As a homebuilder, you have to be smart about where you’re spending your marketing dollars. Your goal should be to direct the bulk of your budget to programs and campaigns that will ultimately drive results, which for builders means driving qualified traffic. The more qualified traffic you deliver to your sales team, the greater the opportunity for your sales team to covert those leads into sales. This is one of the most expensive purchase in a buyer’s life, and the sales cycle is arguably one of the longest they’ll every be a part of; so it’s important that you’re connecting with them emotionally and professionally on an ongoing basis throughout their new home search. So as new home marketers, how do we do it?
1. Deliver a fantastic home buyer experience. According to Neilsen Holdings, people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. This referral only comes from a great buyer experience. Provide your employees with the right tools to excel at tasks like answering the phones professionally and conveying the right first impression. Always keep the lines of communication open through simple follow-ups and check-ins that keep them informed and involved in the whole process. Make it easy for your customers to vouch for your business and want to become your number one referral source. Offer customer satisfaction surveys and listen to what your homebuyers are saying.
2. Develop a website that’s clean and an easy-to-navigate. Your website is your most valuable marketing tool, consider it your virtual storefront. Over 85% of homebuyers begin their search online. It establishes an impression of your business before potential customers even meet you. Great photos and videos are absolutely key; they should reflect your craftsmanship and relay a thousand words to your potential buyers. Photo and video should be shot professionally and with expert lighting – if there’s one thing we recommend splurging on, it’s this! Tools like community maps and points of interest maps help visitors visualize where you build, especially out-of-towners. Make your floorplans and available homes easy to find at the top of your navigation bar – second to photo galleries, these are typically the most visited web pages for homebuilders. In addition, we can’t stress enough, the importance of making your contact info easy to find on every page. Bonus points if you make it personal and add your Online Sales Counselor’s photo and name to your contact forms to get your prospects familiar with your team. Curious how your website measures up? Contact Group Two for a homebuilder website review.
3. Optimize for search (SEO). Maximize your digital presence by continually producing unique, quality content that showcases your industry knowledge and relate topics your buyers are searching online. Google recognizes the authenticity of your content and rewards it by ranking it higher in related searches. Do keyword research and analyze what your buyers are searching for, then tailor your content to those topics. From there, post frequent content to your blog and promote it through your social media channels.
4. Build an internal email system. Email campaigns are all about building that crucial relationship with buyers and providing them information that they need to make informed buying decisions (choosing you over other builders!). The more you stay in front of potential buyers, the more likely they’ll come back to you as they’re checking out your competition. Be consistent in pushing out new messaging regularly, and track which of this content is getting the most engagement and click throughs. Email marketing is one of the most cost effective marketing tactics you can use to push targeted messages and drive qualified traffic to the point of sale. Always segment your email lists as much as possible to tailor messages to each of your buyer segments with compelling images and subject lines.
5. Take advantage of events and trade shows. Show off your products and services at local Parade of Homes, realtor events, and even your own open houses and happy hours. Utilize social media to get the word out. Social media allows you to promote the event creatively to specific audiences at a very low cost. And if you do have the extra budget you can pair social campaigns with targeted emails, digital, print or direct mail – using multiple platforms to promote the event will increase effectiveness of the campaign. Once at these events, you know attendees are there with an interest in you and/or your industry, so make the most of it by offering incentives and promotions that make sense for your company.
6. Grow your online community through social media. It’s vital that you’re showing up where your buyers are. Humanizing your company by showing a “behind the scenes” look at your culture and process establishes trust and helps you grow referrals at a minimal spend. according to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers form an opinion based on online reviews, so anyone speaking well about your business will easily have a much bigger impact than other any single ad you produce. Ask these “brand advocates” for testimonials and feature happy homebuyers on these platforms. They’ll share it with their friends and family and grow your network.
7. Utilize social media advertising. Social media advertising, such as Facebook ads, is a low cost way to grow your audience and engage with prospects. They’re highly targeted by area, demographic, etc., so you’re connecting directly with the type of buyers most interested in your homes and communities. They’re quick and easy to make, and will reach tons of new prospects on a platform that makes it easy to engage, contact and learn more about your business.
8. Educate homeowners through content marketing. Content marketing is cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing like TV, radio, etc. Traditional forms of advertising interrupt the user experience, while content marketing is part of what they’re actively looking for. In order to rank higher for the content that your target audience is searching, you need to make sure you’re producing new, authentic content through your website, blog and social channels. Link these pages and channels back to one another, so you’re showing up in more places with information that really matters to your buyers. Lastly, take your unique content and sponsor it on social media so it shows up in your targeted buyers’ newsfeed.
You don’t need to be a large business with a hefty budget to implement an effective marketing strategy. Group Two helps homebuilders create a unique, cohesive plan that utilizes the right platforms and targets their spend in the right areas. With the growing significance of an online presence, now’s the time to take advantage of these low cost campaigns that offer high value to your business. Learn more about working with Group Two.