As we close out our reporting for 2017, we like to look back on the entire year and evaluate what we did well and what needs improvement. It’s a healthy process that helps us refine our value and make larger adjustments, in addition to the smaller improvements we implement on a regular basis. When we reviewed our clients’ lead generation metrics for 2017, we were very proud of what we’d delivered to our clients and thought it was worth sharing.
Lead generation with marketing and sales alignment is a major point of value for our clients, and it’s what separates us from other agencies. New business opportunities can be hard to come by, particularly in the form of qualified sales leads. Our comprehensive campaigns and industry-specific approach gives us a unique advantage; we simply know our industries really well. Our industry focus and expertise allows us to understand what your ideal customers are searching for and deliver the results that you want.
To complement our industry knowledge, we also understand the marketing and sales process. Our efforts align with your sales team’s goals, and we work with you to bring strangers through the buyer journey and turn them into customers.
In 2017 we generated a total of 7,079 sales leads for our clients. That includes every phone call, contact form submission, quote request, and content download request. Our comprehensive campaigns are set up across a wide range if channels including organic website traffic, paid website traffic, content offers, social media and local search engine optimization (SEO). Here is the breakdown by industry:
If you’re after strategic growth in 2018, you need to start with marketing that drive sales. And that starts with creating new business opportunities in the form of leads. We have cracked the code on lead generation in the above industries. Let us help you with intuitive web design, industry best practices in SEO and inbound marketing, effective PPC and social media advertising, and compelling content. Let us apply our expertise to generating leads for you. Contact us to start that conversation.
Whitmore Homes is a local, family owned custom home building company dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind homes that perfectly suit their client’s lifestyle and design tastes. Whitmore Homes makes an effort to truly understand what their clients are looking for, and they pride themselves on keeping open, clear lines of communication with their clients throughout the building process, to ensure the end product is precisely what the client was looking for. Whitmore Homes is a prominent, high-end custom home builder in West Michigan, and needed a way to set themselves apart from the competition.
The Challenge of Qualified Leads
Whitmore Homes had a goal of increasing sales, but as is the case for most high-end home builders, not just any lead is the right fit. Whitmore Homes wanted to increase their number of qualified leads so they could build at a higher price-point that suited their place in the market. They needed to increase their overall traffic to draw in qualified leads that fit their business model. To do that, they not only needed an effective digital marketing strategy, they also needed a platform where they could bring those leads in.
Evenbound took on the Whitmore Homes digital marketing project, and as we built them a new, responsive, and attractive website that is snappy and user friendly, we also applied our unique digital marketing strategy, tailored specifically to Whitmore Homes’ goals. Following the implementation of our new web design and superior digital marketing methods strategically developed for custom home builders, Whitmore Homes has seen exceptional results.
Results that Deliver Sales
In our first year with Whitmore Homes, we’ve delivered more than 1,000 visitors to the new site every month. What’s more, we produced exactly the sort of sales leads Whitmore Homes was looking for—353 of them—to be exact, this year alone. That’s more than one qualified sales lead every single business day. Whitmore Homes has also seen a massive bump in their conversion rate and organic traffic arriving to their site, but the figure that most stands out as proof of Evenbound’s ability to provide the results our clients are looking for is that high number of sales leads.
Evenbound has cracked the code to marketing high-end home builders. Our strategy, when tailored specifically to the unique goals of home builders and developers, is guaranteed to draw in qualified traffic and boost sales. To see how the Evenbound strategy could work for your home building company, download the case study below, or schedule your own one-on-one consultation for a personalized plan.
Today’s home buyer is skeptical. They know there are a number of builders out there looking to make a quick dime, and they won’t even consider talking to anyone before they’ve done a great deal of research. They’re looking for a home builder who understands the type of home they want to build, and one they can trust to get the job done in an honest way. If you’re a home builder in today’s market, you’ll have noticed that it takes a bit longer to get clients on board, and you’re probably looking for ways you can close sales more quickly. One of the absolute best ways to ensure your home building company stands out from the competition is to include video testimonials.
Why Video Testimonials?
Video testimonials offer the highest level of social proof to skeptical home buyers. Not only do they serve as a great way to get positive content up about your building abilities, but they also prove that the quality service you talk about on your website is a genuine benefit of working with you. It’s a way of providing word of mouth referrals in a digital age.
Video testimonials give your company authority and credibility. Any home builder can say that they offer superior communication, and strive to build the dream homes that each of their clients are looking for. By providing video testimonials, you’re proving that your company really is that great by offering a credible third-party review to your potential clients. Video testimonials function just like the online reviews you see on Amazon, but better. If you were purchasing a new blender on Amazon, it’s likely that you’d select a few promising options, and then compare the reviews for each model.
That’s exactly how video testimonials work, but the interesting thing about video testimonials is that they’re irrefutable. Some consumers are still wary of written testimonials because, in reality, anyone could have written them. Video testimonials are much harder to fake, which makes them all that more credible. They’re especially useful for home builders because choosing to build a new home is a major investment. New homeowners are going to want all the proof they can get that your company is legitimate and honest before they even consider calling up your sales department.
How to Get Video Testimonials
It’s actually surprisingly easy to get video testimonials for home builders. If you think about it, you’ve worked closely with a homeowner for months while their home was under construction. You know the homeowners well, and you’ve provided them with the space they’ll call home for decades. Most previous clients will be comfortable talking to you, since they know you well, and as long as they’re satisfied with their home, most of them will be happy to provide a video testimonial.
To get video testimonials from previous clients, all you really need to do is ask. Think of the projects you’re most proud of, and the homes you know your clients love. Then ask if they’d be willing to help your company out by offering a short video testimonial.
It’s a good idea to encourage those giving testimonials to talk about the entire process. You want to leave the testimonial up to the client as much as possible because it should be authentic, but if they ask for a little direction, make it clear that they can talk about the process as a whole. How was it like to work with you through the building process, and of course, how did they feel about the end product? Consumers love a story, and the more information they can get on how your home building company functions throughout the process, the better.
Add Progress Photos
Your video testimonials can be relatively informal if you like, but it’s also helpful to consider putting together images of the end product and adding them into the video. This way, potential clients watching your testimonial videos can see and hear from the client but also see visual proof of the work you did for that client. It’s a great way to add another layer of authenticity and showcase the beautiful craftsmanship your company is known for.
Feature a Number of Testimonials
Be sure to feature testimonials that are relevant to each target persona. Whether you often work with doctors, wealthy stay-at-home moms, or new couples looking for that first home together, be sure to collect video testimonial from clients who fit into each of your target personas. The more testimonials you have, the better. If you start getting more testimonials than you know what to do with, make a separate page on your website that’s dedicated to testimonials. You can still feature individual videos on other pages, but it’s helpful to have a spot that’s easy to find for those potential clients looking to hear from past clients.
Where Do I Put My Video Testimonials?
Once you have a few video testimonials put together, don’t be afraid to share them anywhere and everywhere. Definitely put them on your website, consider featuring them on your blog, and share them on your social media accounts. Don’t flood every channel of your digital platform with video testimonials all at once, but consider sprinkling those testimonials in anywhere it seems relevant, in a way that’s not aggressive.
For example, you don’t want every single Facebook post you make this month to be a video testimonial, but you might consider posting one new video each week. You won’t want to have 15 testimonials on your homepage, but you could feature one or two in convenient locations, and link to the rest if potential clients want to learn more. It’s also worth considering embedding a video in your regular email newsletter. The testimonial shouldn’t be front and center, and it shouldn’t overshadow whatever helpful content you’re providing in the newsletter, but it’s a good idea to include a testimonial at the end of the email, where people are sure to see it after they’ve gotten through your helpful content.
Use Video Testimonials to Shorten Sales Cycle
If you’re a home builder looking to boost leads and shorten the sales cycle, video testimonials are one great way to do it. They offer credibility and authenticity to your home building company, and they help assuage the worries of skeptical consumers. While video testimonials alone can’t get you more sales, they’re an integral part of a comprehensive, effective digital marketing strategy for any quality home builder. If you’ve got more questions about growing your company’s online presence, or you’d like to professionally implement video testimonials to your website, get in touch.
Mobile traffic is any home builder’s bread and butter. Why? Well, we’re about to tell you. Suffice it to say that if your home building company has a website, it needs to be mobile responsive. The general reason is because almost everyone is searching on their mobile devices these days, but there are a ton of benefits to having a mobile responsive website, especially for homebuilders. Here are a few more reasons why you should care about mobile traffic, and why it’s in your best interest to ensure you’re optimizing your site for those mobile viewers:
Everyone is on Mobile
The most obvious reason that mobile traffic is important to home builders is the fact that mobile searches now account for more than 60% of all web traffic out there. That number is only going to grow. Studies have shown that the average web user heads to their mobile device the minute they think of something they might need. They conduct an initial search, do a bit of research on the product, and then finally switch to their desktop to make the final purchasing decision. While desktop traffic will never go out completely, most users are more likely to pick up their smartphone to gather initial information about whatever they’re searching.
