Posted January 5, 2012, 6:55 PM by ReadyChat
2013 is upon us and new home marketing budgets are being set and allocated for this year’s sales push. But with economic factors and the price of land increasing in most provinces here in Canada (and in US states), builders have been feeling the squeeze in recent years. Marketers should be weary (as if they were not already) on how much cash will be spent on customer acquisition in their 2012 new home marketing plan.
Consider these direct sales and marketing related costs you’ll likely incur this year:
- Total commissions paid out to sales agent plus base
- Commissions paid to broker
- Cost of marketing collateral (brochures, flyers, etc.)
- Cost of traditional advertising (Billboards, print adds, mailers)
- Cost of web marketing (community website design and amortization, website hosting, SEO, PPC, Email, Social Media)
- Cost to build, maintain sales center or lease back.
I’m sure I’ve missed some other costs, but these are the main ones that come to mind.
So, how will you be able to increase your marketing ROI in 2012? Below are some proven and sound Web marketing strategies for home builders to consider.
1) Offer something of value to improve conversion rates. You train your sales staff to hand out sales packages to each prospect that walks in to your sales center: why not offer the same package on your Website?! It’s simple, allow your website visitors to download floor plans or a community information pack by submitting their contact information through the website. This way, you are offering them valuable information in exchange for their contact details, which you can then send more marketing materials by email; even better yet, have your sales team call them. This is easy and most builders don’t offer this feature on their websites.
2) Engage your online prospects the moment they visit your website. You’re likely investing in traffic generation strategies to drive traffic to your builder website, but have you thought about how you will be able to convert that traffic into sales? Far too many home builder marketing departments spend thousands each month on traffic generation and neglect the actual web visitor to lead conversion process (NO, having a “contact us” form is not a good strategy). The fact is, there are more than enough options for buyers these days, so you need to be first to interact and communicate with consumers. Web-based communications, such as Live Chat allows you to do just that, by allowing you to reach out to your online visitors and connect with them in real time as you would normally in your sales centers. The Internet can be a cold place and there is no better way to warm up your website than with human interaction (whatever you can do to make your website visitors feel welcomed), or risk your website visitors to click away likely to never return.
3) Respond to Internet leads instantly. By now I’m sure you’ve heard that the sooner you follow up with your leads, the more likely they are to remember just who the hell you are and why they would want to communicate with you. Your online visitors want information fast, and if you can’t deliver it they way the want, they’ll move on in a heartbeat. Again, utilizing real time technologies such as live chat allows your online prospects to connect with you instantly and get fast answers to their questions. Furthermore, live chat is a two-way channel so info can be collected and relayed to and from your online visitors. This has opened the landscape for many of our builder clients by being able to interact with online leads instantly while having the ability to capture valuable insights as to individual buyer needs, online behaviour and intent to purchase.
Armed with these three strategies you should be able to easily improve your new home marketing ROI in 2012.