Zonda principal Mollie Carmichael kicks off the booth sessions at the 2022 International Builders' Show.
Courtesy Zonda Zonda principal Mollie Carmichael kicks off the booth sessions at the 2022 International Builders' Show.

More than 45,000 home building professionals turned out for the NAHB International Builders’ Show last week in Orlando, Florida. IBS and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show combined at the Orange County Convention Center for the annual Design & Construction Week, drawing more than 70,000 attendees.

More than 800 exhibitors packed IBS with their building products and technology offerings. The combined show featured nearly 1,200 exhibitors occupying approximately 725,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibits.

“The attendance at this year’s show exceeded our expectations and reflects the enthusiasm of the home building industry to collaborate and discover the latest products and technology solutions for their customers,” said Geoff Cassidy, NAHB senior vice president of exhibitions and meetings.

Zonda Thought Leadership


Zonda, BUILDER’s parent company, was among the prominent exhibitors at IBS. From consumer and product trends and an economic outlook to insights on the multifamily and hot single-family build-for-rent markets, Zonda executives delivered a wealth of content for attendees.

Principal Mollie Carmichael kicked off the booth sessions with “Are Buyers Willing to Pay That?”

“Millennials are finally buying homes in a big way all over the country,” she said.

According to Carmichael, the top three determining factors when buying a home are location, design, and price. Additional trends she said she is seeing are home buyers seeking clean, modern, and space-efficient homes as well as buyers adapting to a simpler a lifestyle.

Zonda's Tim Sullivan (left), senior managing principal, and Bryan Glasshagel, senior vice president, discuss the single-family build-for-rent market at the 2022 International Builders' Show.
Courtesy Zonda Zonda's Tim Sullivan (left), senior managing principal, and Bryan Glasshagel, senior vice president, discuss the single-family build-for-rent market at the 2022 International Builders' Show.

Zonda senior managing principal Tim Sullivan and senior vice president Bryan Glasshagel tackled single-family build-for-rent, the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s housing market. The executives shared that the sector is attracting renters who are less transient and often become potential clients for purchasing homes in the future, especially in a master-planned community setting. These renters want a private outdoor space, a clubhouse or a fitness room, a swimming pool, recreational space such as a dog park, and an on-site leasing office and maintenance.

Predicted to continue growing in the years ahead, they suggest seven questions to ask when considering the move into this sector:

  • Who are your expected renters?
  • Does the product meet their needs?
  • How is supply and demand?
  • What rent can be achieved?
  • How do rents compare with other housing options?
  • How high are operating costs?
  • Does the risk-adjusted return make sense?
Industry leaders share their insights on successfully selling homes online in the Zonda booth at the 2022 International Builders' Show.
Courtesy Zonda Industry leaders share their insights on successfully selling homes online in the Zonda booth at the 2022 International Builders' Show.

In “Housing, the Hottest E-commerce Ticket Item,” panelists—including Karyn Bonder, Zonda vice president of business development and builder sales and marketing; Jennifer Cooper, fractional chief marketing officer and executive marketing strategist at Evolution Marketing; Kevin Oakley, managing partner at Do You Convert; and Will Duderstadt, vice president and chief marketing officer at M/I Homes—provided some key takeaways on successfully selling homes online.

They shared that transparency is necessary; by offering detailed information on a home and all of its options can increase consumer trust, allowing buyers to self-shop and leading to more qualified buyers. It’s also important to sell an experience rather than just providing a list of specs. Offering a visual experience, such as interactive floor plans, and positioning content to convey a lifestyle within that home will likely intrigue more customers.

Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf at the 2022 International Builders' Show.
Courtesy Zonda Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf at the 2022 International Builders' Show.

Zonda Chief economist Ali Wolf also provided an economic update on the housing market. While the industry faces many headwinds—supply chain challenges are expected to continue for another 12 to 18 months—it is still continuing to experience growth, she said. By the end of 2021, homes sales were up 18% compared with 2020, and new-home sales were up 35% compared with 2019.

According to Wolf, 40% of builders said the spring selling season has started early, while 30% said it hasn’t started yet but there’s still strong demand. In addition, 90% of builders raised prices in January.

2022 sales will be dependent on supply, she said, but Zonda is estimating a 10.9% increase over last year.

Best of IBS Awards


On the final day of the show, NAHB named the winning products in the ninth annual Best of IBS Awards, which received more than 200 entries. The winners were selected by a panel of 24 independent judges made up of attending reporters and building professionals.

Taking this year’s Best in Show award is Evolve Stone, the very first stone cladding that can be face nailed in the same fashion as traditional siding, reducing installation time dramatically, according to the company.

Additional winners include:

  • Best Energy Efficient Product: SPAN Gen2 Smart Panel
  • Best Home Technology Product: SPAN Gen2 Smart Panel
  • Best Indoor Product: Murphy Door Flush Mount Pantry Door
  • Best Kitchen and Bath Product: Swidget 20/40/60 Control Switch
  • Best Outdoor Product: Barrette Outdoor Screen Panels
  • Best Window and Door Product: Endura Panolock Multi-Point Lock
  • Most Innovative Building Material: Evolve Stone
  • Most Innovative Construction Tool: GAF Energy Timberline Solar Energy Shingles

Save the Date

Design & Construction Week will expand in 2023. The National Hardware Show (NHS) will join with IBS and KBIS, Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, in Las Vegas.

“We are absolutely thrilled that the National Hardware Show will be in Las Vegas during the same time that Design & Construction Week takes place,” said NAHB CEO Jerry Howard. “NHS creates synergy with the International Builders’ Show and NKBA’s Kitchen and Bath Show. Co-locating NHS with IBS and KBIS will allow attendees to explore additional products and opportunities to grow their businesses and maintain a competitive edge in the market.”