Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders (GBAHB) recently partnered with Marketing RELEVANCE to reinvent their Parade of Homes. While associations traditionally use home showcases as a way to promote builders in the community and to highlight new homes, the process for organizing large events like these, with many moving parts and a judging process, can become cumbersome.
Historically, producing a Parade of Homes event is extremely time consuming and involves lots of printed forms, paper and file folders. However, with the new Parade of Homes website created by Marketing RELEVANCE, GBAHB and other associations can now streamline the process.
Mitch Levinson, managing partner of mRELEVANCE states, “Our Parade of Homes website streamlines planning, judging and even navigating home routes. Everything is done via the website, which greatly cuts down on time spent while increasing revenue. Hosting a Parade of Homes is a great way to showcase your members and their homes while generating buzz for your builder’s homes and communities, as well as the HBA and sponsors.”
The Parade of Homes held by the GBAHB is “the largest new home tour in the state of Alabama,” according to Shannon Humenansky, Director of Sales and Promotions for GBAHB. She said that a tour of homes is effective at attracting a large number of visitors over a short period of time, and gives area builders, designers and other vendors a way to show prospective buyers the latest and greatest in the building industry. Not only that but, “with thousands of potential buyers walking through each home,” Humenansky said tours increase the bottom line for construction companies.
Hosting a successful Parade of Homes involves rigorous planning. Starting early allows the committee ample time to handle the surprising number of details that accrue. GBAHB tasked their committee, supported by GBAHB staff, with both a fall and a spring parade, and they met over a year to prepare. Staff distributed information and forms to membership, secured sponsorships, processed all entries and communicated with the magazine publisher. The Marketing RELEVANCE website helped to facilitate parade entries, including every step of the judging process.
In the fall of 2016, the GBAHB Parade of Homes included an Ideal Home plus 62 other houses. Thirteen villages, 8 production builders and 15 custom builders submitted. Revenue was higher than expenses, and more than 400 people attended the kick-off party. Humenansky said that in previous years, they judged homes after the parade had begun, but now they judge homes before the kick-off party and present awards then. This does two things: first, it encourages more builders to attend the party rather than send representatives. Second, it allows winners to showcase their awards at the homes and in marketing materials during the home tour.
A parade of homes takes planning and work but pays off in the long run. These events create buzz for builders who promote their homes and awards throughout the year. Associate members showcase their products directly to consumers. Consumers get face time with builders, designers and other vendors, as well as learn the value of working with an HBA member. Local HBAs benefit by increasing non-dues revenue and improving outreach to the community at large.
Humenansky said associations who want to sponsor their own parades need to plan early and “utilize resources,” by visiting with other groups who have done what they want to do. Marketing RELEVANCE can help organize and implement a home tour with a Parade of Homes website. It can manage entries, provide a judging format and even help participants create a driving route from one home to the next. If you are ready to increase non-dues revenue, while streamlining the award process, contact us or call 770-383-3360 to learn more.