Focus Discussion of the Week:
Chelsey Keenan and Alexis Udine recap the top trends in new homes sales & marketing for 2022: How to sync your OSC messaging with your sales and marketing goals; keeping your media and branding consistent, fresh, passionate and personalized; the growth and importance of TikTok; focusing on SEO generating content.
Lasso blogs mentioned can be found here:
Chelsey: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Building Perspective in the new year. Woo it’s 2022!
Alexis: Yay! I think.
Chelsey: Yay. Hopefully. So for one of our first podcasts of 2022, we want to talk about and recap a little bit of the lasso ECI top new home tips for 2022. They had a new home sales version and a new home marketing version.
And if you haven’t read them, there are a ton of industry geniuses that have given their top information for 2022. Their top tips on sales and marketing and everything in between. We’ll have them linked in the website. And so you can go to them read all of them, but what Lex and I are gonna do on this episode of the podcast is just talk a little bit about what we spoke of.
And Molly contributed Matt Riley contributed. So we’ll touch a little bit on there, but Lex yours was about in the new home sales section of the blog. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about what your new home sales tip for 2022 is.
Alexis: Absolutely. So, here we are in a new year and, it’s been a ride as everyone knows in 2020 and 2021 for online sales counselors.
I mean, first we were just trying to keep our head above water, managing leads that we never saw before. And then things kind of slowed down and it’s like, wait, where did all the traffic go? And, um, you know, how do I get back to basics? But in 2022, I think the theme is really about personalization and really connecting with the buyer like never before and really diving into their needs.
And so part of what makes our training so unique is that our marketing should be coming through all channels. So, we want a consistent message and marketing, we know from basic practices that is important to have the same message on social and digital and your print ad. So it’s all kind of streamlined.
But why not take it that extra step and make sure that your online sales counselors are aligned with your marketing and your fundamentals as well?
So one of the things that we do at Group Two is we really dive into, when we start to work with a new builder partner, we really kind of dive in deep and talk about who their customer is. What’s their voice. I’m sure we shared before, like a mood board, we put together this look and feel that sets the overall tone for the builder’s marketing and their message and who they are and what they’re all about.
And so one of the things that I think is really, really important if you’re not already doing it is make sure that that mood and that messaging is coming through to not just your sales team, but your online sales team, that’s where it all starts. You are the very first impression of that company. And that’s a really powerful role to have. And you’ve heard me say before, like it is such a pivotal position in that you are the first touch point with this customer.
So we want to make sure that we’re meeting them with this brand voice and this message and this tone, and we’re keeping that consistent. From the start of the new home journey, all the way to the finish. And that’s with our online team, our onsite team, our social posts, we have this voice that we’re developing and we want to make sure that everybody is aligned and everyone is on the same page because consistency builds trust.
And we know that. And so one of the tips that I’m saying is take a step back and, you know, kind of look at what you’re putting out there and know that not one size fits, all. Right? We can develop, you know, these proven followup processes that work. And we know that, you know, they illicit response and we know customers engage with them, but it’s not one size fits all.
So I think we have to take a step back and kind of look at what we’re putting out there, how we’re communicating and ask ourselves “Is it who we are and who we want to be? Does this match the messaging that we’re putting out in marketing?” Because again, it really needs to be there at all touch points.
So that’s one of the things I’m really trying to focus on in 2022. So take a step back. Are you representing who you are as a builder and what you’re about from the start to the finish? And sometimes you kind of have to take a step back and look at that, right? If you are, you know, fun and playful and that’s kind of who you want to be is your salesperson, your online sales counselor representing that tone, too.
And so my theme for 2022 is not only making sure your marketing and your online sales followup process is sinked, but also really being personal.
I think we all got tied up and a little bit of automation, and that was more to just kind of sustain the amount of leads we had, the volume we had, and that’s fine. But now taking a step back as we see things in some markets, not all, but in some markets I’m going down to my advice to you is kind of go into your CRM, look at your processes, you should be freshing these on a quarterly basis. If not more frequently, some people set these templates up or these, um, processes, and they kind of set it and forget it. And that’s really not what you want to be doing. So you want to look about what your quarterly messages and make sure it’s aligned with your followup.
So I think there’s like a ton you can do, but really just making sure that it’s personal. It’s who you are. It’s speaking, what you’re kind of talking about. And this goes back to something that I’ve said. I think many of you heard me before, say things like this, but you know, if you have two differentiators that you’re talking about in your marketing and they’re really what you hang your hat on, and it’s what you’re kind of living, breathing by your OSC, you should be making sure that they’re talking about them on their phone call.
