What Happened to Modern Home Tours?
In July 2016, Modern Home Tours LLC became the Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS) – a new multi-media entity that not only expands our home tour offerings but brings us closer to fulfilling our core mission: to create a vibrant, global community of modern architecture and design enthusiasts. Our aim is to provide multiple platforms that inspire engagement with the people, places, and things that define the “modern” movement. When a MA+DS member (you!) clicks on a picture on our website, reads a Q&A on our blog, or explores a living space on one of our tours, we hope to deliver a unique experience and opportunity to enrich the collective appreciation of modern architecture, design, and style. Our Home Tours remain a cornerstone of our operation, but have been renamed as the annual MA+DS Home Tour.
What does it mean to participate in the MA+DS Home Tour? What do I get out of it?
As a participant in one of our MA+DS Home Tours, your home is the star of the show! If you’re an architect, this is an opportunity to show off your work to design enthusiasts, colleagues, and prospective homeowners. If you’re a homeowner, this is a chance to show off your home and its features to an audience of modern design lovers. Plus, you’ll help your architect garner some much-deserved local spotlight for the day. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a portion of ticket sales from the tour will go to a local nonprofit or to our new scholarship fund for budding architects, designers and other home-industry related fields.
As a participant, what do I have to do to prepare for the tour?
There is a small checklist of items that need to be gathered or prepared in advance of the tour:
- CLEAN THE HOME – This is the biggest item on the list. Please give the home a basic clean-up. Try to remove clutter and give a nice surface dusting and cleaning with a good vacuuming. Remember, your home is a work of art being featured in our gallery of homes, please make it shine as best you can!
- CONTACT INFO – It is essential that we have contact information for a person designated to be the point of contact on the day of the tour, should we need to reach someone at the property during the tour. This is very important (think of it as the emergency contact for the day of).
- SMALL TABLE AND CHAIR – Please provide a small table (a tray table or card table work perfectly) and a chair for the ticketing staff who will be stationed at the entrance of the home. These items are quite essential to a smooth running station on the tour. If you cannot provide one, please let us know immediately.
- FACT SHEET – We highly recommended that all participating architects, designers, and realtors collaborate to create a one-page fact sheet on the home that will be available to guests on the day of the tour. The fact sheet can include basic facts – the year the property was built, square footage, number of rooms, building materials, green certifications, etc. – but we also encourage you to add a personal touch – divulge the details of your inspiration for the design, or perhaps a unique story about the home. This is the visitors’ takeaway from the home – it’s your chance to impress them on paper!
- SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS – If there are any special instructions for the home that we need to know about, please let us know well in advance. Specifically, let us know about areas of the home that may need to be closed off, special parking instructions for the neighborhood, unique instructions that visitors may need to know to locate the property easily, or if you’re requesting extra bodies due to a very large property. It is imperative that we know about these things in advance so that there are no surprises on the day of the tour.
Are FOR SALE homes allowed?
In short, YES. Many other tours do not allow homes that are on the market to participate in their tours, but we do in very small numbers. However, there are a few rules and stipulations that come with the acceptance of a form sale home to one of our tours:
- There is a $500 participation fee for all homes on the market to participate
- The home must be fully completed and staged
- The home must be a truly fantastic example of modern architecture
- The participant must agree to keep the home on the tour even if an offer comes in or the home becomes ‘in contract’ prior to the tour. The only exception we will make is if the home is sold, sale completed, and the new owners have occupied the home, and do not wish to participate in the tour.
- Finally, most importantly, our event must remain an architecture tour, and not an open house event. We do not allow banners, balloons or other signage that promotes a real estate event over our architecture tour.
How will the tour be promoted?
We utilize several avenues of promotion for our tours, almost all are organic and grassroots. First and foremost we go for traditional, editorial coverage in the local paper. We also partner with a local magazine, we reach out to TV and radio, as well as bloggers, event/calendar sites, news sites, community papers, and anyone else with a means to spread our message. But, we also rely on our participants (owners, architects, non-profits) to spread the message. We ask participants to help us by posting on Facebook and tweeting the event to everyone they know! To help, we give all participants a unique coupon code to promote.
How many people do you expect to attend?
Our tours draw a crowd of (usually) 300-600 people. There are several factors that determine the final number of attendees, including quality and quantity of homes, promotional effort, and even the weather.
What about the safety of my home and possessions?
Letting people you don’t know inside your home (or your client’s home) is an understandable concern for any homeowner. We can offer you the peace of mind that if anything happens to your home, whether it’s damage or theft, we have you covered. Every Tour is fully-insured up to $2 million in liability, and every home and homeowner is covered as an “additionally insured” individual.
What about foot traffic?
Protecting your floors and keeping your homes clean is a must for us. All visitors are instructed to remove their shoes before entering the properties. If there are visitors that wish to keep their shoes on (or have difficulty removing them with ease), we will have protective shoe covers (booties) supplied at each home.
Are the homes staffed?
One of the few responsibilities we place on the participants is making sure the inside of the home is properly staffed with an appropriate number of bodies. In every city we visit, we partner with a local non-profit organization. We rely on them to help us place docents at each home for the day. We do ask our non-profit partners to provide us with multiple bodies for each home. However, as we are relying on volunteers, the final number of staff members may be fewer than what we are looking for. In most cases, we are only able to provide ONE person per home at any given time. We do promise to have, at the very least, one person at the door to facilitate the ticketing and check-in process throughout the duration of the tour. As the tour gets closer, we will have a better idea of how many docents we will be able to provide per home; but regardless of that number, we ask that participants be ready to have their staff on site to discuss the project with visitors as a way of keeping the tour interactive. It is not necessary to have a person in each room of the home, as our tour-goers are a generally polite crowd that treat the homes on our tours like museums and the galleries of art they are.
Does a representative or myself need to be at the home all day? (Architects, designers, realtors)
YES. This is one of the few MUSTs for the tour. For participating architects, designers and realtors, we STRONGLY encourage that you be in the home, along with one or two representatives from your firm, during the tour at all times. The tour-goers will have a much better experience getting to talk to the people that helped bring the home to life; active participation from those well versed in the home’s history, inspiration, and design is essential to the overall success of the tour.
As a homeowner, can I be home during the tour or do I have to leave?
As a homeowner, we encourage you to be there during the tour. It’s your house on the tour, so we want you to be there to show it off and brag about your incredible dwelling. You’re also more than welcome to go on the tour yourself. It’s entirely up to you.
Can my pet be around during the tour?
We love pets. However, pets and home tours sometimes don’t mix. We ask that you find accommodations for any pets that you have in your household the day of the tour. That can be as simple as letting them stay with a friend or, as a last resort, you can close off a room of the house and let them stay in there during the tour.
Can my friends and family attend the tour?
YES! We will provide 8 complimentary tickets PER PROPERTY. Those tickets should be shared between participating architects and homeowners. Past that, we encourage you to tell your friends and family about the event and ask them to attend the tour and support the featured architects, non-profit partner, and local architecture in general. We will provide a unique discount coupon code for you to share.
Where do my guests pick up their complimentary tickets?
We will send you a unique 100% off code that can be redeemed on Eventbrite for 8 tickets to the event. More instruction on how to redeem tickets will be given along with the code prior to the tour. There are no more will call stations. Every home on the tour can be a starting home – so your guests can take their paper ticket to any home on the tour to start their day. More details on the new ticketing process can be found in the Tour-Goer FAQ.