The NAHB International Builders' Show 2024 Recap

The NAHB International Builders' Show 2024 Recap

Mar 6, 2024

The 2024 International Builders' Show (IBS) was a compelling experience for the entire Do You Convert team. It was a memorable event filled with many highlights, especially to have our very own Julie Jarnagin and Jen Barkan speaking! See the team's biggest takeaways from the 2024 International Builders' Show! 

Kevin Oakley:

Due to some odd restrictions on the number of available sessions to attend, I found I was unable to get into most sessions by the time I wrapped up other conversations and was able to make my way to the room. So... pro tip for next year is to schedule meeting locations with other people in the waiting line vs sales central or other locations. One more thing to plan for next time! My takeaways from this year's show are mostly informed by over 60 individual conversations I had with company owners, sales & marketing leaders, etc.

There is some serious dysfunction between departments out there right now. Each department (and sometimes the leader at the top) is oversimplifying what the other departments do. Marketing "just runs ads," drafting "just draws homes," and online sales "just answers the phone." This dramatic reduction of what people's jobs entail doesn't create an environment of collaboration and teamwork. This becomes a problem whenever you try to solve customer-facing challenges because inevitably they require departments to work together to address the root issues.

As someone who previously ran two home-building divisions for a public home builder, perhaps I am an anomaly among consultants/influencers, but for the sake of our industry and our customers, we need leaders to think holistically and be more collaborative. Yes, simplicity is to be desired - but not whenever it removes necessary complexity for optimal results for everyone involved. (hint - this is also why many current AI initiatives are mostly not producing consistent results yet).

On the other hand, I was immensely encouraged by several marketers I met with who are being given ever wider responsibility in their organizations or are voluntarily cross-training to better understand the big picture. The current crop of marketing leaders (we're on version 3.0 now) are impressive. SUPER impressive. Some are already running entire building companies and others will be soon. The future's so bright with talent in the marketing seat for companies that value it.

Mike Lyon:

The industry has some great vibes right now. Many builders have settled into this new market and are eager to learn and grow. This was evident through not only the educational sessions that were packed and had lines out the door begging to be let in (this happened to our very own Julie Jarnagin and her team of presenters), but it was also evident in the conversations in the halls, during dinner, and in Sales Central. In particular, the mergers and acquisitions market is frothy. Builders are on the hunt for acquisitions and any other way they can extend and expand their businesses. My personal biggest takeaway, albeit somewhat biased, is that the Do You Convert team is the best. Looking forward to the year ahead and everything we're doing alongside our builder partners.

Julie Jarnagin:

What a great week at IBS 2024! My biggest takeaway was a more significant focus on people. AI and technology were still big topics, but speakers and attendees discussed them in the broader context of using those tools to connect with people without removing the human element. 

This year, showcasing more humans in content, fostering deeper collaboration between departments, and leaning into connections with your team and homebuyers were all themes I took away from the show. 2024 will be the year of fostering connections and creating better collaboration for greater success!

Beth Russell:

Another great year at the Builders' Show! This was my first time attending as an official part of the DYC team, and to witness our team's impact on a grand scale was something special. It's so important that we continue to provide space for remarkable marketers and sales professionals to share what worked (and hasn't worked) for them, leaving the audience feeling empowered to go home and confidently promote change within their organizations. This year felt positive, and not just around the market. There was a lot of emphasis on building and nurturing strong teams, growth mindsets, internal processes and structures, and thoughtful leadership. Three things that stood out to me: 

  • Watching the room light up when Thomas Joyner from My Business on Purpose provided a framework for team structure, with an interactive and in depth organizational chart that linked out to team processes. 
  • Brian McCarthy speaking so eloquently about the opportunities to utilize tech to not only better our homes and business practices but to better the customers' home maintenance experience in an effort to make their home do the work for them. 
  • Connecting two fantastic business owners, Doug French and Alaina Money-Garman, around their passionate belief that homebuilders should build to give back to the community and contribute to the betterment of those around them who need it the most. 

Jackie Lipinski:

It was my first IBS show since 2020, and my first show not representing a home builder, and I loved every minute of it. IBS in 2024 had a clear vibe: it's the Year of Accountability and Building Certainty, both personally and professionally. I enjoyed hearing accountability stories about using unique tools, like a company using house-shaped sticky notes on a whiteboard to keep the entire building team on the same page, and the personal stories of so many individuals choosing to step up and lead by example this year. Plus, it was great to see so many builders aiming to seek out solutions regarding how they can build more trust, and build certainty in the home buying process, after reading the sad stat that “only 21% of buyers trust their home builder”. Let's keep the momentum going, and I hope to hear more stories next year about the changes builders implemented to create more trust through customer-centered and relationship-building marketing strategies.

Jessie Suggs:

What goes down in Vegas usually stays there, but let's bend the rules because this year's International Builders Show was absolutely unforgettable! With the biggest turnout in 15 years, it was a blast from start to finish. Here are some highlights:

  • Craig Neal and Chris Hartley's talk on the power of vulnerability and accountability in leadership was a real highlight. Their candid and witty conversation left me feeling inspired and entertained.
  • The Prayer Breakfast hosted by Homes for Hope was a beautiful addition, bringing us together to share encouragement and prayers for our industry. If you weren't there, you missed out on some truly uplifting moments.
  • Beyond the main events, seeing deserving professionals and companies honored at The Nationals Awards was a real treat. It's always heartwarming to celebrate the hard work and achievements of our top industry peers!

And of course, the Novi Homes Dunks added legit FOMO and excitement to the show! Those blue shoes were noticed wherever you went. Hats off to Novi for the extra dash of energy to the event!

Jen Barkan:

This year's Builders' Show was packed with surprises. 

Seeing Vegas, the show, and the education through my son's eyes as a new onsite sales associate was magical. It brought me back to my first time attending and how much I learned and was excited to take back and implement.  Sam left with 15 pages of notes, was back on site on Saturday, and helped 3 homebuyers "decide to buy" versus "help them look".  Thanks for the inspo Jim Suth!

The Nationals are always so fun especially when the Online Sales Specialists and Marketers we have the pleasure to work with are up for awards. Seeing their hard work highlighted is so rewarding and watching the subsequent impact they have on their peers in the industry is what it's all about. I can't wait to see what these superstars will do in the coming months. 

Sharing the stage with 2 brand-new speakers and seeing them crush it with their expertise was freakin' awesome. Our session on working with Realtors closed out the sales education on the last day with a nearly full room.  We brought 3 perspectives - buyer's agent, builder, and online sales and how all three can work together to create sales.

And finally.....I love my new dunks. Novi Home knows marketing. They have built an exceptional brand and culture and we can all learn something from them. 

Andrew Peek:

The “Hype Cycle” is in full force with AI! In my opinion, we are still at the “peak of inflated expectations” with how AI will impact marketing for home builders. Keep AI on your radar. Learn, test, and trial the AI tools available to us, but keep at the forefront of your mind that the strategy and application of the (any) available tool are what will drive success for your marketing.

Networking with others is one of the best, if not the best part of the builder show. Everyone has such a positive vibe and attitude and seems so willing to connect with others. Put yourself out there next year and see where it takes you. I’ve personally learned the most from connecting with like-minded marketers while in the hallways at the show. 

Online Sales & Marketing Insights Delivered Straight To Your Inbox

Get Free Insights