So you get a phone call and they’re like, “Hey, I was just shopping ABC builders. And I came across you.” And if you know, As an online sales counselor, that you do something that’s different or far superior than ABC builders, bring that up on the phone call, that’s your chance to stand out. And so it’s taking your differentiators on these phone calls and your emails linking to special places on your website.
Just really making sure that you’re bringing your marketing and that in that first encounter. And I don’t think we see enough of that. And I think it can really, really make you stand out from the next guy when you’re streamlined. And you’re putting that consistent message out, throughout all channels, all conversations, all emails, it’s all aligned and it’s all in sync.
That was a mountain.
Chelsey: It’s so much everyone needs to rewind and go back and listen to everything Alexis said because it’s so important. But you would not believe the amount of people that we secret shop or the amount of home builders we secret shop and they come back with the same canned message. The same, ” hi, how are you?
“Thanks for being interested in our homes. We can’t wait to show you more! Schedule an appointment today.” that could have been about that could have been from a gym, like saying one of their places. And it made me think of an example yesterday. I had a really big issue with ordering toys for my dog from PetSmart.
And so I got on the phone with them and as I was talking to them, I noticed maybe not every single person’s going to notice this, but as a marketer, I noticed that they were throwing in a lot of dog puns. And then when they left, they said, okay, say hi to your dog, say hi to your pet for us. And I was hysterical because, and also suddenly I did not have a problem with PetSmart anymore because they took it to the next level and they took their branding, their messaging, everything that they put out in their emails, everything they put out on social, everything their brand is about.
And. On not online sales counselor, but online sales assistant, whatever you want to call them. They used that messaging while they were on the phone with me. And it sounded so natural as if this is just a part of her everyday language. And not that she’s reading from some type of script that doesn’t connect with the company that she works for and the role that she has in plays every single day. And so I really appreciated it.
And take note, take note of brands that are outside of home building that, do that, because it will give you ideas on how to bring your brand like Alexis was saying into your online sales counselors’ messaging into their text messages.
those are my favorite. When I get like sassy text messages from brands that I follow, I just, I crack up and I appreciate them as a brand more, and I’m more likely to choose that brand over another brand because they know who they are and they’re showing me why they’re different.
Alexis: They’re passionate about it. They’re proud.
And I think that has to come across too. But you said a couple things. And it’s, it’s literally the smallest little details. Like I’m like telling people, like, do this, do this. It’s a bunch of these little things that might seem like so minute, but when you put them all together, it makes a big difference to the customer.
They feel it, it comes across. And so it might seem so small to you, but these little details go such a long way and people remember them. It sticks with them. And that’s how they’re going to choose you over the next person. So nobody likes the canned email. Everybody knows how that feels. You can kind of tell when you’re getting a canned email.
So again, I said this before, but like, you know, you have these processes in place, take a step back, spend the time, reevaluate them, and also look at the data like, you know, you’ve been doing this role as an online sales counselor, you know, what people engage with. So what emails are really working and what are people responding to?
What, you know, what follow-up processes are not getting a response. Let’s tweak them, let’s change the subject line, let’s try something different. And so you really need to constantly look at that your process is a work in progress and something that is always fresh, relevant, timely, and aligned with your marketing strategies, and messages.
It’s just so important, and goes an extra step and people feel it, like you said, you feel it in other brands. So buying a home and we say this all the time is a big investment. And so you need to take the time and the attention, um, and, and really kind of resonate with these people in any way you can.
Chelsey: Yeah, and I think this links back and we’re spending so much time on this one, too. This could be the entire podcast. I think it’s great, but going back to when you talked about personalization in 2022 verse automation, which people had to do, because there was just such an influx of leads and people interested in buying a home.
That now that may be starting to slow down a bit more. We can start focusing on that personalization. And here’s a trick from, I bet your local dentist. I go to my dentist and I love, love my dentist because every time I go, and I go every six months, I’m amazed cause I’m like, wow, you remembered everything.
We talked about last time I was at the dentist. One time I saw that they wrote everything personal about me down in my little file. And I was like, oh, they don’t remember. But. It made me feel again, so connected to my dentists who I see twice a year because they make sure to connect with me on a personal level, whether it’s about cooking or traveling and ask me about it the next time I’m at the dentist.
