Focus discussion of the week:
Chelsey and Melissa take a recent Group Two blog to the next level as they touch on incentives, branding, and content for relocation buyers.
Chelsey: [00:00:00] Hi, and welcome to Building Perspective with Group Two, we are here to bring value to you and your team by exploring all things, new home sales and marketing, all from different perspectives.
Hi everyone. And welcome to another episode of Building Perspective with your favorite host in mind, me, Chelsey! I’m here today with one of our newest team members at Group Two, Melissa Galland. She’s our Director of Brand Experience and she has been here a month, officially, a little over a month when you listen to this podcast. And it’s been a whirlwind of a month, both within Group Two and externally within the housing market. So thanks for hopping on, Melissa. We’re gonna talk about some really exciting stuff. Want to just say hello to all of our listeners.
Melissa: Well, thanks so much for having me, Chelsey. I’m really excited to be on this podcast with you, [00:01:00] especially after listening for as long as I have. It feels really exciting to be on this side of it and talking about this industry that I love so much. So thank you.
Chelsey: Ah, shucks, I’m turning red. You can’t see me, but. Today we are going to talk actually about a blog that we wrote on the top marketing solutions for home builders in 2022. It is published on our website if you would like to go read it. If not, continue listening to the podcast right now. And we’re gonna go a little bit more in depth about some of the topics that we talk about within this blog. So even if you have read the blog, you’ll get some new information here.
So the three main points that we’re going to cover today are incentives, branding, and content for relocation buyers. So if any of those excite you again, keep listening. So [00:02:00] first up, we’re gonna talk about everyone’s favorite topic right now, incentives. Do we need an incentive? Don’t we need an incentive? Are they helpful? Are they not? Melissa, what are your opinions on this?
Melissa: It is definitely a hot topic. I know there was recently a study that came out and 79% of builders at that time, it was the end of July, were running incentives. And my feeling was, as soon as that study came out, probably at least 95% of builders started running incentives because they found out how many other builders were running them. But it’s one of those things where we say like, you don’t need an incentive, lead with your strengths. We talk about that a lot. Focus on what makes you different. But it’s also something that really can vary depending on what you’re selling and who your target demographic is. Right. So, if you’re a high end builder [00:03:00] and you’re selling a luxury product, maybe for you, it’s finding a way to showcase that luxury, even if it is in the form of an incentive, but packaging it. We have these beautiful wine seller options, and we’re gonna include those, you know. So out there in your advertising, you’re letting people know that you have a wine seller option.
Chelsey: I want that.
Melissa: Me too. But again, for different buyer markets, there’s different incentives that make sense if you are going to go down that incentive route. And we were having a great conversation on the millennial buyer, which is you, right, Chels?
Chelsey: That’s me. Hopefully soon. Maybe. Haha.
Melissa So what are your thoughts?
Chelsey: If someone has an incentive. Yeah, so we were just talking right before this podcast, we were sharing what are our opinions on this? And I think that while you may not need an incentive, some people do, like, the [00:04:00] buyer may need the incentive to buy the house. So for example, and I talked about this not too long ago with Kevin Greg on their podcast, but I talked about how the millennial, the upcoming first time home buyers, younger millennials, I would say we’re in our late twenties, early thirties, and again, we’re maybe not even married, maybe we’re buying a loan, we’re starting families way later than our parents started families. We’ve been, we have student loans, which could potentially get paid off now, but we have a lot of school debt. We have a lot of rent debt from renting for so long in a lot of large cities.
And so we don’t have that savings account saved up for a down payment for our closing costs. And so when builders have a $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 closing cost incentive, [00:05:00] that for me right now, I can tell you is my make or break if I could buy and afford a home right now. This market is a making, this demographic is making enough money to pay monthly for a mortgage. But we don’t have that savings. And so, yeah, the builder may not need an incentive to sell their homes, but the buyer may need an incentive to buy your home, if that makes sense.
Melissa: That makes so much sense to me. And I love that because it comes down to, again, really understanding who you are and who you’re building for. And I think that’s a really important thing to consider for any campaign, let alone an incentive. Something along those lines that is really helpful, too is, it’s again, knowing your demographic, what do they need? And one, talking about content, we’re recommending creating a prep to buy content series. And that can be downloadable guides, it can be videos, it can be social content. It can be [00:06:00] all of the above. And just really helping people buy, not just your home as a builder, but a home and helping them on that journey. And I think that’s where again, like, this process is different. For me, I’m a little bit older than you, but not like a ton, but buying a house, when I bought my first house, was a much simpler process. And now there’s so many other things to consider, like you were mentioning before. And how do we educate buyers who are buying for the first time or at different stages on that process, and create that connection and help them? Not just helping ourselves. And I think again, by creating content that is focused on the needs of your buyer and helping better enable them to make a purchase when they are ready for that purchase, they’re gonna come to you.
Chelsey. Definitely. I mean, I know if I didn’t have a cousin as a realtor, or my parents who have bought multiple homes, [00:07:00] or if I didn’t work in this market, I would have no clue how to buy a home or where to even begin to think to search. So if you can be there as a resource, like you’re saying, it’s so helpful.
Melissa: Yeah. And, and in that vein too, it’s not just for the first time home buyers that the education is important. I think as a society, as a whole, we’re really focused on, you know, again, we’re not just purchasing, we’re learning, we’re educating. I mean, I’ve watched video after video on flat irons before I made a purchase, so you better believe I’m gonna expect a similar, if not much better level of educational information when I’m purchasing a home, even as a move up buyer. And we are actually kind of in the process right now with one of our builders, Homes by Dickerson, we’re creating this whole content series around their amazing design process. They are not targeting entry level [00:08:00] buyers or first time buyers with this, but it is for the move up buyer who needs to better understand the process in building a custom home. So again, it doesn’t, the content we, in the blog, we reference a prep to buy package, but it’s not limited to prepping to buy that first home. It’s your home, your target customer.
Chelsey: That makes so much sense and also leads us right into the next point we wanted to talk about which was branding. And I know you touched on the Homes by Dickerson and their design process, and that they’re using that for their move up buyer, but. Also within their market, their design process and their design consultants who all have design certifications, completely differentiates them in their market. And while it’s not their entire brand, it’s a part of their brand that totally sets them apart. So can you talk a [00:09:00] little bit more about branding within today’s market? I know so many people that listen to this podcast, we’ve talked about branding so many times, but how is branding a little bit different now and how can builders lean into branding right now?
Melissa: Yeah. First, I’ll say just the basics. Again, we’re in a more competitive market. So if your logo is pixelated or really dated and needs a refresh, there’s the general kind of branding update that can be done. And this is a great time to focus on that, because again, you’re trying to differentiate yourself. But for buyers today, we talked about their need for content and education. It is not just the pretty logo that’s gonna get you there. So we’re really talking to all of our builder partners about promoting what they’re doing in the community. So many of our builders are doing amazing things in the community. Talk about it, share what you’re doing [00:10:00] to make a difference. Building a home itself and building these neighborhoods and communities, that’s adding to our local area. But also, are you part of a diaper drive? Are you involved in other areas? Let your buyers know because that is gonna change how they view your brand. And that’s important. People really wanna feel inspired also about your culture and how you’re treating your team. So have a page on your website that talks about that. Have employees or team members that are raving fans and are bragging about how much they love working for your company. And buyers will see that, and they’re gonna feel better about making a purchase. It will also quite frankly, help in your recruiting goals for new team members too, because that excitement is contagious and people wanna be part of it. So I think it’s, it’s really those things. It’s the community, it’s the team, it’s the customer experience. And also part of the whole branding [00:11:00] kind of what’s included in that is your process. And so creating your brand message that is targeted to your process so people don’t at the end of the day end up being frustrated because you know, maybe your campaign was it’s easy as 1, 2, 3. but you are an on your land builder, and there’s all these steps that they have to go through. So then your initial marketing campaign that got them in the door makes them a detractor for your business. So really just evaluating the whole process and what people are looking for in this market.
Chelsey: I love branding. I love talking about it. I love listening to it. I love when builders come to us and they feel like they don’t have a brand and we’re able to explore that a little bit more.
So, I always give homework on my podcast. I have another homework for the end of it, but homework in the middle of this, think about your brand and think about if you have a differentiator or not, or like [00:12:00] Melissa said, what is bringing people in the door that you are talking about, about your brand? Is it your customer experience? And maybe you haven’t thought about this that much in the past two years since homes were really selling, but now I think it’s time to rethink about that and consider, is your differentiator something different than what you originally thought it was? It’s always good to think through these, every, I, I would say every year, think about it in the new year. Think about what makes you different. So that’s your homework on branding, number one. I’ll have more homework for you later. But first, before I give you the rest of your homework, I know, we have to go through our third and last topic from this blog, which was content for relocation buyers. We all know that relocation was really hot in the last [00:13:00] couple of years because of remote work and moving and getting new jobs.
And we have done a lot of targeting for relocation buyers, I know on the social media side and on the keyword side, but content for relocation buyers is a little bit different. Melissa. Let’s talk about that.
Melissa: It’s a really, I think great point to hit on right now. And that’s why we have it in the blog, obviously, but I was recently looking at the data and we are on this, like kind of the, hopefully knock on some wood here, the tail end of the pandemic. A lot of people are going back to work. So builders might be thinking, why am I gonna focus on relocation now? But we are still seeing a great number of people working in remote jobs. I just took a remote job and I’m really excited about it. And surveys came back recently and just looking at the data from people looking to buy, there’s a 16% increase from 2019 to [00:14:00] today of people that are not limited to location. So we used to just be able to say, location location, location. And that’s how we can sell a home. That’s not the case anymore when we have remote jobs, remote schools for goodness sakes. So finding the content, that’s really going to drive that traffic to your website from reasons it’s great to live in this area where you have a community and kind of making that checklist. Thinking about your buyer profile. Again, going back to that main topic, which it seems to be a bit of a theme here, but looking at your, your customer, who are you targeting and what information do they care about? Are you targeting young families? Then talk about the schools, talk about the things that are relevant to them, and that can include also like favorite spots, restaurants, things that, again, align with your core customer.
Chelsey: Now comes your second piece of homework. If you didn’t already guess it’s about [00:15:00] relocation buyers. So if you are a builder and you know that you’ve been selling to some relocation buyers, your homework, if you don’t have one already, is to publish one blog on your website that is targeted towards relocation buyers. Whether like Melissa said, it’s about the perfect date nights in your town, or whether it’s about how to move from state to state. Be a resource for your relocation buyer. We talked about this right at the beginning of this podcast. It doesn’t have to be a first time buyer for them to need continued education on the home building and home buying process. And so, second piece of homework, if you have relocation, buyers, give them resources that they need, whether it’s social media posts, whether it’s a blog on your website, put out one piece of content next week on how to help them out.
I [00:16:00] don’t know if people actually end up doing my homework that I give them or not, but I like to fall asleep thinking that they do and that it makes them better.
Melissa: I’m excited about that.
Chelsey: I [00:16:00] don’t know if people actually end up doing my homework that I give them or not, but I like to fall asleep thinking that they do and that it makes them better.
Melissa: Do you have like this red pen, like in your dream, like, and you’re like giving A’s and like your score.
Chelsey: Exactly. I’m giving you all little gold stars for doing your homework. But truly I love hearing when people do do their homework.So if you do, please reach out to Group Two, let us know what you’ve done, if it helped you or not, and let us know if there’s a topic that you would love to hear about and we will put it on our content calendar. That’s our homework then, to put what you wanna listen to on our content calendar. So to wrap it up, is there any last points you wanna say, Melissa, either about this topic, about Group Two, about your weekend? Whatever you wanna talk about to, to say goodbye.
Melissa: [00:17:00] Well, yeah, again, I guess, would this be my first podcast, I just, I wanna say to anyone who’s listening and to all of Group Two, just again, like how happy I am to be here. I’ve been getting to know so many amazing builders across the country. Just seeing what people are doing has been such a pleasure and also getting to work with people like you, it’s been really amazing Chelsey, so I’m just really glad to be here and full of gratitude. So thank you.
Chelsey: Yay. Well, we’re happy to have you, and I’m sure you will all be hearing a lot from Melissa on the podcast in the future. So thank you all for tuning in today and have a great day.