respond to any of the four questions, while almost three quarters (73.0%) of all manufacturers take the time to answer all questions. In addition, 36.5% of manufacturers try to provide prospective customers with further information on the offer in electronic form (PDF: 23.8% direct link 20.6%) and 14.3% (significantly higher than the previous year’s 2.9%).

Closing and Follow-up Deficient

To close the deal, manufacturers choose different strategies. Despite the pandemic, almost two-thirds still prefer a face-to-face meeting. Slightly more than half offer a telephone conversation. Communication via video chat has also experienced a big upswing in times of the pandemic. More than a third already offers conversations via Zoom and Co. In 2020, it was still 12.3% in comparison. Furthermore, the mystery shopping test shows that the potential in online customer service is far from fully exploited. “Especially when it comes to closing the deal, far too few providers are still making a real effort,” explains Panorea Kaskani. In addition, manufacturers are following up less compared to last year. Only 8.6% of providers send a follow-up email to win the customer.

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Prefabs furtehr on the rise

The Austrian market for prefabricated houses – which alredy developed positively in 2020 – recorded kind of a boom in 2021. The number of sold prefab houses increased by 14,4% in 2021. Accordingly the prefab-quota rose up to 27,6% as Interconnection shows in it’s latest market report. 

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Prefabricated House Market Grows Despite Crisis

Contrary to expectations, the crisis caused by the pandemic in 2020 had no negative impact on the prefabricated house market in Germany. A total of 23,006 housing units were built in Germany last year using industrial prefabricated construction methods, 4.9% more than in the year before. Forecasts for the next few years are also looking positive, as shown in a new study by Interconnection Consulting.

The growing importance of moving from the city to the countryside is having a positive effect on the development of the prefabricated house market. The prefabricated house segment is growing more dynamically than the general new construction of detached and semi-detached houses. The prefabricated house rate, which has been growing steadily for years, rose from 20.8% to 21.5% last year. “The Corona crisis did not hinder market development in 2020,” says Daniel Kollar. Above all, the significantly higher market security, the prices already fixed at the beginning of the project, the fixed deadline and the minimised risk of delays ensure large growth rates in the prefabricated construction sector. The east of the republic shows the strongest growth dynamics.

Turnkey Will Soon Overtake Floor Covering Solutions

Although most houses are still sold as floor covered buildings (market share 39.1%), there is a clear trend towards turnkey projects. As early as 2022, turnkey houses will represent the largest market segment, the Interconnection study predicts. In the long term, the segment of shell-finished houses will grow the least, although there are still manufacturers who cater exclusively to this segment, such as Massa or ProHaus. In terms of construction type, timber frame construction continues to gain in importance. This is explained by the increasing focus on the sustainability factor. “Sustainable building is becoming more and more important for builders and wood supports this trend as a renewable raw material” says Kollar.

Room For Competition

The German prefabricated house market is growing so strongly that competition is not so much between individual manufacturers, but rather with other construction methods. Deutsche Fertighaus Holding as a group of Okal, Massa and Allkauf continues to dominate the market and was able to further increase its market share in terms of volume in 2020 with stable growth. Overall, the market concentration of the top ten companies last year was 42.4%, a little below last year’s figure.

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Corona Boosts the Prefabricated House Market

The Austrian prefabricated house market was able to record strong gains last year despite the economic crisis. Especially in the second half of 2020, the market was able to more than compensate for the stagnation of the first six months and achieve growth of 5.9% compared to the year before. The trend towards prefabricated housing will also continue for the next few years, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting.

Despite the grim expectations for 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, the trend towards home ownership drove the demand for owner-occupied homes up. Furthermore, the need of young families in particular to move from the city to more rural regions in order to realise the dream of owning their own home with a fitness room, home office space and their own garden is increasing, explains Daniel Kollar, the author of the study. Overall, the prefabricated house market is growing faster than residential construction. The prefabricated house rate is also increasing from 23.2% in 2019 to 24.2% last year. The prefabricated house rate will continue to rise steadily over the next few years, reaching 28.4% by 2024 from today’s perspective.

Turnkey for Generation Y

All providers in the study mentioned a clear trend in favour of turnkey houses. Whereas ten years ago, shell-finish houses were the most popular stage of development, this segment is already lagging behind with less than a quarter of the market share. “The current generation of customers have grown up in an affluent society and do not want to spend weekends and holidays on a building site,” Kollar explains the trend towards turnkey houses. For Generation Y, sustainability also plays a major role in the purchase decision. The timber frame construction method will therefore continue to gain slightly in importance in the coming years. Overall, timber frame construction holds a share of 72.1%.

