Suppose you had exactly one minute to turn a “looker” into a “buyer.” What would you say? Would you talk about the quality of the homes you build, the upscale amenities you offer, or the community's great location, location, location? Under normal market conditions, any of those might close the sale.

However, as we all know, the market today doesn't exactly fit the definition of “normal,” especially when measured against the torrid, unsustainable pace of recent years. And after being barraged for years by unfounded media predictions of an impending crash in the housing market, potential buyers are understandably hesitant to make a move in today's slower market. For most builders, that means that the first and most important step in making the sale is to show the potential buyer that today really is a good time to buy a new home.

A READY SOLUTION To help members and associations accomplish that task, the NAHB has produced a comprehensive new package of ready-to-use resources about the factors—such as low mortgage rates, competitive pricing, and ample inventory—that make today one of the best buyer's markets in many years.

Available free to NAHB members and associations through the NAHB Web site (, the “It's a Great Time to Buy” package provides a starting point for campaigns to galvanize prospective home buyers who have been discouraged by negative reports in the media to go out and see for themselves the range of opportunities that have opened up in today's slower marketplace.

Housing economists are predicting that the current adjustment period in housing from the unsustainably high levels of the past few years will be relatively short-lived, bottoming out by the middle of next year and leaving many markets with an insufficient supply of new homes to meet demand.

Among the resources in the buy-now package are:

  • Talking points, Q&As, and a sample press release;
  • Sample op-eds, a letter to the editor, and news-paper columns;
  • An economic backgrounder;
  • Print and radio advertisements;
  • Public relations advice on getting the message out through the media, events, and Web sites; and
  • A guide to help HBAs make the most of the buy-now package.
  • TAILOR YOUR APPROACH Because conditions vary from market to market, we don't expect individual builders and HBAs to use every single element of the “It's a Great Time to Buy” package. Instead, select the pieces that are most relevant to your market and customers and adapt them to meet your individual needs.

    I would also urge members who want to use the materials in the buy-now package to first check with their local executive officer to make sure that their efforts don't conflict with anything the HBA is planning and to see whether individual campaigns might be able to piggyback onto some of the HBA's activities.

    It's also important to remember that we will be updating “It's a Great Time to Buy” periodically, so be sure to check it often for new materials. And if there is something that you think would make a good addition to the package, please be sure to let the NAHB public affairs staff know. The materials are posted online at, and you must be logged in as a member to access them.

    As part of the “buy now” effort, the NAHB has also posted a number of consumer-oriented articles on the public part of the Web site to reinforce our message. They are at

    Finally, I want to say how pleased I am that the NAHB is offering this valuable resource to members and associations. Serving members' needs is our No. 1 priority, and these “buy now” materials definitely meet that goal.