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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Mar. 15, 201803:35 PM EST

Parade of Homes expands, adds features

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Event grows from two weekends to three, new app will bring voting to the palm of visitors’ hands.
by: Andrew Warfield Staff Writer

Extended hours, the addition of a third weekend and expanded promotional efforts are some of the changes coming to the 64th annual Northeast Florida Builders Association Parade of Homes.

This year’s Parade will be  weekends April 14-29. The opening weekend is Saturday and Sunday only, the successive two weekends Thursday to Sunday.

The Parade of Homes provides Realtors with an  opportunity to plan tours for clients.

The extra weekend and extended hours from noon to 6 p.m. are aimed at providing flexibility for agents and home shoppers.

“As a builder, the Parade of Homes is the annual opportunity to put your very best and newest product on display for the public, and the public very much looks forward to it, so it’s the best of both worlds,” said 2018 NEFBA President Chris Dostie.

“People who just like to look at pretty houses become acquainted with your product, and builders are excited to have their newest models and design trends on display. It’s just a really great time right in the peak of the sales season,” he said. 

For this year’s Parade, NEFBA is launching a new app and website. The app will feature every entry in the Parade and help house hunters to plan their day and navigate their preferred course from among more than 100 entries throughout the region.

Each entry will include a builder profile with builder log, picture and description. There will be a gallery of floor plans along with exterior and interior photos. 

“We have as an association made what I think are some fantastic changes to benefit the consumer. The magazine is the best-quality one we’ve done yet and the app will be beneficial to help people navigate the day,” said Dostie. “They can chart a course from their phone and get directions.”

A ratings page also will be available through the app, which is how the public will judge:

• Best Kitchen;

• Best Master Bathroom;

• Best Outdoor Living;

• Best Interior Design; and 

• Best Floor Plan.

The app also will feature a map of all homes located by their latitude and longitude, and will have a directory of NEFBA members specializing in construction-related fields.

The website will offer the same features as the mobile app at paradeofhomesjax.com. 

Judging has been moved to a Saturday — this year on March 31 — which, according to NEFBA, will provide an opportunity to recruit more skilled judges.

An hourlong television special will be produced by and aired on WJXT Channel 4, detailing the logistics of the Parade and featuring model homes from across the price point spectrum. Social media marketing for the Parade will be expanded with a presence on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.

“I can’t thank Nocatee enough for stepping up and being our title sponsor,” added Dostie.

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