In exchange for his $470 membership fee, Steven Dormann says he gets $30,000 worth of marketing value from the Lehigh Valley Builders Association(LVBA), which is part of the National Association of Home Builders network.
The president of S&D Renovations, in Breinigsville, Pa., asked LVBA’s staff where the organization spends its $30,000 marketing budget. The answer: radio, newspaper, magazine, and TV ads, which drive homeowners to the association website and encourage them to work with its members.
Though it is a general marketing effort, Dormann says that a savvy builder will provide a link to his website on the LVBA site and will use the association’s site to capture leads. In addition to general marketing, Dormann also benefits from participating in specific LVBA programs:
Design awards. He spends about $400 to enter the association’s design awards and receives $4,500 worth of marketing for his winning projects. The LVBA features the winners on its website and also advertises the program in magazines and newspapers. “It costs about $70 per entry, and we enter five to six projects per year,” he says. Dormann spends an additional $500 per year on photography. It takes him and his wife, office manager Lori Dormann, a full day to prepare the entries.
Home show. The remodeler spends $1,700 to set up a booth at the LVBA’s home show, which draws about 19,000 people and provides $65,000 worth of marketing for his company. “This is more focused because there may only be 10 remodelers in that show who share that marketing,” he says.
In 2006, Dormann spent a total of $2,500 for LVBA membership and programs, and received $99,000 worth of marketing in return. He attributes 12% of sales that year to his association membership. “About 10 out of 57 jobs were from the LVBA,” he says, noting similar statistics for the past few years. Homeowners who start with the LVBA are taking the time to research good contractors. “I know that is someone I want to work with,” Dormann says.
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.