Marketing strategy and implementation should serve as the foundation for any home builder’s sales strategy. A strategic marketing plan will help a builder realize, or even, exceed their financial goals. This takeaway, more than any other, was repeated consistently for two days earlier this year in an Orlando classroom at the International Builders’ Show. This message also was relayed at the recent Local Forecast Seminar for the new home industry in Richmond, VA. Increasingly, builders are recognizing the powerful role that new home marketing can and should play in their success.
As part of the ongoing series to chronicle my experience with the National Association of Home Builder’s Masters in Residential Marketing (MIRM) program, I took a look last month at the top real estate marketing research tips provided by the program. This post explores the next step in the marketing process. After the research is complete and a builder or developer has a better sense of their objectives and capabilities, focus moves to the strategy and implementation phases. The top three strategies and tips for real estate marketing follow:
Marketing Planning Should Happen Early and Often
The previous blog post on this topic established that research is the foundation of a successful project. Just like the need to research first, it’s paramount that builders and developers craft a marketing plan before they start trying to implement any new home marketing efforts. That plan needs to include goals, strategy, budget, and sales and marketing team measures. Real estate and new home marketing professionals should take the lead on developing this plan and gain buy-in by key stakeholders throughout the process. Ultimately, marketing generates leads to meet sales goals and the marketing strategy explains how those leads will be generated. If you skip this step, you’re likely to waste a lot of time, money, and energy on inefficient or ineffective marketing efforts.
Understanding Your New Home Customer Journey is Critical
Key components of your marketing plan, including the new home marketing and sales tactics that you’ll utilize, will be tied to your new home customer journey. It’s critical for builders and developers to understand what they journey looks like for their customers. This process will help you identify what messages will be most persuasive and which incentives or promotions will connect the best. Choreographing that journey means that you can help frame your customers’ decisions and guide them to the new home that best first their needs. The customer journey should be all encompassing and consider how your customer interacts with your brand through websites, social media, ads (digital and print), model tours, and interactions with sales advisors. Creating an effective sales environment is another component of the customer journey. An important note is that as this journey moves online, your model home may see less walk-ins and foot traffic. However, the buyers that do come your model will be better informed, further along in the buying process, and better qualified. All of these changes should result in higher conversion rates and more homes sold.
Don’t Underestimate the Team
The saying that “teamwork makes the dream work” is certainly apt when it comes to new home marketing and sales. Developing a strategic marketing plan is great, but builders and developers need a strong team in place to implement that plan. The most successful home builders and residential developers take time to nurture a strong and dynamic team. For that team to be most productive, marketing and sales professionals need to collaborate consistently. Marketing experts must provide support for sales advisors in terms of tools, messaging and strategic direction. Sales pros need to share front line insights and feedback with marketers so they can adjust the strategy as needed. The best teams typically include a mix of marketing and sales leaders along with some level of external support from marketing and/or sales consultants. This external perspective is key to avoiding insular thinking and better positioning builders to their competitors.
These best practices can help a builder or developer realize and exceed the sales objectives of their projects. Real estate marketing strategists need a spot at the table with decision makers to help those builders and developers reach their goals. These tips can get you to the financial promised land!
Stay tuned for additional posts in the coming weeks on additional real estate marketing best practices and more lessons from my MIRM journey!