Market Your Housing Development with a Sense of Place

Market Your Housing Development with a Sense of Place

When you’re marketing your housing development, you’re not just selling homes. The key to getting buyers interested is selling them on a place and a community. A physical home is just one aspect of purchasing a house, and for most buyers, it’s not even the most important. Sure, any buyer wants a roof over their head, but in most cases, it’s not actually the house you’re selling—it’s the experience of home.

More than anything, buyers are looking for a place to call “home.” A place to raise their kids, a place to grow old, and a place to start a life. If you’re building a housing development, that sense of place is your strongest marketing tool. Use content that speaks to your housing development’s story and sense of community to bolster new homeowner’s confidence in your development. The best way to get eyes on your site and pull homeowners through the buyer’s journey?

Blogging

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times. You need a blog. That’s all there is to it. Without a blog you’re in the same boat as every other Joe Shmoe out there with “new homes for sale” signs stuck on every street corner. A blog not only helps you define your community vision, but it helps you reach qualified buyers more quickly. Think about it:

If you were going to buy a new home, would you drive around looking for “for sale” signs, or would you Google available properties near you?

Unless you’re really stuck in the 20th century, you’re probably going to pick the second option. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you can do it while you’re sitting in your pj’s eating breakfast. Since that’s what the majority of your housing development’s qualified buyers are going to do, it’s important to make sure you come up on that list of search results while they’re looking for a new home. How do you do that? Blogging. 

So, start your blog, and consider posting about the following topics to create an alluring sense of place sure to draw in buyers:

Talk about local events and activities

We’ve already established that your target market is going to Google your area for new homes. They’re also going to want to know what’s happening in your town. They’ll want to know what community activities and events go on regularly, and they’ll be looking to see if they can get a feel of the town before they actually scope out homes or make a move.

If you’re regularly posting about those activities, whether they’re festivals, farmer’s markets, outdoor concerts, or any other sort of community gathering, you’ll start popping up in those search results. The more you post about local happenings, the better you’ll rank for local searches, which means you’ll start to become a go-to source of information for those people who want to know what’s going on in the area. That means you’re also the first place they turn to when they do decide to move.

What does a weekend in your town look like?

Like we mentioned before: when you’re selling a home, you’re really selling potential homeowners on a place and a feeling. They want to know what their life is going to look like if they move to your development. So, post about what life is like in your area. A weekend itinerary is a really popular blog style that consumers love:

Imagine you were visiting your development’s area for just the weekend. What would you do? Where would you eat? In a blog like this, you can highlight both activities and restaurants, giving people a more holistic look at what it’s like to live in your town. Is there a block party going on? Are local breweries hosting live music on Friday night?

Writing a post like this is another great way to drive relevant traffic to your website, while simultaneously creating that sense of place that draws new homeowners in. If you think about it, if you were visiting a new area for a weekend, wouldn’t your search query read like “what do do in “town name” for the weekend”? By answering that question in your blog, you’ll get more eyes on your site, in addition to helping some newcomers learn more about your town and your housing development.

Consider making regular “best of” posts:

What are the best restaurants, breweries, bars, ski hills, hiking trails, etc. in your community? Whether someone is new to the area or thinking about moving, these types of blog posts are the most searched, and the most helpful. They work to position you as an authority on the subject, and as more and more people come to you for their weekend suggestions, you’ll probably also be the one they look to when they finally decide it’s time to purchase a home.

Don’t be afraid to talk about what it’s like to live in your community!

All anyone wants to know before they move somewhere new is what life will be like. If your area or community has local quirks, share them. If there’s something really great about the people in your community, share that too. The more knowledgeable a person feels about your community, the more confident they’ll feel when purchasing a home.

In the end, marketing a housing development really means marketing a community. While a home buyer certainly wants a nice house, it’s intangibles like a welcoming environment and a warm community that really seals the deal. Show your potential residents what your community —not just your floorplan—has to offer, and you’re sure to be at the top of your target buyers’ list.

More questions about marketing your housing development? We’re here to help! We’ve worked with a number of developers, and know what it takes to fill homes and sell lots. You don’t have to take our word for it though: check out the case study below about the results we produced for a previous development client.

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How Pinterest Can Work like Houzz for Home Builders

How Pinterest Can Work like Houzz for Home Builders

How Pinterest Can Work like Houzz for Home Builders

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs for homebuilders, you’ll know that we’re very pro-Houzz. It’s an excellent marketing tool for any homebuilder, because it’s full of qualified leads just waiting for your advice. What we haven’t talked all that much about is Pinterest. Very similar in layout to Houzz, Pinterest attracts many of the same users and followers as Houzz, making it another ideal social media platform for home builders to take advantage of. If your home building company is already engaging regularly on Houzz, it’s a good idea to take some of that great content you’re putting out, and post it to Pinterest as well.

