Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Homebuilders

As a homebuilder in an increasingly competitive market, getting ahead with your real estate marketing plan will give you an advantage on your competition and increase your value as a contractor. In much the same way you leverage creativity in your trade, you must be creative when it comes to your marketing.

Creative real estate marketing starts with a rock solid online presence and strategy and, once established, can be built up on the foundational level. Here are 8 creative real estate marketing tools you should be utilizing now.

  1. Video

Video is a vital piece to your marketing puzzle, especially when it comes to helping prospective home buyers visualize their future home. Whether you’re in the custom home market or not, video content is a great way to help your clients better understand what it is you do and what makes you unique.

Leveraging video by making them personable, relatable, authentic, and unique to your brand helps build brand awareness and rapport in your industry. These articles below can guide you in the right direction to make fantastic video content:

  1. Optimized Landing Pages

Landing pages are where your online prospects “land” after reading through your content. This is your customer’s gateway into your sales funnel and where they are willing to enter your sales process with hopes of a return of more education about your brand or products.

Optimized landing pages improve the chances that a potential customer enters your sales funnel and draws their focus toward the important points about the offer presented them. Here are some resources on the value of optimized landing pages:

  1. Use Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is far less scary than it may seem on the surface and can actually be an extremely valuable tool for identifying buying trends, behaviors, and interests of individuals and families seeking a quality homebuilder.

Marketing automation can (and should be) personalized and will help your leads matriculate through your sales funnel faster. This gives you the ability to nurture leads into sales and gives you crucial insights into individual buying behaviors. Marketing automation is more than drip emails and encapsulates a vast area of lead nurturing. Check out these useful references:

What are the benefits of marketing automation for senior living communities? Learn here!

  1. Social Media

An often overlooked aspect but highly important piece of your marketing puzzle is social media. There’s a high likelihood that your customers will start their search for a homebuilder by some form of social media, and your presence there could very well make the difference between getting a lead and losing a sale.

Knowing what to do with social media requires a bit of a learning curve to someone who may be new to it as more than a social platform. Business social media in conjunction with a quality attraction marketing campaign is a slightly different animal, but we’ve got a few key posts aimed at making your social media presence a fruitful one:

  1. Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC advertising may seem unfamiliar and (if put in the wrong hands) very costly; however, PPC advertising done right is a primary structural piece of your attraction marketing efforts and can greatly improve your marketing ROI.

Two of the leading platforms for PPC ads are Facebook and Google with both performing admirably for myriad industries and are critical for the awareness stage of your buyer’s journey. Take a look at these resources for leveraging PPC to your advantage as a homebuilder:

  1. Retargeting

Sometimes referred to as remarketing, retargeting deals largely with resurrecting forgotten leads who have either fallen out of your workflows or to heat up a lead gone cold. Retargeting focuses largely on marketing qualified leads or MQLs. MQLs have already been qualified for sales and have entered the consideration stage of their buying journey.

This is a great time to churn up that cold lead and get it back into your lead nurturing program. Here are some ways retargeting can help your leads heat back up:

  1. Content and Inbound Marketing

Often used interchangeably, content or inbound marketing leverages your expertise and online presence as a hub of information and attracts potential customers to your brand. Unlike more traditional outbound marketing where leads were often untraceable, inbound gives you the power to track your leads from beginning to end. Check out these resources for yourself:

  1. Email Marketing

As we mentioned previously, email marketing is an essential part of your lead nurturing process and can keep prospective customers in the loop with what’s going on in the housing industry and your company’s building endeavors. Like any tool in your marketing toolkit, email marketing has a place and a time in your buyer’s journey. Specifically, email marketing is geared towards the information hungry buyer during the attraction phase.

Nevertheless, email marketing is relevant throughout their journey. It can be even more critical in the middle of the funnel where leads tend to fall away. These resources below can give you a better understanding of how email marketing fits into a creative real estate marketing plan:

email marketing program

homebuyers

Meet The Newest Generation Of Homebuyers- Gen Z

A new generation is starting to make its presence known. That is Generation Z. They are entering the real estate market in growing numbers. Most are currently renting, but a growing number are looking to move into home ownership. Real estate professionals need to understand this new generation of homebuyers.

What Defines Generation Z?

Generation Z is defined as those born between 1995 and 2010. They are the generation that grew up with the Internet being common place. Currently, they are over 66 million strong, making them over 20% of the American population. This generation is ethnically and racially diverse. They are also the first generation to grow up with Internet access being the norm.

Home Builder Marketing Tips To Drive Traffic And Sales 

  • They want to own a home. Generation Z, like the generations older than them, think that home ownership is a major part of the American Dream. What makes them different is that many of them are looking to move to home ownership at a rapid rate, though their income levels are still at entry level figures. This drive to own a home is focusing many of them to prepare for home ownership early.
  • They want to belong to a community. Members of Generation Z love to have shared amenities. They like being part of communities. In fact, a full third of them are very involved with their community or neighborhood. This need to belong to a community is going to influence the neighborhoods they choose and the amenities they want.
  • They use social networking in the home buying process. This goes back to being the most technology connected generation. When looking for a home, to rent or own, they turn to their family and friends for help. They share the search process with friends and roommates at rates not seen in other generations. This shows why tapping into social networks is critical for tapping into this generation as homebuyers.

Homebuilder Marketing: Target Your Homebuyers With A New Media Mix 

  • They rent in smaller buildings. The reason for this trend is not completely obvious. However, some real estate experts speculate that it relates back to the need of many Generation X members to be part of their community. A smaller building offers better chances to meet neighbors and build relationships.
  • They use the Internet to do research and to put in rental applications. This is a natural extension of their social networking and comfort with technology. They “google” everything. Gen Z wants to put in applications online and they don’t want to have to go into an office to do it. They learn what they want from the Internet and use that information to make decisions on where they live.

Want more Real Estate Marketing Resources? Click here!

Generation Z is starting to make their presence known as homebuyers. Their impact is going to be even stronger in the coming years. Learning what matters to this generation is the first step in helping them become homeowners, whether now or in the next few years.

Learn To Use Social Media To Find New Leads

real estate advertising agency

When Should You Hire A Real Estate Advertising Agency?

If you are a home builder, you are busy with the details of running your company: bookkeeping, employee management, client projects and paying the bills. Marketing is part of that effort, but, at some point, you may start to wonder if hiring someone to help might be a good idea. When is the right time to hire a real estate advertising agency?

When Should You Hire an Advertising Agency?

There is no set answer as to when you should hire an advertising agency for your business. Your situation is unique and only you can determine if you need help. However, there are some guidelines you can use when making that decision.

        Do you want to grow your business faster?

Remember, time is money in the construction game. If you want to bring in more projects, build more houses, or move into the big leagues, you need to step up your marketing. If you don’t have the time or resources to devote to that additional marketing effort, you need to bring in an outside agency. They have the knowledge and expertise to market your construction business to the right audience.

Click here to read about Real Estate Video Marketing Ideas For Homebuilders

Are you running out of ideas on how to improve your marketing?

Unless you are a marketing professional, you probably have limited knowledge on the subject. You may start to run out of ideas on how to step up your marketing efforts. That is when a real estate advertising agency can help.

Their focus and expertise is marketing. They know how to reach your potential audience using a variety of marketing tactics, many of which you have never even thought of. They can definitely give your marketing a positive boost.

Are you running low on time and/or resources to handle the marketing in-house?

You are a home builder. While marketing is part of your job, it is definitely not its main focus. Hiring someone from outside is an efficient use of time and resources. It will give your company more time and money to focus on attracting clients and building new homes. That way, you can keep costs down while improving your profits.

You Still Need to Be Involved

When you make the decision to outsource your marketing to a real estate advertising agency, you still need to be involved. Building homes is a very personal business. The advertising must reflect your approach to working with clients and building homes. Otherwise, potential clients are going to get confused, which erodes that critical trust required in the home construction business.

As stated before, only you can decide when to bring in an agency to handle your marketing needs. When you do make that decision, take the time to find an agency that can understand what you want to accomplish. That way, your advertising will reflect you and your business.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

homebuilder marketing

Home Builder Marketing Tips To Drive Traffic And Sales

Any ad agency executive doing homebuilder marketing has undoubtedly heard these words from her clients, “we need more traffic.” And while there’s no magic bullet for homebuilder marketing that’s going to drive a specific number of visitors to a sales center in a given week, don’t underestimate the power of partnerships and focused events.

Drive On-Site Traffic With An Event

Recently, we harnessed the weight of one of our media partners to pull off a successful grand re-opening for a homebuilder in Chicagoland. With a property that has been underway for more than 10 years, we were looking for a way to reinvigorate the community and attract new people to the site. The builder was opening new models and we used that as our launch pad.

[Learn How To Tell Your Partner’s Story]

Capitalize On A Strong Media Partnership

With a limited budget, we partnered with a multimedia company with a local focus to develop a comprehensive marketing plan. The media mix spanned digital, print, email, and even public relations. For two weeks leading up to the event, we dominated suburban news pages online that covered the geographic area we anticipated buyers would come from. This included high-impact interstials, overlays and page takeovers. Click-thru results were four times that of our standard buy.

