One of the most important aspects of running a building business is marketing. It’s not enough to build amazing properties; you need to be able to market those properties, get them in front of the right people at the right time, and get potential buyers excited at the prospect of living in your community.
Marketing is always important—but it’s especially important in a slowing market. In 2019, rising interest rates and new inventory are predicted to cool markets across the country—which means if you want to fill your communities and sell your properties, you need to place a heavy focus on marketing in the new year.
But what, exactly, are the marketing best practices for a slowing market? What should you be doing on the marketing front to ensure you get buyers interested in and excited about your properties (and sell out your communities in the process)?
Look for ways to add value
When people think marketing, they think of going straight for the hard sale (also known as the “used car salesman” approach). But being super aggressive in your marketing can be a turnoff for a lot of potential buyers. So instead of asking something from your audience, one of the best ways you can market your properties is giving them something.
Value-based marketing—which shifts the focus from selling your product to serving your customer—is extremely effective. When you take a customer-centric approach to marketing, you’re showing your audience that you’re invested in them, whether they buy a property from you or not. That investment into your audience creates a trusting relationship—which, incidentally, is exactly what you need to drive sales in your community.
Look for ways you can add value to your audience. Do potential buyers have a lot of questions about the neighborhood? Create a buyer’s guide that outlines everything they need to know, from tax information to nearby school districts. Are a lot of your buyers confused about changing interest rates? Have your finance team hop on Facebook Live for a Q+A to clear up their questions.
The point is, the more value you can add to your audience, the more they’ll want to work with you—and the more likely they’ll be to buy a home in your community.
Become a go-to resource
Building on the last point, it’s important to add value to your audience. But if you want to take your marketing a step further, a great way to do it is adding value to the larger building community.
Establishing yourself as an expert in building and real estate is a great way to reach a larger audience and build credibility—both of which are essential at selling homes.
Look for opportunities to share your expertise on a larger scale. Offer to guest post on well-known industry blogs and link back to your brand’s website. Sign up as a source on Help a Reporter Out and share your expertise for real estate-related media stories. Connect with your local newspaper and see if you can write a weekly real estate column. Search Quora for real estate or building-related questions and share detailed, well thought out answers.
The more you get your name out there as a go-to resource for all things building and real estate, the more visibility and credibility you’ll drive for your communities—and the more homes you’ll sell in the process.
Stay one step ahead of the competition
If you want to drive sales in a slowing market, you can’t be just another face in the sea of builders. You need to show potential buyers how you’re different (and better!) that they’re other options—and you have to do it by staying one step ahead of the competition.
Look at how your competitors are marketing their properties—and then figure out how you can one-up them. Are they running Facebook ad campaigns with professional property photos? Target their audience with video ads that bring your properties to life. Do they have video tours of their model homes for out-of-town buyers? Offer a virtual reality tour experience to make people feel like they’re really there.
When it comes to marketing—especially in a slowing market—you always have to stay one step ahead of your competitors. Look for ways to stand out to potential buyers and establish yourself as the best in the business.
Get social
Marketing on social media is a non-negotiable for your building business at any time—but it’s especially important during a slowing market.
If you want your marketing to be successful in a slowing market, you need to be extremely specific about who you’re reaching out to, how you’re reaching them, and what message you’re delivering—and when it comes to marketing, nothing offers the kind of targeting options that you’ll find on social media platforms like Facebook.
The platform made some changes last year that changed the way you can target potential homebuyers on their platform—but they still offer an incredibly powerful suite of targeting features (like the “house-hunting” and “likely to move” features) that allow you to deliver targeted messaging towards people in your audience who are on the hunt for new property.
Create ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram of potential buyers in your area (because Facebook owns Instagram, you can manage campaigns for both platforms from the Facebook Ad Manager). Start with a small budget and test out different ad copy, property photos, and videos until you have a high-converting ad—then roll it out with a larger audience (and a larger budget). Leverage the targeting options on social media to deliver the right message at the right time to the right people—and watch your communities fill up as a result.
Wrapping things up
A slowing market presents obvious challenges for builders. But with the right marketing strategy, a slowing market doesn’t have to slow things down for your building business.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there, get marketing, and sell those properties!