And what does it take for your online sales counselor to inquire a little bit more about a buyer’s personal life, their family, why they’re moving. And then the next time you send them an email, mention something about that and make it a little more personal that buyer’s going to feel a connection with you rather than you sending them down this automation journey. You can still have that automated journey, but add a little something personal in there.
Alexis: I mean, I’m not saying automation goes away because we do need to have some efficiencies built in, but that little touch, just like you said, no one likes going to the dentist and your dentist connected with you.
I mean, that’s huge. And so I’m going on Zillow. I’m filling out five builder contact forms. And at that one mentions, you know, my dog, Sally, or whatever it might be and connects with me. That’s something I’m going to remember and that stands out. And so a little bit goes a long way.
Chelsey: Yea, such a good tip.
I’ll talk a little bit about my tip because I’ve talked about it before on the podcast. I think people may think I’m a little crazy, but I don’t. My tip of 2022 was about Tik Tok. I said it’s about Tik Tok time.
Tik Tok has officially reached 1 billion users. And is definitely, definitely growing out of, I said out of its reputation of being used as just somewhere Alexis’s daughter can dance and other kids, her age can do a dance and have fun.
I go on Tik Tok to genuinely learn things. To learn recipes, to learn dog training tips.
I follow the home building hashtag and there’s some incredible, incredible home-building Tik Toks on there. Shout out to a couple of our builders that are doing great job on Tik TOK, Shurm Homes, Beacon, Homes by Dickerson, they’re doing such a great job of taking relevant and trending sounds or topics and turning them into home building related social media content.
Which is amazing. And, no while it’s may not be driving hundreds of thousands of people to your website every single day, it’s building your brand building brand awareness and, like Alexis and I have been saying, building a connection between you and the buyer.
If you are getting first time buyers, I mean, we’re only getting younger. If you’re getting, if you you’re getting these first time home buyers, they’re most likely on Tic Tok and they know the trends. And if you’re showing up and showing up there with relevant content, they’re more likely to pick you just like every other brand they follow on social media. Buying a home is going to be no different to those first time home buyers.
Alexis: It makes you, it makes you relatable and it makes you fun and it makes you real and authentic. And I know that’s a lot of words, but it makes you more than just like a, a brand. It makes you just something that people like you said, connect with. And it’s funny because I think a lot of builders are like oh Tik Tok that’s for the kids, right.
I’m approaching an age we don’t need to say. However, I’m very familiar with Tik Tok. Tick tock, tick, tick, tick, and, I am, you know, potentially a move up buyer. And so when I get immersed in a brand or something, I go online and I search it everywhere. I look on their Facebook, I look on their Instagram or look at their Tik Tok. So it’s just another place where you can show up and be yourself and like you said, connect with your buyer.
Chelsey: And like I said before to talk is growing out of the reputation that it has had because so many more people are joining their platforms expanding. And I don’t think it’s super far away from having advertising that anyone can really do. A lot of advertising on Tik Tok.
Tik Tok now is bigger brands, NFL. Just big makeup brands, big hair brands, but I don’t think it’s super far away from being a widespread ad platform similar to that of Facebook and Instagram.
I admittedly have, if any of you remember shlopping, I’m going to throw it back. That’s shopping on social media, that Alexis, Allie and I came up with at Home Builder Tech like years ago.
Um, I have now purchased an embarrassing amount of clothing from Tik Tok. I have found dresses for dresses that I’m wearing to my best friend’s wedding next year, dresses that I wore to the holiday party I’ve purchased them all because I saw them on Tik Tok. And I never really thought that Tik Tok would be a place that would influence my buying decisions.
And it has turned into that and I’m seeing it more and more and more. With just base level products, hair products, clothing products, makeup products, any jewelry, all of those base level products, but you know what happens? That’s what started with Facebook and Instagram and look, we’re selling homes on Facebook now.
So I don’t think it’s super far away doing the same thing on Tik Tok. So get on the trend now, before you’re a laggard.
Alexis: It’s interesting because our industry dare, I say tends to be a little behind.
You heard it here first and I’ll never forget. I don’t know what builder show it was. It was ages ago and a builder came up to me. He said, I’m never going to sell a home on Facebook. And I looked at him and I was like, ah, and you know, here we are, we have traffic and sales from Facebook. And so you heard it here first.
There you go. So Chel, what kind of stuff like just, short and sweet. What kind of stuff can we put out on Tik Tok?
Chelsey: So again, go look at the hashtag home building. Look at the builders that I talked about, but a couple of things you can put out on Tik Tok definitely. Definitely. Your most incredible models and do you can do slow pans with some trending tunes that are happening and people will love it.
