Congratulations to Jorie Helms for being selected as a NextGen Under 30 winner!

Posted on September 9, 2019 by Mike Means

Congratulations to Jorie Helms, Director of Communications and Outreach, for being selected as a 2019 NextGen Under 30 winner! Now in its ninth year and expanding its scope and state-wide reach, NextGen Under 30 recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative, and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in various categories of endeavor. In addition, award winners are selected based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities. Jorie was selected from over 1,000 nominees by a panel of respected business and civic leaders who served as judges.

Jorie started at the Oklahoma Home Builders Association in 2017 where she focuses on Outreach projects, Member engagement, Social Media marketing, and much more. Jorie is also a proud member of The Association for Women in Communications.

To read more about the NextGen honorees, go to

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Millennial Home Preferences vs. Other Generations

Posted on August 15, 2019 by Jorie Helms

A recent study by NAHB reveals that millennials have a much stronger desire for certain bathroom features relative to older generations.

The report compiled survey data between 2007 and 2018 and found that the share of home buyers who want whirlpool tubs declines as the older generations age, but stays relatively constant for millennials. As of 2018, 70% of millennials expressed a strong preference for whirlpool tubs, compared to 62% for Generation X, 47% for baby boomers and 44% for seniors. See Figure 11.1 below.

Meanwhile, the share who want a dressing area increases for millennials while falling or staying constant for other generations (Figure 11.2).

Those who prefer his and her baths increases dramatically over the years for millennials and shows no real trend among the other generations (Figure 11.3).

Figures 12.1 through 12.4 below center on kitchen features. All four generations show an elevated preference for built-in kitchen seating. Of note is the increasing upward trend for millennials who desire trash compactors and built-in kitchen seating.

Finally, for the specialty rooms in Figures 13.1 through 13.3, millennials show a higher preference for exercise rooms, game rooms and media rooms than the other generations. Moreover, the gap between millennials and the older generations is quite substantial in 2018.

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Top 10 Features Millennials Want — and Don’t Want

Posted on August 15, 2019 by Jorie Helms

At least four out of five millennial buyers prefer laundry rooms, hardwood front exteriors, patios and garage storage. Conversely, they give a thumbs down to elevators, wine cellars and laminate countertops.

These were among the findings from a new study by the NAHB Economics team that focused on millennial home buying preferences.

The 2018 survey asked recent and prospective buyers to rate 175 different features on the following four-tier scale:

  • Essential: Unlikely to buy a home without feature
  • Desirable: Seriously influenced to buy home if included
  • Indifferent: Would not influence purchase decision
  • Do Not Want: Not likely to buy a home with feature

No. 1 is a laundry room, which 86% of millennials want. Other features on the top 10 list include a walk-in pantry, exterior lighting, a front porch and table space for eating.

Millennial preferences differed somewhat from baby boomers and seniors. Unlike millennials, boomers did not include a walk-in pantry, front porch, table space for eating and double sink in their list of top 10 amenities. Likewise, seniors omitted a hardwood front exterior, walk-in pantry, front porch and table space for eating from their 10 most wanted features.

Nearly half of millennials (47%) cited elevators as the feature that they are least likely to want, followed by cork flooring in the main living spaces (33%) and wine cellars (32%).

Millennials have also been shifting their preference of master and standard bedrooms over the years. In 2007, 80% preferred one full master bedroom suite plus three standard bedrooms and 20% desired two full master bedroom suites plus one standard bedroom.

By 2018, this 80-20 ratio dropped to 60% and 40%, respectively.

View the full study.

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Posted on July 31, 2019 by Jorie Helms


OKLAHOMA CITY (July 31, 2019) — Oklahoma City-based Dolese Bros. Co. was recently recognized by the National Safety Council with an Exemplary distinction award for its efforts to reduce the number of accidents occurring on Oklahoma roads. Dolese was one of two Oklahoma employers to receive the inaugural Our Driving Concern Oklahoma Employer Traffic Safety Awards for the Exemplary distinction.

“We are honored to be recognized as a leader in safety,” Dolese President and CEO Mark Helm said. “This achievement is the direct result of each and every employee’s commitment and focus on making safety a personal value.”

The awards were presented in partnership with the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office and the Oklahoma Safety Council at the Oklahoma Safety and Health Conference in Oklahoma City. The seven recipients emerged from a diverse pool of applicants and were evaluated by employee education, training and other traffic safety initiatives. The categories were Exemplary, Award and Honorable Mention.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, nearly 200 crashes occur every day and more than 650 people are killed on Oklahoma roads each year.

In 2014, Dolese implemented in-cab video cameras and sensor system to their fleet which has reduced accidents company-wide, and more importantly in the communities where Dolese operates. The cameras activate when a driver brakes too quickly, turns too sharply, swerves or accelerates too fast. This tool is used as a coaching tool to improve driver safety, not to punish drivers. Employees receive recognition and awards for reaching safe driving goals.

