Now that I've had a day off and caught up on some sleep after 18 days straight of preparing for and working during the Parade Of Homes, I've had the chance to reflect on it and discuss it with staff and fellow builders. Here are a few thoughts:On the Parade in general:
Probably most notable about this year's Parade is that it was a month later than usual. Thanks to extended rainy weather during the summer, the Parade Committee elected to postpone it one month to provide builders with a much-needed extra month for completion of their homes. I voted in support of this because, as past chairman, one of the largest sources of complaints from the public is due to incomplete homes. This year, complaints were drastically reduced in this regard, as the number of homes completed was much higher than previous years.
I think my successor as Parade Committee Chair, Jason Schuff, and committee, did an outstanding job all around. This event takes nearly a year to plan, from registering all the builders' homes, to preparing the data, images, and maps to homes, to preparing the magazine and coordinating public relations, and that's just the public part. So much behind the scenes goes on, and our association is thrilled at this year's success.On Traffic:
In terms of sheer numbers, traffic was through the roof! Some builders enter the Parade to just sell that one house. We, on the other hand, prefer to use the Parade as an opportunity to plant seeds...to get hundreds of visitors through our doors that we may not otherwise have had opportunity to get our work in front of. We had visitors from every area in the state, from all walks of life, make a special trip into the metro just for the Parade. Sure, we may sell a house or two immediately from the Parade (which we did this year), but the idea is to do something remarkable and memorable so visitors who come through will consider us the next time they're in the market to purchase a new home. We regularly gain clients who say they learned of us from a Parade several years ago, so we view today's efforts as important in fostering future business.
Weekend traffic lined up in front of the 4 Parade homes in Silverhawk.
We also were thrilled to see many visitors who make us a regular stop on their parade tour each year, including past clients. Short of buying one of our homes, one of the best compliments we hear is "We make time every year to always come and see your Parade home because we want to see what you've done this time around to top last year's home!" Some joke that they're "fans" or "web site stalkers," but we just view it as confirmation that we're connecting with peoples' tastes, and we love hearing about it.
I've never had as many Parade visitors actually in the market to buy
as we have this year. This was very encouraging, and proves that people are beginning to recognize just how fortunate we are in Oklahoma City
to have a market that provides such investment strength in real estate compared to other markets.On the awards:
Typically, the only judgment we face is by inspectors, and most importantly, the buying public. Inspectors don't care how great a house looks, or how well you've organized space and function. They only care about whether or not your house meets code. The buying public judges from the perspective of their own taste and needs, and trust me, we pay attention to that. It's a different challenge, however, to be recognized by other professionals in the industry who look from a broader perspective of professional criteria. This year, COHBA's Wayne Del Bosque headed up the 2007 Parade Of Homes Awards, sponsored by the Sales & Marketing Council of COHBA. He implemented several changes that brought an added element of professionalism and objectivity to the judging, including bringing in builders, designers, and other real estate professionals from Tulsa.
As you can see, they hunted for style...in
The judges' limo in front of the Jeff Click Homes
Parade Home on Monday morning, October 22nd, 2007.
On Wednesday, we were thrilled to learn that our Parade home
won 3 of the 5 categories in our price range and area, including Best Overall Design, Best Kitchen, and Best Merchandising. This was in the price range of $200,000 - $400,000 in the West Edmond region. We were especially pleased that our Psalm 1.5 plan
, which has a starting price of $205,000 in SilverHawk, was able to hold its own against competing homes with nearly twice the price tag.
As those who stopped by are aware, we did drawings for $50 gift certificates to five local restaurant favorites of JCH, including Cafe Nova, Cheever's, Deep Fork Grill, Cheeseburger In Paradise, and BJ's Brewhouse. Winners were Jason Caudillo, Nedra Webster, Don Wells, Megan Nye, and Pamela Henry. Congratulations, winners!On the Parade next year:
We're already putting our thinking caps on for our part in the 2008 Parade Of Homes, and will be idea-jamming over the coming months on what plan we'll be focusing on to develop a concept worthy, hopefully, of a clean-sweep of all five categories. Be on the lookout for some exciting video content of "the making of" our next Parade home, which will be made available for viewing leading up to next year's Parade.
In the meantime, remember that this year's Jeff Click Homes Parade Home is also our furnished model home in Silverhawk
, so it's still open for regular viewing 8-6 Monday through Friday, and 12-6 on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as by appointment outside of those hours
. Come by and see is if you didn't get a chance to during the parade, or if you did, bring your friends by who didn't!