Home builders have the privilege of playing an integral role in the most important investment of a person’s life. Pretty incredible, right? Proving you are the right builder to make someone’s dreams a reality is easier said than done, though.
Successful campaigns are crucial to your success in helping you reach the right audience and stand out from the competition, but accomplishing that is far more laborious than a straight line from point A to point B. Developing, implementing, and tracking a home builder marketing campaign takes time and effort.
Whether you’re looking to supplement existing marketing tactics with improved techniques or completely revamp your campaign, you’ve come to the right place. This comprehensive guide to home builder marketing outlines some necessary steps to follow to ensure your campaign is as successful as possible. Let’s dive in!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Elevating the Customer Experience
- The Future of Digital Marketing
- Measuring Marketing - Which KPIs to Track
- Modern Web Design Best Practices
- Mission Statement
- Slogan and Tagline
- Value Proposition
- Virtual Reality and 3D Renderings as Part of Your Marketing Campaign
- Build Relationships with Customer Surveys
Before assembling the elements of a great marketing campaign, you must recognize this truth — customer experience is the single most important piece of the puzzle. As such, all of your efforts must focus on elevating the customer experience to a point that exceeds the homebuyer’s wildest expectations.
Don’t believe us? Just take a minute to think about some of the recent brands you’ve interacted with. Whether it’s a positive or negative connotation, the experience that company provided from your very first touchpoint all the way through the final purchase and beyond sticks with you for a reason.
Now imagine that same experience occurring on the greatest investment of your life. Suffice to say, the stakes become higher.
The need to create an unbeatable customer experience through all three stages of the buyer’s journey — awareness, consideration, and decision — becomes even more important for home builders for two main reasons:
Long Sales Cycle
Buying a home is not a quick process, especially when working with home builders who tailor the home to the buyer’s specifications. Because of that, the buyer’s journey is substantially longer than that of other purchases. As a home builder, that puts added pressure on you to ensure the customer experience is exceptional for a prolonged period of time.
For the majority of homebuyers, this is the most expensive purchase they will make in their lifetime. With that truth comes the expectation that their experience as your customer will also be the best best of their lifetime.
Home builders who create a meaningful, lasting customer experience for the homebuyer understand their intricate needs and wishes and how to help them get there. For a deeper dive into creating a memorable customer experience, read our entire guide to customer experience.
In order to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that your customer experience is better than any other home builder, it’s important to consider trends in home builder digital marketing.
The adoption of digital marketing is obviously nothing new in the home building industry; however, its prominence is only going to grow as we work to understand the new normal created by COVID-19.
What does that mean for you? Simply put, it’s time to take calculated risks and implement proactive digital marketing strategies that allow you to stay on top of an ever-evolving industry. Utilize these five tactics effectively now to better your home builder marketing efforts:
- Utilize Human-To-Human Online And Semi-Virtual Experiences — It’s to view video chat and other forms of virtual connection as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. Virtual connectivity allows you to successfully establish an online presence and reach more customers.
- Capitalize on SEM and SEO — Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are bound to continue increasing in prominence as more and more people are conducting their home search online.
- Establish Digital Brand Differentiation — Building brands that stand out from the competition gives homebuyers a reason to trust you instead of others in the industry.
- Incorporate Build-and-Buy Options — homebuyers want customization. After all, it’s those specific touches that make a house a home. Online build-and-buy options add a sense of customization to their search for the perfect home.
- Use Omnichannel Home Builder Digital Marketing — Omnichannel marketing allows you to target the same buyer on the various platforms that they use on a daily basis, including connected TVs, phones, tablets, and computers.
As we mentioned above, digital marketing is not new for home builders. However, optimizing your usage of digital marketing as a home builder could be another story.
As homebuyers turn to the internet for more information and simplicity on their search for the perfect home, it’s imperative to understand their digital actions as they relate to your company. When used correctly, online data can reveal so much about the way potential clients interact with your brand online.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) can give you invaluable insight into the success of your website in terms of attracting homebuyers, keeping them engaged, and converting them into customers. While you might already have a grasp on basic website data — such as organic impressions and conversion rate — it’s important to consider more obscure KPIs that have a huge impact, including:
- Behavior Flow — Various tools allow you to track the actions of your visitors to determine if they are following the path you want them to follow after landing on your home page or landing page.
- Bounce Rate — Bounce rate shows what percentage of visitors are entering your site and leaving it without visiting any other pages on your site.
- Conversion Sources — Take your conversion tracking a step further by identifying the source of each conversion to understand the channels that are underachieving and overachieving.
Online interaction between home builders and homebuyers has never been more prominent. Sure, you might experience some success with T.V. ads and face-to-face exposure, but the internet is king. Homebuyers need a place they can consistently turn to that answers their questions, builds interest in your brand, and proves what sets you apart from their other options.
And while access to the internet and your home builder website is easier than ever, that also means that attention spans are shorter than ever. If a homebuyer can’t easily navigate your website to find exactly what you offer, they will look elsewhere.
It’s your job to combat that by ensuring your website does two things — immediately grabs the visitors attention, and keeps them engaged long enough for them to understand your value propositions. Here are six practices to keep in mind to accomplish both objectives:
- Consistent, on-brand, and high-quality imagery
- Copywriting that tells a story
- Effective layout and formatting
- Mobile-friendly design
- Virtual tours
Now it’s time to get into some more tangible things you can create to begin telling your brand story. Home builder mission statements set the tone for your brand promise by accomplishing two crucial steps:
Create Internal Alignment
For any team to reach its full potential, they have to be aligned in terms of processes and goals. Concise, motivating mission statements will make it clear for your team members to understand exactly what you’re doing, why you’re doing, and how they fit into the puzzle.
