Giving Back this Holiday Season

Make the holiday season more than a time of giving by providing opportunities for you and your team to give back to the community.

With Thanksgiving just less than one day away, it allows us the perfect opportunity to reflect on our gifts and ways we can give back.  The holiday season will entail plenty of gift giving, from family to employees, but some of the greatest gifts are less obvious than the holiday parties, ornately wrapped packages and annual bonuses.  As a business, being a member of and giving back to the community is not just a part of your social responsibility or another way to market your business; rather, giving back is simply the right thing to do, and the return is immeasurable.  According to a report by Cleveland Clinic, giving back provides great health benefits including: reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, lessening depression and extending life.

Not sure where to begin?  Here are a few ways you and your employees can share in “feel good” activities that give back to your community:

  1. Volunteer – Every community has nonprofit organizations that are seeking volunteers year-round. While the food banks and soup kitchens are in need of donation sorting and meal serving, there are groups that are also looking for office and event volunteers.  Take the time to find the right partner and cause where your team can be most effective.
  2. Sponsor a Fundraiser – Whether you choose a local 5k or a Holiday Gala, there are numerous local groups already holding fundraisers that your business can support. In addition to providing sponsorship, be sure to have your employees participate and volunteer to help before, during or after the event.
  3. Get Hands-On – As a home builder, you are in a unique position to play a powerful role in a home building project. From Habitat for Humanity to leading a donated rebuilding project through you local builders’ association, there are plenty of ways to bring your field and office staff off your job site and on to one that will change the lives of families in need.
  4. Hold a Drive – From canned goods to clothes and toys, you can easily hold a collection at your place of business. Consider partnering with a local food bank for a canned food drive to collect goods they need most.  Additionally, Toys for Tots is always looking for new toys for children each year, and along with your team bringing in toys, your business can register to be an official donation/collection site.

By employees being part of a company with a purpose, they not only unite as a team – they unite with their community.  And while giving back can boost their sense of value and self-esteem, it can also give your business a boost of purpose that gives back well beyond the holiday season.

For information on construction business and marketing tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information on construction data reports and industry leads.

Florida Residential Construction Update – October 2017

In Florida, permit data for more than 5,800 housing starts were added to HBW’s database last month.  Out of the five major regions (Orlando, Tampa, SW, SE and Jacksonville) reviewed, Orlando ranked #1 and highest for total housing starts (1,470 permits) and average value ($306,279) of construction.  Out of the hundreds of active builders for the one-month period, D.R. Horton ranked top for total permits in Orlando and Jacksonville, and Lennar Homes had the greatest amount of starts in Tampa, and the southern portion of the state.  Here is a closer look at Florida’s new residential construction activity by area:

FL Residential Permits by Area – October 2017

Orlando

Total Permits: 1,470 (ranked #1 for total housing starts in October)

Total Construction Value: ~$450M

Average Value of Construction: $306,279 (ranked #1 for highest average value)

Top Counties for Total Permits: Orange (641 housing starts); Volusia (260 housing starts)

Top Builders for Total Permits: D.R. Horton (209 Permits); Meritage Homes (111 Permits); Lennar Homes (110 Permits)

Tampa

Total Permits: 1,353

Total Construction Value: ~$362M

Average Value of Construction: $267,406

Top Counties for Total Permits: Hillsborough (472 housing starts); Polk (374 housing starts)

Top Builders for Total Permits: Lennar Homes (172 Permits); D.R. Horton (165 Permits); The Villages of Lake Sumter (102 Permits)

Southwest Florida

Total Permits: 1,328

Total Construction Value: $341M+

Average Value of Construction: $257,143

Top Counties for Total Permits: Lee (501 housing starts); Collier (267 housing starts)

Top Builders for Total Permits: Lennar Homes (167 Permits); D.R. Horton (131 Permits); Pulte Homes (125 Permits)

Jacksonville

Total Permits: 1,000

Total Construction Value: $240M+

Average Value of Construction: $240,351

Top Counties for Total Permits: St. Johns (416 housing starts); Duval (308 housing starts)

Top Builders for Total Permits:  D.R. Horton (208 Permits); Lennar Homes (61 Permits); KB Homes (48 Permits)

Southeast Florida

Total Permits: 671

Total Construction Value: ~$200M

Average Value of Construction: $296,605

Top Counties for Total Permits: Miami-Dade (235 housing starts); St. Lucie (205 housing starts)

Top Builders for Total Permits: Lennar Homes (98 Permits); D.R. Horton (78 Permits); GL Building Corp. (51 Permits)

Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures for Florida residential construction was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

5 Tips for an Effective Holiday Marketing Campaign

Just in time for the holidays, here are five tips for giving your customers something to celebrate this season.

