Builder Marketing Toolkit

The tools you need to forge the foundation for effective marketing, gain a competitive edge, and help your business grow.

12 Tools for Builder Marketing Success

As a home builder, every item in your marketing toolkit needs to be powerful – just like the tools you use to build your homes. Your marketing strategy must be strong enough to convince buyers to work with you to make what is likely the largest purchase of their lifetime. When strong marketing becomes part of your company brand, you’ll see benefits that include greater sales conversions, growth in your pipeline of client leads, and an improved reputation for your business, to name a few.

Happy Home Builder Shaking Hands with Client

It may be simple to understand the importance of building a solid marketing strategy for your business, but you may wonder, How do I do it? We’ve got you covered.

Continue reading to learn 12 of the most effective home builder marketing strategies. These strategies will guide you in building the foundation for effective marketing, give you a competitive edge, and help your business grow.

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Build an Engaging Website

Tip 1: Build an Engaging Website

First things first – Make sure you have a great website.

Think of your website as the most powerful tool in your marketing toolkit. Your website is the center of all your marketing and brand efforts. It’s where your potential clients and partners go to learn more about your business and decide if they want to work with you. Your website is also where all your other marketing channels and initiatives (e.g., social media, advertisements, etc.) will direct your audiences back to.

Here are our top tips for building out a robust website:

  • Make sure your website is optimized and mobile-friendly. This includes ensuring your website is responsive to be viewed well on mobile and desktop devices, has a fast page load time, and ranks well in local search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Visual appeal is essential. Use only top-quality, professional videos and photography on your website. Your site should include visual features like 3D renderings, virtual tours, and photo galleries of model homes and neighborhoods.
  • Show off your listings. Add a house listing feed so potential clients can view available homes with high-resolution images, video tours, financing options, and neighborhood information.
  • Add prominently displayed calls to action. A call-to-action is what it sounds like – a direction to the website visitor to take some action or next step. “Contact Us” or “Schedule an Appointment” are two common examples. Every page of your website should have a link to the next step visible to your visitors.
  • Include customer testimonials. Glowing reviews from past clients and business partners act as social proof to boost your credibility and help make potential buyers feel more confident in moving forward with doing business with you.
  • List multiple ways to contact you. This can include email, phone, social media links, or even live chat. Consider adding an interactive map and directions page for your different open communities.
  • Incorporate a contact form. Another idea is adding a contact form that gathers not only contact information but other helpful details that your team can use when reaching out during the initial conversation. How many bedrooms and bathrooms are they looking for? Is there a specific neighborhood or subdivision they are interested in? What’s their preferred contact method? 

    Note: Asking for too much information on a contact form can prompt website users to abandon the contact form altogether, which you’ll want to avoid for obvious reasons. A good rule of thumb is to request basic contact information plus up to four or five other pieces of information.
  • Educate prospective clients. Your site should be packed with valuable, informative content that positions your company as a thought leader. Include relevant resources on your website, like a blog or FAQs page, to educate your website visitors and draw more traffic to your site.
  • Leave it to the pros. You wouldn’t trust just anyone to hang drywall – and you shouldn’t trust just anyone to manage your website. If you don’t have an agency or in-house marketing team, consider working with a freelancer to manage and create content for your site. We recommend using a site like UpWork.com to find reputable and talented marketing freelancers. With UpWork, you can post the requirements of your project along with your budget, then interview different freelancers who apply. You’ll get all the benefits of working with a marketing professional without the commitment of having to bring someone on full-time.
Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Make Sure Your Branding is Consistent

Tip 2: Make Sure Your Branding is Consistent

Today’s consumers expect quality and consistency from the brands they interact with. This includes the homebuyers who will trust you to build their dream homes. It’s important to ensure that each touchpoint between your business and your potential clients accurately reflects the experience they’ll have when working with you.

