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.
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.
With 20 years of advertising and PR experience, Debbie Szwast understands the multifaceted nature of marketing. A true believer in the art of communication, she acquired an MBA in marketing and a Master’s degree in writing. Today, she calls on the knowledge she has gained over the past two decades to formulate big-picture strategies and execute comprehensive marketing plans for clients across the country.