Target The Right Audience

Layered on top of the digital program was an email campaign, both to past prospects and a new audience. We targeted based on geography, household income, age, gender, and even propensity to buy a home. And we didn’t forget brokers with our homebuilder marketing. We emailed them, as well, and the sales team did “boots on the ground” networking, too.

Build Credibility Through Public Relations

Publicity also played a role in the success of our grand re-opening. A few weeks prior to the event an article appeared in print and online highlighting all the benefits of the community and promoting the reasons to buy as told from a homeowner’s point of view. Then the weekend of the event, a front-page feature—complete with photos—graced the cover of the homes section of the newspaper. The message, of course, enticed people to stop by and visit the brand-new decorated model homes.

Reap The Rewards

Results were amazing. Traffic during the grand re-opening weekend was nearly 10 times that of the community’s weekly average. And, even more importantly, the builder sold more homes in those two weeks than it had the five months prior.

Of course we can’t guarantee an on-site event supported by a strong media partnership will always garner these results. But in this case, it definitely was the right combination for a successful homebuilder marketing plan.

To learn more about how a strategic marketing program can increase traffic and sales at your communities, call Stevens & Tate Marketing at (630) 627-5200 or visit our website at stevens-tate.com.

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real estate marketing

Six Types Of Real Estate Video Marketing Ideas For Homebuilders

There is a good reason why YouTube has become the second biggest search engine – digital video is the new home of action for marketers. Through real estate video marketing, homebuilders and other real estate professionals have discovered an easy way to engage with the audience and increase their conversion rates online. You can use videos for every marketing effort for your property, from neighborhood guides to virtual tours.

As a homebuilder, there are several types of videos you can use in your real estate video marketing strategy. Here are some few essential ones you should consider.

Listing videos

Listing videos have become the go-to videos in real estate marketing. Showing off all the properties that you are selling in an engaging video is a great way to impress new leads that are just learning about your offers. Additionally, you will grab the attention of prospects in the middle of your sales funnel who are considering picking a unit from you. Fortunately, recent technology has enabled the creation of videos that showcase the units without embedding slideshows in the sidebar.

Interview videos

Buyers who have purchased from you in the past, sales teams that have sold your units, and other professionals in the real estate arena can make suitable candidates for your interview videos. The key to making highly effective interview videos is to ensure that all your interviewees provide information that is relevant to your target audience.

Learn How Stevens & Tate Landed Three New Real Estate Marketing Accounts

Live question and answer sessions

You can hold periodic Q&A sessions with your followers on social media, as well as prospects from your email marketing lists. They can send their questions through online chats, and you can answer them through live sessions. You can also use past webinars as bait to attract more people to register for your live sessions.

Home buyer advice videos

You can also have short videos where you explain different ways that homebuyers can save when purchasing their next home. Some ideas for video topics include ways to determine a good mortgage provider, how to researching a neighborhood, and how to get the best deals. You can intertwine your message, or ways you offer solutions to buyers as a homebuilder, with your sales promotion

Special offer videos

Special offers are used as a means of getting people to take action, such as register for your email marketing or free consultation on a number of home buying issues. Incentives that special offer videos may include are a chance to buy a home at a discounted offer or an additional fixture for the winning home buyer. Also, be sure to include a call-to-action in your videos to generate leads.

Neighborhood videos

Every buyer is concerned with the neighborhood’s access to amenities, infrastructure, and security among, other things. As a result, neighborhood videos provide a preview of these factors by visually taking the audience around the neighborhood.

New construction model video tours

It is helpful to show your potential clients model video tours of the units being built. The model tours show the floor plans, expected roofing, and other fixtures that will be in the home. The potential client will not have to leave his or her desk to obtain detailed information about the house being constructed.

Virtual house tours

Virtual house tours are simulations of a house that showcase the features, spaces, and fittings of the house. It is much like having an open house on the Internet. Potential clients are able to go through every detail of the house like they are moving from room to room. Virtual tours makes it easy for you to reach as many people as possible and create a high engagement with prospects without requiring them to come view the house.

Real estate video marketing is the new medium through which to capture leads and engage customers. You should strongly consider having video marketing as part your marketing plan.