Here are some things to consider to help you evaluate your brand consistency:

  • When was the last time you gave your visual brand a refresh? 
    Suppose your logo and marketing materials appear outdated to consumers. In that case, it might be time to consider a rebrand or a consult with a professional marketing firm for advice on updating your website and most-used collateral. While a successful rebrand can yield multiple benefits, a full-on rebrand takes time, effort, and a significant financial investment. Make sure you interview and select a reputable marketing professional or agency that takes the time to understand your business and goals before moving forward.
  • Do the look and feel of your brand mirror who you are as a builder?
    Take time to evaluate how well your brand elements reflect the style of your product and the homes you build. If you’re a modern custom home designer, for example, the design of your marketing assets and logo should also be modern, with clean lines and ample white space. If you build homes with more of a farmhouse feel, your designs may be more whimsical and cozy.
  • Is there consistency between your website, social media, and other marketing items?
    Once you have the right logo and updated website, make sure your social media and other marketing collateral are revised to reflect the same visual branding. You could have the most beautiful website in the world, but if your Instagram and Facebook pages still feature your old look and feel or are full of old content, you’re likely to turn off prospective buyers.
  • What shows up when people search for your company name online?
    Make a habit of Googling your company name at least once per week to make sure that everything that appears is accurate. You may be surprised to find inconsistencies with outdated logos or contact information on online directories or review sites that weren’t on your radar. You’ll also want to make sure that your website and social media pages show up first when people search for your name online.
Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Add Property Listings

Tip 3: Add Your Property Listings to Third-Party Real Estate Sites.

The shift to the digital world changed everything regarding marketing. It isn’t enough to have a website and social media; you must be everywhere.

Customers can now interact with brands in many places, and home builders have capitalized on this trend. Don’t be left out in the cold. Sites like Zillow or Realtor.com are platforms where you need to have your company brand seen and experienced by prospective buyers.

If you’re not on a third-party site, and your potential customers are, you’re missing an opportunity to connect.

Top third-party sites to check out:

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Add Value with Video

Tip 4: Add Value with Video

Compelling video is more important to your marketing strategy now than ever before.

Video is a perfect way to provide answers and education about what makes your home-building business stand out and helps showcase what it’s like to work with your company in a way that connects with potential buyers.

Here are some ways to leverage video in your marketing strategy:

  • Virtual Home Tours | Show potential clients virtual tours of the finished models for each type of unit being built. Think of a virtual home tour as an online open house: People can “tour” every detail of the house as if they are moving from room to room. Virtual home tours can be linked on your website and many third-party listing sites mentioned earlier.

    Pro Tip: Team up with a provider like Matterport to capture fantastic images and videos that showcase the features and spaces of the home. 
  • Video Walk-Throughs | A little more personal than a virtual home tour, a video walk-through will feature someone from your team walking through the model, pointing out key features, fixtures, and finishes within the home. These videos are great to showcase on your website and social media or even in an email campaign to your database of agents and past clients.
  • Neighborhood Videos | In addition to the homes themselves, potential buyers are interested in learning about the overall community they’ll be moving to. Create videos that showcase the neighborhood and its amenities, security, proximity to schools, access to infrastructure, local shopping and dining options, and community activities. Spotlight these videos alongside your virtual home tours and video walk-through clips on your website and social media. 
  • Testimonials | Ask your happy customers to record video testimonials sharing how happy they are with the dream home you’ve built for them. Have them tell their home buying story and share what it’s like to work with your team. Share these videos on social media, your website, and email marketing campaigns.
  • Quick Tip Videos | Create a series of short videos (1 minute or less) giving quick tips to home buyers and share them on your social media pages. Each video should focus on a high-level answer to a question or concern your buyers likely have during the home search and building process. Some ideas for video topics include how to research a neighborhood, what to look for in a quality home builder, top questions to ask when comparing home builders, how to find a good mortgage lender or even tips for finding a home in today’s market.
  • Feature Your Team | Give your potential customers a more personal look at your brand with videos featuring your most important asset – your team members! Highlight interviews with your employees and construction partners about their favorite aspects of working with your company, why they are passionate about building homes, and their overall experience with the brand. Hearing directly from your team members helps to build trust and credibility between you and your audience. 

How FHM Can Help:

Co-Branded Video | If your community or subdivision is within a 25-mile radius of the FHM HQ office in Fairfax, Virginia, the FHM marketing team can come on-site to shoot a video that features your model home(s) and neighborhood. These co-branded videos will include your Neighborhood Sales Manager and FHM Loan Officer.

Where to Find Videographers if You Don’t Have One

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Work with Real Estate Agents

Tip 5: Work With Real Estate Agents

If you’re not targeting real estate agents as lead generation partners, you should be!

With limited inventory across many regions, it’s become more of a challenge for agents to help buyers to find what they’re looking for on the market. If a real estate agent is familiar with you and your business, they can recommend their buyers work with your company to build the home of their dreams.

Here are some tips for staying top of mind with agents in your area:

  • Send sales teams to local agent offices to be part of their weekly meetings. During these meetings, treat agents as customers and educate them on your building process and the value your homes offer their clients.
  • Host a monthly brunch or another in-person event for the top local agents at your model homes to help them see first-hand the quality of your product and share information about any upcoming communities or new floor plans you’re offering
  • Build a preferred agent list. Every agent that sells a home in one of your communities should be on your list – send them regular emails with updates about new home features, upcoming subdivisions, or even simple holiday or birthday greetings to stay top-of-mind! When you have a grand opening, invite this list of agents to attend!
Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Tap Into Professional Networks

Tip 6: Tap Into Professional Organizations for Extra Exposure

Tap into professional organizations such as young professionals’ groups, medical professional organizations, or teachers’ associations by offering a networking lunch at your model homes and collecting business cards for a raffle. These people have a career and a paycheck, making odds better that they – or someone in their immediate network – will be able to buy. 

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Step Up Your Social Media Marketing

Tip 7: Step Up Your Social Media Marketing

Social media is an essential marketing tool for many industries and is especially helpful for home builder marketing. Active business social media accounts are a great way to build relationships and reinforce your brand voice.

What social media platforms should my company be using?

The easiest place to start – and what most of your potential clients are likely already using:

Get these accounts up and running smoothly with regular posts, then slowly branch out to a few other platforms as you have time and resources:

What should I post about?

Social platforms reward consistent and original content, giving pages with more activity higher visibility – so having a strategy in place for your social pages is key. Here are some posting ideas to keep your social media fresh and exciting:

  • Share photos and videos of your homes
  • Share photos and videos of your happy buyers
  • Link to your latest blog posts or, if you don’t have a blog of your own, relevant posts from industry experts
  • Host giveaways or special events
  • Ask questions
  • Highlight any community service work your business is involved in
  • Highlight your team members
  • Share warm wishes with holiday posts or celebrations that are important to your customers and company

How do I advertise on social media?

Once you have your business pages and social media strategy up and running, you may want to consider investing in social media advertising. Social media advertising uses social networks like Facebook to deliver paid ads to your target audience. These ads can be a quick and effective way to connect with your potential buyers and boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

You don’t have to be an expert to start advertising on social media. Here are some helpful how-to guides from the top social channels we recommend above that will help you reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time:

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Run PPC Ads on Google

Tip 8: Run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads on Google

Running PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertisements can be important in home builder marketing. You just need to make sure that you’re placing ads where they’re most likely to yield strong returns.

Google is one of the most popular places to run PPC ads. Your ad will appear before any of the Google Maps listings and any organic results. Your website will be the first thing that searchers see when they type your targeted terms into Google.

Builder Marketing Toolkit: Example of PPC Ads on Google Results

Google Ads can also make it easy to nurture leads that haven’t converted. Once a user has visited your website, Google can use cookies to log that visit and remind them of your brand by showing them ads for your website again in the future. These ads appear when users browse the web on websites that allow Google Ads. It’s an advertising method known as “retargeting,” which can effectively keep your company from being forgotten.

Retargeting is particularly useful for home builder advertising since leads usually require a longer time for consideration before they finally decide to start their new home-build project. The lower cost-per-click for retargeted ads also helps keep your individual lead costs low, given that the same lead may click your ads multiple times throughout their decision cycle.

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Geofence Targeting

Tip 9: Target Local Customers with Geofence Advertising

Geofencing can be another excellent tool for your marketing strategy. With geofencing, you’re essentially dialing your Google Ads into a precise geographical area, even down to a zip code or address!

You can use Google Ads to create a frequency program that determines how often someone with selected demographics sees your ad, then set your desired area, and you’re good to go. This is a great tool for marketing to people in a specific location if you’re trying to sell houses or lots.

Learn More About Geofencing Marketing

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Email Marketing

Tip 10: Don’t Forget About Email Marketing!

Email marketing is tried-and-true, and its cost-benefit makes it worthy of your attention.

Home builders can use email as a targeted method to reach prospects and offer value in a way that feels personal. Consider sharing relevant content, upcoming community launches, and industry news with your contacts. A monthly newsletter, for example, is a low-effort way to share industry information, offer tips, and increase your value to leads, prospects, and even agents.

If you don’t already have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or database of contacts, that’s okay. Start by creating a mailing list of:

  • Existing and past clients
  • Prospective buyers
  • Connections in your professional network
  • New subscribers who sign up via your website and social media pages

How do I get more people on my contact list?

Incentivize sign-ups to your mailing list by offering something of value in exchange for an email address. For example, run an offer on your social media or website that requires people to enter their name and email address to download a report about the top tips for overcoming residential construction challenges or an exclusive e-book you create.

A successful email marketing campaign is based on the number of emails that get opened, not on how many get sent out. You can increase the number of recipients who open and click through your messages by:

  • Including an attention-grabbing subject line with seven words or less. Avoid common spam triggers like the word “free” or using ALL CAPS in your subject line.
  • Adding one straightforward and clear call-to-action in each email. What’s the goal of each message? Do you want recipients to click through to a particular page on your website, follow you on social media, leave a review, or take some other follow-up action? Make sure this is clearly stated with a prominent call-to-action button.
  • Segmenting your mailing list. Split up your mailing list by category, sending different messages tailored to prospective buyers, past clients, and local real estate agents, for example.

NOTE: Make sure to follow CAN-SPAM laws and best practices for permission to avoid being flagged as a spammer, which can cause problems with message deliverability.

Don’t have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system?

Here are some easy-to-use email platforms to help you stay organized and send out effective email blasts:

How FHM Can Help:

Co-Branded Email Campaigns | Contact your FHM loan officer about co-branded email campaigns that can be sent using our CRM platform to the segmented lists of contacts you and your loan officer share. All messages can be fully customized to include your headshot, branding, and contact information, plus your custom calls-to-action alongside those of your loan officer! Reach out today to learn more.

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Print Advertising or Direct Mail

Tip 11: Consider Print Advertising or Direct Mail

Despite downward trends in print publication readership, print ads can still be used with success.

Print ads or inserts in newspapers or magazines and in real estate or construction publications are another way to get eyes on your brand. These opportunities can be a relatively cost-effective way to get in front of hyper-targeted audiences.

Direct mail can take two or three “touches” before a prospect engages, so it works best when used in tandem with other marketing strategies such as digital or social media advertising.

If you’re interested in pursuing direct mail, consider doing a co-branded postcard campaign with your FHM loan officer, targeting mail routes close to your upcoming or latest community launch! Contact your FHM loan officer to learn more.

Builder Marketing Toolkit Icon - Set Up Street or Directional Signage

Tip 12: Set Up Street or Directional Signage

This is likely something you’re already doing and is the most basic form of traditional home builder marketing. While the previous tips in this guide have focused primarily on digital marketing, we acknowledge that the old ways of setting up street and/or directional signage still have a place in any strong home builder toolkit.

Signage is an integral part of branding your communities and advertising your new development to everyone who passes by.

  • Banners are cost-effective, temporary, weather-resistant, easy to clean, and can be fixed to almost any structure, including fences.
  • Skid frames are large, semi-permanent billboards that are built sturdy and can stand up to harsh conditions. They are great for capturing attention in high-traffic locations like the side of a busy street or at your community’s entrance.
  • Flags are another cost-effective way to reinforce your brand. They help to draw more attention to your other signage through movement. Consider using larger flags for designs that feature lettering or graphics.
  • Portable directional signage help guide potential buyers to and through your community. Sandwich board signs, smaller skid frames, and lawn signs are all great options to help direct people on where to go.

Wrapping Up

A robust and consistent marketing strategy will help your company shine. Putting these 12 tools into action will lay the foundation for your company to build more business, enhance brand reputation, and stand out from your competitors. We recommend starting small, working on mastering one tip at a time, and focusing on those that genuinely resonate with your business. Google ads may or may not be for you, and that’s okay. It comes down to finding ways to use these tools to reach your target audience and show off all the reasons why someone should work with you to build their dream home.

Any of the ideas addressed in this guide can be co-branded with your FHM loan officer. Contact your loan officer today to learn more about opportunities to team up on marketing efforts for mutual success. We look forward to working with you!

Work with FHM for Marketing Success

Our team looks forward to the opportunity to support you and your business goals! Click below to get in touch with your FHM loan officer about co-branded marketing opportunities for joint success.

Click Here to Find Your Loan Officer

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