New Suppliers, Tougher Competition

In general, last year saw a slight decrease in market concentration. The cumulative market share of the top five companies fell from 36.1% to 35.1%. In the case of the top three companies, the decline was even more pronounced. This is mainly due to smaller suppliers strongly gaining market shares. The most important manufacturers are Elk Group, Haas, Hartl, Mischek and Wimberger.

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Austrian Prefab House Market Shows Slight Improvements in Online Enquiries

The annual online mystery shopping test conducted by Interconnection Consulting in the Austrian prefabricated house market shows that the potential for lead generation is far from being fully exploited by companies. However, this year’s test shows that the manufacturers were able to achieve improvements in service in some areas. The study analysed the response of 70 prefabricated house manufacturers.

One Third of Manufacturers Do Not React at First

The prefabricated house manufacturers were contacted by e-mail regarding a specific concern about a building project. In addition, four construction-specific questions were formulated. Compared to the mystery shopping test last year, an improvement of the online customer service can be seen in some areas. About three quarters of the traders (78.2%) responded to the enquiry during the first online contact, which is an improvement on the 65.3% last year. After a reminder email and  telephone contact, the proportion of manufacturer response increased to 97.1% and was thus significantly higher than in the previous year. However, the test also revealed some negative developments. For example, the willingness to respond to the questions asked fell from around 80% to 64.3% compared to the previous year.

Closing Weakness on the Rise

Manufacturers are choosing different strategies to close the deal. Despite the pandemic, almost two-thirds still prefer a face-to-face meeting. Slightly less than a quarter would like to have a telephone conversation. Compared to neighbouring Germany, Austria still has some difficulty using video calls as a means of closing deals.  Only 12.3% suggest this option. Furthermore, the mystery shopping test shows that the potential in online customer service is far from being fully exhausted. “Especially when it comes to closing a deal, only few manufacturers really make an effort”, explains Panorea Kaskani, the author of the study. To make matters worse, manufacturers are following up less than last year.

Speed Not Yet Everywhere

The average response time to email enquiries did improve compared to last year, and reached 2.4 days. 61.8% of manufacturers comply with the golden internet rule: “Reply in 24h”. Furthermore, one in five manufacturers did not respond to the four questions asked. Kaskani explains the importance of quality in answering questions as follows: “Especially risk-averse prospects, who form a large customer segment, are lost due to unsatisfactory answers to the questions”. The potential for lead generation is thus far from fully exhausted by companies.

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German Prefab-House Market Shows Only Slight Improvement in Online Enquiries

Online customer service is the order of the day and should be a main priority for companies, especially in times like these. However, the annual online mystery shopping test conducted by Interconnection Consulting in the German prefabricated house industry shows that online customer service is still not satisfactory. Both the speed and the quality of the processing of online enquiries have room for improvement. The study analyzed the performance of 104 prefabricated house manufacturers.

One Third of the Dealers Do Not React at First

The prefabricated house manufacturers were contacted by email on the basis of a specific request concerning a building project. In addition, four construction-specific questions were formulated. Compared to the mystery shopping test in the previous year, an improvement is evident in many areas of online customer service. This time 64.4% (2019: 61.5%) responded to the initial email enquiry. After a reminder email and telephone contact, the proportion of manufacturers’ responses rose to 97.1%, which is significantly higher than in the previous year (90.4%). The willingness to respond to questions also improved significantly, reaching almost 60% this year. However, the test showed that there have also been negative developments. For example, the willingness to send information material or online links or PDF transmissions was far below the previous year’s figure. More than half of the manufacturers did not send any information material.

Final Weakness Increases

Furthermore, the mystery shopping test shows that the potential in online customer service is far from exhausted. “Especially when it comes to closing a deal, only a few manufacturers are really making an effort,” explains Panorea Kaskani, the author of the study. Thus, the overall focus on closing deals shows a decline compared to the previous year. Manufacturers choose different strategies to close the deal. Around a third prefer a personal meetings. A little less than half want to have a telephone conversation. Due to the corona pandemic, 28.2% now choose to use video chat.

Speed Not Yet Everywhere

Compared to last year, the average response time to email enquiries has improved. This year, it was 3.7 days, compared to the 5.5 days in 2019. Nevertheless, only 43.6% of manufacturers comply with the golden Internet rule: “Reply in 24h”. Around one in ten manufacturers needed more than ten days to respond to the request. Kaskani also emphasizes the importance of quality in the answering of questions: “Especially risk-averse prospects, who form a large customer segment, are lost due to unsatisfactory answers to the questions“. The potential for lead generation is thus far from fully exploited by companies.