Slow pans in the kitchen, slow pans in the bedroom you can do before and afters. I just saw one this morning of Shurm Homes, and there’s a trend where people are snapping their fingers and it changes to different images and they did that with the process of building a home.
And this clearly was thought out well ahead of time, because they have the plot of land she snaps her fingers and it’s the framing. She snaps her fingers all the siding is up. She snapped her fingers, the roof is up. She snaps her fingers, it’s a finished home and the homeowners are going in there. And so progression videos, but again, like Shurm did, taking what is trending now and just thinking about how can we use this in the home building industry?
I mean, people are using the snapping their fingers to show progressions of their dogs growing up, their children growing up. But this is a way to take what is popular in pop culture right now and use it towards homes. And if you feel as if, oh, maybe I can’t think of that. Come to me, come to our social team.
We are more than happy to sit and brainstorm. We love this stuff and this is, I mean, some, some of this type of stuff has been around on Facebook, but there’s really, instead of, except for maybe vine years and years and years ago, Tik Tok is really the first platform where you could put out funny content that is so unoriginal because everybody’s doing this trend, but it’s your chance to make it your own.
And, this hasn’t happened on many other social media platforms before the way it’s happened on Tic Tok.
Alexis: You can have so much fun. You know, you can put together some really, really great stuff. That’s highly engaging and just, yeah, you don’t need to have a video person to do it.
You can do it with all the tools you have on Tik Tok. So I’m told by my 10 year old daughter.
Chelsey: Told and proven by her 10 year old daughter, I mean, if a 10 year old can do it, we can do it right guys.
All right. Now, uh we’re done with Tik Tok. Let’s touch on I know Molly and Matt couldn’t make it, but let’s touch a little bit on, I’ll go to Matt’s first.
His tip of 2022 was focusing on SEO generating content in 2022. He has a funny sentence here while there will always be a place for PPC and CPC. The acronym to focus on for 2022 is SEO, which is funny. We love our acronyms in the marketing world. I know that. Really, what Matt is trying to say and a lot of what we’ve seen in 2020, 2021, and going into 2022, um, it’s getting a little bit harder and a little bit more expensive to advertise on paid marketing paid digital marketing. And so going back to what you were saying before, Lex, with bringing your branding over to your email, your text messages, things you can control, your SEO is a huge, huge part of what you can control and will make a massive difference.
If you are not paying attention to your SEO and optimizing, and that is something you choose to change in 2022. If you’re not blogging, if you’re not looking at all of the different keywords on all of the different pages of your website. Even if your paid ads on Google, do not reflect all of the keywords that are written on your internal pages of your website. Google will not optimize those ads. And so really this is all SEO first thinking.
Matt loves, loves, loves talking about SEO too. So does Adrian on our team. So if you want to talk more about that, definitely feel free to reach out to the two of them. They could talk for literal hours about this stuff.
And there’s so much to talk about and so much to understand. I think over the past couple of months, I’ve heard more questions about SEO from our builders. Then I have in the past seven years of working here. And so I think the building industry is wanting to learn more about it. And 2022 is definitely the time to invest that time in learning more about it and getting it implemented across your website.
Alexis: It’s so important because one thing we know, like when we’re looking at our channels and our reporting, like organic search is such a indicator of high quality traffic. And so it’s not something that you want to not look at or not focus on. And I think with things kind of returning to normal, whatever that might be, it’s really going to be quality over quantity.
So that’s something where SEO and organic traffic and organic search can plays a huge role in the people that are actually getting to our website and getting to our model homes. So it’s definitely important and should always be a focus. But I think, you know, now more than ever.
Chelsey: For sure. All right. Should we, should we move on to the last one? Molly? You want to, you want to give a little recap, Lex?
Alexis: I’ll go into it. So Molly talked about marketing experience through marketing and this kind of talks about what I was saying too is in 2022, now more than ever people want personal, personal, personal, like, you know, I can’t stress that enough.
Um, and she also says every touch point. Starting with your online listing from your OSC, every touch point along the home buying journey is an opportunity to pull customers deeper into your brand story.
Did Molly copy off my tip? Um, but honestly it’s, again, she says this all the time that marketing is about storytelling and it’s throughout the entire experience.
So she says to kind of take a look at your website, right. We’ve said before that. Your website is your model home, take a look at your emails. Are they really representing who you are as a company? Are they speaking your brand voice? Are they really talking, you know, saying what you want them to say? Are you the face of new construction in your local community?
