Group Two attended the International Builders’ Show in Orlando this month, and it was everything we were hoping for! It felt great to be back together, in person, with so many of our industry partners, friends, builders (who are also friends!), and supporters.
We were there to reconnect with the industry and learn just as much as we taught, and we’re also humbled and proud to have walked away winners. Here are some of the highlights from the show, as well as the top takeaways from our team:
- Group Two gave 8 education presentations and hosted two Sale Central networking breakfasts.
- For The House That She Built, and in collaboration with NAHB Builder Books, Group Two hosted book signings, cash challenges, multiple presentations, and a tradeswomen character photo contest.
- Mollie Elkman was honored with the 2021 Sales & Marketing Professional of the Year award.
- McKee Builders and Group Two took home the Best 55+ Gold Award, Online Marketing Campaign, for The 1st Houzz-Inspired Home.
- The House That She Built earned the Community Spirit award!
Key Takeaways from g2 Team Members
WHAT’S NEXT | Chelsey Keenan, Digital Marketing & Social Media
From new speakers to new viewpoints, there is definitely an up-and-coming generation taking over the homebuilding industry, and they’re ready to have their voices heard.
Example 1: The diversity and inclusion awareness that was spread throughout the show through The House that She Built. You could tell that there was a buzz about women in the industry; they stood taller and spoke louder and are ready to be heard in a male-dominated industry. It was very empowering to see and hear women say, “This is so needed in our industry.”
Example 2: New speakers with new topics. You could tell just from the topics at the Builders’ Show, people are getting more creative and more tech-savvy and pushing out the traditional ways of thinking. There were a lot of talks about remote online sales counselors and self touring for homebuilders, so I think a big trend will be to hire the best, not the closest. More than ever, I felt like the Builders’ Show really looked towards the future of the industry and what can happen NEXT, vs. just a recap of what happened over the past year.
CHANGE | Nikki Kirkland, Social Media (First-Time IBS Attendee & Presenter!)
This was my first time attending IBS and my first presentation at IBS, so I did not know what to expect. I was worried that because I was so young, no one would listen or be interested in what I had to say. My session was the last day of the show, in the last time slot, and it was PACKED. It made me realize that a different, fresh perspective is interesting to people in this industry. Many builders are tired of using the same social media tactics and want to change what they are doing to get better results.
People who have been in the industry longer than I have been alive came up to me after my session asking my opinion on a multitude of things related to social media. This experience made me feel welcomed into the industry and ready to use my voice, because now I know people are listening. It was also great that builder partners and people I had met that week came to support me speaking, which shows great camaraderie in the industry. I am so happy to be part of it!
It was also empowering to see the impact that The House That She Built is having on the industry. The Builders’ Show was one of my first experiences noticing that I, as a woman, was the minority in the room. Being so new in the industry I am excited about being a part of this movement to make a change and inspire change within the younger generations.
EXPERIENCE | Katie Kolakowski, Builder Strategy
There was a lot of excitement and educational content around making the home buying process an experience from start to finish, not just a transaction. Buyers are more attuned and savvier than ever, and even the littlest misstep can throw off the whole builder/buyer relationship. I think of Disney World, where every minute detail is considered, so that the customer does not need to worry or think about anything other than enjoying the experience. The homebuilding process should feel the same way. Builders should think about hiring a customer experience ambassador or similar position. This would be a friendly face who is with the buyer through every major milestone of the home building/buying process.
The buyer should feel that everything is connected from the first social media ad they see to the moment they receive their keys. Buying a new home should feel like a full experience from start to finish, and truly something they remember forever!
CONNECTION | Amanda Druschel, Builder Strategy
Group Two Team: It was just so exciting seeing all of the amazing things the Group Two team collaborated on to contribute to the show as well as our killer presentations. Such a gratifying feeling being part of a team with so much visible passion.
Builder Partners: Connecting with most of my builder partners in person at IBS was invaluable. Zoom is awesome, but every once in a while an in-person hand shake and being able to sit down and collaborate in person is necessary. I had so many great takeaways from seeing them in person!
The House That She Built: It was inspiring to meet and connect with so many of the women who worked on the house in Utah. Their passion for what they do was energetic and flowed throughout the entire show! No matter where you turned, there was The House That She Built! From the book and the life-size tradeswomen cutouts to the signs and gear people were sporting — the buzz surrounding THTSB was so powerful and just awe-inspiring to be part of! Watching Mollie and Georgia continue their story and movement with the book, especially being the mom to a young daughter, was incredible.
CONVENIENCE | Alexis Udine, Builder Strategy & Online Sales Coaching
Almost all my builder partners went to IBS; seeing them face-to-face was invaluable! I know other people said this too, but I have to reiterate that after two years it was nice to see more than a Zoom screen! Like another attendee said… these people are more than just squares on a screen. I also got the chance to meet online sales counselors in person that I train and attend education events with them.
One theme of the show that I appreciated was that of convenience — to create the best customer experience by making it convenient and easy for the customer. Builders are looking at a few ways to accomplish this:
- Online design studios so buyers can best prepare for their appointments and feel less overwhelmed.
- Self-guided tours so prospects can view models when it’s convenient for them.
- Content-rich websites so prospects can see floor plans and design their homes online. When they do take the next steps they are more informed and educated, and have an idea of what they want.
EDUCATION | Georgia Castellano, Creative
The role of the marketer is always shifting, but now more than ever marketers are educators and leaders. Buyers are just going to keep getting smarter, and as marketers, we need to meet them at their level. Like teachers, marketers need to constantly come up with creative ways to hold buyers’ attention and engage them in compelling ways. We aren’t selling; we’re teaching a gifted class of students who have done their research. We need to be tapped into how they want to learn and what they need to learn.
This is what we’re doing with The House That She Built. We’re using the book as a tool to educate parents, teachers, and kids about the amazing opportunities in the home building industry. We just need to keep teaching and leading the way.