Home Builder Digital Marketing… Where do you start?
Busy home builders everywhere are starting to notice work backlogs aren’t what they were, and there appear to be darker clouds on the horizon when it comes to new housing starts. Marketing that was easy to ignore when you had more work than you could possibly handle, is now becoming a priority.
But where the heck do you start?
There are lots of tools you can use to drive qualified, profitable leads, but there are three that are absolutely fundamental to all others:
1) A well performing website
90% of home buyers (including 73% of senior home buyers) will search for options or research a home builder online before contacting you (NAR 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers). Regardless of which marketing tools are used, and even for word of mouth potential customers, eventually nearly ALL of your prospective customers are going to funnel through your website BEFORE they decide to take the next step with you. Your website is the lynch pin to all your marketing efforts.
You build high quality homes. Your website needs to convey that with every fiber of its being. It needs to connect visually (great photos, presentation, etc.), intellectually (sound reasoning, your unique selling points, etc.) and emotionally. Yes, emotionally. Studies show most people make decisions, like building a home, based upon emotions and then back them up with reasoning. If you’re site is ignoring this point, you’re missing out on great leads.
Secondly, your site needs to encourage the right prospects to contact you. Notice I said the ‘right’ prospects. A great site will subtly discourage those customers who are not a good fit while encouraging the right prospects to contact you with effective calls to action.
2) Local search optimization and citations
If you’re hard to find, or your competitors are showing up more than you, that’s a problem. Search optimization (SEO) is nothing more than optimizing your website so that you show up when someone searches for “home builders” in your area. There are things that need to be done on your website, as well as things to be done outside your website. One of the most important things are citation listings. There are litterally hundreds of sites out there, sites like foursquare, apple maps, mapquest, superpages, yellowbook, and on and on, that will list your site. The more of those that have consistent information pointing back to your website, the better you’ll rank.
3) Review and reputation management
Reviews matter. Even for a product like building a home, reviews matter. Inc Magazine reported 91% of consumers pay attention to reviews and 84% of them trust online reviews as much as friends’ recommendations. And reviews affect your search rankings. If you have poor reviews, or they’re non-existent, this can be a great area to improve the volume of interested prospects visiting your website. There are automated tools that can make getting and improving reviews easy.
That’s it. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to digital marketing to help drive more sales as the housing market starts to slip, those are the big three to start. No doubt you’ve got questions, and we’re here to answer them. Just click here to schedule a quick chat and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and offer some free advice without obligation.