Focus Discussion of the Week:
As you may have noticed, sales are great, records are being set, and it looks all green from here on out. But that’s not where the process ends. Don’t suffer from GMS (Good Market Syndrome). It’s time to invest in yourself, your team, the process, and your content. Brooke Carroll from Homes By Dickerson joins Matt & Mollie to discuss strategies and a case study on why “Investing in Yourself” works!
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Two thought leaders come together to explore all things sales and marketing from their unique perspectives. Each week, Mollie Elkman, Matt Riley, and others from Group Two dive into a focus discussion to talk about the latest trends, changes, and best practices.
[00:00:00] Brooke: So we decided that we’re going to go all in and we’re going to try to be able to tell the story. for every single home that we build, there’s going to be a builder and a designer. And we come up with a story and a theme and there’s an architectural flow that’s really being followed. So how do we communicate that?
And so we had to say, we’re going to assume that either there’s not going to be a parade or if it is it’s going to be virtual. So we need to prepare for that right now. And we started in. Literally in the end of March of 2020, and we worked the entire way through, we partnered with you guys kind of explained to you guys with group two on, this is what we want to do.
This is how we want every story to be told and how we want to showcase these homes. And. you know, in our partnership, we were able to really bring that across the line and give this, you know, every single home had its own videos, interviews, you know, campaigns. It was just, it was amazing. and the, the response from that, of course, I’m going to be a tracker and I’m going to [00:01:00] follow like, what’s this, you know, how did this work?
And, and so, you know, is this worth the investment? And I don’t have to say. Absolutely absolutely worth the investment. You are never going to harm yourself if you invest in yourself. So the content that we gained, that we were able to capture during that time, we’re going to be able to use that for, for years to come.
the pieces of product, every. All of that. So I think that was a, a huge investment in that kind of took us all the way through, the fall of 2020
Matt: Hi, and welcome to building perspective with Matt Riley and
Mollie: Mollie Elkman. We’re
Mollie: here to bring value to you and your team by exploring all things,
Mollie: sales and marketing related [00:02:00] all from different
Matt: perspectives. All right, and welcome back to another episode of building perspective. We are on season two.
Episode three of building perspective. And today we’re going to talk about continuing to invest and we have our guests, Brooke Carroll, the vice president of sales and marketing with Homes by Dickerson right here in good old Raleigh, North Carolina. And we are excited to have Brooke on the show today.
Brooke. Welcome to.
Brooke: Hi, Matt, Mollie. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Matt: Are you a, a long-time listener? First-time guests.
Brooke: That’s right. That’s right. I almost forgot. That’s pre my time. Maybe, maybe at the beginning, but
Matt: yes, don’t lie.
Brooke: Those are fighting [00:03:00] words.
Matt: Well, Brooke, thank you so much for coming on the show and what I, you know, so we go way back, long, long time, but, What I wanted to do. I’ll let you kind of introduce yourself, but first I’m going to say, you know, just to kind of let everybody else know. I mean, Brooke is one of the most goal oriented action item.
Take action. Taking. People that I’ve ever met in my life. and, God forbid this woman gets, gets given a goal or something because she is come hell or high water. It is going to happen. And, and that was one of the things that, I’ve always appreciated about Brooke and her work ethic and mentality, but.
Brooke. Why don’t you, why don’t you just kind of share a little bit about you and what you’ve been doing, your backstory and kind of then what you do at homes by Dickerson, and really like who homes by Dickerson is as a company. And then what we’ll do is we’ll talk about, you know, what [00:04:00] our topic of the day is continuing to invest and how you guys really see value in investing and reinvesting in, and especially with where we’re at right now.
Brooke: Okay, well, I have been in real estate for 14 years now. So, really start off in general brokerage and, build a representation from a, from a purely, you know, a couple of custom builders and things of that nature. And then, got into, New home sales about nine, 10 years ago. and I’ve worked, you know, from onsite sales, under, almost a third party, you know, real estate company, moved inside to the builder company, on that team.
And, went from sales manager to sales director. that was really for, A local builder, specifically that got bought out by, the largest, builder in North America. So I’ve seen the big production side of things, and then made a move to, homes by Dickerson, which is a, a local [00:05:00] regional builder we’re we’re in Raleigh triangle area, Charleston, South Carolina, Mount pleasant area and Pinehurst.
So, we build about, well, this year it’s gonna. It’s gonna be about 300 homes, and this year, so I would say we are a custom builder and some people really like to say, Hey, you’re, you’re a semi-custom no, no, no, we’re not. We, we individually draw every single thing. you know, as a matter of fact, people kind of tell here, like we’ve never built the same home twice, which can make me run my head through a brick wall on that.
but we build it this either crazy, production levels. And, you know, but every single home is different. So it’s, it’s certainly a new task every day. the process is, you know, is different than what I, you know, had come from before, but, love the product, love this industry and organization. And really what I do here for homeless by Dickerson is oversee, all of the marketing and sales departments here, as well as working on [00:06:00] strategy, you know, and land.
