BAM Goes to the NAHB International Builders’ Show

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This past weekend, I embarked on a trip to Las Vegas for the NAHB International Builders’ Show in search of inspiration. What I found was a plethora of new and fresh ideas, and I could not be more ready to tackle the year ahead.

The first part of the event is taking in the new offerings from manufacturers. I got to browse all the latest trends in building and design, and this year there was a big emphasis on new luxuries for kitchens and bathrooms. It seems as though the market is catering to a more luxurious and almost escapist approach. Bathrooms are looking more like spas and kitchens are looking more like restaurants, and it’s creating better experiences for homeowners. We’re in the age of multiple showerheads and jets! One product that stood out for me was a showerhead from Kohler; it had a speaker built in so you can play audio from your handheld device via Bluetooth.

Another thing I noticed is that many Chinese companies are beginning to enter the market. What the Chinese bring are innovative designs at lower prices, ultimately lowering prices of products that are expensive in the current market. This will create more value and selection for homeowners.

Another great thing about the Builder Show is the chance to get a first hand look at the products and trends coming to the GTA. Understanding what is available for GTA homebuilders always helps with pitching projects and encouraging our clients to offer more to consumers.

And lastly, what would a building show be without the seminars. This year we made a special effort to attend as many digital marketing seminars as possible; staying ahead of the curve is very important in today’s always changing and expanding digital market.

As expected, my trip to the International Builders’ Show left me more passionate about this industry than ever, and revved up with new ideas for 2014.

Visit the BAM Facebook page to see a photo gallery from the event.

Fear and Loathing in a St. Martin Sales Office

The Indigo Green sales centre in St. Martin.

The Indigo Green sales office in St. Martin.

My recent vacation to St. Martin wasn’t all pleasure. I took some time to visit a local sales office as a reconnaissance mission. Upon entering the sales office, I was first surprised by the size and, let’s say, lack of quality. As a real estate marketer, I will say that I wasn’t impressed. Inside the sales office, one lone desk sat stagnant in the tiny room. The walls were practically bare and the lighting was dim. The place lacked emotion without any visual stimulation.

There is a point to all this! I was appalled by how horrible the sales experience was for $600,000 homes and visiting this sales office made me think of how well we present and package pre-construction housing here in Toronto.

The market here at home is vastly different; new developments and communities sell fast and before the shovel breaks the soil. As a marketer, this style of buying forces you to deliver your best marketing time and time again. I’m proud to say I’ve contributed to making Toronto the number one pre-construction market in the world. As a result of the technology and strategy we’ve implemented in our campaigns, we sell more homes before they’re built than anywhere else. That stat alone speaks to the caliber of marketing in the Toronto scene.

The way in which Toronto has grown to such a successful pre-construction market is because we offer something extra. We offer touchscreens, scale models, social media and much more, and these interactive marketing materials and showrooms create an experience for homebuyers. We attempt to sell the lifestyle and benefit of new home communities and to educate and excite them. This was solely lacking in my experience in St. Martin. We’ve evolved this way because people like me are always hungry and always searching, traveling and researching our competitors and other markets with the goal to always get better and outdo one another.

Our Clients Empire Communities and Brookfield Residential are Finalists for 5 CHBA Awards!

I’m proud to announce that our clients Empire Communities and Brookfield Residential are finalists for 5 Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) National SAM awards this year.

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First, Orchard Ridge Homes and Brookfield Residental’s Treetops community is nominated for Best Project Signage and Logo, Best Website and the prestigious Marketing Excellence Award.

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Empire Communities is nominated for the highly coveted Green Home Award for their Manhattan model at Imagine, a new home community in Niagara Falls which we opened for Empire this year, and which is also up for Best Project Signage and Logo.

The Manhattan home showcases Empire Communities’ latest green initiative: geothermal technology! Geothermal energy can save homeowners up to 80 per cent in total heating and cooling costs over traditional home energy costs, and is offered as an option on all new homes at Empire’s Imagine community as part of a progressive new green initiative on their part.

Both clients are familiar with winning; Brookfield won the Marketing Excellence Award from CHBA last year for their Pathways in Caledon East community which we marketed, and Empire won the ENERGY STAR for New Homes Builder of the Year at the EnerQuality Awards in 2011 and was again nominated in 2012, demonstrating that they’re industry leaders when it comes to green home building.

I always enjoy these types of posts and seeing my clients and employees recognized for their success and hard work. Each time a client of ours is nominated, it’s a testament to the great things we do at BAM and to our clients’ hard work and dedication to building and providing Ontario families the best homes possible.

Congratulations again to Brookfield Residential and Empire Communities. (You can see all the finalists here.)

Go BAM go!

Housing Market Revolution: Solar Panels Getting Less Expensive

Technology Review reports that solar panels are becoming cheap enough to become a major component of green energy. The cost of solar panels has dropped 40 percent in the last 18 months. Photovoltaic, or solar, electricity now costs about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour in the best sunlight. That’s only twice the cost of wholesale electricity and wind.

Solar panels are quickly becoming a reality in Ontario. They’re currently being installed on some of Empire’s new homes, allowing homeowners to sell the excess energy they don’t need from solar panels back to the grid system.

With the government of Ontario’s push for green energy and new advances in technology, solar panels for homes could very well soon be the norm.

You can read the article from Technology Review here.

Marketing Today: Customization

I came across a couple of articles on companies that are finding success in providing customizable options on their products. This technique works well in the building industry too. In the past, marketing meant creating a product and finding the ways to persuade people to buy it. With the advent of communication and production technology, there is no need for pushy sales tactics; you can just give people what they want. Why should a hamburger at Harvey’s be more customizable than major purchases like a house or a car?

Profit Guide wrote an article about customization across all industries.

You can also read about our own success with customization in the building industry with The Orchard.

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