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Despite the Crisis, Prefabricated Houses are on the Rise Across Europe

The dramatic crash of the construction industry due to the Corona crisis can be felt in all EU countries and will also affect the prefabricated house sector. The prefabricated house market in Europe will therefore decline by 9.7% this year. After a further decrease in 2021, the market is expected to recover in 2022. Despite the drastic decline, the quota for prefabricated houses will increase across Europe, as shown in a study by Interconnection Consulting.

Throughout Europe, the prefabricated house rate will increase from 12.1% to 13.0% in 2020. In Western Europe, the rate will increase from 15.3% to 16.6% this year. The prefabricated house ratio is also set to increase marginally, reaching 7.5% in Eastern Europe. The trend, which has led to a steadily growing proportion of prefabricated houses in Europe for years, will continue during the Corona phase. Italy and Russia are two of the few countries with a negative development in the number of prefabricated houses in 2020. The country with the largest percentage of prefabricated houses is Sweden, with 81.3%. Contrary to the Europe-wide trend, sales of the prefabricated house industry in Germany will increase by 4.8%. In Austria too, a growth of 4.8% is expected this year. The largest growth rate during the Corona phase is expected in Spain. Between 2020 and 2023, Interconnection forecasts an average annual increase of 7.5%.

The Proportion of Single-Family Houses Continues to Grow

The European prefabricated house market is clearly characterized by single-family houses. With a market share of 75.1%, they dominate the market and show the lowest negative market growth compared to two-family houses (-10.6%) and multi-storey residential buildings (-19.2%), with a decrease of only 7.3%. Croatia has the highest single-family house rate for prefabricated houses at 95.5%. For comparison, the rate is 84.5% in Austria and 88.4% in Germany. Compared to most European countries, prefabricated multi-storey residential buildings are very popular in Denmark and represent 39.2% of the market.

Turnkey Solutions are Taking Up

In general, the shell finished and turnkey houses are developing better than floor covering houses. Overall, turnkey expansion is already dominating in many places. In Spain, the sales share of turnkey solutions is 86.3%. Turnkey solutions are also the most popular in Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, France, Great Britain and Italy. In Germany, however, the floor covering houses are just ahead. In Croatia, on the other hand, turnkey solutions are not at all popular and hold only 2.2% of the market. Cultural differences have a great impact on the construction method. While solid construction is an exception in Sweden and timber frame construction dominates with a share of 95.2%, it is conversely the solid construction that accounts for the lion’s share in Croatia with 87.9%. In Germany, solid construction shows a lower increase compared to timber frame construction. According to the study, solid construction is expected to increase in Austria, if only slightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fertighausproduzenten gehen mit Online-Anfragen sorglos um

Die immer wichtigere Rolle des Online-Services im Kundenkontakt hat Interconnection Consulting zum Anlass genommen die 34 marktanteilsstärksten Fertighaushersteller in Deutschland in ihrem Umgang mit Online-Anfragen zu untersuchen. Das ernüchternde Ergebnis: Im Vergleich zum Vorjahr verschlechterte sich die Reaktion der Hersteller auf die E-Mail-Anfrage gar um 1,8%, wie der Mystery-Shopping-Test zeigt.

Online wird oft stiefmütterlich behandelt

Das Potential des Internets zur Lead-Generierung wird von den Unternehmen bei Weitem nicht vollständig ausgeschöpft. Weniger als zwei Drittel (61,4%) der kontaktierten Hersteller reagierten beim ersten Online Kontakt auf die gestellte Anfrage. Nach einem Erinnerungsmail und einer telefonischen Kontaktaufnahme erhöhte sich der Anteil der antwortenden Hersteller auf 85,3%. Ein nicht zu vernachlässigender Anteil von 14,7% antwortet also gar nicht auf die dezidierten Kundenanfragen. Nur fünf der untersuchten Hersteller reagieren auf die Anfrage prompt bzw. innerhalb eines Tages (Bien Zenker, Streif, Luxhaus, Dennert, Fischer).

Aus den Augen aus dem Sinn

Insgesamt weisen die Hersteller sehr unterschiedliches Verhalten bezüglich ihres Online-Verhaltens auf. Knapp ein Drittel (29,5%) beantwortet die vier dezidierten Kundenanfragen über Garantie, Bauvorschriften, Finanzierung und Energie überhaupt nicht. Im Vorjahr lag dieser Prozentsatz noch deutlich niedriger (8,2%). Ein Drittel (31,1%) nimmt sich die Zeit alle Fragen ausführlich zu beantworten. Zusätzlich versuchen 37,7% die Interessenten mit weiteren Informationen zum Angebot in elektronischer Form zu überzeugen. Jedoch gilt für alle Produzenten nach dem Senden der Materialien einheitlich: „Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn“. Kein einziger Hersteller, der Informationen per Post oder elektronisch zugesendet hat, erkundigte sich ein wenig später, ob es weiterhin Interesse am Angebot gäbe. „Durch die fast sorglose Bearbeitung der Anfragen gehen viele Interessenten verloren“, erklärt Viorica-Maria Jeler, Autorin der Studie. Insgesamt stellt die Studie fest, dass die Seriosität der Anfrage auch anhand der vermuteten Kundenherkunft – ob Migrationshintergrund oder nicht – bewertet wird, erklärt Jeler.