Holiday marketing seems to be earlier and earlier each year.  Walk into any big-box store and Christmas trees and stockings are already adorning the aisles within hours of Halloween’s last trick-or-treaters.  While launching holiday marketing campaigns earlier may spark the holiday spirit sooner, it is not necessarily the key to engaging more prospects.  Timing is important, but developing the right message and knowing how to reach your audience are also vital components of your holiday marketing efforts.  Here are five tips to keep in mind as you launch your holiday marketing campaign:

  1. Get into Giving – Thanksgiving and the holidays are a perfect time to give back to customers and the community. Ignite your own giving spirit with a holiday specific giveaway. Whether it is something as large as a project with Habitat for Humanity or a customer targeted giveaway for a new remodel or design service, holiday giveaways are a great way to gain new customers and engage social media followers.  Make sure to encourage viewers to share content, and don’t forget cross-marketing if partnering up with another organization.
  2. Cash in on Limited Time – The holidays only last for one fast and furious season, and so should your holiday offerings. By putting a time limit on your discounts or complimentary services, you are creating a sense of urgency and motivating customers to “act now” while being aligned with the timing of the holidays.
  3. Use Holiday Keywords – You use keywords to optimize your website and social posts, and your holiday marketing campaign should do the same. During the holidays there are a number of popular keywords that are searched, and for the purpose of SEO you can and should incorporate them in your content. Terms such as “Holiday Gift Guide”, “Gift Ideas” and “Black Friday Deals” are just some of the keywords that have the potential for increasing traffic to your holiday landing page.
  4. Get Visual – We all know ‘tis the season for shopping, and that means there will be a lot of browsing and image viewing online. For this reason, up your game on image-heavy social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. While users are posting holiday selfies and searching for decorating ideas, your ad can be strategically placed to display your top landscaping ideas for the season or feature your latest remodel and most requested design and build services.
  5. Host a Party – In addition to your own office party, consider hosting an open house, meet and greet or other holiday party where you invite your warmest leads or most loyal customers. The party doesn’t have to be lavish or break the bank, rather it can be a cocktail social at your showroom or local restaurant looking to attract new customers and increase dining traffic.

While many holiday marketing efforts can easily get lost in the mix and holiday hoopla, your business can still be a standout; from giveaways and holiday parties to keywords and targeted social media ads, you too will have something to celebrate this holiday season.

HBW Report: New Swimming Pool Construction in Texas through Q3

Through the third quarter of this year, Texas has experienced a 3% year-over-year increase in swimming pool construction.

With close to 6,100 swimming pool starts through the third quarter of 2017, Texas is gaining on last year’s pool construction figures by 3%.  Out of the four major metro areas reviewed (Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio), there were increases in new pool construction in all areas with the exception of San Antonio (-1%).  Dallas is currently leading for total new permits (3,213 permits) as more than half of all permits originate from there, while Houston is leading for growth (+9%).

TX New Pool Permits by Area thru Q3 (2016 vs. 2017)

While the Austin area has seen a decline in pool construction over the last couple of years, as of the third quarter of this year it is climbing out of its slumber to currently be 3% ahead of last year with 580 new permits on file.  In San Antonio, pool construction remains somewhat steady with a slight decline (-1%) so far this year, and every quarter has been more active than the last; if this pattern remains through Q4, there is a high likelihood that San Antonio will chart on or ahead of last year.

When reviewing pool construction by major counties across the Lone Star State, there were higher concentrations in Houston and Dallas area counties.  With Harris County (Houston) being the most populous county of Texas, it is no surprise that a large amount of new construction activity can always be found there.  Through Q3 Harris ranked #1 for total pool starts (1,018 permits), reflecting a slight 1% year-over-year increase.  In the Dallas area, Collin County ranked second highest for new pool construction having 933 new permits through the third quarter of this year.  Tarrant County (Dallas) is also tracking ahead of last year with a 6% year-over-year increase and approximately 780 swimming pool starts through Q3 of this year.

TX Top 5 Counties for Total New Pool Permits Q3-2017

Information utilized for Texas swimming pool construction reports was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

HBW Report: Texas New Residential Construction October 2017

Last month, new residential construction in Texas resulted in 6,150 new permits being added to the HBW database.  Out of the nearly $1.5B total value in housing starts, the highest value of new construction remained in Dallas where the average value of housing starts for the month was just over $317k. As for total new permits, Houston continues to remain on the lower end of average construction value (~$185k) but leads for total starts with 2,620 new permits for the one-month period.

Here is the breakdown of housing starts, construction values and leading home builders in the four major metro areas reviewed (Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio):

TX Residential Permits by Area – Oct. 2017

Houston

During the month of October, Houston had 2,620 housing starts with a total construction value of nearly $484M.  The majority of new homes were started in Harris County where there were nearly 1,650 new permits on file.  Out of the more than 280 active builders in the area, D.R. Horton took top spot for starts with more than 300 new residential construction permits of the one-month period.  Other leading home builders in the area include Camillo Properties with 177 housing starts and Long Lake LLC with 109 housing starts last month.

Dallas

With nearly 2,050 housing starts and more than $648M in construction value, Dallas ranked second highest for total new permits on file and took top spot for total value.  The greatest concentration of new residential construction in the Metro Dallas area last month took place in the counties of Collin (623 permits) and Tarrant (529 permits).  Out of the more than 260 active builders in the area, D.R. Horton ranked #1 for total starts with 219 new residential construction permits, while LGI Homes and Lennar Homes ranked second and third with 109 and 93 permits respectively.

Austin

There were 1,053 housing starts with a total value of nearly $274M in Austin last month.  More than half of all new residential construction originated from Travis County where there 563 new permits for the one-month period.  Out of the more than 130 active home builders in the area, D.R. Horton reigned supreme with 131 housing starts, and KB Homes (79 permits) and CalAtlantic Homes (78 permits) ranked second and third for total new construction activity.

San Antonio

In San Antonio, there were more than 430 housing starts with a total value in excess of $92M on file for the month of October; more than half of all new construction took place in Bexar County (257 permits).  Out of the approximately 115 active builders in the area, KB Homes had the greatest number of total starts on file (34 permits) and Continental Homes of Texas (28 permits) and Meritage Homes (19 permits) ranked second and third.

When reviewing the average value of construction across the state, Dallas continued to maintain its lead with an average value greater than $317k, and Houston maintained its position at the lower end of the spectrum with an average value of nearly $185k.  The average value of new residential construction by area for the month of October is as follows:

TX Avg. Value of Residential Construction – Oct. 2017

Information utilized for Texas residential construction reports was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

Florida Third Quarter Swimming Pool Construction Report

With a 6% year-over-year increase in new swimming pool construction through Q3, Florida continues its five-year growth pattern in pool starts across the state.

Out of the nearly 18,400 new swimming pool permits on file with HBW for Florida through Q3, every major region has experienced growth in swimming pool starts.  While the southwest region continues to lead for total permits (4,700+ permits thru Q3), it’s the northeast region that has seen the greatest year-over-year increase (+12%) in new pool construction.  West Florida is also exhibiting impressive year-over-year gains of 10% having more than 3,150 swimming pool starts through the third quarter.

FL Pool Permits by Area Q3-2017

When breaking new pool construction down by county, it is Lee County (SW) that takes top spot for total pool starts with 1,527 new permits on file through Q3, reflecting a 9% increase in comparison to the same time last year.   Not far behind, Palm Beach County (SE) has held a steady stream of new pool construction since last year, and Q3 has been its best quarter so far in 2017.  With 1,255 new swimming pool construction permits on file, Palm Beach County is slated to be at or slightly below last year’s figures by the end of this year.  Holding in at the third highest for new pool construction, Orange County (Central FL/Orlando area) ranks third; having a 10% year-over-year increase in construction activity there were more than 1,200 new swimming pool construction permits added to the HBW database for Orange County through the third quarter.

FL Top 5 Counties for Swimming Pool Permits Q3, 2016 vs. 2017

While there have been gains in swimming pool construction throughout every major region across the Sunshine State, there are a few counties that are looking like “ones to watch” as far as growth is concerned.  For example, Brevard County (Central) is already ahead of construction totals from the last five years; having nearly 750 swimming pool starts through Q3 of this year, Brevard has experienced a 22% year-over-year increase, with the third quarter having the highest concentration of new construction activity this year.  Other counties with marked increases in new pool construction include Pasco County in the western region (+17%) and Clay County in the northeast (+27%).

Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures for swimming pool construction in Florida was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

U.S. Remodeling Market Gaining Strength in Q3-2017

The remodeling market is experiencing gains, and growth is expected to continue through 2018.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and their Remodeling Market Index (RMI), the majority of remodelers surveyed are reporting that remodeling activity was higher in Q3 than the previous quarter; the RMI rose by two points and was 57 in the third quarter of this year.  The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) is based on a quarterly survey of NAHB remodeler members that provides beneficial insight on current market conditions.  And while NAHB and its RMI is a solid source for information regarding remodeling trends, there are other outlets reporting similar gains, as well as expected growth in the coming year.

source: NAHB 

Just as NAHB is reporting increases in remodeling during the third quarter of 2017, the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) projects that annual gains in home renovation and repair spending will increase from 6.3% in Q4-2017 to 7.7% by the third quarter of 2018.  LIRA provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes; it is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing (next LIRA release date: 01/18/2018). Current and future reports can be downloaded from their website.

JCHC has reported a variety of contributing factors to the strengthening in the home improvement market; those factors include: house prices and incomes, an aging housing stock, and a pickup in household. JCHC noted that “demographic trends should continue to buoy the market over the next decade, with the rising tide of older homeowners accounting for more than three-quarters of projected growth.”  And while millennials get a decent amount of attention for their potential in shaping spending trends, when it comes to homes and remodeling, the younger households have been notably slow to break into home ownership and subsequently the remodeling market.

As for the homeowner and consumer, there are multiple news outlets and publications that encourage homeowners to consider remodeling to increase the value of their homes.  Websites like Remodeling allow visitors to compare the cost versus value of popular remodeling projects (29 to be exact) based on their location.  Depending on the results of any given comparison, it may also be a useful tool for remodelers to view and share an objective analysis and report on the ROI of a project to the customer.

As a remodeler or home builder, it is important to stay ahead of the trends; by following industry news and the latest building activity and permit reports, you can gain a better understanding of clients’ expectations as well as be a resource for the information they need most.

To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building and remodeling activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

HBW Report: Atlanta Swimming Pool Construction thru Q3

An overview of new swimming pool construction in Atlanta through the third quarter of 2017.

In the Metro Atlanta area, swimming pool construction has been on the rise for nearly four years.  Since 2013, the number of new pools being constructed in the Atlanta area has been rapidly rising, and through the third quarter of this year there have been nearly 1,800 swimming pool starts which puts it already 14% ahead of 2016.

ATL Swimming Pool Construction 2013 to 2016

The counties that have exhibited the greatest amount of new pool construction activity through Q3-2017 include:

  • Fulton County: 316 permits, +20% (vs. 2016)
  • Cobb County: 246 permits, +15% (vs. 2016)
  • Cherokee County: 160 permits, +14% (vs. 2016)

 

The top five counties for total permits on file with HBW through Q3 are all positioned ahead of swimming pool construction totals from last year:

ATL Top 5 Counties for Total New Pool Permits thru Q3 (2016 vs. 2017)

With the current pattern in new swimming pool construction, 2017 is slated to be the best year on record in more than five years for the Metro Atlanta area.  In the coming months, HBW will be monitoring the market and updating its database to provide the latest and most accurate statistics available.

To gain more information on the builders, homeowners and permits for the construction activity above, check out HBW for your copy of the latest construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.

Small Business Saturday Tips for Home Builders

Small Business Saturday is happening November 25th, and you have just about one month to make it a profitable day for your business.

When most of us think of Small Business Saturday (November 25, 2017), we think of a smaller version of Black Friday – long lines, overrun retailers and the holiday shopping rush that ensues this time of year.  While Small Business Saturday is intended to give small retailers a similar boost to their larger chain store competitors, it is also designed to bring attention to small businesses in the community.  Beyond driving traffic to the “Mom and Pop” boutique down the street, if used properly, it can drive attention and traffic to your small home building or remodeling business.

In order to be properly prepared and take advantage of this national day dedicated to small businesses, here are a few tips and resources that can get your marketing efforts and materials in gear:

Use #ShopSmall Marketing Resources – American Express provides a very easy-to-use online tool for creating banners and images that feature your business in the #ShopSmall logo.  Take advantage of the free marketing resources provided in order to be a part of the movement and get noticed.

Spread the Word on Social Media – Now that you have a few images and #ShopSmall resources in place, start spreading the word.  From social media to your website, make your participation in Small Business Saturday known and link it back to your latest offer or discount, website or a landing page specific to featured holiday deals.

Launch an Email Marketing Campaign – Whether you add Small Business Saturday to an e-newsletter you already have in place or launch a specific campaign leading up to the holidays, now is a great time to give your email marketing campaign a little extra boost.  After all, this is the start of the holiday season, and there are plenty of home services, remodeling and seasonal upgrades that can be packaged to fit your prospects’ holiday and winter needs.

Find Small Business Partners – Get in on the hype and Small Business Saturday events in your area.  Show your support on social media of other local small businesses and find non-competing partners to do the same for your business.  If you want to take it a step further, you may consider rallying businesses to participate by becoming a “Neighborhood Champion” which provides an opportunity to network with neighboring businesses and discover potential partners.

Launch a Direct Mail Campaign – Turn your direct mail into holiday mail.  Consider using this time to change up your direct mail approach by bringing attention to your participation in Small Business Saturday.  This time of year also serves as a great time to offer discounts and seasonal pricing as a gift to new clients, as well as a chance to thank and wish your current clients a happy holiday season.  To ensure that your efforts are effective, review your contact lists for accuracy and secure lists of new prospects from reputable sources like HBW so that you know data is valid and up-to-date.

From networking in your community and social media to developing discounts and programs specific to the seasonal needs of homeowners, Small Business Saturday provides your business a starting point for launching a successful holiday marketing campaign.

For more information on construction business and marketing tips, stay connected with the HBW Blog.  To get ahead of construction activity and gain access to the latest permitting data in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma, contact HBW for more information on construction data reports and industry leads.

Florida New Home Construction Increased 12% Through Q3

Quarterly Report: In comparison to 2016, new residential construction in Florida is on the rise and already showing a year-over-year increase of 12% through the third quarter of 2017.

An average of approximately 1,000 people move to Florida every day – 1,000!  This type of growth requires the construction industry to keep up with this ever-growing demand.  Over the last five years, there have been annual increases anywhere from 14% to 31% in new residential construction in the Sunshine State.  Every year, there are more and more housing starts on file with HBW, and in 2017, there are already more than 55,000 housing starts on file through the third quarter.

According to recent reports from The U.S. Census Bureau (source: Associated Press), the Tampa area had the nation’s fourth-highest gain from new residents moving there last year; just about 58,000 new residents moved there in the span of one year. South Florida also ranked high on the charts, having the nation’s seventh highest gain from migration, adding about 48,000 new residents last year.  In the Central portion of the state, Orlando ranked eighth-highest having added nearly 47,000 new residents last year.

This year, patterns in new residential construction are equally as impressive.  Out of the more than 55,000 housing starts through Q3 across Florida, the southeast region is experiencing the greatest year-over-year increase (+27%), and West Florida holds the greatest total number of housing starts (12,185 permits).  Central Florida is also experiencing gains in new homes as there have been nearly 11,400 housing starts through Q3, reflecting a 9% increase over the same time last year.

FL Resid. Permit Totals Q3-2017

While every major region is experiencing increases ranging from 4% to 27% in new residential construction this year, when looking at specific counties there are even more impressive gains identified.  For example, Miami-Dade (SE) is ahead of last year’s figures by a whopping 90%, having 1,777 housing starts through Q3, and Sumter County (West) has already reflected a 60% year-over-year increase with more than 1,080 housing starts.

While Orange County (Central Florida) hasn’t experienced gains in new construction since 2016, it is the leader for total housing starts by far with 4,577 new permits on file through Q3.  Hillsborough County (West) where Tampa is situated currently ranks second highest in the state for total housing starts as there are more than 3,750 new permits (+9%) on file for the given period.  Coming in third, Polk County (West) has experienced a 20% year-over-year increase in new home construction, resulting in approximately 3,150 new permits added to the HBW database.

FL Top 10 Counties for Total New Residential Permits thru Q3-2017

Information utilized for the graphs and above listed figures for Florida residential construction was directly derived from HBW construction data reports. To gain access to the HBW database and receive custom and detailed reports on the latest residential and commercial building activity in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma, please contact HBW for details.