Most home builders have to be somewhat encouraged with the way the housing market has been headed lately. As The New York Times reports, “The Housing Market is Finally Starting to Look Healthy.”
That may be great news, but if you’ve been building homes for a while you know that the industry is subject to change. Maybe you’re busy now, but what can you do to ensure that you’ll be busy if the market cools off a little?
It’s important to keep in mind that home buying—especially for people who are looking to build a new home—isn’t a quick decision. The prospects that may sign a contract with you in six or 12 months are gathering their information now. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and act now if you want to reap the benefits later.
That’s really what home builder marketing is all about. We’re not talking home sales—we’re talking home marketing. What that means is that you’re delivering the kind of helpful information to the right kind of people (your target audience) that will enable them to make the right decision when it’s time to buy.
So what can you focus on now?
Focus on Your Audience
Think about the audience you’re really trying to reach. Your sales team doesn’t want to spend time talking to “prospects” that are never going to buy from you. Think about who your ideal client is. Describe him or her. Sure, you’re going to want to think about pricing, but you need to go beyond that. Think about age groups. Do these people have children? What kinds of things are important to them in a house? What do they look for in a community? Be as specific as you can. Take time now to define—or perhaps refine your definition of—your “perfect” client.
Reach Prospects Where They Are
Where do you think prospective clients begin their search for their new home? Like just everything else today, people head to the Internet to collect information. If you want to reach people, you need to have your information where they can find it. That means making sure people are finding you on your website.
Create Great Content
You hear a lot today about “Content Marketing,” but what is that? Essentially it’s about having the kind of content on your website that people want to see and read. That’s how you attract prospects to your site in the first place—and it’s how you build a relationship with them over time. If prospects know that you’re going to give them the kind of answers to the real questions they have about building a home, they’ll keep coming back. And if you’ve really helped them, there’s a much better chance that you’ll make their “short list” of builders when it’s time to bid. One of the best ways to do that is through regular blogging that tackles the questions and concerns most homeowners have—with information that helps them make decisions that are right for them.
Stay Out In Front
You don’t want to get behind with your marketing efforts. Online marketing for builders can be very effective—but it’s not an overnight proposition. You can’t start it up and expect it to generate results in a week. That’s why you want to be consistent with your marketing efforts now so that the prospects you’re talking to this month will be qualified leads six months from now.
Business may be good now, but if you want it to be good (or even better) six months or a year down the road, you’ll want to pay attention to your market ahead of time.