Magical Marketing Tour

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What if you could rely on a single lead source for 40 percent of your business next year? Sure would make it a little easier to formulate your marketing plan, wouldn't it? Sounds like a fantasy, doesn't it? Well, not for New Spaces in Burnsville, Minn., which generates some $2 million in annual sales from leads generated by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities' Annual Parade of Homes Remodelors Showcase.

September 01, 2005

 
Michael Morris
Editor in Chief

What if you could rely on a single lead source for 40 percent of your business next year? Sure would make it a little easier to formulate your marketing plan, wouldn't it? Sounds like a fantasy, doesn't it? Well, not for New Spaces in Burnsville, Minn., which generates some $2 million in annual sales from leads generated by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities' Annual Parade of Homes Remodelors Showcase.

The Remodelors Showcase, in its 18th year, is the largest of its kind in the country, featuring a record 98 remodeling projects this fall. With just a $2,000 entry fee per project, it provides some 70 Twin Cities remodelers with a can't-miss marketing opportunity.

"Typically, we'll generate at least a couple million dollars off of the tour," says Shawn Nelson, president of New Spaces. "Last year we had three projects in the tour, on which we spent about $12,000 to $13,000, to generate $2 million. I don't know anywhere else I can do that. That's like the same price as a four-color glossy magazine ad one time. And I'm not gonna get anywhere near the amount of business off of that ad as I will from the tour."

According to a recent survey by the NAHB Remodelors Council, nearly one-third of the local councils have an annual tour of remodeled homes. Look for that number to grow as word spreads about these magical marketing tours.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Remodelors Council is in the process of planning its first tour of remodeled homes for next spring. Organizers Mike Pollard of Pollard Construction Company Inc., and Mike Nagel of RemodelOne Design/Build Construction have researched numerous other councils' tours, including the Twin Cities.

"It's inexpensive marketing," says Nagel, who plans to have two of the projected 12–15 projects in the inaugural tour. "This whole project will cost me maybe $4,000 to enter the program. And a lot of that I can recoup on co-op dollars with vendors. If a vendor has a product in my project, they'll give me a discount, and I'll pass part of that discount on to the homeowner for allowing me to have 1,500 people walk through the house."

Because tour attendees tend to be local and highly motivated, Nelson says the leads the tour generates are of the highest quality.

"We've actually done some analysis in our lead tracking," says Nelson, "and we have a higher close percentage for people that we meet out of the Showcase as opposed to calls from other sources, like a home show or something of that nature. And the projects tend to be bigger. The cost of it is so minimal in comparison to the results. It's just an incredible opportunity for any remodeler."

630/288-8057, michael.morris@reedbusiness.com

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