NBN Online for the week of February 6, 2006

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In This Issue:

Front Page
So Cal Builders Launch TV Ads to Counter Growing NIMBYism
Builders Call for Sensible Flood Insurance Reforms From Congress
Circuit Court Returns Wetlands Case to District Court
Coast to Coast
Living Ever Larger: Estates in the Sky
Politics & Government
White House Cool to Rep. Baker's Katrina Recovery Plan
Congress Votes to Repeal Controversial Anti-Dumping Law
Economics & Finance
Big Builders Will Be Less Acquisitive in 2006
Regulators' Expansion of Housing Data Could Boost Lending
Builder's Tip: Coping With Mini-Grinders
Business Management
Analysis Yields Better Management, Greater Profits
See How You Measure Up With ‘Cost of Doing Business Study’
50Plus Housing
Beyond Location: Factors That Drive Active Adult Sales
Best Of Seniors Housing Honored at Builders' Show
Gen X Demand Providing a Strong Follow-Up to Boomers
Construction Safety
Web Tool Provides Quick Start on OSHA Compliance
OSHA Resources Helping Katrina Recovery Workers
New Green Building Course Part of CGB Designation
Education Calendar
Green Building
Conference Focuses on Green Building Market
Builders Say Quality Matters, Raises Productivity, Profitability
Three 20 Club Members Named America’s Best
‘Fear Factor’ Sells Advanced Home Technology
Precautions Minimize Hospital’s Katrina Damage
NAHB Student Members in the Spotlight at Builders’ Show
Building Products
Group Provides Expertise on Home Electronics Options
NAHB-Produced Programs on HGTV & DIY This Week
Texas Builder Earns Top Honor for Community Service
Association News
2006 NAHB Committee and Council Leadership
Calendar Connects Members to NAHB Resources
GM $500 Exclusive Offer for NAHB Members
Calendar of Events
NAHB Career Center

‘Fear Factor’ Sells Advanced Home Technology

While it sounds counterintuitive, builders attending a convention seminar last month in Orlando, Fla. were told that emphasizing the negative is often the best way to convince consumers to incorporate advanced technology into their homes.

“We’re more afraid of losing than we are happy about gaining,” said Maureen McNulty, the information and outreach coordinator for the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) program, a public-private partnership that works to speed the development and adoption of advanced building technologies.

“Do the right thing is a message that does not motivate people to act,” she added. “Loss messages are more powerful than gain messages in eliciting action.”

When pitching products, McNulty said that builders should utilize the “fear factor” and frame the argument by emphasizing to buyers what will happen if they don’t purchase these products.

For example, when selling energy-efficient upgrades, she said to stress that monthly energy bills will run significantly higher with lower-grade insulation and that these added costs will erode their quality of life by taking a bite out of the family budget.

“What will have to go? Dance lessons? The morning latte? Make the loss tangible,” she said.

Noting that many PATH-profiled technologies can mitigate wind and water damage, McNulty said the sales pitch should focus on the specter of major storm damage, or complete devastation.

“Invest now, or be sorry later,” she said.

Summing up this sales philosophy, McNulty said: “You’re not selling upgrades. You’re warning consumers about the risk of downgrading.”

Outscoring the Competition

In evaluating the decision-making process of consumers, Bill Asdal, president of Asdal Builders LLC based in Chester, N.J., said that the three main components involve criteria, weighting and scoring.

Criteria include such factors as cost, contractor pressure, social responsibility (the right thing to do) and peer pressure (keeping up with the Joneses).

Asdal developed spread sheets that reflect how consumers weigh individual criteria and assign an overall score to the process.

The idea, he said, is to create a “value proposition” that outscores the competition.

“If you can create value, you can probably close the deal,” said Asdal. “If they want it, I show them their return.”

In seeking to sell advanced technologies, McNulty said that earned media is a far more powerful tool than purchased advertising.

“Be newsworthy. Get stories of innovative projects in trade publications or published by PATH. Earned media is gold.”

Builders utilizing innovative products, techniques or practices were also encouraged to contact PATH to be featured in PATH case studies examining the latest advanced building trends and to also become a PATH partner.

For more information, visit www.pathnet.org, or e-mail info@pathnet.org.


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Freddie Mac

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> Freddie Mac Takes an In-Depth Look at Asian Homebuyers in the U.S.

Sponsored by
McGraw Hill

> Find and manage projects right from your desktop.
> Get your company listed in the new McGraw-Hill Construction Directory.

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> Custom Builder Symposium - Oct. 27-29
> Building Systems Councils Showcase - Nov. 5-8
> State & Local Government Affairs Conference - Nov. 9-11