Word of mouth will always be the holy grail of marketing, but custom home builders can do more to find prospects than just wait for past clients to pass their business card. The decision to buy a new semi-custom home, or work closely with a builder to design a long-imagined dream home, is certainly not made on a whim. Buyers will spend a great deal of time weighing the pros and cons of building a home versus buying a home, as well as searching for a builder who is highly recommended and fits their budget. If you are a custom home builder, you want to be in consideration when buyers are in the midst of their decision making process—and you hope to become their builder of choice. In today’s competitive market, if you aren’t easily found online, you may not make the cut. Yes, word of mouth referrals and local reputation are very important, but they aren’t everything. So, let’s take a look how you can build an effective online marketing to enhance your custom home building business.
1. Optimize your local search profiles – Many custom home builders stick to a very precise geographic area for their new construction homes. For this reason, it is absolutely essential to claim and maintain all local directory profiles. You can use a tool like Moz Local to find and locate any online profiles that exist for your business, make sure they contain accurate information, and gain access to edit and optimize the profiles, like updating the contact information or adding new photos. Google Maps, Google My Business, Houzz, Angie’s List–these accounts are a great place to start.
2. Create a social media presence for your business – Is your business on Facebook? If so, does your profile make a strong first impression? Your social media profile may be the first glimpse a prospective buyer has of your home construction business. If a potential buyer lands on a Facebook page that has not been touched since 2013, it can turn create a negative impression of your business and make them think (wrongly) that you are not current. As a home builder, your social media should showcase your completed home constructions and show buyers everything you have to offer.
3. Invest in paid search advertising – Paid online marketing, using Google AdWords, can be a great way to get your business seen by interested, prospective buyers. While paid search advertising costs more upfront, you are almost guaranteed to see results. For example, when you have an active pay-per-click campaign, a user searches for home builders in your targeted area and your advertisement will show in their Google search results–and you pay only if they click through to your website. Paid search is a great way to get instantaneous results.
4. Share a virtual tour of a model home on your website – Give prospective buyers a chance to see inside one of your completed homes. A 360-degree virtual tour of a home is a great opportunity to entice a prospective buyer to come see the model home in person, or, if they like what they see in the online tour, they may call to obtain more information.
5. Regularly add new content to your site – A blog on your site is a great vehicle to share new, helpful content with prospective buyers. Regularly adding fresh content to your site signals to Google and other search engines that your site is up-to-date and a resource to those searching for topics relevant to your business. This will help your website perform stronger in organic search results. Plus, blog articles are great content to share on your social media channels. You might write on the ROI of a custom home, how to save money on a new home mortgage, tips for new homeowners, or any topic relevant to a prospective buyer and homeowner.
6. Monitor your analytics – Use a free tool like Google Analytics to monitor traffic to your website. This data can be helpful in making decisions about potential changes to your website. Where are your visitors coming from? Which pages on your site are they visiting most frequently? Are there specific pages where users tend to leave your website? You may need to make enhancements to poorly performing pages, or expand the content of the page, to retain more traffic and make the page more useful to your visitors.
7. Engage in email marketing – Many people may have an interest in building a custom home, but they are not quite ready financially. The decision to build a custom home is often made over years, not months. For this reason, it is important to stay top of mind with your potential customers and nurture a relationship over time so that when they are ready, they will call. You can achieve this through a targeted email marketing campaign.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, but it is a start. Typically, many custom builders find it beneficial to work closely with a digital marketing agency to target a specific demographic of prospective buyers in their local area. Sma2z has worked with custom home builders in the Greater San Diego area to help them with their business. If you are interested in learning more about Sma2z suite of digital marketing and website designs services designed to serve the needs of custom home builders, give us a call today or contact us via Facebook, or LinkedIn.