People are always asking me how to find a builder they can trust! Last Thursday, you may have heard me Face-Booking, tweeting and making noises about Highland Homes, Darling Homes, Lantana and Castle Hills. And why was I so bullish on these¬† builders? Because they were cleaning up the show at the Home Builders Association of Greater Dallas McSam Awards. These winners were the People’s Choice because, for the fist time ever, people like you and me had voted on them, given them their seal of approval.

The McSam , or “maximum creativity in marketing and sales”, rewards excellence in building sales and marketing. High volume builders as well as luxury builders¬†who have created a Luxury Home of the Year can enter.¬† McSam is part of a bigger network of local and regional building excellence awards programs– such as MAME in California and Colorado, and the PRISM Awards in Houston. The program started in l979 and grew in the boom years of new home sales.¬† Usually a gussied-up, Oscar-style event, this year, as you can imagine, it was toned down to a dance boogie session at House of Blues. And in years past there have been more categories like architectural design, interior merchandising, individual sales achievement in all price categories, advertising and marketing programs, Builder of the Year and Community of the Year. The builders also did some “crowd sourcing” for a genuine real People’s choice Award. Highland Homes won People‚Äôs Choice Builder of the Year honors. Lantana was named People‚Äôs Choice Community of the Year.

Darling Homes was the REALTOR®’s Choice Builder of the Year, and Castle Hills was honored as the REALTOR®’s Choice Community of the Year.

Now in its 32nd year, The McSAM Awards added the new People‚Äôs Choice Awards based on consumer and real estate professional voting.¬† Market Research Answers, Inc. was enlisted to conduct a survey of recent homebuyers, prospects and real estate agents from email contact lists supplied by participating builders and communities, more than 30,000 contacts in all. MRA’s clients include Pepsico, Frito-Lay and Starbucks. MRA dug deep into respondent‚Äôs feedback about their experience on everything from home design, sales experience, customer service, community lifestyle and overall satisfaction.

“Specifically for the purpose of the People’s Choice Awards, Market Research Answers asked respondents to rate – on a scale from zero to 10 – how likely they would be to recommend a particular builder or community to a friend or family member,” explained Harold Gross of Market Research Answers. “This question is THE gold standard in customer satisfaction surveying.  Responses were tallied and for each builder and community and an average score was calculated – the winners, of course, being those builders and communities with the highest average score.”

Winners in additional judged categories were:

  • Best New Product ‚Äì K. Hovnanian Homes, The Villas at Craig Ranch;
  • Best Green Building Program ‚Äì Meritage Homes;
  • Most Innovative Marketing Concept ‚Äì Meritage Homes, De-Constructed Home Learning Center;
  • Luxury Home of the Year ‚Äì Simmons Estate Homes, Casa Montecito;
  • Multifamily Community of the Year ‚Äì Grenadier Homes, Villas in the Park;
  • Sales Professional of the Year ‚Äì Michelle Brighi, K. Hovnanian Homes; and
  • Real Estate Professional of the Year; ‚Äì Carole Waugh, Ebby Halliday REALTORS¬Æ.