What’s more, today 77% of all adults now own a smartphone, which means that more and more of those mobile searches are going to happen. Smartphones are convenient, they’re right in your pocket, and they can get you answers in under a second. Your home building company should be interested in mobile traffic simply because it is the largest portion of all traffic on the web today.
Sets You Apart From the Competition
If we keep in mind the regular web searcher’s methodology: starting a search with their phone and transferring to a computer once they’ve made a decision, it’s obvious that having a mobile responsive site can do a lot to set you apart from the competition. Sure, no one is going to buy a house on their phone. However, most people are going to start the search for a new home on their phone. And if you have a mobile responsive site and your competitor doesn’t, then you’re going to be the one that gets the first chance at those clients. A mobile responsive site gives you the leg up, ensuring your site is the first one your potential clients see.
Google, always Google
It’s very rare that we post a blog that doesn’t have something to do with Google, and this blog is no different. Because Google is the all-powerful gatekeeper to internet search results, it makes sense that they’ve weighed in on the mobile vs. desktop situation, and have come down on the side of mobile traffic. In December of 2016, Google introduced their mobile-first indexing update, which essentially told web owners that they were going to start indexing mobile sites before desktop sites.
This basically means that Google analyzes and ranks mobile sites before anything else, which gives more ranking power to mobile sites over desktop sites. So, if you only have a desktop site, or you have a desktop site and a pared-down version of that for a mobile site, you’re likely to get a bump down in rankings. If you’re looking to rank well as a home builder in your area, it’s important to have a mobile responsive site that caters to all those mobile users, as well as Google’s indexing algorithm.
Mobile Users Share
Finally, mobile traffic is any home builder’s bread and butter for the express reason that mobile users share. If you think about your own web use, are you more often looking at social media on your phone, or your computer? If you’re like most people, you look at sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter primarily on your phone. Those sites are the places people most often share content, from photos they like to articles they found interesting and useful.
So, another reason to optimize your home building site for mobile is to take advantage of those high sharing numbers that mobile traffic brings. Homebuilders are especially great for mobile traffic because you do have such shareable content. If you post before and after pictures of projects or showcase the insides of some of your model homes or recently designed projects, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of sharing. That sort of content is exactly what the average web browser loves to look at, and is likely to share with their friends. If you make that content available to them on their mobile devices, you’ll be able to capitalize on the sharing nature of mobile users, ensuring your content reaches more and more people and grows your home building company’s reach.
There’s no questioning the fact that mobile traffic can do a lot to boost a home builder’s digital presence, but where do you start? If you know you need a site that’s mobile responsive, but don’t have one or aren’t sure how to optimize the one you’ve got, don’t worry. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think to get a mobile version of your site up and running. Most web templates, especially if you’re using WordPress or SquareSpace, are already set up for mobile responsiveness. Just make sure yours supports multiple screen sizes, and you’re probably good to go.
While just making sure your site supports multiple browser sizes is the biggest concern, you’ll also want to check that your mobile pages load quickly and that you’re providing a quality user experience by eliminating large pop-ups and streamlining your site’s menu.
Optimizing your home building website for mobile traffic doesn’t have to be difficult, and once you do it, you’re sure to see a marked improvement in your site’s overall performance. If you still have questions about boosting your digital presence or qualified lead generation, be sure to get in touch. Evenbound has cracked the code to digital marketing for home builders, and we’d be happy to help you optimize your website for mobile traffic and qualified leads. To see how our unique digital marketing strategy delivers impressive results for local home builders and construction professionals, be sure to check out the case study below.
Digital marketing isn’t new. It’s been around almost as long as Google, and it’s continued to improve and expand over the years. Today, you can even market on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. So why are some custom home builders late to the party? It might be because you feel like word of mouth is still the best way to drum up business, or it might be because you don’t think you have the time for a digital marketing strategy.
The truth is, quality digital marketing is one of the simplest ways to generate qualified leads you legitimately want to work with. There’s a lot of information swirling around out there about custom home builder marketing, and not all of it is true. That’s why we’ve decided to debunk five of the most common myths out there about digital marketing for custom home builders, so you can have a clearer picture about how digital marketing might work for you:
Myth #1 I don’t have time for it
Since digital marketing is one of the top methods to generate qualified leads in a way that offers massive ROI, this myth is just silly. Digital marketing really doesn’t take all that much time, compared to the leads you have the potential to generate when you do it right. You can start your company’s digital marketing strategy as easily as setting up and regularly posting to a Facebook page. Really, you can put as much or as little time into digital marketing as you want to, it’s just that the more time you put in, the more you’re likely to get out of it. You can have a quality beginning digital marketing strategy by just posting one blog a month to your website, and interacting on your company’s Facebook once a day.
