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Top 20 Home Builder Marketing Strategy and Ideas to Beat Your Competitors
The only way home builders can stay ahead of competitors and win market share in today’s quickly morphing environment is to embrace change.
Nowadays competition is tough, and these days you’ll need expertise in online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Here we have 20 home builder marketing strategies that you can employ in today’s modern, technologically driven world to aid you in staying relevant, succeeding and connecting with your customers and prospective customers to grow your business.
1. Create a compelling website with a dynamic available home listing feed
Your website is the most important digital tool you have and it is a necessity. Having a website is essentially your online home base. You may have a brick and mortar sales center, but online, here is where your customers and prospective clients can find you 24 hours a day.
Your site should have the most up to date home listing feed. Integrate your available home feed with MLS through RETS so your site visitors can have up to date pricing and listing information. Make it easy for them to see your available homes for sale and add as much information on the listing then what they can get from a basic Zillow listing.
- Add community information
- Area of interest near the home
- Additional home images
- Video tours
- Payment or financing options
- and more.
2. Be present on real estate third-party marketplace sites
The rise of the digital world changed everything when it comes to sales and marketing. It isn’t enough to have a website, or even social media (we’ll get to that later); you have to be everywhere.
Customers now have the ability to interact and transact with brands in so many different places. You don’t want to be left out in the cold. Therefore, sites like Zillow and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) are other platforms where you need to have your home builder marketing strategy seen and experienced by customers and prospective customers.
If you’re not on a third party site, and your potential customers are, you’re missing an opportunity to connect.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a huge can of worms that has many different facets to it, but essentially, to break it down in the simplest terms, it all has to do with where you end up on Google searches.
Some pages end up on the first page of Google, some end up on the 10th, and for many reasons, you want to be on Google’s first page.
SEO is all about how visible your site is on searches like Google. The more visible your site, the more traffic it gets. The more traffic you’re getting, the greater the potential for conversions.
This involves writing copy with prescribed best practices, keyword usage, outbound and inbound links and much more.
4. Social media marketing
As far as home building marketing strategies go, when employing social media, then Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are your best bets.
This is because they are highly visual-based. Customers want to see what you have to offer. Of course, they also want information, but having great imagery is a key factor when it comes to selling homes.
These social tools are so important for two reasons.
Social media allows your brand voice to shine so that people really connect with you and your brand. It allows you to be more personal and give in-depth and behind-the-scenes looks at your business, process and even the team behind your business that makes everything work.
The glory days of yell and sell are over. While this may not have been the preferred method for the housing industry, the point remains the same. As a general rule, today’s consumers don’t like feeling like they’re being sold to.
Social media is interactive. It allows people to share opinions and experiences regarding a product or service. As such, people can access your social platforms and find reassurance and comfort in your brand from others who have interacted with it. They help sell your brand for you!
This is a far cry from the pushy sales tactics from the past.
5. Email marketing (consumers)
Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy of sending emails to prospects and customers. Effective marketing emails convert prospects into customers and turn one-time buyers into loyal, raving fans.
You can reach a customer directly with a special offer and continue to reach out to them in the future with offers, news or event invitations. These highly specific and tailored messages help drive conversions and as we mentioned above, create loyal fans.
However, a word of caution: too many emails or copy that is too sales-based can have the opposite effect. Emails can be marked as spam or the recipient can unsubscribe from your emails. Be judicious with this type of home builder marketing strategy.
6. Email marketing (realtors and brokers)
You’re looking at the same basic tactics and strategy as when dealing with consumers, just adapted to a different audience.
The number one rule of media is to know your audience. Below are just a few ideas of what you send to a list of realtors and brokers within your area:
- Realtor home builder sales program
- Available home listings
- New opening communities
- Realtor events
7. Street or directional signage
This is your most basic form of traditional marketing. While the world has changed a great deal, sometimes the old ways still have a place. This is marketing that is on the ground and in the trenches.
Place “open house” signs at busy street corners near your listing where the most amount of foot and automobile traffic will be able to see it.
Try to spread out your signage over a wide area and be sure to not bunch up signs in groups near each other. The key is to cover ground.
8. Google and Bing paid search (keyword PPC)
PPC and SEO go hand in hand. Similarly to SEO, it has many different facets and can be quite complex, so here it is in simple terms, PPC is a tool that should compliment your SEO strategy.
PPC stands for pay-per-click. When you see the search results on Google that have a small box below them that says “Ad”, those are PPC ads. You literally pay an advertiser per click that you get on your ad.
These ads help you to rank better with your keywords and rise in search engine rankings. However, remember they are a tool to be used side-by-side with SEO, not in place of it.
9. Display and video advertising
Your goal here is to create omnichannel (cross channel) journeys that implement everything from display, search and video, to chat, email and even phone calls. One of the easiest, and highest, ROI areas to start is to create a cohesive experience between your display and video brand awareness campaigns.
The key here is cohesiveness; these ads need to work together. If you have a video ad showing your services, you want a display ad next to the video that is clickable and redirects to your site or a contact form where a customer can gain access to the service shown in the video.
10. Programmatic or geofence advertising
Geofencing is a great tool for your home building marketing strategies. Essentially, you’re dialing your Google Ads into a very accurate geographical area, even down to a zip code!
Use Google Ads to create a frequency program that determines how often an individual with selected demographics sees your ad, set your desired area and you’re set.
That’s the basic course. If you’re trying to sell houses or lots, this is a great tool for marketing to people in a specific location.