Why Should Homebuilders Market on Pinterest?

Because Pinterest is a captive audience made up of your target buyers. The majority of Pinterest users are women, 77 percent of those users are between 18-54 years old, and 87 percent of women on Pinterest trust it as a reliable source for information. Women between the ages of 18-54 are a homebuilders target market. Most often, it’s the women of the household who are making the final decisions when it comes to building a home or hiring a contractor for a renovation. That’s what make Pinterest such a rich source of potential leads for home builders.

How Homebuilders Can Market on Pinterest

Now that it’s clear why you’d want to use Pinterest—your target buyer lives there—let’s figure out how to use Pinterest. It’s certainly a tricky one, since there’s no real linear timeline or news feed like you’d find on other social media platforms. Instead, Pinterest functions on boards and pins. You can create boards, and pin different articles, images, and blog posts to those boards. You can post to other people’s boards if they’re public, and you can invite people to pin things to your board as well. For you, the homebuilder, it’s best to start small.

Create a Board that Showcases Your Work

Whether you’ve got some stunning before and after photos, or you’ve got some killer images of a staged home you just completed, that’s all great content to put on a Pinterest board. Make sure you follow standard best practices for optimizing your Pinterest pins:

  • Link to your website
  • Include high quality images
  • Provide detailed descriptions
  • Don’t forget NAP
    • Name of your business
    • Address and city name
    • Phone number or a way to contact you

Create a Board That Draws People In

Now that you’ve got your work up there, it’s time to start drawing people in. Create a board that answers a common question that’s relevant to the housing industry, and that you know people will be searching. For example, let’s say there’s a holiday coming up. A board that puts together cool DIY projects to decorate your home for the holidays is going to draw in a ton of people, and get eyes on your company’s Pinterest.

Say you wrote a blog about 10 Classy Holiday Place Settings: pin that to your holiday DIY board, and make sure it links back to your website. This will help grow your company’s awareness, increasing the chances that you get quality leads. In addition, the more people you get coming to this holiday DIY board, the more people you’re going to have checking out your original board—the one with all the awesome photos of your past work. More eyes on that board mean more calls to your sales team about how someone can get a home that looks like the one they saw on Pinterest.

Create an Engaging Board

Finally, while you’re getting your Pinterest account up and running, create a board that engages people. As a home builder, you can set yourself up as an authority, and as a place of inspiration for those considering building a home in the near future. By creating a board that invites people to contribute, you’ll boost the number of pins your board gets, and boost your visibility on Pinterest.

For example, create a board that asks followers to pin a photo of their favorite room in the home. This invites people to get involved in the conversation, and the more people who pin to your board, the more people who are likely to see it. This boosts your authority as a place for information and inspiration, while simultaneously growing your company’s brand awareness, and reminding people that you’re an engaging, interested builder they might turn to when they decide to build their own home.

Pinterest can certainly be a bit daunting at first. It’s a bit of information overload, and it can be hard to tell what’s what when you first start. But, if you stick with it and continue to post rich, relevant content that those Pinterest users want to read, you’ll grow your following and boost your number of incoming leads in no time at all. For more information on boosting your social media marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Evenbound. We’re here to help home builders boost their lead generation potential, and break into better markets. See how we helped one construction pro increase their average web traffic and streamline sales in the free case study below:

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Evenbound’s Inbound Marketing Vocab List

Evenbound’s Inbound Marketing Vocab List

Whether you’re new to inbound marketing or have been in the game awhile, it never hurts to bulk up on your inbound knowledge. The inbound marketing industry has a ton of terms and vocab words that aren’t used anywhere else, so if you’ve always wondered what ROI or PPC stand for, we’ve got answers. Let this be your ultimate Inbound Marketing Vocabulary list, with simple definitions to some of the most common inbound marketing terms:

A/B Testing

A method of testing different variables of your marketing materials to see which option encourages a better response from site viewers and users. A great example of A/B testing is trying out different colors on your call-to-action button to see which color gets a better response rate.

Analytics

When it comes to inbound marketing, analytics are the numbers we monitor to see how our site and inbound marketing strategy is working. Site analytics tell you how many people have visited your website, where those visitors are coming from, and what pages they’re looking at. Analytics on social media posts and digital advertisements tell you how many people have interacted with your posts and ads. We monitor analytics to see which inbound marketing efforts are successful, and which could use a little bit more work.

