Being stuck at home this year may be motivating homeowners to make a change. According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market jumped over 20% in the summer of 2020. Several factors are surely contributing to this spike in home buying. More of us are working from home, students are learning from home, and what once was an adequate amount of square footage may now seem a bit cramped.
Realtors aren’t the only ones benefiting from this unexpected upturn in real estate. Home builders are seeing a big increase in traffic to their websites and requests for information. As the demand for new homes continues to rise, custom home builders need to make sure their marketing and sales strategies are ready to ride the wave.
Home builders need websites that take specific marketing elements into consideration. The competition is steep and there is little room for error. In our experience designing and building websites and digital marketing strategies for home builders, we’ve discovered five proven marketing elements that are essential for engaging prospects, converting leads, and winning more business.
5 Essential Marketing Strategies for Home Builders
1. Ensure that Your Branding is Consistent
Home buyers expect consistency and excellence from the company they trust to build their forever homes. When searching for a custom home builder, customers will be turned off by any observable inconsistency. This is why it’s critical that you ensure that every potential touchpoint between you and your ideal customer is a perfect reflection of the experience they will have working with your business.
Maintaining brand consistency is a huge topic that can take many different directions. Depending on your unique needs, here are some question to consider and tips to help you evaluate your brand consistency of your custom home building business:
- How’s the visual appeal of your brand?
If your logo and marketing collateral look outdated, it’s likely time for a refresh. Before entering into a rebranding process, make sure that you have budget and time to update all of your collateral with the new designs.
- Does the look and feel of your brand reflect who you are as a company?
Another visual checkpoint is evaluating how well your logo and brand elements complement your product. Whether you’re a modern custom home designer or build homes with that Chip and Jo-Jo farmhouse vibe, your logo and design should reflect the style of the product you offer.
- Is there consistency between your website and social media pages?
An area we often see inconsistency is between a company’s website and social media profiles. You may have a brand new logo and beautiful website, but if your Facebook page is full of old content and low-quality pictures, you may turn off prospective clients.
- What do prospective clients find when they search your company name?
Many companies unintentionally neglect their digital footprint, yet this tends to be one of the biggest pitfalls of brand inconsistency in marketing. Make a regular practice of googling your company name and make sure that everything that pops up is accurate. You may be surprised where outdated contact information or an old logo may appear in an online directory or review website that isn’t on your radar.
One of our custom home building clients, Roland Builder, enlisted us to help with branding, website development, and social media marketing. We are seeing fantastic results from the work we’ve done together. Check out this case study to learn more.
2. Build a Strong Website
Your website is the most powerful tool in your marketing toolbox, especially for custom home builders. This is where your prospective clients will camp out as they evaluate whether or not to do business with you. First and foremost, make sure that your website is responsive, loads fast, and is optimized for local search engine optimization (SEO). Here are more tips for a strong website:
- Top-quality videos and photography (more on that below)
- Customer testimonials
- Prominently displayed calls-to-action (e.g. schedule an appointment)
- Multiple ways to contact you (e.g. email, phone, live chat, social media)
- Interactive map and directions page
- Blog and relevant resources for prospective clients
A strong website is essential to an effective marketing strategy for custom home builders—it’s the backbone of every marketing activity you deploy. This is not a place to cut corners. If you’re unsatisfied with the performance of your current website, please send us a message. We can help you fix your website problems and create a website that you will love.
3. Don’t Skimp on Imagery—Hire a Professional.
Custom home builders can’t afford to skimp on imagery. Your sales will increase significantly if you include photo galleries and videos on your website, but these images need to be high quality. A professional will know how to capture photos and videos with proper lighting and angles to make the product shine.
Hiring a professional also helps ensure brand consistency. When you’re selling custom homes, the last thing you want is bad photography or choppy video on your website. Consumers expect to see and inspect your product online before they ever make an appointment. Excellent photos and videos can become some of your best salespeople, so be sure to invest heavily here and you will see a strong return.
4. Showcase Your Best Work With Video
We talked about hiring a pro to capture pictures and videos of your product and your process, but don’t overlook these other aspects of digital video that can be leveraged in a variety of ways.
- Video walk-throughs and virtual tours—The more experiential you can make your brand, the longer prospects will engage with your product. These can be used on your website, social media, and in email marketing campaigns.
- Customer testimonials—Record video testimonies from satisfied customers. Let them tell your prospective clients what it’s like to work with you and how happy they are with the dream house you’ve built for them. These videos can also be repurposed on social media and email marketing campaigns.
- Brand Videos—A strong brand is rooted in positive experiences your customers have with your product or service. Brand videos are an excellent way to showcase who you are as a company. Highlighting interviews with employees and partners who contribute to the brand experience build credibility and trust between you and your prospects.
- Aerial videos and drone footage—we can do so much more now with drone video capabilities. Giving your audience a 360 degree view of your product is an impressive way to add value to your brand. Especially if you’re building a planned development, using aerial footage will make much more of an impression than maps and blueprints.
Your potential customers are on your website primarily to get information. Video is a great way to provide answers and education about your product or service. This also helps showcase your personality and what it’s like to work with you. Check out the videos we produced for 4G Design Build in North Carolina:
5. Social Media & Pay Per Click
It’s helpful to think of social media marketing in two primary ways: drivers and engagers. Marketing “drivers” are usually paid advertising opportunities that drive traffic to your website while marketing “engagers are activities that share helpful and meaningful content to build the brand. Use pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic to your website (drivers) and use your social media profile pages to share content and start conversations with potential clients (engagers).
Targeted campaigns on platforms like Facebook can drive more traffic to your website, and retargeting ads can keep your brand in front of prospective customers until they are ready to buy. Underscoring that with great content that is meaningful and useful to your target audience will result in higher organic traffic and establish your brand as a thought leader or influencer within your niche.
Earlier this year when the pandemic started to impact the economy, we worked with Roland Builder on a series of social media videos that they recorded in their homes and sent to us for post-production. This was a fantastic way to connect with a more captive audience and use video to keep business moving forward when product was on pause.
How Can We Help Your Marketing Efforts?
We hope the information we shared here helps you create a better marketing strategy for your custom home building business. Custom home builders want websites that are both beautiful and functional, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice one for the other. We build custom websites for home builders around the United States and know exactly how to design a site that attracts and converts leads.
If you have questions or need help with specific aspects of your marketing plan, please reach out to us. We can help you create a strong online presence that truly reflects your brand online. We look forward to working with you!
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