How hard is it to get prospective new homebuyers to drive out to the hinterlands to walk through, let alone purchase a new home? Just to get them to hit the highway, homebuilders across the nation are going to great lengths.

According to a recent report by BUILDERonline.com, Kimball Hill Homes is giving away a $50 gas card just to entice people to take a stroll through their model homes, Maryland-based Ryan Builders gives non-contingent buyers a choice of covering closing costs or receiving a $5,000 gas card, and Parkside Custom Homes will give you $100 in gas per week for 100 consecutive weeks just for buying one of its two spec-built homes at Eagle Mountain Lake in Dallas.

Other builders around the country are asking people to register to win gas cards for their visit to new home communities. Iincentives like this lure people to a building site they may otherwise not visit, according these builders' executive marketing teams. Some builders even extend rewards to real estate agents for accompanying their clients to a subdivision, where salespeople use them as a "thank you" gift just for visiting.

BUILDER also reports homebuilding giant Beazer Homes held an internal sales contest by offering the year-long use of a branded Smart Car to the division with the highest sales percent to goal. The winner? Their Charleston division, selling 75 homes and exceeding their sales goal by 50 percent. The car is covered with logos announcing Beazer's newly-launched eco-friendly initiative, eSmart.

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