B2B

B2B stands for the words “business to business.” This refers to a business that provides a good or service for another business, rather than for the average consumer. Manufacturers who create materials that other companies use to build a bigger object, like a car, are a good example of B2Bs.

B2C

B2C stands for the words “business to consumer.” This is the type of business that provides goods or services directly to consumers, like a clothing or grocery store.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is a type of analytic that measures how long a site visitor stays on your webpage. A short bounce rate means that people aren’t staying on your website for very long, and are “bouncing off.” We use this analytic to tell us which pages of our website could use a little bit more work to draw more viewers in for longer.

Call-to-Action

Also known as a CTA, a call to action is a button that encourages a site visitor to take an action, and become a lead. Usually a CTA comes along with a form that captures a visitor’s contact information. The CTA will encourage visitors to download a content offer, subscribe to a newsletter, or call a company for more information.

Click-Through Rate

A click-through rate or CTR is the analytic used to measure how often people click through to your website or landing page from an ad or search engine. A higher click-through number means more people are making it to your site from your ad, and marks a more successful ad or landing page.

Conversion

In inbound marketing, a conversion happens when someone who’s just casually visiting your site fills out an information form, clicks a call to action, and becomes a lead. They become a lead once you have their information, and the fact that they were willing to convert means they’re likely more interested in the product or service you have to offer.

Content Calendar

A content calendar is a calendar that outlines your blog topics or content ideas for a certain period of time. Typically, a content calendar will include a post title, a description, a keyword, and a date that the content should be posted.

Content Clusters

A newer term, content clusters are a way of organizing your content marketing strategy for optimal linking and client understanding. You start with a pillar page of content, which provides a general overview of one topic that’s important to your target buyer. Then, you link other, more in-depth content pages about that same topic to the pillar page. That way, visitors can choose what they want to know more about, or they can opt for a simple overview. It’s an easy way to organize content that makes sense for search engines and human readers.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the key ways to support a strong inbound marketing plan. It’s a way of putting helpful content out on your blog, your social media platforms, and in your emails that solves pain points of your target audience, and draws them further into your website, increasing the chances that they convert to leads.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is any kind of content, whether it’s a photo, blog, or infographic, that’s always relevant to your key buyer. This is content that doesn’t have a season and is always true and helpful. Evergreen content is a big part of an effective content marketing strategy because you can use it any time. It’s highly shareable, easy to link to, and the perfect content for when you need to get something out in a pinch.

Keyword

Keywords are probably the most well-known inbound marketing vocab term, but they’re simply words you want to rank well for on search engines. For example, if you’re a local roofer, keywords like asphalt roof, GAF shingles, and roofers in MyTown, USA, would be relevant words you’d want to rank for. For an effective keyword strategy, you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re ranking for words your target audience is searching for.

Landing Page

A landing page is the page site visitors “land’ on when they click through from a search engine or advertisement. Effective landing pages usually have a form and a call-to-action button so that they can easily convert site viewers to leads.

Lead

A lead is a site viewer that has converted by submitting their contact information. Typically, leads are established after they sign up for a newsletter or download a gated content offer, and have to submit their email address in return for the content.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization refers to the practice of ensuring your website and digital content show up attractively on mobile devices. It also refers to making your mobile site more indexable by Google’s search engines. Since more and more consumers are using mobile devices to search the web, mobile optimization is increasingly important.

Organic search result

An organic search result is one that shows up naturally on search engine results pages based on Google’s algorithm ranking. Organic results are not paid for, and organic results that show up on the first page of results are the most desirable, as they’re the most likely to receive clicks.

PPC

PPC stands for “pay-per-click,” a style of Google advertising in which businesses create ads, but only pay for the advertisement if someone clicks on it. For pay-per-click ads, you can bid on certain keywords that are relevant to your products or services.

ROI

ROI stands for “return on investment.” A relatively simple ratio, your return on investment is the money you net, minus the money you spend on your inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing offers a notoriously high ROI when implemented properly, because it doesn’t cost much, but can be leveraged to boost your revenue exponentially.

Target buyer/audience

Your target buyer or target audience is essentially your ideal client. They’re the person who definitely needs your product or service, and has the funds to pay for it. Most inbound marketing strategies are formed around the pain points and lifestyle of each business’s target buyer or audience.

We hope this vocab list helps figure out some of the more difficult industry terms. If you’ve got any more questions about inbound marketing, whether you want to know how it works, or how it can work for you, be sure to get in touch.

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Real Estate Marketing 101: Create a Content Calendar That Sells Homes

Real Estate Marketing 101: Create a Content Calendar That Sells Homes

Real Estate Marketing 101: Create a Content Calendar That Sells Homes

Creating a content calendar that fills houses and sells lots:

If you’re a housing developer, you know that any marketing strategy you use has to be time-efficient. You need to fill homes and sell lots quickly to see quality returns on your investment. If you’ve been considering content marketing as a part of your digital marketing strategy, but aren’t sure if it’s an effective use of your time, we hear you. It’s not always easy to write blog posts regularly, get them posted, and then promote them. That said, content marketing is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to get eyes on your site. All it really takes is time.

But, if like many housing developers, you’re a little short on time, know that you can still have the best of both worlds by creating a content calendar. Content calendars help take some of the work out of creating a regular blog posting schedule by outlining the topic, description, and keyword for each upcoming post. We develop content calendars for each of our clients at the beginning of the year. We outline exactly what it is we’re going to write about and when, and then we give the calendar to the client for approval. That way, once it comes back approved, all we have to do is write the posts for the year. There’s no guesswork or question about what we’re doing, and when it needs to go out.

Content calendars outline the topic, description, and keyword for each month’s upcoming posts.

A content calendar is a great solution for busy home developers, because it allows you to stick to a schedule, and it makes it easy to hand off the blog writing to whoever has a little extra time that month. Since the topics are already created, any decent writer can write the blog. So, how to create a content calendar that draws in qualified leads?

First, think about who you’re writing to

This goes back to that target market we’re always talking about. To whom would you like to sell your homes? Are you developing a community that’s largely centered around seniors? Or are you building homes for young, growing families? It’s important to pinpoint who your target buyer is before you start developing your content, because the age range and general lifestyle of that buyer will influence the types of content that you put out.

Then, pick three categories

After you’ve identified your specific target buyer, it’s time to start creating content, or at least topics to write about that speak to your buyer. To make sure your content calendar doesn’t become stale or boring, we recommend picking three or four categories to center your content calendar around, and alternating between categories each month.

For example, one of our developer clients is working on filling a sustainable mountain living community near Asheville, NC. Our content calendar revolves around three major topics: things to do in Asheville, home ownership, and lifestyle blogs that focus on the activities that their target buyers most enjoy. For them, that’s biking, hiking, kayaking, and backpacking—outdoor activities that encourage appreciation of the natural world.

By segmenting our content calendar into these three categories, we’re able to reach the client’s target buyer in more than one way. We’re appealing to the sense of place that their development offers, we’re drawing in potential buyers who like to do activities that the other residents like to do, and we’re also targeting the thing that’s most relevant to the development, which is home ownership.

Your content calendar can focus on similar topics.

  • What is interesting about the location of your development, and what’s happening in nearby cities?
  • What content will homeowners in your area want to read about?
  • What activities are your target buyers interested in?

By filling your content calendar with topics that aren’t always the same, you’ll have a number of different, interesting blogs that will work to draw new people to your site. By writing content about your area, you get the added bonus of identifying your location for both search engines and consumers, making it more likely that you’ll pop up in local search results.

Remember that your content strategy is never about you. Rather, it should be a resource for your target buyers. You want them to love the content you’re putting out so much that they subscribe and never miss a post. The only way to do that is to create content they care about, which isn’t going to be monthly updates on how the development of your community is going.

Finishing up

While creating the topics is definitely the hardest part of any content calendar, don’t just stop when you have the right number of ideas. A content calendar should also include a keyword, title for the post, and description of what you meant when you came up with the topic. To save yourself extra time, consider adding in your call-to-action.

Save yourself additional time by writing your CTA into the content calendar.

This is often a tedious part to write at the bottom of your blog post. It talks about how great your community is, and where people can find you if they’re interested in one of your homes. Add that right into your content calendar now, and you won’t have to worry about it later.

Schedule

Once you’ve got the calendar fully filled out, create a publishing schedule. Put a date on each post, both to give yourself a deadline, and to make sure you don’t have any long gaps between posts. With a posting date, it’ll be clear when you need to start writing, and you’ll have something holding you accountable to get that content out into the world.

When your content calendar has a posting schedule, topics for every month, descriptions, keywords, titles, and CTAs, you’re done!

Well, done with the content calendar at least. You’ll still have to write the posts themselves if you’re looking to draw in those qualified buyers, but you won’t have to worry in the future about deciding what to write, and getting it out in a timely fashion. With a schedule and plenty of topics already set to go, writing a blog post is easy.

