Toolbox: How to I prepare?
How do I approach a homeowner?
If you need help convincing your homeowner to say yes to opening their home to the public, here are some tips that might help:
Offer to cover the expenses of the tour
- Dress up the yard with mulch, yard mowed if needed, plants, etc. at your expense.
- Offer to have their home professionally cleaned prior to and after the Tour. This is a great incentive that isn’t too expensive.
- If they plan to go out of town or visit relatives…pack a picnic basket filled with steaks and good wine. Or put together a “Best of KC” basket and include movie passes, Plaza gift certificates, etc.
- Give them the option of staying put or leaving during the Tour. Some contractors love to have the homeowners present so they can brag about that great NARI contractor. Sometimes the homeowners love the ability to get away…and you can make that easier by offering to put them up a nice local hotel…or by sending them to the Lake of the Ozarks, Branson, St. Louis, etc.
- Don’t forget to remind them, their participation helps raise funds for Kansas City NARI Future’s Fund, our charitable fund to enhance and promote careers in the remodeling industry.
Who will monitor the “public” in my home?
- Tell the homeowners that you will always supervise their home during the Tour.
- Let them know that the open hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Assure them that all visitors will be requested to wear “booties” and that carpet runners will be used. Post a sign at the home’s entrance that details the rules of the Tour for their home.
- Let them know that Kansas City NARI purchases a liability insurance package for the Tour during Tour hours. Perhaps your company can provide additional insurance coverage.
- Go over the entrance/exit plans and show them exactly how only the remodeled portion of their home will be accessible. Clearly mark any “off-limits” areas.
- Put them in touch with any homeowner who allowed you to use their house in previous tours. If you are entering for the first time in 2021, talk to one of the many NARI contractors who have participated in past tours and see if they can put their homeowner in touch with your homeowner. Call Austin Cornell with MSC Enterprises, Terry Skilling, CR, with Rhino Builders Remodel + Design, Donna Kirsopp, CKBR, with Schloegel Design Remodel, and Mary Thompson, CR, CRPM, with Architectural Craftsmen.
Tips on Making the Tour a Success
- Obtain proper permits that adhere to sign ordinances, parking, etc. (No Mission Hills homes or Corinth Downs subdivision in Prairie Village.)
- Determine a Path of Entry and Exit
- Determine if a Rain Plan (Entry/Exit) is needed and plan.
- For outdoor entries can you have home access to view the project?
- Set up in garage with story board or PowerPoint presentation
- Escort out to project by using huge umbrellas (type where 2-3 people can be under and not get wet)
- Rope off/add signage for areas that people should not enter. Remove valuables that are in sight.
- Add balloons or streamers to yard signs/directional signs to attract attention. (Please follow the Homeowners Association rules for yard signage, etc.)
- Have an outdoor party atmosphere if doing an outdoor entry.
- Provide garbage receptacle if providing food/drinks (optional idea, not required)
- Provide/know where to find brooms, vacuum, trash cans, glass cleaner, paper towels, removable tape, rope, and scissors for those unexpected mishaps.
- Have a front door ambassador to greet everyone, handle admissions and give directions as needed. You will need to provide a minimum of 2-4 people for the entire hours of the Tour.
- Have welcome signage at entrance. See below for examples
- Provide before pictures, especially near the area that has been remodeled.
- Have a flyer to hand out to people that explains the project and thanks consumers for coming. Include photos of this project to stir their memory after the Tour.
- Use a PowerPoint presentation with a laptop/tablet/smart TV, or a story/presentation board of the project. Before, during and after pictures are powerful marketing tools.
- Contractors often host a private open house on the evening before the Tour (Friday night) or the morning of the Tour (from 8 to 10 am) for neighbors or current/potential clients.
- Contractors with a home in the Remodeled Homes Tour send out direct mail with coupon attached to surrounding neighborhoods or place door hangers within a close proximity of the Tour entry.