So it’s all things. All the things, all the things. Oh, and yes, you’re right. Like I am the biggest gold Digger. There is. I love it. Dangle something in front of me. And I, I just, I have to get it.
Mollie: Speaking of that, I, I have to mention the nationals because you are up for a very big award. The nationals are happening next week.
So, we, you know, we’re going to find out about that, but, you were up for. Best digital marketing campaign. And I guess I should say we, because we did it together. but it’s a really big deal in 2020 with everything going virtual to be up for best digital marketing campaign is
Brooke: a huge deal. Oh, it is, I’m so excited.
And of all years for this to be virtual, like I’m like, you know, love, you know, I love being there. I love being at nationals, but I think that, you know, like you said, because it was 2020 and to be able to, and [00:07:00] how everything went virtual and then really had to stand out, you know, like we’re not. And, you know, a national builder in that, that typically you’ll see, you know, big, big bucks get, you know, get these things.
I think that, you know, what we were able to accomplish was amazing. And so I’m so proud of that, and I’m proud that it’s been recognized on the big stage.
Matt: Yeah. And we’ll get into that in a little bit, but I think what’s most important is that it also drove tons of results, right? Like it wasn’t just like, Oh, this really pretty campaign, like it was a results driven campaign.
that was completely forward-thinking that nobody else really did or even, or could pull off. So that’s, that’s really exciting. All right. So as we get let’s, let’s dive into our topic of the day and it’s continuing to invest. And maybe the, maybe the better term is continuing to reinvest, because where we’re at in a market, like, and this is really continuing the conversation from the first couple episodes that we’ve [00:08:00] done of season two, like this is.
Episode three season two, the first episode was Daniel Fisher. We talked about, and continuing investing in training in, and, and having a growth mindset for your team, even in, even in a market where there’s an abundance of sales, but always focusing in on continuing that growth mindset. And then, last week, Mollie and I talked about.
Oh, and Amanda, the three of us, we talked about kind of how to gauge where you’re at in the market from that red, yellow, green, as far as how, what your strategy should look like, depending on where you are. We even had a, we even hosted a clubhouse about, the red, yellow, green categories and what those strategies, how those strategies shift based on where you are as a builder.
so if you didn’t listen to that, go back and listen to episode two. If you missed the clubhouse and you just missed the clubhouse, cause that stuff don’t get recorded. but so now we’re talking about how to continually re-invest, when you really [00:09:00] don’t quote, unquote have to, and, and this market.
And so from a general thought process, Brooke, like, why is that so important to you?
Brooke: Well, I think that, you know, when I look at strategy and what we are, again, you know, we’re going to be, this, this local builder. And so I’m always looking at, ahead ahead of time. So what’s going to happen. So, you know, when we are investing in content, what I’m looking at is I think we can all agree that we’re.
And at the top of the market, right? Like there’s nowhere to go, but down from here, as far as, you know, sales, yes. It may continue for a bit more, but, but that’s kind of where things are headed. So how do we strategize, for what’s to come? And that’s what I feel ultimately is, you know, heavy on my shoulders, what I lose sleep over every night.
So, you know, I’m never going to be able to, you know, battle dollar wise with the big guys. So yeah. We need to take advantage right now while other people may be cutting back on their marketing [00:10:00] or, you know, saying, Hey, I don’t need to spend this because we’re, we’re capped out. This is an opportunity to really get your message out there.
So this is a great opportunity for us to brand and really differentiate ourselves and let the, you know, what the public know what we are, who we stand for and what we stand for, what we build as well as you know, I think there’s been a, one of our, our COO. Well, it’s on a call early at, into COVID and he was on the call with the CEO of Kohler David Kohler.
And one of the things that he had talked about there was, you know, they’ve been through Wars and depressions and recessions, and always come out on the other side, a stronger company, and the motto has been don’t waste the crisis. And, and that’s really been kind of the thought process and mindset through this is don’t waste this crisis.
You know, one, we’ve got to understand what’s happening. We’ve gotta be able to. Pivot and get the message out there. I mean, the message at the beginning of COVID, you know, at the end of March was just getting, being clear that we are [00:11:00] open and we are here. Right. Cause it was very confusing during that time.
What businesses were open, what were, who were closed? could you go in, could you just do virtual? What, what was happening? And I think we’ve, you know, continuously just try to be able to dig into content. Right. So we’ve been focused on. You know, getting out the tours, you know, how do we get our, our homes to people where they are, how do they feel comfortable?
