View Mobile Site


Home Expo draws hundreds

Industry hoping to lure customers with a buyer’s market; customers hoping to find a few deals

POSTED: March 5, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Ron Farmer of Gainesville Winnelson Co. shows Lori Rowberry of Dacula a new type of flushing system during Saturday's Home Expo at the Georgia Mountains Center.

View Larger
At least one exhibitor at Saturday’s Home Expo believes reports of the death of the home industry — at least locally — have been greatly exaggerated.

"The illusion that the market is dead is erroneous. People are just shopping smarter," said Jim Lawson, Builder’s First Source representative.

Builder’s First Source was one of the 64 companies with a booth at the 2008 Home Expo. The event drew companies ranging in specialties from homebuilding supply, real estate, window and door installation and even carpet cleaning. The annual Home Expo is sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Gainesville-Hall County.

Lowe’s was among the homebuilding supply companies at the event. The company’s booth offered information, but also featured a stage that showcased do-it-yourself demonstrations throughout the day. Demonstrations included a Kid’s Clinic in the morning that had 50 volunteers build a home basketball goal.

Lamar Cooper, a Lowe’s representative, helped visitors with at-home services, including information about home consultations.

Compass Realty Sales representative, Kim Hollingsworth said her day at the expo was successful. With three community properties on Lake Lanier, Hollingsworth says it’s a buyers market. Compass Realty was among many sales agencies handing out business cards and information to those seeking to take advantage of the market.

Homebuying and building were not the only exhibits featured at the Home Expo.

Frank Keats cooked a five-course meal in 15 minutes at the Kitchen Craft booth. His product, waterless cookware, is made in America and "guaranteed forever," Keats told his audience of about 20. Keats gave out free cookware, cooking tips and health facts for all his visitors.

"Cook without grease and without water and it keeps the vitamins in. It’s better for you and it tastes better," Keats said.

Norma Parker of Lamberts Landscape Services said she set up a booth at the expo to "get involved with builders in Gainesville. We like the people and the community of Gainesville."

Parker’s booth showed potential customers a visual representation of what her company can do with landscape.

"They love the product, but they are afraid of the drought," she said. Many companies, including Lamberts, exhibited water saving tips.

In addition to the home and garden companies at the expo, Habitat for Humanity and Master Gardeners also had booths.

Home Expo visitors got free samples from many companies like Kitchen Craft and CitruSolution, which gave out a free sample of citrus cleaner.

Kevin O’Brien of CitruSolution said the expo was "the most successful showing we’ve ever done."

Potential customers like Bonnie and Harley Jones of Flowery Branch said they visited the expo because they will be adding a 400-square-foot addition to their home and need some ideas on what to do with it.

"Design is the main concern," Harley Jones said.

Bonnie Jones said that the Area Decor booth and Georgia Spa Co. were the most helpful. Both Joneses said they enjoyed the display at the Open Enclosures booth.

Lawson got seven jobs out of the expo last year and claimed more than 15 potential jobs from this year’s. As far as work goes, Lawson said, "I sell what the customer wants ... the business is as strong as it needs to be at the moment."

The Home Expo had some 700 guests Saturday at the Georgia Mountain Center and lasted from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The show continues today from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults 12 and up; children younger than 12 get in free.


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.




Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...