Your team doesn’t stop working when the contract’s signed. Why should your marketing?
Home builders stay on-trend when it comes to interior design, elevations and floorplans. If they wish to stay on-trend with their marketing as well, it’s time to take another look at home builder marketing, the marketing funnel and the new homebuyer’s journey.
As an industry, home builders have typically focused on marketing to potential buyers. From ads and social media posts to on-site signage and the model homes themselves, builders pay a lot of attention to people who may want to purchase a home.
And that’s fine, at least when things are running smoothly. That new home buyer goes through the typical marketing funnel as part of the customer journey, signs a contract, makes design center choices on schedule, and the home is completed and closed right on time. There’s really no need for the marketing team to engage them further. Or is there?
Today’s home building process takes longer than ever and is often interrupted or stalled by outside forces. Whether delays are caused by supply chain issues, employee absences, or tangential issues that don’t even seem related but slow things down many homes don’t start on time, are stalled midway through the process, and don’t close on time.
Where does that leave the buyer? And how can new home marketers help? Well, enter home builder marketing 2.0 the pandemic edition. Today more and more marketing extends beyond the contract or initial sale.
Guiding Buyers Through the Marketing Funnel
New home marketers find value in continuing communications throughout the customer journey, rather than dropping them off at the first checkpoint (a signed contract) to navigate on their own.
Fortunately, this hand holding can be accomplished without actual one-on-one hand holding. We’re working with home builders to anticipate the typical questions new buyers might ask as they wait on their home to be finished – on topics ranging from the construction process to community amenities to what to expect at closing – and then create evergreen communications that can be delivered as an automated drip campaign through their CRM, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or Lasso.
Regular communication keeps buyers engaged while they wait on their home’s completion and also helps to form a relationship with the customer. Builders see a reduction in the number of direct calls and request for updates they receive from anxious buyers, too.
There are other ways to stay in touch including using technology to give buyers regular updates on their homes progress. This can be accomplished via photos, text updates, apps, etc. The key to keeping happy buyers is transparency, keeping them informed of the home’s progress – whether it is moving along steadily or the tile they picked out is no longer available.
The Marketing Funnel Continues: Communicating After Closing
The fun doesn’t stop at closing either. More builders are continuing the communication long after closing, starting with a celebratory email congratulating the buyer on their closing and thanking them for their business.
Drip campaigns continue with messages about community amenities, things to do in the larger area, home maintenance how-to’s, submitting warranty requests, and special homeowner programs or incentives.
By continuing the conversations after closing, builders demonstrate their commitment and concern for their buyers. Buyers will see these are not fly-by-night builders who disappear when problems arise. They will be more likely purchase from the builder again, and to refer friends and family. These buyers are now raving fans with a relationship with the home builder.
Will We Return to Normal?
In “normal” times, home builder marketing often focuses on general announcements of new communities, amenity openings, additional phases or buyer incentives. Targeted drip campaigns that follow customers through the complete buying and homeownership cycle present an opportunity to construct a new normal.
Expanding the marketing funnel is more than a trend. It’s a new relationship-building tool that home builders, their teams, and – most importantly – their buyers will value for the long term.
Need more information? Here are 5 Marketing Tactics for Good Times!
If your company needs help with its marketing funnel, the team at Denim Marketing is happy to help. Contact us here or at 770-383-3360.