How does it feel safe? and we’ve been, you know, broadcasting to the public saying, Hey, you know, like whenever, please come to us, you know, whenever, wherever, however, have it your way. What do you want? And so understanding that now that we’ve gotten that out there to the market, You, you can’t take that back.
So now we have to readjust everything. You know, we’ll never go back to that. Conventional, you know, builder mindset where everyone’s just going to walk in the door, we’re going to set an appointment. They’re going to walk into the door and they’re not going to purchase until men. You know, we have people that are buying sight unseen [00:12:00] and you know, our average sales price.
For us, you know, as I’m a $600,000, so it’s not your necessarily your entry level home product. And so, you know, we still have people that are coming in and purchasing sign on scene and you know, there’s, there’s just so little inventory. We’ve got to make sure that we’re getting right. All of that information out and out sooner, you know, some people, some builders didn’t put their product in online until it was in a framed tight.
Well, you can’t do that today. We don’t have time by the time it’s framed, it’s gone. so you know, how do you get designed tips and tricks and you’ll get that information out there. And I think it’s just looking ahead to, what’s going to be happening later. And how do we take advantage of the crisis in the moment that we can still market share?
Matt: Yeah. And I think it’s important to note, because you said what’s your average sales price was that’s about $200,000 higher than what the average sales price is of, of a rate of, of a home in the Raleigh, [00:13:00] in the Raleigh Metro area. So that’s. That’s important to kind of keep perspective there. So if you’re, cause if you’re in the Northeast like 600,000 and you’re like, Oh, that must be entry level.
but no, that’s about 200 grand higher than the average sales price of a regular, you know, of a normal house here in the Raleigh market. So yeah. All good stuff, Mollie. Yeah. I can tell, like, in your face you’ve got
Mollie: comments. I love listening to broke because your passion comes across. And I think, you know, just in the way you talk about what you do.
And I think, you know, it’s, it’s hard because we hear these, these statements, in the industry, like focus right now, all of your attention on. The people who are in the process of buying, which isn’t bad advice like it is good advice. You want to focus on the people who are buying and make sure their customer experience is great.
Brooke: You also do have
Mollie: to, like you said, look ahead and think about where you are going to be in the future. So I think that, [00:14:00] you know, I’m, I’m just, I’m loving everything you’re putting out, you know, that that’s, it I’m nodding my head because I, I I’m following it. And I think you’re
Brooke: right. Yeah. I mean, I think that that’s, you know, obviously you have to focus on what’s before you at hand.
Right. And I, I guess I kind of consider that like, That’s your job. I mean, like you, you have to come do your job and execute it to the process that’s been put in place and do that well, and there’ll be daily ins and outs of, you know, you know, fires and things like that to put out. That’s just what it is, but, you know, how to, you know, how do we.
Prepare ourselves, you know, and to plan ahead, because, you know, as we’re kind of talking about content, right? I mean, I think that, I don’t know, I I’ve listened to, so I, I’m just kind of like a consumption, you know, guru. I listened to so many different podcasts and books and things. Sometimes. I only remember who said what, but I think this was Gary V and it was such a big thing that it’s like, you know, you have to become a [00:15:00] media company, right?
Like you’ve. You, you might become a media company and comma sell shit, you know, like sell your product from that. But, and so what we’re really working with right now is, is, you know, being the resource. So it’s not just about, you know, as I kinda mentioned, you’ve got people coming in and buying site and seen from areas.
You know, not, not from the Raleigh area, but from, from Northeast or out West, they don’t know what this area is like. And so the more content you can put out there as far as not only your product, but where you live your area, you know, what’s around you. What do people do? And, you know, from your area, You have to almost start looking broader now to be able to be that resource so that when people think, Oh, I want, you know, I want new homes or I’m moving to this area.
They, they think of you first. And I think that’s, you know, how do you get that out there? How do you experiment, you know, with, being the resource. There’s so many things in our industry that we could teach people about that we just sort of scale over. So. [00:16:00] No, I’m talking about, something funny, I mean, septic systems, right?
So people hear that and, you know, especially if they’re coming from Northeastern, they’re like, Oh no, no, no, no, no. And so it’s just about some education because if you’re buying, you know, a larger lot in this area, I mean, that’s, that’s going to come with it. If you’re buying anything over a half acre, that’s what you’re going to get.
And so I think that, you know, different things like that, just getting education out, you can, you know, Teach people and they’re going to come to you over and over for that. So content is not just about sell, sell, sell, it’s going about how much information can we get out? that’s just related to people moving period or ownership period.
So I think we have to almost look at that as a broader spectrum than just my product, my product, those are given. Like, you’ve have to get your information out there. You have to offer video tours. You have to have, you know, A gazillion photos of things like those are just industry standards to be in the game.
