Home Tours Engage Consumers

Home tours give the public the opportunity to see what’s on the market in new home construction and the latest in remodeling. They also serve as a vehicle to showcase new products, styles and technology to consumers. Builders associations across the state present these home tours as an opportunity for members to reach consumers directly and advertise their work.

Dan Shay, executive officer for the Vikingland Builders Association, said that consumers come out to see the homes on their tour because they intend to build or remodel in the next year. It allows their members to showcase what they’re capable of and highlights the contractors and subcontractors that work on the projects.

I think home tours have a great impact on the building industry. The tour gets the consumer thinking about what they like for their new construction or their remodel. Tours get people motivated to get their projects started.
— Dan Shay, Executive Officer for the Vikingland Builders Association
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The tour is often the catapult to get consumers to take action on their projects, and it helps them make decisions on who to work with. This year, the Vikingland Builders Association Home Tour, which ran Aug. 26-27, featured seven homes.

“We are seeing that the attendance for the tour is increasing each year. The consumers are more informed and are looking for specific styles of workmanship,” said Shay. “Builders can provide what they are looking for.”

Wendy Danks, marketing director for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, agrees that consumers are becoming increasingly informed about what they’re looking for, and emphasized how important it is to recognize the changes in how consumers shop for homes. “As online homes-for-sale searches and other resources have blossomed, buyers today have winnowed through plenty of information ahead of time and come in much more informed about their choices, their needs and wants,” she said.

The Builders Association of the Twin Cities puts on The Parade of Homes® and Remodelers Showcase® twice each year. This fall’s tours feature more than 400 new homes and 64 remodeled homes over four weekends. The number of homes on the tour has fluctuated with market changes, but has consistently been an important marketing tool for builders, remodelers and
suppliers.

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There’s nothing, not even virtual reality yet, that can replace actually walking through and experiencing a home in person — from the flow and usability of space to the benefits of its neighborhood
— Wendy Danks, Marketing Director at the Builders Association of the Twin Cities

In addition to the home tours that showcase homes within a wide range of price points, there are a select number of ticketed home tours that showcase luxury homes.

This was the fourth year for the Artisan Home Tour, a high-end home tour presented by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. This year, the 19 new homes on the tour had an average of 2,453 visits per home, a 56 percent increase over 2016, and remodeled homes averaged 740 visits over the final three days, a 125 percent increase over 2016. There were nearly 50,000 total visits across the 21 homes.

Tours like this show the strength of the luxury home building market, as well as the strong interest consumers have in the latest design and technology for homes. Danks added that, although the brand promise of the Parade of Homes has stayed the same throughout the years, it’s important to be ready to change marketing plans and introduce new tools to enhance the consumers’ experience with home tours.

“The world continues to change and evolve, and at a breakneck pace. So vigilance, research, metrics and analytics, and continued improvements are vital to remain relevant and successful," said Danks.