Saturday, January 8, 2011


This year will find about 50,000 builders, Realtors, suppliers and manufacturers at IBS in Orlando.  50,000 sounds like a lot of people but it is less than half that attended just a few years ago. 

The prognosticators that said the housing recession would start to wane in 2010 are back at IBS saying that definitely, absolutely, the housing recession will end this year.  Buy my book and sign up for my series on how to sell more homes and learn how you can be the big winner.

But the big winners are the builders that are actually attending the show.  They are the ones that so far have survived the worst housing market since WWII.  Walking from booth to booth, they will not only be looking at the newest shingles and siding, they will be talking to each other about what this year will bring.  You have to remember that half of their year is already gone.  The first six months of work should already be on the books so anything that catches their eye will not be available in their customer's homes for at least six months.

There is another thing that they will be looking for this year.  Ways to cut costs, faster production methods and ways to improve quality.  That's where the modular industry could come to their rescue.  Showcasing how modular is equal to or even better in a lot of ways than their site built efforts should be a primary job for every factory.

Only a few modular companies will be exhibiting and they will be showcasing their homes rather than explaining to the builders how modular can ease their pain.  Nationwide Homes will be represented again at the show with a beautiful modular home complete in every way with the exception of working toilets.  I would like to have been a fly on the wall at headquarters when they discussed what their reps would talk to the builders about when they visited the house. 

It was probably the same old "features and benefits" that every modular factory has been pushing for years.  What they and their fellow exhibitors should address is how buying modular gives the builder more than just a home.  It gives them a full design department, an estimating department, freedom from endless on-site inspections, fast turnaround, etc.  The factories should also stress to the builder that  they are there to help them plan their marketing strategy and prepare their business plans. 

I've worked the IBS as a rep that had over 55,000 walk through our model on the main floor of the exhibit.  Our strategy was to have the price sheets for the house available to anyone that asked and review those features and other crap that the Sales Manager thought would be important.  What I found were builders that asked how we can help them both before and after the sale, how integral our factory would be in helping them secure customers and other things that we should have been better prepared for.

Every modular home factory should have been present with at least a booth this year.  Builders are hungry for ways to save costs and even save their business.  Modular homes can and should play a major role in their efforts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

at my factory only the owner and his management henchmen are going and he is taking his family. want to bet that going to IBS is the last thing on their agenda.