What’s the rest, you know, how else can you, [00:17:00] operate to a different level? And so, you know, talking about energy efficiency, you know, those are things that we’re working on podcasting. Nobody. I don’t think anybody really wants to hear me talk. but you know, these are opportunities to say, Hey, it can broaden the brand and it can offer some education to people who are searching in the market and maybe bring them to us.
So it’s sort of thought processes like that, you know?
Right, right. I think that those are, those are big opportunities in our market and our industry that, that a lot of people aren’t taking advantage of. And that’s, that’s why we have to continue to build and build on this.
Matt: One of the things that Brooke’s talking about, creating a podcast for homes by Dickerson.
So that was what, yeah.
Mollie: I think that’s a great idea. And one of the pieces that you touched on that I just, I want to kind of point out is this education part of it. Because as we know, as an industry, we are facing a labor [00:18:00] shortage crisis. I mean, it is actually a crisis for. Our entire country. And I think, you know, educating on what goes into building and, and all the different careers in building and showing success stories of different people within the industry.
That is a major part of overcoming the labor shortage. I don’t know if you listened to Mike Rowe at the building. That the builder show, but that was really what his whole talk was about is those of us in the industry have to tell our
Brooke: So if we share
Mollie: our stories of success and how things work and, you know, getting an interest in how septic systems work and all of that stuff, it’s only going to help our industry as a whole.
So I really love that. That’s a part of your mission because that’s what we all need to be
Brooke: doing. Yeah, absolutely. I feel like we, we have these talks, particularly now, you know, with, with buyers coming in or people that are in our [00:19:00] backlog and we, we are constantly trying to educate them because, you know, as you know, not only are we coming up on labor shortages, there are products that are being, you know, delayed.
We. You know, things that are outside of our control, that are just kind of, you know, causing other delays on top of other things and, you know, reasons. So we really have to keep people updated on what’s going on, in real time as it as it’s happening. And so, you know, that’s, that’s a huge fortune for us to be able to make sure that we.
We keep in the know and we’re able to communicate that effectively. Cause sometimes it also can stop with the builder, right? Like, well, we know it, but we haven’t done a good job of explaining that to the public or to the consumer to understand, you know, the ripple effects that it causes. Yeah. Good point.
Matt: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So kind of continuing on that same thought, right? If we’re talking about the investing and investing in yourselves and your company and getting that [00:20:00] message out there. So let’s talk about some of the things over, really over the past 12 months that you’ve been investing in. and so first off, right, you already have you launched a new website.
In March, right? So you had that
Brooke: 20, 20
Matt: that’s right. Perfect timing. but, but because of that, you knew, I mean, one, one of the things, and this is the common thread amongst so many builders is, you know, you’re launching that new website and, you know, going into the new website, that the level of content that you have, isn’t near.
Either a, the quantity or quality that you want to show moving forward. So kind of walk through what’s that, what’s some of that timeline look like for you guys.
Brooke: Yeah. so we did, serendipitously, launch our new website March 1st, 2020. And I mean, I will have to say, you know, thank God we did, at that time.
So a big improvement over the previous one for the company. So that helped us [00:21:00] out. however, you’re right. Like there were still a lot of holes that we had in content. So we had set up, basically in February we started filming, We had a huge shoot that basically we, we needed to add two videos about number one, who we were as a builder.
So a little bit about, you know, legacy we’ve been in business since 1975 and, you know, that’s it, that stuff for people, you know, for local, that that’s important to kind of see that, continuity there, in your business as well as really understanding a video about. How we build differently, you know, sharing some of the core values of our company with the public.
So, so we had to nail those down. then we had to take the buyer through, the buyer journey from building a custom home. Cause oftentimes, you know, this is not an easy process for sure. There are so many decisions that have to be made along the way. I mean, because we build from, you know, maybe I, a buyer comes in and takes one of our plans and makes.
You know, tweaks or [00:22:00] customizations from there, but also if they want to come in and meet with our architect, they can completely draw out their whole plan. So, so it’s a lot of time and effort, energy, and sometimes, you know, people get a little bit nervous about that. So we wanted to explain that process and how that went.
So, you know, the public could kind of understand that. And then some of the things that were really important for us is we build, to NG, BS standards. So national green building certification standards, which is different. Right? So, as a consumer, I mean, you hear energy star, eco select green building, but you know, why do you care?
and what, what is the different, so, so we had to kind of come up with and, and explain, okay. So it helps ridiculous. And we have this built for life program. And under that umbrella, here are the things that we do differently. So really trying to explain how we differentiate ourselves, because again, we’re not in our market, we’re not typically that entry level buyer.
And, you know, you have to be able to build the value and your product. So, you know, [00:23:00] Kind of go back with this. Also, we always say price is what you pay. Value’s what you get, you know, the Warren buffet quote. So I’m really trying to help understand and educate it ahead of time and build that value there.
and then, you know, along with, you know, those several shots, you know, you had to pepper in all of the new, like drone videos of your communities, you know, the, the Matterports and all of the contents that you need to have with your plans and additional renderings and new product that’s coming along.
you know, all of the 3d renderings, you know, cause now we’re selling from dirt. And so how do we, how do we show what that’s going to be and kind of gain some emotion in that. So, you know, really making some, some. 3d images of, you know, walking through a community or walking through an entire home.
And so as, as you kind of pepper in some of those things, if you don’t have finished product on the ground, so. That was all in the February timeframe. and then right after, COVID, in March is sort of the timeframe that we are going into permits for parade. And so parade, in our market is [00:24:00] typically into September, into October three weekends during that timeframe.
And so we had to start planning for parade. Well, that was also the time COVID hit. And so everyone saying. You know, kind of have that knee-jerk reaction of what’s about to happen. What are we going to have a parade? What is this going to be? Should we put the money in it? Cause typically for parade homes, you, you know, you doll them up a bit, you put a little extra, you know, things in there which can drive the price up and is that the right move to make at this time?
And you know, it’s just all that was up in the air. So we had to very quickly come together and say, you know, we had to make a commitment on, okay, we’re doing this now. We don’t know what parade is going to be. Like. We don’t know what that timeframe is going to be. Like. I have no idea if it’s going to be in-person, if it’s going to be virtual, if it’s going to happen.
So if we’re going to invest in the time, effort and energy to build these homes, which for us. is a it’s, it’s a big show because we, you know, this is where we’re able to really show off a lot of the customization that we can do for the [00:25:00] public, which then kind of, you know, people see that and then they want to, you know, work with us and customize the home and kind of go from there.
So this is a big marketing opportunity for us. So we decided that we’re going to go all in and we’re going to try to be able to tell the story right. for every single home that we build, there’s going to be a builder and a designer. And we come up with a story and a theme and there’s an architectural flow.
that’s really being followed. So how do we communicate that? And so we had to say, we’re going to assume that either there’s not going to be a parade or if it is it’s going to be virtual. So we need to prepare for that right now. And we started in. Literally in the end of March of 2020, and we worked the entire way through, we partnered with you guys kind of explained to you guys with group two on, this is what we want to do.
This is how we want every story to be told and how we want to showcase these homes. And. you know, in our partnership, we were able to really bring that across the line and give this, you know, every single home had its own videos, [00:26:00] interviews, you know, campaigns. It was just, it was amazing. and the, the response from that, of course, I’m going to be a tracker and I’m going to follow like, what’s this, you know, how did this work?
And so, you know, is this worth the investment? And I don’t have to say. Absolutely absolutely worth the investment. You are never going to harm yourself if you invest in yourself. So the content that we gained, that we were able to capture during that time, we’re going to be able to use that for, for years to come, the pieces of product, every, all of that.
So I think that was a, a huge investment that kind of took us all the way through, the fall of 2020.
Matt: And so let’s talk about what that investment looks like. H how much did you spend? I know, I know the answer, but how let’s, let’s let the audience know, like COVID just hits. We’re completely changing on the fly, the strategy for parade of homes.
That’s not eight months, six months away. [00:27:00] or, you know, eight or nine months away. And we’re completely changing on a dime what the strategy is. And we don’t at this point, we’re actually not even starting the upside of COVID yet. Right. We’re still in the fall because we have no, or the free fall, I should say, because we have no idea what’s on the other side yet.
And then you guys go, right. We’re in, we’re doubling down. How much, what would that, what that investment,
Brooke: with, with everything and the staging, about $77,000.
Matt: And that includes your video footage and the content. And you’re just like 20, 25 grand in that.
Brooke: I did. So, so video was, all in all about 28,000, that we added to for video.
and then obviously all of the campaigns, and, the graphics and everything that had to be completed. In addition to, I would say maybe a little more just paying for the, the actual ads. And so that, that went out. but that’s kind of a. We reallocated some money during that time from our normal [00:28:00] budget.
So we were able to kind of get a little savvy with that. during that, since that was one of our,
Matt: one of the things we obviously knew was, you know, you had, you had a good amount of money budgeted for in-person events and realtor events, and we knew that wasn’t going to be happening. So there was a lot of money pulled from there, right?
Brooke: Right, right. Yes, absolutely. So, but you know, it was great. I mean, and, and it was trackable information, right? So we, it’s always going to be a piece to this that you don’t know where someone saw it and it, you know, they may not come right back through that channel, but, you know, we were able to do a little bit differently, you know, we, when it was announced that there was going to be some in-person basically our parade ended up being virtual and in-person so, you know, we had honestly, a lot of.
Some of that money had to go for just the signage for COVID stuff. And really trying to explain a lot of that. But, you know, I think that, you know, we were able to see, we had 4,028 people come through our homes during those three weekends there, [00:29:00] Saturday and Sundays. you know, we ended up having, almost a thousand people online during those same.