Increase External Awareness
Though most external messaging occurs in your value proposition, slogan, and overall brand promise, your mission statement can be another way to communicate your values to potential buyers. When homebuyers are aware of your internal alignment and overall mission as a builder, it begins to build a trustworthy relationship that is expanded throughout their experience with you.
Creating and communicating your mission statement keeps you on track as a builder and will likely be the foundation for other external messaging (more on that below), so it’s crucial that you take the time to develop it. To learn more about tips on writing your home builder mission statement, read our entire article here.
Think back to the brand you recalled in the customer experience section of this page. Can you also remember their slogan or tagline? Chances are, if your experience was mundane and unmemorable, you barely remember the company itself, much less the slogan. If, on the other hand, your experience was overwhelmingly positive or negative, the slogan is more likely to stick in your mind — see how powerful customer experience is?!
Developing a memorable slogan is one of the biggest accomplishments a brand can achieve. It sums up all of the most important aspects of a brand in a concise, engaging way. The result? Every time someone hears that slogan, your brand immediately catapults to the top of their mind.
For home builders, slogans and taglines also set the stage for your value proposition. Your slogan can showcase the benefits of building with you, evoke emotional responses from buyers, and begin establishing brand promises that you can build on in your value proposition.
Our guide to home builder slogans and taglines digs deeper into the importance and benefits of expertly crafted slogans and taglines — check out the full article now.
With a mission statement and slogan in place, you can now focus your efforts on one of the most important pieces of your brand promise — the value proposition.
Value propositions answer a crucial question on the mind of every buyer — why should I choose you instead of competitors X, Y, and Z?
To answer this question, you have to prove that you intimately understand the buyer’s specific pain points before communicating what you do differently that solves these problems. The value proposition itself should clearly differentiate you from other home builders and can include, among many other things, the following:
- Promises of timeliness and quality
- Unique location
- Unbeatable amenities
- Emotional challenges that you solve
- Industry experience
- Past customer satisfaction
Learn more about home builder value propositions, including the steps you can take when crafting your, in this article.
At this point in your home builder marketing process, your brand is at a point to go to market. Your mission statement is concise and team members aligned; your slogan is in place and ready to make a memorable impact on homebuyers; and you have set yourself apart from the competition with a unique value proposition.
Now it’s time to get people interested! Home builder events have long been an important aspect of successful home builders. After all, how can you expect buyers to choose you without any exposure?
There’s a small problem, though — COVID-19 has completely altered the way that home builder events can be held. Restrictions still vary by state — and likely will for the foreseeable future — but the fact remains that engaging home builder events and in-person tours are not as feasible as they once were. So, what are you to do?
- Parade of Homes — Though typically in person, Parades of Homes can still give you the ability to showcase your different builds in a virtual setting.
- Webinars — The pandemic has brought webinars more into the mainstream as a replacement for keynote speeches and other forms of thought-leadership events. The goal behind webinars for home builders is to attract buyers by focusing on topics that they will value — home decorating, home improvement, or gardening tips.
- Charity Events — Charity events attract buyers in both a meaningful and fun manner. Identify some local charities you are passionate about and develop a partnership with them to showcase your homes in a unique way.
- Athletic Events — 5ks and other races have long been a popular event for many industries, but they are not as doable due to social distancing rules. There are other athletic events — virtual and in person — that can replace crowded events, such as virtual bike races or socially distanced yoga classes.
- Local Partnerships — Partnering with local businesses is a mutually beneficial decision that allows you to showcase your homes while incentivizing business, which could develop into long-term relationships.
Finding creative ways to hold home builder events can show potential buyers that you are invested in them regardless of what is happening in the world. Read this article to learn more about how to incorporate home builder events post-COVID.
While home builder events do indeed build interest around your homes, the challenge of actually showing customers your homes remains. That’s where virtual reality and 3D renderings come into play.
What better way to showcase your homes virtually than actually putting the buyer in the home and letting them picture themself living in it? Virtual reality and home building are a match made in heaven for a number of reasons:
- Buyers can not only see all of your models at once, they can do so from the comfort of their own home
- If a buyer wants another tour or to pick the brains of their friends and family, they can do so easily
- Buyers can spend as much time browsing your homes as they need
Every successful marketer understands that the process doesn’t end after the final sale. If anything, that’s where the fun begins.
Assessing the success of all the different tactics you utilized allows you to work and rework different strategies for the next go-around, and customer surveys are one of the best ways to do this. Personalized customer surveys give you the opportunity to learn what led buyers to choose you and what pushed them away.
To get the most out of this opportunity, it’s vital to follow a few tips:
- Encourage specific feedback rather than generic yes/no questions
- Be authentic to your brand identity
- Keep it short and sweet
- Time your surveys strategically
Our complete guide to home builder customer surveys looks at each of these points in depth. Read more now to begin mastering the art of customer surveys.
TAKE THE NEXT STEPS
You have the resources, now put them to good use! Home builder marketing is an art that deserves time and attention, and these tactics will set you on the right path to identifying a truly remarkable brand.
Here at Milesbrand, home builder marketing brand creation is what we do best. We know that you have plenty on your plate as a home builder as is. If you’re ready to take your marketing efforts and brand identity to the next level, our team is ready to help! Reach out to us today to get started.