As a builder, marketing your homes is a challenge. Depending on where you are in Australia, you will face different levels of competition — up against other home builders, each with their own website and each trying to take the bread off your table.
There are also many outside influences within the market that will affect your ability to get sales over the line — from the state of the economy, through to your potential customers’ ability to arrange finance.
Whatever your challenges, marketing your homes is something you need to be on top of, so that you have a steady flow of QUALITY enquiries for your sales team to work with.
In this article, we’ll look at steps you can take to structure your website and digital marketing plan to increase your online visibility and attract the RIGHT kind of enquiries from the RIGHT kind of prospects.
To help you to sell more homes we will explore:
- Why you might want to focus on specific, profitable niches rather than marketing yourself as a ‘generalist’ builder.
- How you can make YOUR message resonate with your market in a way that sets you apart from your competitors.
Let’s unpack each of these in a bit more detail.
What type of home do you WANT to build?
One of the advantages of digital marketing is that it allows you to zero in on specific market segments. As a home builder (or commercial builder) looking to increase your ROI from your marketing, you’ll increase your chances of really nailing it (Sorry, I just had to say it), if you focus your lead generation strategy on one or two niches.
The concept of focusing on one area of home building won’t be news to you. If you are like most builders, you’ll have a type of home you prefer to build. You are set up for it. You know the ropes. Your crew is all over it. You enjoy it. It is your ‘thing’.
The missing link for many builders though, is that they don’t follow through with that into their marketing. Their website and nurturing programe makes them look like a generalist — and they miss out on opportunities as a result.
The types of ‘niches’ I am talking about?
For example, you may be most comfortable/profitable building:
- Custom homes for up-market clients who want a beautiful showpiece.
- Custom homes for people who just want something that is a few levels up from a project home.
- Project homes in larger developments for peope who want to build with a limited budget.
- Rental properties for investors who want a hassle-free asset.
- Inner city demolish & rebuilds for people who have found a narrow block they REALLY want to build on.
- Or something else on the spectrum.
It is important that you clarify this for your marketing, as it is the first step in setting you apart from other builders in your geographic service area. It means your point-of-difference can be clearly communicated, and you can promote your strengths.
If you are thinking “Hang on, we don’t want to be boxed in to one type of home, we work across a range of niches”, this is still doable.
If you span across a range of niches, then you can still market to all of them — but you need to structure your thinking around different CAMPAIGNS; eg:
- Campaign to sell more of our custom homes.
- Campaign to sell more house and land packages.
- Campaign to sell more investment homes.
Structure things this way, and you can use your website and blog to give the potential customers in each market SPECIFIC information that will help to win their confidence in you as their new home builder of choice.
As a home builder, you know your ‘market’. Now you must REALLY get to know them as ‘people’!
If you scroll back up the page at to the bullet point list, you’ll see that we began to describe the people you would be building homes for, and WHAT THEY WANT.
- … up-market clients who want a beautiful showpiece.
- … people who just want something that is a few levels up from a project home.
- … build with a limited budget.
- … investors who want a hassle-free asset.
- … people who have found a narrow block they really want to build on.
Each of these is a market PERSONA, and each one:
- Wants to achieve a different objective — and is looking for the home builder who understands them.
- Has different priorities — and is looking for the home builder who understands them.
- Has different concerns — and is looking for the home builder who understands them.
- Is motivated in a different way — and is looking for the home builder who understands them.
Do you get the picture with this?
You will sell MORE homes if you take the time to learn MORE about your potential clients — and structure your digital marketing strategy to show them that YOU are the home builder who understand them and who will cater to their needs.
To do this, develop some “Buyer Personas” so you can think differently about your prospects — and understand them as people.
A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer, based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
Once you have them documented, they will become your anchor point for your website and digital marketing strategy.
You’ll be talking to them, about their favourite subject — themselves! And that will give you a significant advantage over other home builders in your market who do not get this.
Walk in your customer’s shoes
When creating your Buyer Persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations, concerns, hesitations, reservations, dreams and goals.
Once you have your Buyer Personas figured out, you’ll feel more confident about your marketing, what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Your marketing message will be more consistent, and your ROI will improve. This will be ESPECIALLY powerful if you use your Buyer Personas as the platform on which to build an automated marketing strategy. You'll bring people into your funnel early in the Buyer’s Journey, and stick with them until they are ready to sign a contract for their beautiful new home.
A quick word about content placement on a home builder’s website
We address the Buyers Journey in other articles, but here’s a quick heads-up that will help with your thinking about the structure of your website.
Divide the pages of your website into two broad categories:
- Blog pages are for people who are early in the Buyer’s Journey. They are still looking at early options and thinking about their choices.
Content on your blog should be ‘big picture’ stuff about home building styles… what type of kitchens work best… ideas for outdoor living… information about home design… case studies and examples.
Your blog is NOT the place for a ‘sales pitch’. It is the place to give ideas, information and inspiration.
- Plans/product and services pages are for people who have narrowed their choice. They are now considering WHICH builder for their new home, so that’s where you need to be more specific about what you do.
This is where you would pitch the value of your offering, showing specifics about your services, the way you build and the quality of your work.
So that wraps it up for this article.
To re-cap, the overall message is to:
- Focus on what you do best.
- Make sure your website content, emails, and other marketing communications align with that.
- Thank carefully about your Buyer Personas. Figure out who they are and structure your message around their needs.
If you are in the building industry and want to have a chat about your website and digital marketing, please call us on 07 3891 3800.
We have experience and expertise in your sector, and will be happy to point you in the right direction.