When you think about promoting your home building business, do you think primarily of the whole process—or are you more focused on the specific activities? If you’re like a lot of home builders, it’s a lot easier to look at specific marketing events or activities. It’s a lot easier to wrap your mind around those things.
The thing is, winning a client in the home building industry is a long road. I know that because I spent years in your shoes as a home builder. You know that you can’t just create an ad, run a radio or TV spot, or drop a mailing one day and expect to see results the next. People don’t buy homes the way they buy a pair of shoes. There’s a lot of thought and research that happens before someone is ready to sign a contract.
That doesn’t mean that you don’t engage in marketing activities. That’s still essential, but you need to take a long-range approach with those activities. You have to meet prospective clients exactly where they are in the decision-making process. And you need to tailor your marketing activities to where your prospective clients are in the process.
Practically every potential homeowner starts out gathering information. They may not know exactly what they want yet. They may be torn between buying an existing home or building a new home. They may want to buy a new home but don’t know if they want a “standard” kind of home, a semi-custom home, or a full-blown one-of-a-kind custom home.
These days, almost every one of them begins their search online. That’s where you can help them choose the path that’s right for them. You can talk about the pros and cons of each decision. And you can make it crystal clear to them exactly where your expertise is. Not only do you help these inquirers make a choice that’s right for them, but you also begin to weed out those who really aren’t your prospects.
Now you’re dealing with prospects. These are people who very possibly could be a good fit for your business. But you narrow your marketing efforts even more—providing additional (more specific) information that matches the needs and desires of your specific audience. And you start looking for responses. Prospects that respond to your efforts (by requesting specific information from you in exchange for their contact information) move from prospects to leads.
But even when you’ve narrowed things down to leads, your work isn’t done. How many times have you heard your sales department say, “The leads we get from marketing are no good!” or “Leads from the Internet are worthless!”? Marketing’s job is to cultivate and nurture those leads until they are ready to turn qualified leads over to sales. And that’s when these leads turn into clients.
How long does that all take? It varies a lot. We’ve had Builder Funnel clients who generated qualified leads in less than a week. And we’ve had plenty of clients who saw it take months before their prospects became bonafide leads.
All of this points to the fact that marketing your home builder services isn’t about a single marketing activity. It’s a process in which you provide the right information for the right group at the right time.