Now, if you want to see serious results from your digital marketing strategy, sure, you’ll need to put a bit more time into it than that. But if you’ve been considering digital marketing, and the only thing that’s holding you back is the time commitment, you’re leaning on an unfounded myth. If you truly don’t have time to manage any aspect of your home building company’s digital presence, then you should at least consider hiring someone to do it for you, whether they’re an intern or a digital marketing company.
Myth #2 I have enough leads
Let’s be honest. This one is just weak. No company has too many leads. If there actually comes a point where you have more jobs than you can handle, that just gives you the opportunity to start picking and choosing which jobs you actually want to do. The more leads you have, the greater your opportunity to break into a higher priced market. And ask yourself this: how many of the leads you have right now are exactly the types of projects your custom home building company wants to be working on?
When you have more leads than you can handle, you have the power to choose the projects that you genuinely want to do, and you can start to tailor the work you do to the higher price point your home building company is looking to break into. Digital marketing, when done properly, works to generate qualified leads, those leads you actually want to work with, rather than leads you’d rather not. And when you’re picking and choosing which projects you’d like to work with, you’re guaranteed to have the freedom to move up in the market.
Myth #3 No one uses email marketing anymore
Take it from anyone in business today, email is so far from dead. In fact, most people would rather have you contact them by email than phone these days. Strategic email marketing definitely has a place in your digital marketing strategy, especially when you know how to do it effectively. A great way to get people interested is to send out a monthly newsletter with some before and after photos of recent projects. It’s also the ideal platform to showcase different types of homes you’ve built recently.
This sort of regular email marketing provides those on your email list with content they’re genuinely interested in, and it reminds them who to go to when they finally decide they’re ready to build that custom home. Best of all, emails are a great place to ask for five star reviews from previous clients you know you’ve satisfied. The more reviews you have, the better your online ranking, which also works to boost the number of qualified leads you draw in.
Myth #4 Professional photographers aren’t worth it
When it comes to custom home building, image is everything. Your entire business is founded on the idea that you can build someone the dream home they’ve always wanted. Showcasing that is too important to gamble on a sub-par photographer or someone’s iPhone camera. One of the absolute best things you can do for your digital marketing platform is hire a professional photographer who can go out and take pictures of some of your best projects, both before and after they’re completed.
Those high resolution, quality photos speak volumes about your ability to create a home that’s above and beyond your client’s expectations. What’s more, you can use those professional photos in a variety of ways. Whether you want a gallery on your website, quality background photos for your home page slider, or just some decent photos to send out on your monthly newsletter, a professional photographer is well worth it.
Myth #5 It’s free
This last one is a bit different from the others. One of the biggest pervading myths about digital marketing for custom home builders is that it’s free. It’s not. No form of marketing is ever free. Anyone who tells you that you can market your custom home building website for free isn’t being honest.
While digital marketing is truthfully far less expensive than traditional marketing efforts like paper ads, radio ads, and tv commercials, it still costs a little bit. Even if you end up doing all your digital marketing yourself, it takes up time. There are a lot of digital marketing aspects you can complete on your own, but you’re still spending at least a small amount of time writing those blog and posting to your company Facebook account, and time is money. So, don’t let anyone tell you digital marketing is free. When done right, it provides massive ROI, which means you have to spend a lot less to get a lot more, but it’s still going to cost you at least a little time and money.
If you’re not sure how much you should be spending for a quality digital marketing strategy that works, get in touch with us here at HA Digital Marketing. We’ve worked with a number of custom home builders, and have cracked the code to digital marketing strategies that deliver the leads you want. Check out the custom home building case study below to see how we market differently for better results, and then get in touch if you’d like to see how we can tailor our strategy for you!
With shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, Love it or List it, and pretty much anything on HGTV, it’s obvious that today’s consumer is very interested in homebuilding. Even when it’s not their own home, people love to look to at before and after photos, and imagine their own home looking that spectacular. The innate human interest in home building gives real estate developers like you a real leg up when you’re working on marketing your development. Even luckier is our society’s current fascination with social media, which makes marketing your development a breeze, if you just know how to engage that key buyer who loves home building projects, and is interested in buying in your area.
