Albany Builders Put Strength of Their Market in the News
Media coverage of the national housing downturn was having a negative impact on the Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association’s (CRBRA) market.
But in reality, the region — which consists of the New York communities of Troy, Schenectady, Albany and Saratoga County — is attracting new high-tech businesses and has weathered the downturn much better than other areas of the country. Home prices, payroll employment and population all rose in the past year.
“We avoided the big run-up in prices and the flood of speculators and investors in the formerly super-heated markets,” said Todd Stewart of Stewart Construction Inc., president of the CRBRA.
The association’s public relations committee decided to create a campaign to reach out to the community with facts and information. "Building Momentum in the Capital Region" was launched on March 18 with a “Real Estate Reality” symposium for builders, Realtors®, business leaders, local government officials and the media.
The invitation-only symposium sold out in three days.
“The 500 attendees were impressed and invigorated about the Cap Region growing strong,” said Pam Krison, executive officer for the CRBRA. “In fact, we ran out of space and had approximately 200 people on a waiting list.”
Panelists included representatives from Rensselaer Technology Park, the Center for Economic Growth and the Luther Forest Technology Campus, who spoke about favorable growth indicators such as General Electric’s construction of a $165 million facility and another tech company’s proposal to build a multi-billion-dollar chip manufacturing plant.
The Albany Times Union and the Schenectady Gazette covered the symposium with headlines including “Builders Make a Pitch for Hope” and “Builders Bullish on Region’s Prospects.”
Members funded the $30,000 needed to implement the campaign and were deeply involved in every aspect of the campaign’s development.
“One of the secrets to this success is a dynamic, talented and committed committee,” said Krison. “Over the past three to four months they have devoted many hours each week to make every facet of this campaign the best possible with our limited funds.”
The next phase of the campaign will consist of television and Internet advertising and a special section in the Times Union.
Krison said that the local press now reaches out to them to get the local story. “We are getting tremendously positive press almost on a daily basis now,” she said.
Another benefit of the campaign and symposium has been a stronger collaborative relationship with the local Realtors® association. “And our members see and appreciate the positive results,” added Krison, “which is most valuable during these economic times.”
Members and local associations finding themselves in a similar situation as the builders in Albany can turn the situation around by employing information and resources from NAHB to combat negative media stories and restore the confidence of hesitant buyers.
Click here to be linked to Myth Buster Resources.
Click here to read stories about other HBAs that have successfully combated negative media.
For more information on the Myth Buster Resources, e-mail Gwyn Donohue at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8447.