Key Learnings from the New Orleans Southern Living & Coastal Living Home Summit

Apr 19, 2018

Now in the 25th year of their custom builder program, Southern Living and Coastal Living magazines hosted their annual Home Summit in New Orleans in March to provide learning and networking opportunities for the homebuilder community. As a major sponsor of the event, Belgard joined other architectural suppliers and industry professionals in showcasing innovations and providing insights that affect various aspects of the homebuilder industry. Below are some of the key learnings from the two-day summit.


Design Insights:

  • In both interior and outdoor living design, livability has become a key driver. Homeowners want spaces that are both beautiful and comfortable.
  • The kitchen continues to be the heart of the home, and that trend has trickled into the outdoors, as outdoor kitchens are becoming a staple of custom home design.
  • Curb appeal holds an increasingly higher level of importance, making paver driveways, masonry accents, and manufactured stone veneers all a good return on investment.
  • Small, intimate spaces are trending, both in interior and outdoor design.
  • Interest in permeable pavers for driveways and real estate development infrastructure has increased across the South due to the recent floods in Houston and increasingly stringent stormwater management regulations in various municipalities.
  • Clean lines and neutral tones continue to drive design trends. Pops of color also continue to trend, but the popularity of specific shades varies by season.
  • Homebuilders were intrigued by the Belgard Design Studio virtual reality design platform and foresee it to be a tremendous tool in selling outdoor living upgrades.


Marketing Insights:

  • Multiple presenters stressed the importance of having a strong web presence and solid social media marketing program.
  • Marketing photos should emphasize livability and allow potential homeowners to picture themselves living in each space. Photo styling is a must!
  • Presenters stressed the importance of understanding your brand, communicating it properly, and creating a marketing plan and calendar.
  • Attention spans are decreasing; thus, marketing messages must be concise.
  • For social media marketing, images and videos get more clicks than words.
  • Marketing materials should reflect the quality of your workmanship and your brand.
  • Event marketing is very effective for homebuilders, but getting the word out is key.
  • Virtual events (like Facebook live) can also be an effective marketing tool for builders.


Event Videos

Home Summit Networking and Learning




Belgard Happy Hour / Wrap Party Second Line





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