Content calendars are a seriously handy tool for any housing developer short on time. If you want to create one, but still aren’t sure what to write about, or how to go about getting started, get in touch. We’re sort of content calendar experts, and would love to help you optimize your content marketing strategy for success. To see how we’ve helped other housing developers boost revenue and sell homes, check out the case study below:

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How Landing Pages Increase Conversions for Housing Developers

How Landing Pages Increase Conversions for Housing Developers

If you’ve been working on the website for your housing development, and just don’t seem to be filling homes or lots at a rate that seems right, landing pages can help. They’re an ideal way to get hold of the contact information of qualified leads, and when done right, they can move a site viewer who was just looking, to a site viewer who’s legitimately interested in your development. So, how do landing pages increase conversion for housing developers, and how can you make sure your landing pages are working for you? Let’s start with a refresher course on landing pages.

Landing Page Refresher

A landing page is a page other than your homepage, where site visitors first land when they click to your site from another website (typically this is a search engine like Google, but it can also be social media sites, or a website where you’re promoting an ad). It’s also possible to have landing pages that site visitors can get to from your own site. We have a contact landing page that people can click to at any point if they’re interested in seeing how we can help them. Landing pages work to softly direct your site visitors into giving your their contact information, usually in exchange for an offer, like a guide on becoming an awesome homebuyer, or pictures of your housing development.

How a Good Landing Page Generates Leads

Now, there’s all sorts of landing pages out there, but not all of them are good. A quality landing page does the following things:

  • Provides relevant information: It tells people who you are, and what you’re about in a way that’s relevant to the link they clicked to get there. If you have a paid ad that says “spacious 2 bedroom apartments with vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors” don’t send people to a landing page about the development’s adjacent golf course and restaurant. That will confuse and frustrate. A good landing page provides content the viewer expects to get after clicking on a certain link.
  • Offers content or access potential clients want: The best way to capture contact info off a landing page is to make them an offer they can’t refuse (sorry, couldn’t help it!). But really, people are far more likely to give up their email address if they’re going to get awesome pictures, drone footage, or floorplans of your development in return.
  • Gets you contact info of qualified leads: Probably the best part of a great landing page is its ability to get you qualified leads. If your page is relevant, provides the right information, and adds value for the site viewer, it should get you contact info that you can use to further pull those potential leads down the sales funnel.

How to Make a Landing Page that Converts?

Now that you know what a great housing development landing page does, it’s time to make one of your own. We’ve got a ton of resources on creating killer landing pages, but for a crash course, make sure your housing development landing page follows these 6 key guidelines:

No nav

Take away the navigation menu on your landing page. This works to “squeeze” people through, and softly push them to convert. When there’s no menu, there’s less distraction, which means site visitors are unlikely to navigate away unless the offer really isn’t something they’re looking for. Then, you’re only really losing traffic that wasn’t qualified in the first place.

Short content

Keep your content short and sweet. Try to limit yourself to just a few sentences that tell site viewers who you are, and what you can do for them. You know that your development is awesome, but don’t just tell people that, show them why it’s awesome, and why they’d be lucky to live there.

Clear offer

Viewers shouldn’t have to wonder about what they’re going to get when they click the “submit” button. Make it obvious what they’ll get when they fill out your form, whether it’s pictures, blueprints, or information about your development.

Quality button

Studies have shown that people actually do care what the button that says “click” looks like. First of all, “click” and “submit” might not be the best choices. Choose something that’s more relevant to your offer, like “Sign up now” or “get access to photos.” This will remind viewers what they’re getting, and provide incentive for following through and clicking the button.

Reasonable form

Don’t make your forms too long. The longer a form is, the less likely you are to get conversions. Only ask for what you actually need, like name, email, and maybe zip code. Sometimes it makes sense to have a longer form for landing pages that target people who are almost ready to close, and want a price estimate, but other than that, keep your forms short and sweet.

Clean design

Finally, remember that today’s consumer is highly visual and has a short attention span. Your landing page should be eye-catching, easy to read, and feature high-quality photos. You’ve got a beautiful development, right? Use photos of it to your advantage on your landing page.

In the end, any quality landing page is almost guaranteed to increase conversions for housing developers, so long as they have traffic coming to the site. They’re a great way to capture information about potential clients, while also providing an incentive for people to come back and consider your development.

If you’re still struggling to perfect your landing pages, know that Evenbound can help. We’ve worked with a number of housing developers, and have cracked the code to creating marketing strategies that fill developments and sell homes. To see just what we’ve done to deliver results for our housing development clients, check out the case study below:

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