Douglas Reymore of Cascade Design/Build (Big50 2000) says more than one-third of his leads come from his participation in three Seattle home shows. The first home show in January spans nine days. The second show, in the fall season is four days, and the third specializes in remodeling.
For each of the shows, Reymore rents a booth and asks his employees to work it. “Split it up, get people to share the burden,” he advises. “During the week it's slower — you need more people on weekends.”
Reymore hangs large photos of a range of recent Cascade projects in the booth and also has albums of photos from past projects. He has some kitchen cabinets with a granite countertop that he uses for a display and as a desk.
Reymore says the most frequent question homeowners ask is the cost of the type of project they want done on their house. He gives them a range of costs and educates them about how materials and products affect the budget. He also explains the concept of design/build. He provides a copy of REMODELING magazine's Cost vs. Value report at the booth so visitors have an objective view of renovation values.
Reymore has a sign-up sheet for a free initial consultation at the booth during the show. His staff follows up within 24 hours to thank the customer and ask about their timetable. “The home show is just a one-week window in a 52-week year. Most people are thinking of remodeling next summer or the coming fall. The follow-up gives us a better feel for their timetable,” Reymore says.
Last year, Reymore found out about the remodeling home show from one of his fellow remodelers and decided to participate. “We received more solid leads out of that smaller show because it focused on remodeling instead of general home information,” he says.
For the nine-day home show, Reymore pays about $1,500 for a booth. At the two shorter shows, the booth charge is $500 to $750. In addition to that, he estimates $1,500 to $2,000 for personnel costs, renting the booth, and marketing materials.