Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ten Reasons Your Home Show Failed

I have visited five Home Shows in three states this year and I can spot a loser booth as soon as I walk up. There are so many different things that comprise winning booths but I’ve got it down to ten reasons others fail.

Decide if you think this Home Show booth is a winner or a loser after reading the Ten Reasons below
  1. Presentation. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. You walk up to a 10’ x 10’ booth and bump right into that 8’ ‘free’ table the show sponsor gives them. It has a purple drape around it and two folding chairs. Parked behind it are usually two people just sitting there like bumps on a log hoping that someone will stop and talk to them and at the same time looking at their watch to see how much longer they have to endure this torture. They have half eaten sandwiches, Big Gulps and potato chips at the end of the table and if you do stop and want to talk, you feel you are an interruption to their dining.
  2. Talking to each other. The people manning the booth see each other just about every working day but when they get behind the protection of that table, they talk about everything that has happened since the last time they talked which was probably yesterday. I become an unwanted visitor. To get rid of me, they give me a refrigerator magnet with their business card attached and a copied fact sheet in black and white. There’s probably a candy bowl on the table so it wasn’t a total loss. These people are usually lenders or Realtors.
  3. Too much detail. I just wanted to know how much insulation was standard in your home. I didn’t want to know what brand you use, how you install it and a history of how insulation has evolved since the beginning of time. I don’t need to know the name of the person in your company that installs it or the name of the foreman that inspects it. I just wanted to know the R-value.
  4. Being the expert sucks. I walked up to a booth of a man selling geothermal and ran right into the world’s leading expert on energy. Even though there were other people that came into booth, he continued to tell me how famous he was in the heating industry and after five minutes of this dolt droning on and on without taking a breathe, I simply turned and walked away. He immediately went over to the next unfortunate soul simply looking at the literature on his table.
  5. Taking up the challenge. I visited the booth of a site builder from PA and asked if he ever used modular construction. You would have thought I was asking him to denounce God. I listened to him go off on why modular was the devil and how it is forcing small site builders out of work and other things too nasty to list. When he took a break, I asked him if he had ever visited a modular factory and he had not. Even if I had wanted a site built home, he would not be the one to build it. Any suggestion I would make during the building process would probably have been met with the same challenge.
  6. Dressed for work. In WV, I came up to a booth where two young men were stationed in front of their table. That was Ok because there wasn’t much on it anyway. There was a sign at the back of the booth with the company name and logo which looked just like what you would find on those inexpensive business checks…block letters and a guy holding a hammer. The reason they didn’t have anyone at their booth was obvious. They were both dressed in the winter Carharts handing out business cards. They did have their company name on the front of their winter outfits. I forgot to mention that it was about 70 degrees in the building. It looked like “anything for a buck construction company.”
  7. No one manning the booth. Ryan Homes had a booth at three of these Home Shows and nobody was there. The professional booth was there. The table where the business cards, literature and books was there, minus all the stuff. All I could find was a pile of information request cards and a drop box and no pen or pencil. It would have been better for them to skip the Show.
  8. Selling anything but new homes. A booth in a MD show stopped me in my tracks. The homebuilder had a good looking booth that you couldn’t get to because the table in front was loaded with girls selling Girl Scout cookies, two kittens in a cage from the local Humane Society and a young man handing out pamphlets about the upcoming sporting events at the local college. What was the builder thinking? No sales for him but lots of cookie sales and adoptions. I almost forgot, he was giving away a new cordless power tool set and all I had to do was enter my name, phone # and email. I did, I lost.
  9. Not asking qualifying questions. If you are paying big buckeroos for a space in the Home Show, why would you not ask some quick questions to determine just who could buy your home? It takes less than 60 seconds to ask the visitor when they want to build, if they have located land and if they’ve been qualified for a mortgage. If a Home Show gets 15,000 people through the door, how many of them do you think are looking to build a new home? Best guess…about 1/10 of 1 percent. That’s 15 people. 15 new homes and without asking some quick qualifying questions, you may have missed all 15 of them. Hope you were successful in handing out all that free candy.
  10. Not asking for a commitment. Serious home buyers will not be offended by you asking them for their name, number and email when you tell them you would like to follow up. Remember, you should have already asked the qualifying questions above and gotten positive answers. They are ready to buy and you want to build them a new home. Sounds like a good plan but first you’ve got to get them to commit to something. Set an appointment in your office, get them to agree to meet at their lot, get them to meet you at a house under construction but get them to commit. Then it is your sale to lose.


George Morgan said...

I have worked many of these shows and found the very best thing to grab attention was a DVD showing a factory tour. People would actually stop to watch something and would ask very good questions. Keep in mind that talking to people with good questions makes the day very worthwhile and probably lead to sales.

Anonymous said...

Over the years I've done several home shows and have sold a few homes. I have found the time, the effort,the investment, the tire kickers, just don't make them worth all the trouble. Mall shows are a total waste of time-- Hey we are at Pe--y's anyway so let's waste this guys time talking about the house we already own.

Coach said...

Malls have to be the WORST place for a Home Show. You never know if the people taking your candy and wasting your time are looking for clothes or actually interested in your business.

Yesterday Peg and I visited our local Home Show and using the criteria above, I found about half the booths would fail. I asked a couple of the failing booths how they were in and they all said it was OK but they were not getting very much interest.

Only three builders. Very disappointing. The Realtors and lenders were doing exactly what I said they would be doing; sitting behind their tables,loaded with candy and magnet cards, talking to each other. LOL