When you’re working to market your home building company, you’re looking for the right kinds of clients. In general, most home builders are looking to break into a market at a higher price point, and that’s not always easy to do. There’s so much competition in the housing market these days, and it’s tough to compete with builders who’ve been serving that particular market for years. It comes down to establishing yourself as a quality builder in the market you’re looking to target, and getting the word out about your home building company to exactly the types of home buyers you’re looking for. So whether you’re looking to build in the $1 million price point or the $500,00, here’s how to make sure you’re creating content that targets the right people, and pulls in the right jobs to set your company apart in your desired market:
Set a Buyer Persona
To create content that reaches your ideal buyer, you first have to know who your ideal buyer is. This is perhaps the most important step when it comes to content creation for home builders. If you create content for the wrong buyer, you won’t get the jobs you want, and you may be forced to fill your schedule with projects that don’t really fit your company’s niche. So before you do anything, do some research.
What does your ideal buyer look like? Are they a young couple looking to start a family? Or maybe the buyer with the money to build one of your homes is an empty-nester who hasn’t yet retired. You may end up with more than one buyer persona, but we recommend you limit yourself to three, for now. This is because your buyer personas need to be thorough. You have to know what that buyer makes, what they do for a living, what they do in their free time, how many kids they have, and have a general sense of what they’re looking for when it comes to their new home.
It’s also important to figure out who the decision maker is. Even if you typically work with couples, it’s likely that one of them has a bigger say when it comes to who they want to hire to build their home. Once you’ve figured out who’s most likely to be searching for your business online, you can start to create content that directed towards them.
Creating Content that Works
After determining your target buyer persona, it’s time to actually create the content. Whether your website hosts a blog (which we highly recommend) or you’re just creating content for your social media or Houzz accounts, it’s important that you’re putting out content that has legitimate value for your target buyer. What sorts of questions are they likely to ask, and what information might help them get closer to choosing a home builder? You’re looking to create content that’s thorough and shareable. Thorough content answers people’s questions in a way that’s satisfying, and shareable content ensures that your name gets more and more visibility on the internet.
Remember that you can’t just create quality content whenever you feel like it. We know you’re busy, and content creation is something that’s likely to get pushed to the wayside. But when you’re only posting once every two or three months, it doesn’t give clients a lot of confidence in your communication abilities, and it will hurt you when it comes to search engines. Google likes websites that post regularly, and social media platforms prefer users who keep up their presence at least on a weekly basis. So if you’re going to create content that truly gets the attention of your target buyer, then make sure you’re putting it out on a regular basis.
Post that Content at the Right Time
In addition to ensuring that you create the right content, regularly, it’s a good idea to put some thought into when you post that content. There are definitely times when more people are on social media sites, like at lunch time and in the late afternoon when work hits a lull. But it’s important to determine when your target buyer is online. For this, you might have to do a bit of research, but just knowing your ideal buyer’s daily routine might help as well.
For example, if your target buyer is a high-powered businessman, you might be best served putting out content early in the morning, when he’s reading the news or going over emails, or late in the evening, when he’s finally getting home from work. Oppositely, if your ideal buyer is a stay-at-home mom, you’re probably going to get more engagement in the afternoon after she’s finished a lot of her daily errands, and the kids are still at school.
Put a bit of time into researching when your ideal buyers are online, and make sure you’re posting content when they’re sure to see it. With so many people online and on social media these days, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of everyone posting and sharing content. When you optimize the times that you post through research, you have a better chance of making your content visible, and pulling in some of those ideal buyers with your quality content.
Engage on Houzz and HomeAdvisor
Home service directories like Houzz, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List are the ideal place to interact with people who already want to learn from what you have to say. These directories are full of people gathering ideas for their new home or renovation, and it would be a shame to miss out on such an ideal audience. If you don’t already have an account, make one! Then you have an easy secondary platform to share your quality content with people who will genuinely want to read it.
What’s more, it’s easier to get your home building content shared on sites like these, where the users are all looking for information on home building tips and tricks. By increasing your engagement on home service directories, you’re likely to start building relationships with more and more users who fit your target buyer persona.
Keep up on Social Media
We mentioned that posting regularly was a good way to make sure your content gets read, but keeping up on your social media is just a best practice for any home builder. If you regularly engage on your social media platforms, even if it’s simple things like sharing other relevant content, or posting a few before and after pictures, you’re more likely to get more followers, and keep them. The more followers you have, the wider reach your content will get. That means more people sharing your content, which means more eyes on your content from legitimate potential clients. It’s in your best interest to keep up your social media engagement, even if you’re just sharing one thing a day, and posting new content once every other week.
By following these content creation best practices, you’ll be able to reach your ideal buyer and begin to draw in more qualified leads. Targeted content is a great way to help you break out of your current market, and start scheduling the jobs you really want. If you have more questions about targeting your ideal buyer or creating quality content, don’t hesitate to get in touch. HA Digital Marketing works with a number of home builders and home developers, and we’d be happy to help answer any questions you have about the powers of inbound marketing.