Six day timeframe over those three weekends, just, just come into our parade to view online. and now we’ve, we’ve ended up from the register it’s that we were able to capture through there. And again, everything had to be touchless. So we, we worked with this new text program to kind of, generate all of this digitally PDFs that we were able to send them about the homes, and get their email addresses.
And so from the ones. That we, that came in that, foot traffic we’ve been able to convert that registered, excuse me. So we had about 240 250 registered agents, that have foot traffic that came in and we we’ve been able to offer to convert 16% of that. So when you look at the numbers overall, I mean, So, what would it have taken for us to say, pay for it for itself?
How many, how many homes was that? I mean, depending some of the price points one home could have kind of covered that. Right. [00:30:00] So, so when you look at it, in terms of that, you know, it’s, it’s a no-brainer on, on why I’m in and then you’re going to look back and say, okay, This content still lives and breathes out there on our site.
People still see it. we just added, we opened up a Tik TOK account and we added all of our parade stuff on the TechTalk. And I mean, over like a couple of days, it got over a thousand views. I’m still kind of amazed, you know, different audiences. You’re still able to, to touch with that. So there’s really, it’s reinvestment.
It’s just priceless. You’re never going to be able to.
Matt: Yeah. And two things I was going to add to that. And, one, we talked about having that touchless. So one of the things that you did, how did it, how did the buyers register? And it was, you had stickers and sheets set up throughout the house. So where they could, if you’re interested in more, if you want the colors, right?
If, because when parade homes, like who decorated this house, where can I get this furniture? What are the paint colors? So coming up with like a one sheet, and that had all that info and then a back page or a separate page that was. All about the home, all about the builder that kind [00:31:00] of in that type of information, they could text in a five digit number, with a, with a keyword that was specific to that home.
So we captured the buyer’s email address, their phone number and their first and last name. And that instantly went into the CRM. And then the buyer then in the text response got a link, right? To a downloadable PDF with all the info for that house. So you, you had over 230 something of those, and then you converted 16% of that.
That doesn’t count anybody else that saw it. Didn’t text in, I mean, these are direct 100% coming from this particular registration method. so that, that in itself is, is, is huge. and yeah, I think that. I just completely lost my train of thought on what I was going to ask the next question to be it’s okay.
Mollie: wanted to add something. My favorite part of the story is really that you committed to doing something, but you didn’t do it halfway. You didn’t have one foot in you [00:32:00] fully committed and you did it and you did it well. And I think that’s where a lot of home building companies go wrong. They kind of.
You know, they want to do it, but they don’t, you know, fully go all in and you did it. And that, you know, by nature, when you’re in home building, you’re kind of taking a gamble. And I think that when you believe in what you’re doing and you go full force and it, it paid for itself over and over and over
Absolutely. and this was one of those things that, it does take the whole team and everybody kind of has to be on the same mindset. So, we have a great team here and I, and you know, that, that certainly played into it, but it was, all out, you know, we’re going to see we’re either going to fall flat on our face with this, or, or this is going to be amazing.
So, you know, but it’s, it’s just kind of testing. You gotta have some room to test a little bit, you know, and figure it out, but this was great.
Matt: Yep. Absolutely. Okay. So that was the parade that was a giant undertaking. Right. And it was months and months and months leading up to that. [00:33:00] And now you saw the payoff on that.
And so now you just did another video. Shoot, let’s talk about that
Brooke: one. Yes, we just, last week actually had a 16 hour day video shoots where, you know, we, we kind of did that, hiring actors and, and all of that, because, really what I see is number one, we need more content. You know, we’ve launched our, our website a year ago and it’s already.
Getting stagnant. Right. And so already see, you know, looking ahead on like, we’re going to need to get a new website, you know, here soon, and we’re going to have to add to this thing. So, I think as well as, you know, looking at your, your content, like, okay, that’s that was done now. We, now we’re looking ahead and how are we going to.
So, you know, our homes, number one, everyone, I think every is in this situation where you don’t have a lot of inventory, so you can’t just kind of rely on, okay, I’m going to get these great finished shots of, you know, this and that. And, and, you know, we’re gonna be able to kind of, you know, produce some content that way.
So we had to think a [00:34:00] little differently and figure out, okay. So buying a home is a transfer of emotion. People move in their homes. They want to live in their homes. How do we show the lifestyle in our homes? How do we. You’re really focused on that and how they make you feel. And so we’re sort of, I don’t want to put it out there yet.
Exactly. All the ins and outs of what we’re doing, cause it’s not launched yet. so I want to share that sauce, but, you know, it’s really about how people are living and feeling in our homes. And, and, you know, we were looking at that for sort of, you know, you know, using a lot of this stuff, you know, to come and, and being able to kind of do a timeline on that a bit.
But, you know, that was a huge undertaking as well. and I think that this is just kind of how we had to look at our budget. So, obviously as you said earlier, Matt, you know, last year in 2020, it was kind of. You know, though it was scary. It was a little bit easier to say, Hey, we’re going to be taking away all of this in person stuff.
So I can reallocate a lot of money, you know, this year looking at the budget. one thing is builders that you understand is like, I don’t really need that, all that other stuff. I’m not saying there’s not a time [00:35:00] or place for an in-person grand opening event or something of that nature, but. You know, going back to what we’re offering to the public and how we’re able to get it to whoever whenever, however they want.
That’s where we have to be now. And so your digital budget should far exceed any other part of your budget, marketing budget period. So that’s where we really focus to allocate. the majority of our dollars for this year and, you know, then we have to plan out how that’s going to be. And so we want to get our voice out there because, you know, again, branding, this is an opportunity for branding.
This is an opportunity right now to differentiate ourselves, to get a larger share of the market, share with our voice, to put out content for us to, you know, to really be seen because it’s really. Content content content is the only way to leverage us against these multi-billion dollar competitive corporations.
It’s because they’re going to put enough dollars out there that they want it all. So how do we [00:36:00] leverage ourselves? And this is the only thing really that we can control, because I’ll never be able to kind of be in a pissing match when it comes for dollar, for dollar for them. Right. So how do you, how do you kind of, you know, power?
How are we going to be different?
Matt: Yeah. Mollie. What do you got? You’re nodding.
Mollie: just laughing because you know, you look it at Brooke and she is like, so put together. And then when, anytime you curse or say something about like being in a pissing match, it just like, it’s like this. No funny. Yeah.
Brooke: I love it.
I, I do, you know, and it’s funny, like, you know, Matt knows this because we’ve known each other for a while. Like, you know, I don’t, I don’t cuss at home. Like it’s not in my nature, but I get so. Passionate or driven about something or, you know, like when I get in a competitive situation, because I just want to win, you know, like at all costs, I mean, not jokingly, maybe not maybe like death.
No, but you know, other than that, like then I just get really driven. And so sometimes things slip out. So, sorry.
[00:37:00] Matt: We’re still cute. We’re still keeping it PG too. Let’s just, let’s just go there. I love it. Okay. So, but that investment and I just want to throw out like, And, I want you to throw out dollar figures on, because I want people to understand that it does take commitment and it works.
If you, if you put the, put the effort and the dollars behind it, like this last video shoot that year that you’re working on, it’s not done yet, but like what, what’s that kind of,
Brooke: that was a $15,000 investment just for the video.
Matt: Yeah. But you’re going to be able to, it’s not like we did what, like you did with the parade.
It’s not a one and done, this is content that’s going to live on and on and on. And like you said, like you should total campaign for parade, like spins the whole, you know, the whole thing. You’re 75 ish in, but again, you sold, if you sold one house, then it paid for the entire thing and you do the math and you sold close to 40 houses.
[00:38:00] Brooke: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, and that’s. That’s what I mean. So the longer you’re invested in yourself with content, the more you’re going to have to pull from as well. So, you know, when the market changes again or when you need to pivot, you know, you’ve, you’ve built a backlog of pieces on how do you, you know, how do you reuse pieces and, and freshen it up and make it new?
So I think that, you know, investment just has to be a continual process. Just like, you know, our sales teams. Right. You know, you know, you’ve got your marketing side of, of the business and, you know, as a salesperson or is anyone really, you know, in the industry, you should invest in yourself and in your craft.
And, you know, Matt and I had had a conversation, you know, before, but, you know, just in regards to, same thing, looking ahead, I have sort of been on my soapbox with, with our team and saying, you know, I think that this is, this has been. Great. You know, in our industry, we’ve been very fortunate too, to have the sales coming in the way that they have.
But I think it’s really made a lot of our salespeople. It’s been, it’s been to a [00:39:00] disadvantage, right. Because they’re, they’ve had that muscle atrophy of. The process and working the full process, 100% of the process, 100% of the time, and really going through all of the steps that it takes. And so one day, you know, you’re going to look around and say, well, what happened to my leads?
Like people aren’t coming in the door anymore, you know, it’s, gosh, it’s hard. I’m having to work really hard to get in the cell. And so like we can’t lose those things. And so really staying focused on. You know, with the sales team, like we stay focused on fundamentals. We’re, you know, we’re gonna, we’re practicing the meet and greet, you know, we’re practicing demo, we’re practicing, you know, the hunting, you know, they have a responsibility that they have, you know, a hundred outbounds every single week.
They have to hit, you know, to still hunt because, you know, we’re, we’ve got so many leads, you know, you know, builders say, Hey, I’ve got so many leads. I can’t even get to all of them. And. You want to say kind of no lead left behind, or it makes you kind of, you know, like, Oh my gosh, please don’t, don’t lose those.
