Marketing for builders is especially hard; you have the difficult job of building quality homes AND advertising the fact that you do well enough that people should come to you to make one of the largest investments of their life.
It is imperative to establish yourself as an expert in order to build the amount of trust necessary for prospective clients to choose you when they are preparing to build their dream home. How can you effectively advertise your skill, competitive edge, and value?
Establish your company name.
A strong brand is important to any business, but it is vital for home builders. Your customers are spending a substantial amount of money and trusting you to build the home where they will raise their children and spend their life. Your brand needs to reassure them that this special task is in capable hands.
Establishing your company name starts with a great logo. One that is professionally designed is best, so choose an expert who understands the emotional and subconscious responses that go along with various images, colors, and patterns. You need your logo to speak to your strengths as a home builder. Do you focus on high quality, affordability, or custom work? Maybe your specialty is a certain type of housing, such as lake homes, log cabins, or sustainable structures. That picture, your logo, should say at least 1000 words about your company to each prospective client.
Get some feedback.
Call the owners of your recently completed homes, send out an email survey, or use postcards. Whichever channel is most likely to appeal to your customers should be used to obtain feedback about what your company’s strengths and weaknesses are. You may think that you know exactly what you need to work on and what about your company draws people in, but you may be wrong. Nothing is more valuable than the opinion of those you have completed projects for. They can provide you with ideal information to feature in your advertising as well as give ideas for improving your customer relations.
Develop your online presence.
If you don’t already know it, an online presence for your business is essential. As a locally focused business that deals in large dollar purchases, you may think that people aren’t looking online. They are. Today’s consumer researches almost every purchase imaginable online. Review websites flourish because people are eager to share their opinion on every item in existence, and others are just as anxious to read those reviews to help them make the right decisions.
Your online presence should begin with a professionally developed website. As with your logo, it is important that this representation of your business be the result of expert design that captures the essence of your business. At minimum, your website should feature a gallery of completed homes, a contact form, and information about your company and your areas of specialty. A blog is the most significant element that will bring traffic to your website, so write one or hire someone to write one for you.
Once your website is in order, you can expand your online presence with social media profiles. This aspect of your online interactions allows you to begin building relationships with people who may not be customers now but they could be later on. By becoming a “friend” online, you ensure that they think of you when they or someone they know considers building a house.
Know your customer.
Before you can effectively advertise your home builder business, you must develop a detailed vision of who your ideal customer is. Your message should be tailored to your target audience, so time spent defining that audience and how to reach them is time well spent. Create a profile of your typical customer and customize your advertising to appeal to them and use channels that meet them where they are.
Evaluate the competition.
One way to assess your own strengths is to compare yourself to the competition. What are they succeeding at and where are they advertising? You can determine the best way to set yourself apart from the competition when you have evaluated your strengths and weaknesses and theirs. This is not to say that you should participate in a smear campaign. You should understand your competition, but your advertising should emphasize your strengths and not mention the competition.
Define your objectives.
Before beginning any advertising campaign, you should have clearly defined objectives and goals that you hope to achieve as a result of the campaign. Not only does this help you choose your advertising message and channels, but it allows you to determine how successful each effort is. Without goals to measure your marketing results against, it is easy to assume that things are going better or worse than they really are.
Protect your reputation.
As a home builder trying to market your business, it is essential that your reputation be spotless. Though it not exactly a marketing strategy, few people will trust you with thousands of dollars and their most prized possession if they do not feel that they can place their trust in you. Home building is an industry that places an extraordinarily high value on honesty and integrity. Do not cut corners unless you are willing for any subpar work or practices to become common knowledge. Just one incident can affect your reputation for years to come. Complete every job with the same high level of customer service and building excellence that you would want in your own home.