To see how we generated a massive number of sales leads for lakeshore custom home builder Bos Homes, check out the case study below:
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is the amount of money you can expect to make from a client over the course of your business relationship. Fostering a good relationship with your customers can increase this lifetime value, and there are a variety of digital marketing tools you can implement to help nurture those relationships. Most of these tools fall into two categories––segmentation, and tailored content. By performing just these two basic steps, you can seriously increase the customer lifetime value, ensuring you’re providing your clients with quality customer service, while increasing your ROI at the same time. Here’s how to get it done:
The first step to increasing customer lifetime value is to segment your customers into groups based on shared traits, such as revenue or industry. This will allow you to determine the shared characteristics of clients in these segments—their wants, needs, and pain points—and make product or service changes to meet those needs, as well as create content that addresses them.
Once you’ve segmented your customer base, you can determine which of those segments is the most valuable to your company, and you can focus your marketing efforts on attracting and retaining clients in this segment. By focusing your efforts on the most valuable client segment, you attract and retain more clients in this segment, increasing overall customer lifetime value, as well as extending CLV for this segment.
Create content that addresses the pain points that your customer segments have at each stage of the buyer’s journey, including post-sale. No matter what products or services you offer, you can provide information that will increase the benefit your customers derive from their purchase at all steps of the buyer’s journey, which ensures you keep previous clients, as you’re gaining new ones.
Use your segments to tailor follow-up messaging to the client type’s needs with relevant content, news, and offers. You can also take time here to thank your clients for their purchase—clients who feel that their business is valued and appreciated are more likely to be loyal customers. Follow-up messaging also provides an opportunity to collect feedback from customers that you can incorporate into improving your product, service, or customer experience.
To improve customer lifetime value, you need to do two things: attract clients with a higher initial customer lifetime value (marketing) and extend the customer lifetime (retention). Through strategic messaging and content creation, you can attract more clients from your ideal buyer type (buyers in the highest CLV segment) and retain your best clients, increasing their lifetime value.
If you’re interested in using digital marketing to attract new leads and increase retention and customer lifetime value, HA Digital Marketing can help. For more information on using inbound marketing to your advantage, be sure to check out our Inbound Marketing Guide specifically for B2Bs:
Real estate developments are a bit unique when it comes to digital marketing. The interesting thing about a development’s website is that it doesn’t stay up forever. You get your real estate development set up, you fill lots and sell homes, and once you’re done, so is your website. Compared to most websites out there, a housing development website has a relatively short lifespan, maybe a few years at the most.
As you likely know, you need a website and a solid web presence to sell lots in your development, but because of the short lifespan, you also need to get a website up, get it out there as quickly as possible, and then take it down as soon as you’re done with that particular development. This presents some unique SEO challenges. Since your real estate development website will only exist for so long, here’s how to make the most of your digital marketing efforts by putting out a quality website that attracts the right clients, quickly:
Laying the framework
Before you can get into any serious SEO or technical improvements to your website, you have to actually come up with a website that features quality content. To do that, it’s paramount that you answer the following questions:
What makes your development different?
These days, there are developments popping up on just about every corner. How does yours stand out? Are you offering special, no step floor plans for older residents? Is your development set in a location like no other? We’ve worked with a number of real estate developers, and we’ve always found that the ones with a special niche––sustainable mountain living communities, for example––tend to do better than those that are generic or seem cookie cutter. It’s important to have at least one major selling point that helps you stand out from your competition, whether that’s your quality of building, or the amenities that your housing development offers to residents.
What benefits does your development offer to potential buyers that your competition does not?
It’s easy to get caught up in the awesomeness of your own development. Many real estate development websites fall into the trap of shouting their greatness to the rooftops. While we know you’re great, and we’re certain you’re offering your clients top-of-the-line service and quality, it’s important to focus more on what benefits you’re offering potential buyers, rather than all of the positives of your company. You need to determine what it is exactly that you’re offering to your residents that others are not, and you have to explain how that benefits them.
Maybe that’s a peaceful lifestyle in the mountains, or maybe it’s a sustainable living community where residents work together to curate a community garden or implement backyard farming techniques, but whatever it is, make sure that the benefits to the buyer have more emphasis than your general greatness. Consumers are already wary of the “hard sell”—businesses telling them that they’re the best in the world or the country—so you need to show them exactly why your development is right for them.
Who are the right buyers?
To be able to highlight your benefits effectively, you need to know who your ideal buyers are. That doesn’t just mean knowing what price point they’re willing to pay, or whether they’re male or female. While those are important considerations, it’s more prudent to have a comprehensive idea of exactly who your real estate development is targeted to. Are you looking for younger families who want to move into a long term home? Or is your development more geared towards older, empty nesters who want a housing community that’s a bit quieter, but near a city where they can take in arts and culture at their own leisure?
