Ontario Just Made A Major Improvement To The Ontario Building Code (OBC)

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Starting in 2015, Ontario builders will be allowed to construct buildings for business, mercantile and residential use – up to 6 stories – out of wood. Previously, wood buildings could be maximum 4 stories. Builders had long tried to amend this rule. There was active opposition, from groups such as the Canadian Steel Construction Council, the Canadian Sheet Steel Building Institute (CSSBI), and other Canadian and US steel interests, who claimed (among other things) that cutting trees for building wasn’t environmentally friendly, masonry buildings last a lot longer and – probably more obvious – wood burns easier than concrete and steel.

British Columbia had already passed a similar act back in 2009 after much debate. It ended up being a perfect solution to help them unload the dead timber that resulted from the pine beetle epidemic killing approximately half of the province’s commercial pine. Guess what? They haven’t proven to be more dangerous than other kinds of buildings. They are comparable in terms of fire/life safety, strength and durability, and seismic performance. Wood also has the lowest embodied energy of any building material – so using it can potentially reduce a development’s carbon footprint.

I think that allowing 6 stories will improve affordability and increase the number of projects/sites, which will become viable. Previously they would have been built out of concrete which is much more expensive and especially unviable for 4-6 stories. It’s great to see the government making decisions that are of benefit to all – consumers, builders and suppliers.

You can check out the official statement from the BILD President/CEO Bryan Tuckey about the change to Ontario Building Code here.

BAM’s Client Appreciation Day

Every year, BAM hosts a client appreciation day.  I started this annual occasion as a way to let our clients and suppliers know that they matter to us and to thank them for their continued business and loyalty. Building and maintaining client relationships is a central part of what we do at BAM. I’ve watched these relationships blossom and grow over the years and I can say honestly that the whole team looks forward to client appreciation day each year! Over the years, it’s transformed into a day where we not only thank our clients and suppliers, but we spend the day enjoying each other’s company and celebrating a year of success. This year, team BAM invited clients and suppliers for a day on the water in Muskoka. We had a fantastic turnout and it was great to see everyone.

Here is sneak peek of how we spent the afternoon. There’s a full album of photos on our Facebook page, too.

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A special thanks to Paul, Carrie, Rob and Nikki from Empire Communities, Stephanie and Amanda from Brookfield Residential, Dino and Marilyn from PACE Developments, Dave from Lancaster Homes, Rocco from Beyond Signs, Colin from Lifeline Graphics, Susan and Dionne from Wall2Wall Media and Judy and Andy from PMA Brethour.

I always stress the importance of communicating openly and honestly with our clients – it’s essential to ensure our interactions are effective for both parties. BAM client appreciation day will continue to be an annual tradition because I truly believe in working together as people rather than business contacts.

 

 

 

Introducing Our Newest Client

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One of my favourite times at BAM is announcing when we have a new client. I’m so thrilled to say that day has come again! Over the last several months, the team has been working incredibly hard bringing this new client to life. We’ve gone from strategy to execution in four short months. I’d like to introduce you to our newest project – Queensville.

Queensville is going to be the next amazing new town in Ontario. With over 6,000 houses planned, this project exceeds anything we’ve ever done inside the walls of BAM. Our team is very proud to be working on this new client and is showing it love and dedication every step of the way.

We’ve been given the opportunity to team up with three of the most experienced and trustworthy builders in Ontario. The best part? They’re just as passionate and visionary about this project as we are. We’re so excited to be building this amazing new destination.

As always, we’re backing this project with a dynamite team of inspired individuals. When it comes to the marketing of Queensville, BAM is truly adding our own special touch. In order to maximize customer experience from the very start of this project, we’ve implemented marketing automation into each of our practices. What’s that? It’s just a fancy way of saying that we’re providing each customer with a personalized experience. We’re confident this is going to set Queensville apart from the rest.

Here’s a little bit more information about Queensville so that you can get as excited as we are. First is the incredible location. It’s going to be its own private destination, but connected to everything! It neighbours Aurora, Richmond Hill and Markham and is connected to Toronto by the 404. The home designs will pay tribute to the family with spaces inside and out where family can enjoy being family. We’re planning 36’ and 45’ homesites with a limited line of boutique townhomes.

Thanks to my incredible team at BAM for their hard work on this project! I know each of us are looking forward to continued success as this incredible development unfolds.

BAM Day: Survivor Style

Once a year, the whole team at BAM takes a well-deserved day away from the office to engage in team-building activities. This year’s theme was: “Survivor Style”. The team got going bright and early last Wednesday morning and took a ferry out to Centre Island. This year was one for the books!

In teams of five, we were subjected to competitive challenges that tested our problem solving skills, team-collaboration, communication styles, creativity and strategy building. It was basically a day around the office – but with brightly coloured lei’s for team markers.

The winning team started the day with the motto “win at all costs” – and it certainly paid off! It was great to see everyone working together to strengthen our already amazing team spirit. Practicing effective collaboration is important at BAM and Survivor Day was no exception to the rule.

Here are some shots of our incredible team putting their skills to work!

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During our day on the island, we had a special treat for lunch – tacos cooked over open flame by one incredibly talented chef. Everyone enjoyed fueling up after a morning packed with competition and fun. For more photos of Survivor Day, check out BAM’s Facebook page.

Thanks to everyone for another amazing BAM Day – until next year!

The Medium is the Message: Why Marketing Automation is Taking Over

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Gone are the days where marketing plans are made without the consideration of quantity in addition to quality. What am I talking about here? Marketing automation – its kind of a big deal. Lately, it’s getting harder and harder not to notice it. In fact, the marketing automation industry is expected to grow 50% by 2015.

What is Marketing Automation?

 Marketing automation is all about providing your customers with a personalized experience. When a customer returns to your website for the second, third or fourth time, they will be given an experience created specifically for them according to their needs and interests. Sounds great, right? But, what does this accomplish for the marketer? First and foremost, marketing automation reduces some of the repetitiveness we see with the marketing process. It does this through what is called customer segmentation. Automation software will use information such as age, gender or education to classify customers browsing your website. At this point, you’re able to create a target population and measure how effective your content is – this means you can your allocate resources to the right people!

 What Makes Marketing Automation Great?

Currently, this is our biggest initiative at BAM. We are constantly looking for ways to grow in the digital world – and this is the next big thing for our team. In our industry, we want to provide our customers with the right kind of information at the right time. Which means we have to make sure the content is highly personalized to each buyer. The goal is to learn about them – their age, demographic, number of kids and so on. Are they a family of five? Then we will show them exclusively homes that suit those needs. It’s all about nurturing our customers to improve their online experience, which in turn creates more leads.

Team BAM is also thrilled at the opportunity that marketing automation provides to set measurable objectives for each of our campaigns. We can also deliver segmented emails and track how customers react to them – which means we can further personalize future web content and emails for them. As we seek to deliver the right content at the right time, we will be able to determine what’s working and what isn’t. And really, what’s more valuable than that? Another bonus is the inclusion of social media – this means additional platforms for us to engage and interact with our customers and prospective customers.

As we shift from sending out mass, random content to understanding and personalizing each customer’s experience, we close in on a marketing strategy that makes sense. Marketing automation guides the conversation, timing and personalization that we need to make this important shift. What’s your opinion on it? Tweet me, I’d love to hear it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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