If you’ve been doing any digital marketing at all, you know that Facebook is a remarkably successful outlet for marketing your real estate development. The question is though, how do you build on the existing following you have? Well, it’s a lot easier than you might think. You’re selling something that a lot of Facebook users already want. Here are a few ways you can tailor your content for super engaging Facebook posts that are sure to boost your following:
There’s nothing people love more than looking at before and after photos. From infomercials on the newest ab machine to finished houses, it’s one of the easiest ways to get people engaged in any product. If you’ve finished a development, or are completing the interior design of your model homes, have a professional photographer come over, and post those new home photos in an album. By labeling the album, your followers will be able to figure out which development the home is in, and where it’s located, which gives them a better chance of picturing themselves in the home itself. What’s more, good before and after progress photos typically generate a lot of engagement. If you have a really outstanding album, it’s likely to be shared by some of your followers, which ensures it gets more new eyes, expanding your Facebook following.
Share community news
As a real estate developer, you’re selling more than just houses. You’re selling a community. So whether you’re marketing a sustainable living community, or a housing development that’s set up for retirees, be sure to share community news that will get your target buyers excited about the community. Whether you’ve got a block party going on for Labor Day weekend, or you’re opening the community greenhouse, the more you can share with people about the goings on of your housing development, the better they’ll be able to see themselves fitting in that fun, happening community.
If you thought photos got a lot of engagement from your followers, wait until you post a quality video tour. People are inherently curious, and everyone wants to know what the house down the street looks like on the inside. Video tours are a cool, updated way to show off your handiwork, and they get people interested in both the projects you’ve completed, and the floorplan you’re showcasing. In addition to drawing in quality leads, video tours are highly shareable, and when yours start circulating Facebook, they’re sure to start drawing in more followers.
The best way to boost your following is to get people involved with your company’s Facebook page. If you’re putting out quality content that they like to look at, that’s awesome, but your page will do even better if your followers are engaged. Ask your followers questions! You’d be surprised at how controversial home design can be. Consider throwing out a photo with a uniquely designed aspect of one of your recent projects, and ask your followers what they think. You might just spark a lively online discussion. Open vs. closed floorplan? Master bedroom on the first or second level? These sorts of questions are sure to get people involved, and the more people who get involved, the bigger your following will get.
Facebook contests are very low risk, and they do a lot to boost your Facebook following. For example, say you want to do a giveaway for the holidays. Post a photo of the prize you’re offering to the winner, whether it’s a Kitchen-Aid, a mini-fridge, or just a set of pots and pans. Then, tell people what they have to do to enter in your contest: like your page, share the giveaway post, tag one or two friends, or even post their favorite holiday cookie recipe! Then, you can choose a winner at random.
When the contest is over, someone goes home happy with the prize, and you end up with all of those additional followers and shares. Over the course of the contest, you’ll have gotten a ton more likes, more followers to show your amazing content to, and a lot of shares that connect your housing development to a new crop of potential buyers. Not only have you boosted your Facebook following, you’ve increased your chances for more qualified leads.
Share company birthdays and important events
These days, consumers want to work with businesses they trust and feel invested in. If you regularly post employee birthdays, anniversaries of your company’s founding day, or breaking ground days for new projects, you’re reminding your followers that your company is made up of a bunch of people just like them. When your business is personal, people feel like they know you better and can trust you, which makes them more likely to work with you. The more people who want to work with you, the bigger your Facebook following.
The more active you are on Facebook, the more followers you’re going to get. Be sure to comment and reply back to followers who ask questions or comment on your posts. What’s more, try to actively repost and share interesting content from other accounts that are relevant to your current followers. By sharing content you didn’t write, you expand your Facebook base to the followers of whoever you reposted. The more active your account, the more legitimate you look to ranking bots, which means your Facebook page will pop up higher in search engine results pages. So like and share when you can, and you’ll be sure to see that Facebook following expand.
Facebook is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools out there for real estate developers. If you’re active on your page, and combine those organic marketing efforts with a solid Facebook Ad Campaign, you’ll grow your following and see the high number of qualified leads you want. But if you’re still not sure how to optimize your real estate development’s digital marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to give HA Digital Marketing a shout. We’ve cracked the code to real estate development marketing, and can deliver the qualified leads and high conversion rates you need to fill your developments in no time at all.
To see just how the HA Digital Marketing strategy delivers real results and fills housing developments, check out the case study below: