Marketing For The Home Builder

When one is looking into marketing for the home builder, one should find a number of tools to promote newly built homes and home-building offers:

Advertising: the marketing for the home builder package should offer an advertising agency.

Your primary goal, to draw leads, should be catered to with such services and offerings as a marketing plan, an established venue (or venues), listings and listings links, link-backs, artistic renderings (drawings and/or photos), all to create web presence by name branding, the latest in internet sales generating techniques.

Boosts: marketing for the home builder agencies should include sales generating tools.

To generate interest and sales and then to continue that interest and maintain string relationships, the company you choose will have tools and services that ensure a complete homebuilder»s cycle secures homebuyers, keeps them, and has them passing the word of your reputable relationship on to others. Such features might include website design, maintenance, and support; online advertising, including satisfaction testimonials; offline advertising, an aggressive outreach and promotion deal, and biographical and work history and experience materials that promote your quality work, your comprehensive home building experience, and your commercial decorum.

Creative support: the complete marketing for the home builder company will offer creative support.

Rendering artists and graphic designers are at the epicenter of homebuilder marketing and sales. Architectural representation, aesthetic exterior and interior capturing, and 3D floor plan drafting and presentation are all one of the most important elements in the reaching, resale, and referral process.

The marketing for the home builder package, ideally, also includes sale training and support disclosure.

The agency that suits you best will even include a sales and marketing team that encourages your involvement by identifying strategies and techniques used to maximize your sales. In addition, a support system should be firmly ensconced in the process.

Additional marketing for the home builder pluses are a boon to your business, as well.

Such knowledgeable insight into demographics, market supply and demand cycles, and other newsworthy market research data would make for an even smoother sales process, as well as facilitate your responding to sales leads, making presentations, and responding to warranty calls. An agency that maintains and accesses a centralized database, that provides complete analyses, does buyer profiling, and works with feasibility studies as well as focus groups will assure you of a more successful new home marketing process.

May you be successful and showcase worthy!

How to Become a Professional Home Builder – Market Research

Market Research and Marketing

If you do any type of market research in this industry, you’re going to be ahead of the competition. The bulk of the builders I know just manage day by day and never really do any kind of market research. The thing I don’t want you to do is go overboard in market research so that you never build a home. You need to develop an accurate and concise research plan so that you can reach a clear-cut decision.

One key to good market research is a good real estate agent [Success Team Member]. A good real estate agent is always on the front lines. He or she knows what the customers want and considers what they value. A good agent is one with whom you want to list and sell your property. Even if you’re a licensed agent or broker, let a professional handle this for you. They’re working for you on those nights and weekends when you want to rest. They’re your go-between with the customer. I don’t want to deal with the customer. I want the agent to handle those negotiations.

Getting a signed contract is when your work begins. I don’t get excited over signed contracts. I get excited over closings and when I pick up my check. A good agent will work with the buyers, help them with financing and many other related items that I don’t want to be bothered with. If you ever become one of those builders who assumes the agents don’t know anything, then you’re on the road to failure because the agents know everything. The beauty of it all is, the agent only gets paid when the home is sold. Always use an agent and never, never, never build what you want to build. Build what the agents tell you to build. When you start in this industry you can’t afford to be a pioneer, because pioneers get arrows in the wrong places.

Now, you don’t have to spend lots of time and money doing this. Here’s all I want you to do. Go into a given area where you plan to build a home and jot down three real estate broker signs that you see in that area – three separate real estate brokers. Go home and call all three brokers. When you call a broker, you’re going to get the agent on duty to answer the phone. Don’t get locked into the agent on duty because the agent on duty may have little or no experience. Tell the agent on duty that you’d like to speak to the broker. When you speak to the broker, tell the broker that you’re looking for an agent who is familiar with the area where you want to build and is a member of the Million Dollar Club.

Now, listen. I don’t want to take anything away from those hard working agents out there that are not in the Million Dollar Club, but when you start out you’ve got to go for the gusto. I’ve found those agents that are in the Million Dollar Club have sacrificed friends, relatives and social life to sell real estate. They’re committed professionals. That is the kind of person you want to deal with. Tell the broker that you’d like an agent that earned most of his or her commissions selling homes, not listing homes. There is a big correlation between selling and listing. The successful listing agent is one that cultivates a large network of people. They’re members of tennis clubs and golf clubs, and they know a lot of people. You want an agent that got most of their money selling homes.

The broker will know what you mean. The broker may give you the name and number of one or two agents they can recommend. Don’t deal with two agents within the same company. Just deal with one agent. Contact the agent with a list of pre-printed questions that you’re going to ask the agent. Don’t tell them your grandiose plans. Don’t show them any of your plans. What you want to do is tell the agent you’re considering building in a given area or subdivision and you’d like to ask them a few questions. If things work out, tell them you’d consider them when listing your home. If deep in your heart you know you can’t let them list the home because you’re locked in with another agent in the subdivision, or some other business reason, then be honest with the agent. Tell the agents you’d like to ask them some questions and you’d be glad to pay them for their time. If they answer your questions without wanting payment, send them some flowers or a small gift as a token of appreciation. Remember, you’re going to receive only what you give.

Ask them questions like:

· If you were going to build in this area what size home would you build?
· How many bedrooms would you have?
· How many bathrooms?
· Would the master bedroom be on the first floor or the second floor?
· Would you’ve a two-car garage or would you’ve a three-car garage?
· Would you have a basement?
· What do you think of the schools?
· What do you think of the area?
· What would you do that other builders aren’t doing?

Write all of these answers down. After you complete the call, thank the agent for his or her time, hang up and call the other two agents. When you’ve completed these three phone calls, combine your lists, evaluate them and determine a common thread where all three agents said about the same thing. I want you to incorporate all those things into designing your next home. Add to it all those little goodies that you think are great and wonderful, and that you think will make your home unique. Then develop a set of drawings.

After you get a set of architectural drawings that incorporate all these features call these three agents back and set up lunch or breakfast appointments. Go to a nice restaurant. What an inexpensive investment to obtain this information. After the meetings, show them your drawings. This will accomplish two things. (1) You’ll have a professional critiquing your drawings. They may see little things that you’ve omitted or little things that need to be changed. (2) It gives you an opportunity to meet the agent and see if your personalities mesh and in that way you may indeed hire him to list your home. I can’t stress how important this is.

I had a builder student who heard this same message. He went out and built a beautiful home in a beautiful subdivision and didn’t sell it. He had to give it away and lost his shirt. Why? Because, in this case, the house had only three bedrooms instead of four. Any agent in that area could have told him, “You have to have four bedrooms in this subdivision.”

I know of a builder who built a beautiful home in a subdivision and had to sell it at a loss because his master bedroom was on the second floor not the first floor. Most of the people in this subdivision were retirees and they didn’t want to have a master bedroom on the second floor. Any agent in that area could have provided this information.

I remember a builder who built a beautiful home in an area called The Atlanta Country Club at the same time I was building there. He sold it at a loss because his dining room was too small. Any agent in that subdivision could have told him, “Your dining room is too small.”

I built an $800,000 home when the interest rates were 18%. I showed an agent the drawings. In a large home like this, the owners liked to entertain. Consequently the flow of traffic through the home was important. I had what is called a dead-end living room, that is a living room with no access out. The agent quickly pointed that out. I changed this before we began construction. I’d have been sitting on an $800,000 home paying almost $300 a day in interest because I didn’t have another door in the living room! The agent is very, very important in understanding what the buyer wants.

What Do National Home Builders Do That the Re-Sale Market Doesn’t to Sell Homes?

National home builders throughout the United States all market their new homes in a similar manner. They place ads in the local newspapers announcing their homes for sale and how to get to their sales office. Once a prospective home buyer meets with the sales office they go through a presentation. These presentations vary from builder to builder but all prospective home buyers are ultimately provided with a brochure before they leave. These brochures typically include an artist’ rendition of the different home styles and their floor plans. The home builders provide these brochures to the buying public because it is a recognized and proven method of selling their homes.

In the early stages of construction (even prior to the models being erected) many homebuyers are able to make decisions as to which home they prefer to buy. In some cases, some buy homes based solely on this artist rendition and a detailed floor plan. Many home buyers get together at the end of the day sit and compare floor plans, sometimes imagining their furniture in each room. The most recent development is these same builders are now including floor plans on their websites as well. It is a basic yet effective marketing method to sell homes.

Incredibly in the re-sale market this marketing tool is completely abandoned? Check every home listing, Realtor website, home flyers, etc… and you will learn every detail about the home with the exception of a floor plan. At present absolutely none of these marketing pieces include a floor plan? Why you ask? We posed this question to a number of real estate professionals only to learn the following. Of those real estate professionals we asked, we learned of all the reasons under the sun as to why they chose not to utilize this proven marketing tool? All were glad to share their personal opinions or theories as to why it would not work for them, yet none of them had actually tried using it to sell a home! Go figure?

A paradigm shift in marketing homes will need to take place in today’s re-sale market. As homes take longer to sell in our current market environment it behooves home sellers to utilize every effective marketing tool necessary to differentiate their home from competing homes. The simple act of including a floor plan could accomplish just that. Unfortunately to date most home sellers will not be exposed to this marketing tool on the re-sale market. The handful of real estate sales professionals who are currently utilizing floor plans in their marketing, are benefiting as a result. It is another example of the 80/20 rule which is alive and well, where 20% of the agents are selling 80% of the homes.

A few small internet companies have emerged to meet this untapped need. Some provide an interactive floor plan utilizing photos within the floor plan itself, others provide photos that have a high quality 30 to 60 second commercial production within the reach of most real estate professionals and FSBO’s (For Sale by Owner) in terms of cost and ease of use.

I recently spoke with a homeowner who was so thrilled with her virtual tour with floor plan, she told me that “she had everyone in her office come to her computer terminal to see her home throughout the day”. A color flyer cannot create the same “Buzz” or emotional impact as these tours.

We are increasingly becoming a more litigious society. The number of forms and disclosures involved in the sale of a home continues to increase every year. Floor plans drawn by licensed professionals are known to reduce the liability real estate agents are exposed to. Simply scanning a floor plan from the builder brochure without their permission is unprofessional, and could possibly land those responsible in court for copyright infringement.

Unfortunately for home sellers many real estate professionals believe that by simply not stating or using sometimes unreliable public records for their listings they are off the hook from a potential lawsuit. Wrong!! Many real estate professionals mistakenly assume that tract homes are all the same, if this were true why are real estate appraisers required to measure your home when you are obtaining a loan to refinance or purchase?

In summary, If given the choice most home buyer’s would like to see a floor plan prior to visiting the home much like those clients that buy new model homes from national builders. In today’s market environment it is critical for home sellers to differentiate their homes from others they are competing against. At the present time, it is unlikely that the general public will be exposed to this form of marketing in the re-sale market unless they utilize the services of the 20% of the real estate professionals who currently do.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Without Losing Your Mind

Building a custom home is the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, and choosing the best custom home builder is essential to the project’s success. The role of a custom home builder is as much to advocate for the homeowner as it is to collaborate with the design team. Since homebuilding is a process that takes several months, it’s important that you the buyer feel there is trust and clear communication on the part of the builder. If you have a location and have set your budget for the project, you are ready to shop builders; read the following tips on how to find a custom home builder without losing your mind.

Consider your resources

If you have already hired a designer, they are the best asset at your disposal for beginning your search. Your design professional likely has first hand experience working with builders and will know their construction qualities, communication styles, and business reputations. You could also check with your lender or realtor, if they are familiar with the custom home market in your locale. You can contact the National Association of Home Builders for a list of qualified local builders. Internet searches can identify builders in your area, and some sites may be equipped with ratings & feedback from prior customers. And, certainly, you could ask friends and acquaintances who have completed custom home projects for referrals.

Shop the candidates

Shopping for a well-qualified home builder is easy when you know what to look for to accommodate your project. The right builder for you will need to have the available time, an interest in your project, and experience in working with homeowners. You want a custom home builder whose primarily focused on building custom homes rather than speculative homes, so that their services are tailored to your needs. When considering builders, ask about their current projects and their track record with projects of similar scale and detail to yours. They should also be able to provide you client references. You want to get the sense that the builder you are considering has done this sort of thing before.

Work the schedule

When you talk to prospective builders, ask what kind of schedule you would be looking at for your project. Know that building a custom home usually takes a minimum of 6 months and that the schedule will be weather-dependent. Additionally, steps must be taken before the home can even be framed, such as installing the plumbing and electric up to city code. A builder promising a time frame for completion that is only a few weeks or months should be considered a red flag, no matter how tempting it may seem. In the case of custom home building, it’s better the project be completed properly then quickly.

Communication is key

Again, you need to be comfortable with how a builder communicates with you. You should not feel pressured or talked down to at any junction. You are trusting an expert to build your home, and that expert ought to be able to take the time to explain their process in layman’s terms. You should have access to the construction site. You should feel your questions are welcome, and that they being answered in a timely and respectful manner. If you get the sense that the builder is more or less communicative than you would like, take note, and consider moving on. You do not want to enter into a building contract with a builder whose communication is irksome.

Remember, you’re trying to find a collaborative building partner who will be your advocate. Take your time, be specific in what you want, and ask questions.