Verknüpfung mit Offline-Welt

Der Online-Kontakt wird von den Unternehmen genutzt um eine Verknüpfung zur Offline-Welt zu erstellen. Um ein Geschäft zum Abschluss zu bringen, wählen die Hersteller verschiedene Vorgangsweisen. Zwei Drittel (62,7%) schlagen ein persönliches Treffen vor, mehr als ein Drittel (27,1%) möchte ein telefonisches Gespräch führen und 10,2% geben sich mit der schriftlichen Kontaktaufnahme zufrieden.
Interconnection hat die 34 marktanteilstärksten Fertighaushersteller in Deutschland in der Studie getestet. Dazu wurden die Hersteller mit einem konkreten Anliegen zu einem Projekt kontaktiert und das Antwortverhalten analysiert.

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Leading Companies trust in Interconnection Consulting

Admonter

At the IC Impulsworkhop "Sales Optimization" we appreciate not only the practical relevance, but also the eloquent language and the perfect rhetoric. The most important benefit for our company was the sales pipeline. Adrian Capellarie (Head of Sales Admonter Holzindustrie)

Deutscher Holzfertigbau Verband

Interconnection provides us with the prefabricated house study a plausible and veritable data basis for the analysis of the actual situation in the prefabricated house market and beyond for the assessment of the future market development. We are happy to use this interpreted data for our lobbying and everyday work.

Thomas Schäfer (Managing Director, Deutscher Holzfertigbau-Verband)

ELK

The prefabricated housing study by Interconnection Consulting shows a real picture of the actual market situation and forms a valuable basis for our strategic decisions.

Gerhard Schuller (CFO ELK)

Epson

EPSON is satisfied with the Interconnection's way of communication with the market and with clients. EPSON is also appriciate the Interconnection's continuous work trying to aim the report to be at the higher level. As a result, EPSON rely on Interconnection data, for the market of POS Printers and Systems.

T.Murakami (Brand Management, Seiko Epson Corporation)

Gaulhofer

I appreciate on the forum "Impulsworkshop Vertriebsoptimierung" the practical relevance of Peter Berger linked with his practical examples. I also liked the sovereign presentation style. The most important benefit was for me, on the one hand refresh of methods and also the sales management tools that were shown. Ing. Dietmar Hammer (Head of Product Management Gaulhofer)

Kontron

The most important benefit of the Impulsworkshop "sales optimization" was in my view the procedure of the definition of strengths and the entire sales process. Mr. Berger is very competent and professional. Fabian Freund (Sales Manager, Kontron Austria)

Österreichs Personaldienstleister

The sales management tool ZAIS has become indispensable for many Austrian temporary staffing providers for fast and correct sales management decisions. A tailor-made online cockpit provides comprehensive monthly figures and data on temporary work and the labor market in Austria, while at the same time impressing with its overview and intuitive user guidance. Interconnection Consulting has consider individually to all user needs during development process and also convinces with fast response times during operation.

Dr. Gertraud Höltl (Generalsekretärin Österreichs Personal Dienstleister)

Saint Gobain

Long experience and deep understanding of the construciton industry markets make up the quality of the IC studies. Interconnection Consulting is a constant companion concerning the assessment of markets and helpful for decision-making.

Bernd Blümmers (Directeur General, Saint-Gobain Solar Systems, Central Europe, Aachen)

Salamander

Interconnection Consulting reports deliver a worthfull external perspective and are so a good contrast with regards to our internal market point of views.

Pedro Posada (CEO Salamander Industrial Products Spain)

Scandinavian Business Seating

The IC Report gives a very good overview of the Western European office furniture market, in a well-structured way. The data is helpful to better understand the market developments and drivers.

Beatrice Sotelo (Director Business Development , Scandinavian Business Seating)

Schneider Electric

Under a short time constraint, Interconnection was able to deliver an outstanding study that exceeded my expectation in terms of quality and market breadth. I highly recommend Interconnection to anyone in need of market research.

Jeff Canterberry (Director of Strategy and M&A, Schneider Electric)

Sodexo

When developing new market strategies, Interconnection is a trusted source we always come back to. Christian Frey (Marketing Manager CS DACH)

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