Look at your sales offices look at your models again. This talks about the consistency in everything, and the attention to detail that you create and you tell that story throughout the customer journey.
She says it here too, “delight is often found in the details.” And that kind of goes with what I was talking about before it might seem so small but those little details add up and make you stand out from the next person. It’s being thoughtful, being personal and it get it starting on online, it starting with that phone call, but then it’s kind of developing as soon as that person drives through your community, looks at the signage, walks in the sales office and then talks to that onsite team member where that brand and that story is being told and it’s synchronized and it’s consistent.
Again, it’s all about making sure that you’re kind of paying attention to who you are and those little details and, and just kind of showing how you can create that personal journey throughout all touch points. It’s, it’s really, really true.
And it, and it starts in the online world. Right? So I feel like what she kind of talked about really syncs with everything we’ve been saying here today.
Chelsey: I also think in Molly’s tip, she goes into which we have not talked about too this entire podcast, as we’ve been talking about personalization and brand voice and bringing your branding through your messaging, we’ve been talking all about pre appointment.
And talking to a person, talking to your potential buyer, pulling them in, roping them in, getting them on the email list, talking to them through the journey. When you get that person to come into your sales center or your model. Your branding should not stop there. And Molly talks about this.
Does it follow through to your sales center? Does it follow through to your model? If you’re a builder, who has preached this entire time, that your differentiation is high quality high standards, they should not step into your model and still see blue tape on the wall. They should not step into your model and see dirt on the floor.
And so you need to bring it full force, everything, your whole messaging, pull it through. Uh, we’ve worked with a builder before, McKee Builders. We love them. They’re fantastic. They have also kind of built their family brand and their local builder around one of their dogs, Remy, who is adorable and great, a golden retriever. Remy is not only on their emails, on their social ads, on their social posts, he’s on billboards. And then we did a fun event one time where we hid Remy’s throughout a model. And when people went to the model, they found the Remy’s. Sometimes Remy’s even at the sales center, a lot of times.
Alexis: He’s there a lot of time, many homeowners and customers have the opportunity cause he comes to events like they really, really bring it full circle which is nice.
Chelsey: There, there are pictures of Remi throughout their models. Remy’s pics everywhere. Oh, he’s on the blog. We’re going to be not just Remy’s P I C pics in the model. Remy’s picks P I C K, which is a blog that we do based on Remy. And so people feel that family connection because they’re bringing a family dog into their branding.
And then when they go to the model and they go to the sales centers and they see Remy in person, it’s like meeting a celebrity and it’s meeting a member of the family and it really, really pulls their buyers into make that process feel so much more at home and so much more like a personal process. So what is, what is your experience for your buyer?
Alexis: What do you want to feel like that’s the things that if you’re not asking yourself those questions you should be right. And what can you do differently to change that experience? And I’ll take it even further, like even after a buyer signs, a contract and you know, they’re under contract, like, how are we communicating with them?
What are they getting? You know once they’re waiting for their foundation to be dug, like what, what are we. Saying to them, what are we putting out there? We should carry it all the way through, because we all know we want those good reviews at the end of the day. We want those referrals.
So again, it doesn’t even stop. Once they become a buyer, you really carry that experience through to the end and then some, and that’s what makes a good customer journey.
Chelsey: I’m going to. I thought of a terrible, terrible joke. What I’m saying it right now. So, you know, like the buck stops here.
Chelsey: The brand does NOT stop here.
The brand does not stop anywhere. The brand keeps going.
Alexis: Brand is the gift that keeps on giving.
Chelsey: That’s a good one too. Much better for right after the holidays.
Alexis: That reminds me, on a podcast a while ago, I must’ve been watching Trolls like I said, no lead left behind. It kind of reminds me of that too. But you know, we talk about branding all the time in marketing and I feel like we don’t really realize the power of it.
And if it’s done right, it can be something that just changes everything, changes. The experience changes the amount of customers we have. Everything. If it’s followed through the right way.
Chelsey: It will also just feel effortless and it will seem effortless to the buyer, too.
Chelsey: All right. I think this was a great, great discussion of all the top tips.
Again, there’s so many more we talked about four just four of ours in 30 minutes. There are so many more across these two blogs. Make sure to go read them. And if you have any questions about anything we talked about today, even if you just want to geek out and talk about brands that you love and things you’re thinking of for your brand in 2022, reach out to us, we’d love to chat in the new year, new year, new brand, right?
Happy new year, everyone.