What does Florida have to offer? Start a list and it sounds like a travel brochure: Beautiful beaches and scenic nature preserves; oceans, rivers and lakes for boating, fishing and swimming; unique theme parks and family-friendly attractions; cultural activities such as theater, music, dance and arts events; a rich and remarkable history – the list goes on and on. Add to that Florida’s climate, featuring an average annual high of 81 degrees Fahrenheit and an average annual low of 60 degrees, and the reason why it’s the Sunshine State is clear.
Get ready to participate. During Welcome Home Week, March 21-27, Realtors throughout the state are eager to welcome new residents to the ranks of Florida homeowners. This week offers the opportunity to spread the word that homeownership matters — and owning a home in Florida means putting down roots in paradise. Welcome Home Week builds excitement for owning a home in the Sunshine State and culminates in Florida Open House Weekend on March 26-27, raising public and media awareness, and encouraging participation in the largest open house event in the country.
Tips for Welcome Home Week
Feature a homebuyers event. Does your association or board sponsor a homebuying fair or homebuyers’ seminar? Welcome Home Week would be a perfect time to feature such events: Those educated buyers then will take advantage of the Open House Weekend on March 26-27.
Share home preparation ideas with sellers. Help sellers get their homes spruced up and ready for Florida Open House Weekend. Distribute these tips in newsletters, emails or on your websites:
Form strategic partnerships. Welcome Home Week offers a prime opportunity to form partnerships with local businesses to say “Welcome Home” to new residents, homeowners and potential homebuyers to the community. For example, a local Realtor association and home builders organization could co-sponsor a homebuyers expo during the week, providing an even bigger promotional punch for the event. Or team up with a local radio station, the chamber of commerce, a grocery store or a flower shop to conduct a communitywide contest for the best way to say “Welcome Home” – prizes could range from a grocery gift card to a flower arrangement, restaurant gift certificate and more.
Generate publicity. Spread the word about Welcome Home Week and Florida Open House Weekend – send a public service announcement on the event to local newspapers, TV and radio stations. Visit civic organizations and community groups, asking for five minutes to tell their audience about the events. Go before your city or county commission to request a proclamation declaring March 21-27, 2011, as “Welcome Home to Orlando Week” or “Welcome Home to Lee County Week,” for example. Talk up Welcome Home Week and Florida Open House Weekend wherever you go: you never know who’s listening!
Promote homeownership. Welcome Home Week provides a great framework to utilize content and resources available from the National Association of Realtors® as part of its Home Ownership Matters campaign. Research shows that homeownership strengthens communities and gives families a place to call home – a place to build memories over a lifetime. Housing opportunities abound in Florida’s communities, and Realtors are the vital connectors to help people realize their dreams of homeownership.
Free audio spots. Here are several audio spots telling the stories of homeownership. Share them with your sphere of influence, and note that there are several seconds of blank tape or “dead air” near the end, which can be customized by inserting your board/association name. Or attach the MP3 files, as is, to e-mails to customers and clients. Play the audio to kick off a board meeting. Think of all the possibilities to share the message.