Once you determine exactly who your ideal, target buyers are, and what they’re looking for in a home or community, you can create content that addresses their specific questions and concerns, and you can begin to put together ad campaigns that are directed towards that unique demographic. This ensures that your marketing techniques are created and implemented with purpose, and towards someone specific. In the long run, this will help earn more qualified leads, and fill up your real estate development faster.
Boosting your online presence
After asking those three positioning questions and determining your answers, you’re ready to put that information into your real estate development’s website. You’ll want to ensure that your website addresses those questions mentioned above: talk about how your development sets itself apart from your competition, and make sure you highlight the benefits that your specific, target buyer is likely to appreciate. And once you’ve got those three questions written into your site content, begin to optimize the site as a whole, and boost your web presence with these four major SEO methods:
High quality imagery
You have a beautiful housing development, show it off! You want to give potential buyers the ability to truly picture themselves living within your unique community. High resolution photos that clearly show the development, as well as some of your already completed homes, offer that possibility. What’s more, studies have shown that site viewers are more likely to stay on a webpage longer if it has multiple relevant, high quality images. The longer site viewers remain on a page, the better your search engine rankings, and the more likely those viewers are to contact you regarding that development.
So, invest in a reputable development photographer who can capture the essence of your real estate development, both outdoors and indoors. The more images you have, the better. If you’re not sure where to put some images, create a gallery. Then, site viewers can scroll through to get a better idea of what their life would look like if they chose a home in your development. You’ll keep them on the site longer, and you’ll entice them to come looking for more information.
Keyword rich pages
If you know anything about digital marketing, you know that keywords are a big deal. Keywords are the number one way that search engines like Google and Yahoo categorize and rank web pages when a user searches for something. A good way to ensure that your site is ranking for keywords that will boost your site’s visibility is to determine what your clients are searching for. Is it “real estate development in North Carolina”, or is it “new home, Grand Haven MI”? Do a bit of keyword research to see what you need to be ranking for, and where your website is currently falling on search engine results pages for the keywords you find are most relevant to your industry.
Then, implement that extensive keyword research into your website’s pages. While you don’t want to keyword stuff, by putting one word in a web page 20 or more times, you do want to make sure you’re using relevant keywords and their synonyms organically and in a way that sounds normal to your potential buyers. Sprinkle those important keywords into your content naturally. Soon, you’ll begin to see your site pop up higher in search engine results pages in no time.
Regular blog posts
Another way to boost your online presence is to regularly create blog posts that address the questions and concerns of your potential buyer. For example, if you were selling lots on a development that emphasized a “sustainable community” you might offer some blogs on the benefits of sustainable living, or how to successfully grow a community garden. These are topics that your target buyer is certain to be interested in, and that are also highly shareable. Though their topics may not be directly related to the process of selling homes and lots, these blogs are sure to draw in viewers who are interested in living in the type of development that you’re providing. Once they read one of your blogs, they’re likely to read more. By addressing these target buyer’s interests, questions, and concerns on a regular basis, you’re more likely to draw them in, and get them interested in your real estate development.
What’s more, when you’re blogging regularly about topics relevant to your target buyer, using some of those researched keywords you implemented into the rest of your site’s page content, you’ll begin to see more improvements on search engines. Websites like Google prefer sites who regularly update, refresh, and put out new content, especially content that is keyword rich and useful to their searchers. The more regularly you blog, the more of an online boost you’ll begin to see.
Targeted Facebook and Adwords campaigns
The final, perhaps most effective SEO tool for any real estate development is paid ad campaigns. Like we mentioned before, your site goes up quickly, and it comes down just as soon as you fill your lots. That means it’s important to get the word out about your development as quickly as possible. There’s no more effective way to target your ideal buyer than through Facebook and Adwords campaigns. These advertisers have the most advanced demographic targeting software, and can get you a very high number of qualified leads in a very short amount of time.
One of the best ways to get your new site out in front of target buyers is through Facebook ads. Facebook has the power to group users according to age, gender, geographic location, personal likes, and even professional position. That makes it a powerful tool on which to market your real estate development. You can create ads that link to your new website or blog full of helpful content, and put them out to only the people who genuinely care about the information. This increases the number of qualified leads you’re getting, ensuring you’re only spending ad money on legitimate potential clients.
Adwords works much the same, though it targets based on keywords rather than user demographic. You can create adwords campaigns around the extensive keyword research that you’ve already done. These campaigns ensure that your site shows up at the top of the list when someone searches, “new homes for sale in Spring Lake, MI”. By creating highly targeted ad campaigns, you’re only spending money on web users who are likely to convert to leads. This seriously increases your ROI, and boosts your web visibility in a way that’s cost effective.
Real estate development websites can be tricky to market. They need to be aesthetically pleasing and relevant to target customers, but they need to generate a ton of visibility right off the bat. If you’re having trouble getting eyes on your real estate development’s website, get in touch with the crew at HA Digital Marketing. We’ve successfully worked with a number of real estate developers across the country, and we’d be happy to help. For a look at how we generated 41 unit sales for developer Sovereign Oaks in just 12 months, check out the case study below: