Jonathan is the Chief Digital Officer CDO at Marketshare, Inc. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California. Marketshare, Inc. has been helping builders with all things marketing for over 35 years. Email: [email protected]
As a builder, there is a seemingly endless array of things you need to take care of in order to be successful: you need to develop your properties, deal with construction issues, create layouts for your properties and communities, market and spread the word about your new developments, find buyers for your homes… needless to say, there will always be something to do in the world of building.
But one area that many builders overlook when building and growing their business is design. But just like home design is important to potential homeowners when choosing a property, corporate design is important to them when choosing a building partner. By putting a little thought and effort into your design, you’ll be able to stand out from the competition, establish yourself as an expert and resource in your market, and create a professional and respected brand identity with your target clients.
But what exactly is good design?
We’re here with Design 101 for builders to get you started on the right (and well-design designed) foot:
The Essentials
First things first: when it comes to design, you need to start with the essentials.
So, what are the essential designs you’ll need if you’re just starting out (or rebranding) your building business?
A Brand Color Palette
The first design element you’ll need for your building business is a brand color palette. Your color palette is the foundation on which the rest of your design will be built; you need to know what colors are going to be the focus of your brand before you create any of your other design essentials.
When choosing your color palette, ask yourself: “What is my brand about? And what do I want my design to say?” Color is often the first thing people notice about your branding and can have a deep emotional impact on your audience, so you want to make sure it sends the right message.
For example, if your company focuses on building modern, sleek apartment buildings targeted towards urban professionals, you’d want to use colors like gray and black, which people associate with luxury; using neon or primary colors would feel completely out of line with who you are and what you do as a builder. Similarly, if your communities are targeted towards young families, using all neutrals isn’t going to create the “fun and approachable” brand sentiment you need to attract your target audience.
You can also take things a step further by embracing color psychology and choosing a color scheme that subtly influences your audience.
Want to appear more build trust with potential buyers? Try incorporating blue into your color scheme. Want to send the message that your properties are eco-friendly? Make your focal color green. By choosing colors that your audience naturally associates with certain characteristics or actions, they’ll unconsciously associate you with those characteristics and actions as well.
A Logo
Once you’ve locked in your brand color scheme, it’s time to create your logo. As a builder, you don’t want anything too over the top; you’ll want to keep your logo simple, streamlined, and professional.
Create multiple versions of your logo and share it with some of your target audience (like potential buyers) to see which they connect with best. You might want to start with a graphic logo, a text logo, and a logo that incorporates both graphic and text. Once you have feedback from your audience, you can choose which logo works best for your building business and take their suggestions to make any additional tweaks or changes necessary.
A professionally designed website is an absolute must if you want your building business to succeed. You can hire a web developer and/or designer to build you  a custom site, but unless there were advanced functions you needed to feature, you (or someone on your team) could likely build it yourself. There’s tons of DIY options on the market today; you can use a platform like WordPress or Squarespace and customize one of their pre-existing design templates to fit your needs.
Align Your Community Design With Your Overall Brand
When you’re in the business of building, it’s important to create a cohesive experience for your potential buyers no matter where they interact with you – whether it’s through a logo or a marketing brochure, a sales center or a model home, it’s important to make sure that all of your designs align with your brand.
Branding is an important component of having a successful building company. Your potential buyers need to know who you are and why you’re the best fit for what they’re looking for. Do you specialize in building senior living communities in for the highly affluent? Or do you build affordable communities great for first-time buyers?
Whatever your branding, it needs to come across in everything you do – and that includes the features of your community. If you want to maximize your brand’s impact, every feature (like your signage or your sales office) needs to align with your overall branding.
Whenever you’re designing a feature for one of your communities, look it over and ask yourself: “Does this speak to who we are as a building company? When potential buyers walk through here, will it speak to them as well?”
So, for example, if you build affordable communities targeted towards first-time buyers, you wouldn’t want your sales center to be full of extravagant or luxurious furniture and high-tech features; your target customer might find that intimidating. And since it’s not aligned with their needs, it sends the message that your community isn’t either. Instead, you’d want to furnish your sales office with relaxed, inviting, and approachable decor and technology that would put first-time homebuyers at ease.
Know who you are as a builder and then design your community features to illustrate that to your target buyers.
Choose The Right Partner
Being a great builder and managing your building business’ design don’t necessarily go hand in hand. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right partner to help support your design efforts. You want to work with a partner who has experience in the building business and understands the unique challenges that go along with the building industry.
Marketshare is a full-service marketing partner specializing in helping builders fill their communities through design, digital marketing, signage, and sales office design. If you’re ready to learn more about how Marketshare can help you reach your business goals, get in touch today.