In 2020 and 2021, home builders had to shift marketing strategies… and shift them fast! The good news is, some of the new ways of doing things make a lot of sense to keep around for the long-term, and are already being adopted by many as best practices and industry standards. Here are five shifts we’ve seen across the new home marketing landscape that we think are here to stay!
Housing Market Trends in 2022
1) Virtual Tours
With over 40% of all builder sales now originating as an online lead, it’s safe to say that more people are visiting and engaging with your website. Is it ready for prime time? Home shoppers want to get as far along in their search as possible before spending the time and energy to visit model homes in person. That’s why virtual tours are here to stay.
It’s not enough to have tours of just your model homes on your website. Ideally, you should have a tour of each and every floor plan. Allow your prospects to go as deep into the home search as possible. By the time they contact you, they would have self-selected a handful of floor plans they’re interested in.
Medallion Home does a great job of showcasing nearly every floor plan with a virtual tour.
2) Self Tours
Speaking of self-selecting, if you don’t have a self tour option, get into it! Self tours allow prospects to visit your model homes on their own schedule, without the need for a sales representative present. This way, you are catering to qualified prospects who aren’t able to look at homes during standard business hours or even on the weekends. We have one builder partner who had a customer self tour on New Year’s Eve, and ended up buying! People have busy lives; don’t isolate them or make them work harder to buy a house because of it.
Weaver Homes does a great job of incorporating self-tour scheduling right into their website.
3) Diversified Marketing
As we learned from the 2021 Facebook conundrum, all your marketing eggs should never be in one basket, no matter how strong the basket seems to be. (Ok, moving on from this metaphor…) Even if your dollars are not evenly distributed across all platforms, you should have a consistent presence on social media, email, advertising, and owned media. It’s often hard to get the basics right (consistent posting, updated and segmented database, best practices, etc), but it must be done in case you ever need to pivot quickly.
With the cost of advertising increasing and its effectiveness changing (hello, new privacy settings), more high-quality content is where marketing is headed. More strategy, planning and resources should be dedicated to virtual tours, photography, videos, renderings, interactive content, blog posts, and web copy than ever before. The first goal is to optimize all this content for web searches, so that your site ranks highly on Google and other search engines. The second goal is for your website to be the ultimate content hub, where visitors can explore and go deep into the buyer’s journey, ultimately requesting information so that your online sales team can follow up and set an appointment.
5) Relocation Traffic
Roughly 20% of Americans moved in 2021 (move.org), and whether they’re moving for job opportunities, a lower cost of living, more space, or just because they can, this upward trend looks like it will continue into 2022. Be prepared. A highly trained online sales team, virtual tours, and streamlined buying process will all be necessary going forward to keep up with the pace of relocations.
Which marketing shifts do YOU think are here to stay? Drop us a line and let us know!