Ready to learn more about real estate marketing? Check out this article here.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

targeted marketing

Three Ways To Use Targeted Marketing To Reach Qualified Prospects

Imagine, if you will, walking out of a model home and before you know it…you see an ad for a builder just down the street appear on your cell phone. You think to yourself, “Hmmm…coincidence?” It’s not. With targeted marketing, you can pinpoint potential customers down to an address where they have visited.

Targeted marketing is nothing new. Agencies and companies have been doing it for years. First through direct mail, then via email, using data points such as zip code, gender, household income, marital status, and age. But now, we have the ability to narrow our scope even more to truly reach those most qualified to purchase.

Niche Marketing Through Social Media

Recently, a new client came to Stevens & Tate needing to attract more students to its private school. We discovered several factors that determined whether parents chose to send their children to this school. They could afford it. It was close to their home or work. And it provided the type of education they wanted for their child. To reach this very specific audience, we advertised on social media. Social media sites such as Facebook gather a great deal of information about their users from information the users provide themselves. These sites also monitor behavior patterns. As a result, we were able to do niche marketing, advertising to select neighborhoods around the school and in local employment corridors. And we focused our message on the benefits this private education offered. After the first month, the school recorded an increase in attendees to the parent information sessions.

Learn more about Effective Marketing Strategies For A Changing Economy.

Targeted Marketing On Radio? Yes.

One of Stevens & Tate’s clients needed to build ticket sales for its classical music concerts. After researching the prior season’s data, we discovered that the majority of concertgoers came from a 20-minute or less drive of the venue. So we incorporated online radio into the media mix to aim our message at those who would have an affinity for the brand. The beauty of this targeted marketing plan was that we could reach listeners with a preference for classical music. We were able to narrow down our audience not only to those who lived in a specified geographic area but also to those who exhibited classical music listening habits. The result was a 25 percent increase in year-over-year show attendance.

Hyperlocal Marketing Pinpoints Your Audience

For a Chicagoland homebuilder with a new property in the city, we wanted to reach home shoppers living near the neighborhood as well as those holding certain job titles. Rather than choose a medium to advertise on, we chose a very small group of people to reach out to. Using a digital hyperlocal marketing campaign, we were able to serve ads to a very niche market segment—including those who had recently used a home finder app. We served ads to these individuals multiple times via multiple vehicles including desktop, mobile and in-app ads; emails; social media newsfeeds; and native content based on online search history. Since launching the program, sales at the community have increased 50 percent.

These are just a few examples of the power of a targeted marketing campaign. And new digital technologies are being unveiled all the time. At Stevens & Tate, we partner with multiple media sources to devise just the right targeted marketing campaign for each of our clients. If you are looking for an agency that can help you move from a shotgun to a rifle approach to marketing, contact Stevens & Tate and see if we are a fit.

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homebuyer persona template

How to create a buyer persona template for the homebuilder market

When it comes to marketing to your target audience, using basic demographics, such as age, married status, income, and geography is no longer enough. That kind of information, while helpful, is still too general. Your home building services are going to appeal to certain types of buyers, which means you’re going to need to pinpoint who those buyers are in order to market your brand effectively. To do this, you’ll want to develop a customer persona (also known as a buyer persona).

A customer persona is a representation of everything that makes up your ideal customer. This persona does include some of the information that businesses typically use, such as basic demographics. However, an effective customer persona needs to go beyond just age and geography. The following is a customer persona template to help you better identify who your target audience is:

1. Collect Customer Data

The best way to put together your customer personas is by turning to your actual customers for information. Speak with 5 to 10 of your previous and existing customers. Don’t just speak with customers for whom you built homes. Speak with customers who you may not have completed a deal with, but who you had a good relationship with despite that. In fact, it might be easier to just ask previous and existing customers if they would fill out a survey for you. This way, you can create a survey that asks questions that will provide you with the information you need. Some of the information you should ask these customers include:

  • How old they are
  • Why they are (or were) looking to build a new home
  • What kind of features they were looking for (such as an open floor plan or a garage) and why they needed those features
  • Whether they’ve owned homes in their past
  • What they do for a living
  • What income level they belong to
  • How often they use social media (and what platforms they typically use)
  • How they found out about your company (this allows you to identify what channels to target)

In addition to gathering information from your current and previous clients, you can also find a lot of helpful data through your social media channels by studying the behavior of your followers. What kind of questions are they asking? Who else are they following? What kind of content do they share?

2. Create a Personality for Your Customer Persona

Once you’ve collected your customer data, you’ll want to organize it, merging the information you have into distinctive personalities. While you’re going to find that some information is similar (for example, you could find out that the income levels of your customers happen to be very similar), some of it will be different. Because of this, you’ll need to create multiple customer personas.