This effort has shown great results. In 2018, the number of coachable events for the company were at an all-time low.

“Our drivers take pride in their work and are keeping safety top of mind,” Dolese Occupational Health and Safety Director David Finley said. “Their proactive safety behavior is resulting in less incidents and fewer days of work missed due to injuries.”

Additionally, Dolese actively works to implement trainings and other programs to enhance their drive toward safety.

“This recognition is a morale boost for our employees who are making a conscious effort to keep themselves, their peers, our customers and the traveling public safe,” Helm said. “This distinction acknowledges that we are making progress toward achieving our goals and offers us a challenge to continue improving.”

Suzanne Singleterry,

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Why Boomers May Be Looking Local for Retirement

Posted on July 3, 2019 by Jorie Helms

More baby boomers continue to work past the age of 65, but many are still looking toward retirement, including downsizing their current home and finding a location that fits their lifestyle. Because they may still be working full or part time, however, they may not have the flexibility — or desire — to move to more destination-oriented locations.

To meet this growing demand, builders are looking toward less traditional locations to create housing for 55+ home buyers. Major developers have started to construct in areas around Boston, Minneapolis and Newark, N.J., for example, to match the needs of this working demographic — a trend likely to continue as the oldest members of Generation X are now starting to reach the age of 55.

“This is a real opportunity for builders to capitalize on the boomer population — a large, affluent demographic with equity to trade into a new home,” observed Deborah Blake, principal at The Ipsum Group. “Builders are able to start with smaller communities — around 300 to 500 units or less — in locations that you wouldn’t necessarily think of for communities in the past.”

One of the biggest hurdles builders may face in local communities is that boomers oftentimes choose to stay in their current homes because they don’t know what other options are available to them. To make the move, buyers need to see the value of a new home or community, and how it’s better suited to their lifestyle. Features such as single-level living, universal design concepts, and a more attractive social network through amenities and other activities can be a major draw.

“I always say it’s ‘plussing your lifestyle without leaving your neighborhood,’” Blake noted. “They get to enjoy their career, with a full-time income, and live in a home that fits their lifestyle — it’s the best of both worlds.”

Builders are also experiencing strong competition in the resale market in popular destinations such as Arizona and Florida, she added. Buyers are able to purchase less-expensive homes in 25- to 30-year-old communities that have been well-maintained and boast vibrant groups of residents.

Before looking into local opportunities, however, it’s critical to understand this niche audience. “Success requires the right pricing and creating the right things to compel a 55+ buyer to say, ‘My current home doesn’t fit my needs or lifestyle,’” Blake stated.

Learn more about the features boomer buyers want, as well as tips on how to market to this demographic, through resources from NAHB’s 55+ Housing Industry Council.

With three decades of real-life experience — 22 years with Del Webb and the last seven-plus years advising clients across the United States at The Ipsum Group — Deborah Blake is uniquely qualified to provide pragmatic advice in the areas of consumer research, community feasibility, visioning, amenity and lifestyle programming, branding, marketing, sales, residential product, and operations of 55+ targeted and age-qualified communities.

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How to Communicate Across Generations in the Digital World

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Jorie Helms

Netiquette — etiquette for the digital world — is where common courtesy meets the Internet. Netiquette is necessary since business communications have evolved and become Internet-based. Telephone and snail mail are no longer the primary forms of business communication; texting, instant messaging and social media have taken precedence.

People often wonder how the various generations like to communicate. Knowing each generation’s preferences can make a world of difference in business.

Gen Z

  • Direct, visual and succinct
  • Communicate with images and multitask across several screens
  • Short attention spans, communicate in bite-sized snacks with punchy headlines, emoticons, photos and images


  • Hate talking on the phone
  • Prefer texting or messaging apps
  • Like thought-out responses afforded by texts, unlike personal conversations or phone calls
  • Will use email, although it is seen as less urgent than a text

Gen X

  • Adapt quickly to new technology
  • Grew up with the emergence of the PC, lived through the dot-com bust and the introduction of the cell phone
  • Can be reached with a variety of technologies
  • The most technologically versatile


  • Prefer face-to-face meetings
  • Talk on the phone
  • Use email, video conference, text, etc.; varies by individual, so their tech knowledge shouldn’t be underestimated
  • Stay accessible and visible

Above all, ask how someone wants to communicate. Once you know that, follow the eight rules of business communication:

  1. Know what you are going to say before you say it
  2. Less is more; keep it simple
  3. Use bullet points
  4. What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)
  5. Don’t get bogged down (tangents, lose focus)
  6. Call to action (again, what’s in it for me?)
  7. Edit, spell check and review once more
  8. Follow up

For more information on Netiquette, read the full article, “Manners for Digital Communication,” in the current issue of Building Women magazine authored by Carol Morgan, MIRM, CAPS, CSP. NAHB Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) is offering a free webcast to PWB Council members on Netiquette featuring Morgan today, June 27, at 2 p.m. ET. For more information about the webcast or PWB, contact Sheronda Carr.

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