THE LOCAL HBA IS ONE of the first phone calls a home buyer will make when shopping for a home in a new community. About two years ago, when the market was hot, the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee received a flood of calls and came up with the idea of redirecting inquiries by posting new-home information and supporting maps on a public Web site.
Through a partnership with National Survey & Engineering of Brookfield, Wis., the builder trade group developed the site, which today lists information on 1,800 new homes from 193 companies.
“We used to issue a print map of all our projects, but the map became outdated quickly,” says Matt Moroney, executive director of the Milwaukee builder group. “Now, our members update the site at minimum every 30 days, and we've created a one-stop shop on the Web for potential home buyers,” he says.
To access the new-home information, home shoppers can log on to www.mbaonline.org and click on “Find a Member” in the upper right-hand corner of the site page. From there, visitors can search by lots, new homes and condos, open model homes and condos, builders, remodelers, developers, and construction services and materials.
Searches for new homes are supported by maps that offer general driving directions and highlight the locations of new homes, lots, and open model homes. For more specific driving instructions, home shoppers need to call the builder.
“Our goal is to drive the site traffic to the members,” says David Haines of National Survey & Engineering, which worked closely with the Milwaukee builder group on the project.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Milwaukee, WI.