But, but we, we really can’t, [00:40:00] we can’t lose or miss any of those opportunities because you don’t know what’s going to happen in three, six, 12 months. I think COVID really taught us that, you know, to, to really be prepared and think ahead on things, obviously run your business for the way the business is running today.
But yeah. But being, you know, strategy has got to be set up. You’ve got to kind of look ahead for that.
Matt: Yeah, without a doubt. I love, you know, cause I love the a hundred outbounds, like it’s required, but you’ve got to do this thing and, and you know, we talked about it and, you know, making sure that people don’t have what we, you know, the, the phrase we coined a long time ago, GMs good markets syndrome, that we were saying and like, 2016, right?
- When it was, when it was banging still, what we thought was a phenomenal market. We’re like this don’t get GMs, don’t get GMs, like stay focused on the basics, practice your, your, your meet and greets, practice your demos, make sure you’re doing, [00:41:00] you know, you have got your protected time in the morning to do your, your outbound activities and your hunting.
Right. And I think it’s, I think it’s awesome that you’re still requiring that even in back when we thought we had a great market and 15 and 16 to where we are. Today I showed Amy, my wife, yesterday. there was the new home pending sales index that Zonda just put out. It was like a bar. It was ridiculous.
Like it went back to like 2015 and you see the line. And then all of a sudden you see the dip in March, April, may from COVID and then the sh I mean, a 45 degree. Green angles straight up. It’s absolute insanity. and I think it’s important for people to realize actually, when we come back, like you said, there’s nowhere to go, but down there might be a little up, but there’s really nowhere to go.
But down and we come back down to what our 2015, 16, 17 levels were, which, Oh, by the way, we would, I’ll take that every year, all day long, but we’re going to be like, What happened? [00:42:00] Like it feels really slow. I’m actually having to do a little bit of work to get this result. that, like you said, that muscle after fee is not going to be there.
And I wrote down your quote. I loved it. you’re never going to harm yourself by investing in yourself.
Brooke: I think that I wrote down the same quote.
I love it. Awesome. Yeah. but yeah, I mean, I, I think, You know, just continuing to work at your craft, continuing to use it this time to get better. You know, maybe you’re not having to spend as much time on follow-up just because things are coming a little easier. So what are you going to re appropriate that time to, you know, continue to work on yourself and then when the tide goes out, you’ll.
You won’t be seeing naked, right? Like you’ll, you’ll be ready to go. You’ll know what to do next. And you’ll know, you know, again, what are the, the activities that I can be doing that are income producing activities. So, and then as far as marketing side of things, that is just, you have to continue, you can’t cut it off.
turn it back on. [00:43:00] Like, as far as content goes, it takes them a minute. you know, you have an idea, gosh, we started this idea when like in December and you know, it takes a minute to get everything put together and to get it shot and then you get to edit it and actually get it out. So you really have to be thinking ahead of what am I doing next?
What’s next what’s, you know, how do we be? How are we preparing for that? So, that’s, you know, Matt, you know what I mean? But I, I’m kind of working from, I work. Backwards from desk. Like, you know, what’s the worst case scenario. And then what are all of the other ways that we can work, you know, and other to prepare for these things, it’s gonna be crazy by
Matt: the way,
Brooke: my husband absolutely nuts.
so, but, you know, I feel like too, like, I don’t want to be caught, you know, I want to try to be prepared as possible and, you know, some things you can’t help. Didn’t expect COVID, but we were able to move and pivot and be nimble, and you know, can still keep an authentic, authenticity in our messaging and into our people.
So, I think that’s all you can [00:44:00] really plan and hope for, right?
Matt: Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Mollie, what do you got?
Mollie: It’s just a great message. I’m happy that, you know, we have you on and that our listeners get to hear directly from you. And I, I feel inspired. I feel like I want to go like run a marathon or something.
you have so much energy and, yeah. I’m, you know, we love working with you and
Mollie: you are always thinking ahead. So, you know, I, I know some of the things that are in the works, but it’s always fun to see what you have
Brooke: coming up. Yeah, well, you guys are great, great partners to kind of bounce ideas off to up too.
So I appreciate that because sometimes I might get a little crazy. We all get a little
Brooke: We’re lucky. That’s right. Yeah, absolutely.
Matt: Awesome. All right. Well, Brooke, thank you so much for the last 45 minutes or so of, of a really, really great info. I think. Our listeners will. I [00:45:00] mean, there’s a ton of great info there and a ton of great advice.
And, yeah. So thank you so much for coming on and, can’t wait to, can’t wait to chat some more.
Brooke: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me guys. I love that.
Matt: Absolutely. All right. Thanks
Brooke: Brooke. Thanks Brooke. Thanks. Bye.