11. Event marketing for consumers and realtor
Here is another great traditional marketing tool you can employ. Consumer and realtor events such as open houses and home shows or trade shows are a great way to get in front of your target audience.
Events let you make face-to-face contact, shake hands and market directly to your audience. Leave them with an impression they won’t soon forget!
12. Home builder in-person presentation to brokers
Just like we referenced in our last paragraph, this is also an event. It’s a chance to smile, shake hands and personally show your audience what value your business has and why someone should consider working with you.
Your presentation should highlight the features and benefits of your business without being too salesy.
Events of all kinds are great home builder marketing strategies.
13. Billboard advertising
Billboard advertising is a simple, yet tried-and-true method that has been around for decades. Billboards are relatively cost-efficient and can be seen by consumers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When acquiring billboard space, think of the same rules as local signage which we discussed earlier. It should be placed in a location where there is a large amount of traffic. This is where the most amount of people will see it.
Remember, the majority of those who will see your billboard are motorists; they can’t have their eyes off the road for too long. Your billboard should be catchy to distinguish it from all the many others that are out there, but also short, sweet and to the point so that your reader quickly gets the message.
14. TV and radio advertising
Even though digital advertising seems to get all the attention, don’t forget that TV is still a hugely effective driver of commerce. A great TV commercial sticks in people’s minds whether they want it to or not.
This will be your most costly advertising channel but it does bring returns.
Radio is also extremely effective. According to ADWEEK, a Nielsen study revealed that radio delivered $12 in sales for every $1 spent on advertising.
Don’t look sideways at these two mediums because you’re seduced by the merits of the digital age. They should all be used together synergistically for maximum effectiveness.
Partnerships or collaborations, or more simply “collabs,” can be a great tool for home builders looking to update their marketing strategies.
While most often affiliated with sponsorships and influencers (we’ll touch on that later), partnerships in their simplest form are really just establishing relationships with an individual or organization that has a relationship with an area of a market that you’re interested in selling to.
To generate leads and sales look for partners such as:
- Real estate brokerage firms
- Financial institutions or lenders
- International brokers
- Local and international investor groups
Partnerships are a sort of “I scratch your back you scratch my back” relationship where you enter into a relationship with an individual or organization that will help you to reach people that you may have had difficulty reaching on your own.
16. Print advertising or direct mail
Remember how we discussed how you have to be everywhere your customers are, including third party opportunities? Here we go again.
Print inserts in magazines and newspapers, as well as placements in real estate or construction publications, are another solid and relatively cost-effective way to get eyes on your brand. Despite falling trends in newspaper readership, print ads can still be utilized with success.
As direct mail,, it works best when used in conjunction with a cohesive home builder marketing strategy and plan, and on a multi-touch basis. It can take two or three direct mail marketing pieces before a prospect will engage.
Don’t discount traditional advertising! Use it alongside other methods!
17. Influencer marketing
This is a form of partnership with an individual who has a large following on social media. Typically you will pay the influencer an agreed-upon rate to post on your behalf and share your message with their followers as a way of marketing to large audiences.
When using influencer marketing, remember that content and engagement is more important than the number of followers. You need people engaging with your brand and buying into your message here.
To look for influencers, we highly suggest using market places. Influencer marketplaces and platforms are great solutions to reducing the amount of time spent on profiling and connecting with new influencers – time that can rather be channeled into optimizing your campaign.
Sproutsocial.com offers a useful guide on how to create and plan an influencer marketing strategy.
18. Event sponsorship or experiential marketing
Gaining the naming rights to an event, or even just being listed as being affiliated with an event is a way to get your brand out there to be sure. If you can have signage and reps from your organization at the event, even better.
When we worked with Lennar Orlando a couple of years back, we were able to negotiate a great opportunity to get the brand in front of 60,000+ local fans game per game.
It was one of our omnichannel strategies that scored more new home sales for the division.
When considering event sponsorship, carefully consider how you spend your money. Event organizers love bringing in money to help get their events off the ground and make them a better event.
You want to be sure that your brand is properly represented. You’re involving yourself with an event that aligns with the values of your company and that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
19. Internal and external referrals
Face-to-face communication and connections come into play once again. Internal referrals allow you to get names and introductions to other decision-makers within the company you are trying to sell (or in this case someone looking to build a home). Not only do these internal referrals allow you to learn who the decision-makers are, but they will also allow you the opportunity to educate yourself on the decision making process, as well as the company’s buying criteria.
External referrals harken back to when we were discussing social proof. Once you’ve impacted a previous client with a positive experience, that former client will direct one of their friends or associates who is also in the market for building a house to you because of their fantastic experience.
20. Content creation and marketing
- Articles and blog posts: These will establish you as an industry leader and let clients know that you are a subject matter expert and are a trustworthy source.
- Videos and imagery – virtual tours: A must-have for your website and social for your home builder marketing strategies. Great videos and images that take a client inside one of your homes show exactly the quality of work that you can do. Really WOW them here.
- Testimonials: Again this is social proof; former customers discussing what it is like to work with you can have a great impact on building trust and getting new customers through your doors.
Of these 20 home builder marketing techniques, do you know which is the most valuable? None. There is no one strategy that trumps all the others.
These strategies should be used together in combinations that work to drive your business forward and increase ROI.
If you’re not seeing the returns that you had hoped for, don’t necessarily abandon a certain strategy. Sometimes it just takes optimization and slight tweaking to get it right. This is why it is a good idea to consult with a marketing professional when planning and developing your strategy.
Rest assured, using these strategies together in a way that makes sense for your business will help you to grow and reach the success that you never even previously thought possible.
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