It’s been an interesting year in home building. Sales are tremendous, but the explosion of interest since spring 2020 has definitely come with some pain points. One of the first things builders did was scale back their advertising – understandably. But one thing that home builders can never afford to do, even in a strong market, is eliminate marketing altogether. We’re talking about marketing with a capital “M” – that is your branding, online presence, and customer experience.
Turning off marketing is like turning the “We’re Open” sign backwards. Even if you don’t have to work so hard for leads right now, you should still let people know that you’re open for business and engaged with your audience and community. Here are a few reasons why marketing still matters in this unique market, and why it always will.
Turning off marketing is like turning the “We’re Open” sign backwards.
The Importance of Home Builder Marketing
1) Paid Search Maybe you’re barely keeping your head above water with managing wait lists and build times, but if someone searches for “new homes in [your city],” it’s a smart strategy to still show up when someone is looking for you. Though many buyers are ready to move or build right away, there’s still a percentage that are hoping to make a decision within the next few months or year. When the market cools, supply costs come down, and you’re able to regain some sense of building predictability, these are the buyers you’ll want in your pipeline. Be sure to continue to utilize your paid search marketing, so you won’t be invisible to them.
2) Display and Remarketing According to Group Two data, 10-15% of users on home builders’ websites aren’t converting right now. They WILL, however, convert in 1-3 months (or longer) IF you stay top of mind. And you can’t trust that they’ll remember you – that’s a job for marketing. You don’t want to go dark if someone has actively expressed interest in your homes. Tailor the messaging in your ads specifically to those you have visited your website or your social media profiles, and help them take the next steps to get into your pipeline while setting the appropriate expectations. Once they’re in your CRM, you can personalize your messages to them even more.
3) Branding As we mentioned above, marketing with a capital “M” is so much more than advertising. It’s how you present your brand to your audience and to the world. What do you stand for? What’s different about your product or organization? What is your brand personality, your tone of voice? When someone sees or hears a piece of content from you, do they know it’s you? How are you responding to current market conditions? Having a strong brand will only build your reputation and authority and make you even more attractive to prospects now and in the future.
4) Post-Closing Marketing isn’t just for top-of-the-funnel prospects. It’s for post-contract and post-closing, too. Just because you’ve got the sale doesn’t mean you should stop delighting your buyers. Continue to “wow” them with a well-planned, flawlessly-executed, seamless customer experience that’s just as engaging as your front-end marketing. Use your brand voice and invite them to be part of the process, the hero in their own story.
5) Content Continue to build your content library with resources that inform, educate, and build trust. More than ever, buyers want to get as far along the journey as possible before contacting a sales rep. Let them. Photo galleries, videos, 3D renderings, virtual tours, blog content, live-streamed events – these are all ways to allow buyers to immerse themselves in the experience of buying, building, and living in your homes. By the time they contact you, they’ll be ready to go.
6) Data Analysis Data drives decisions, and is a huge part of marketing. Continue looking at your dashboard for trends in website behavior, ad campaign success, demographic information, and which content users are consuming. That data can help you predict, prepare, and respond to trends that will serve your audience now and help you attract more new visitors when you are ready for them.
7) Planning Ahead At Group Two, our builder partners are using data and forecasting to prepare campaigns as far out as December 2021. By now, your responses to the current housing market should be implemented, and you should be actively preparing for the next phase and planning for future development and growth. Start working on those campaigns now.
Marketing is the sum of many parts. During challenging times, when we scale back one or two aspects of marketing, it’s usually time to put our heads down, get creative, and figure out how to keep our business rolling and come out ahead when more stable conditions return.
For more information on how Group Two can keep your business rolling and prepared for any market, contact us – we’d love to help!