With multiple customer personas, you’ll be able to personalize your marketing to more effectively target the different parts of your audience. Each customer persona that you create in essence represents a different group of people. Because they’ll potentially have different backgrounds, different goals and different needs, you’ll need to adjust your marketing strategy for each one. Give your buyer personas names to help shape their personality, thereby making a stronger customer persona template.

Some customer persona templates also recommend going beyond demographics and personal background to develop a personality for each persona. For example, some homebuyers may carefully think over every decision they make, while others make more impulsive decisions.

Last, but not least, you should give each persona a name, an age range and a picture. This helps make it easier to figure out ways to reach this persona since it will make you feel like you’re trying to reach an actual individual and not just targeting demographics. This alone should allow you to be more effective at personalizing your marketing efforts.

How does one use buyer persona’s in senior living marketing? Click here!

3. Define the Goals and Needs of Your Customer Persona

As a homebuilder, one of your main priorities should be to position yourself to meet the specific goals and needs of your customers. The goals and needs of your customers are a big part of your customer persona template. Different buyers are going to have different needs. For example, some buyers may be looking to build a home to raise a family in, while others may be looking at the home building process as a short-term investment.

What’s important to understand about your audience is that goals and needs are going to vary depending on certain factors. These factors are often found in the demographics of each customer. For example, different generations tend to have different goals and needs. Someone in their mid-30s that’s just starting a family is likely looking for a house that they can raise their children in. Someone in their 60’s is likely to look for a home that they can age in place in, meaning that it’s designed for convenience and accessibility.

4. Identify the Challenges of Your Customers

Knowing what the challenges of your audience are will allow you to more effectively present your services as a solution. This means understanding what customers didn’t like about previous homes they lived in, what changes they want to make and what their personal preferences are. For example, maybe their last home had a yard that was too big for them to maintain, but they still want to be able to spend time outside on their property. Or maybe the challenge is financial — they have a limited budget to work with, but are expecting to expand their family in the future when their careers are further along. Realizing what these challenges are will make it easier for you to craft a clear and concise brand message to your audience

Understand that a customer persona template isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution — it’s meant to help you better understand who your customers are so that you can identify the homebuyers that would benefit most from the types of services you can provide as a homebuilder. Real estate marketing, after all, is about connecting the right customer to the right property.

Download Our White Paper Guide To Learn How To Perfect Buyer Personas For Your Business

Baby Boomers Represent A Wealth Of Opportunities For Homebuying

Marketing Real Estate to Baby Boomers

Gen Y may have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest share of the homebuying population, but Boomers age 51 to 69 still have significant influence and buying power. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, these “older” buyers have built up equity and are twice as likely to purchase a $500,000-plus home than a Millennial. This is why you should be marketing real estate to Baby Boomers.

Boomers fall into two categories—younger who were born between 1955 and 1964, and older who were born between 1946 and 1954. Combined, they make up the largest segment of home sellers and account for 31% percent of the nation’s homebuyers. Most are married but few have children living at home. They are suburbanites—half live in the ‘burbs while less than 12% choose the city. They purchased now because it was “the right time”—affordability, financing and home availability all ranked low on their reasons to buy. Read more

The Next Generation Of Homebuyers Is Here…Are You Reaching Them?

The Next Generation Of Homebuyers Is Here…Are You Reaching Them?

Move over Baby Boomers, Gen Y has passed you as the largest share of the homebuying population according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Topping out at age 35, this group known as Millennials grew up online, are tech-savvy and don’t remember a time when they weren’t on a smart phone.

Most of these twenty and thirty somethings, nearly 70 percent, are purchasing their first homes and doing so because they want to own their own places. They understand the value of homeownership and more than 80 percent believe it’s a solid financial investment. That doesn’t mean they are looking to make a quick profit, though. Most expect to stay in their home for 10 years. So if you miss out on an opportunity to sell a home today, it might be awhile before you get another chance—unless, of course, a life change occurs that could prompt them to move. Read more

Stay Top Of Mind By Engaging Prospects With 
Relevant Emails

If you are like most homebuilders, you spend significant dollars to attract home shoppers to your communities or website…now what? Keep them engaged with your brand by developing a solid email program that allows you to deliver relevant messages based on where prospects are in the buying process. They may not open every email you send, but your message will be visible in their inbox when they are in the mindset to make their decisions. Prospects who have provided you with their email addresses are already engaged with your brand. They want to learn more about your company, your homes, your building practices and more. So communicate back to them on a regular schedule.

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