It is both possible and straight forward, for independent home builders to use the internet to generate a consistent flow of highly qualified leads.
Forget constantly quoting on jobs for tyre kickers, it’s time to attract people who want to build with you.
The problem for independent home builders
The home builder market is saturated with volume builders who can outcompete you on price and dominate Google’s search results with advertising.
With far larger marketing budgets and resources than independent home builders could dream of, most of the traditional avenues for exposure and advertising are saturated; TV, print, digital, radio, you name it, they’ve got it covered.
So, how do you get noticed when volume builders have far larger marketing budgets, greater physical exposure and can sink more promotional dollars into every resource available?
Let’s bust some myths
You might think it’s impossible to use the internet to generate consistent leads from people who actually want to work with you, aren’t entirely driven by price and are ready to build, rather than sending out quotes for tyrekickers.
I know that you can generate leads online with no “SEO” and no big advertising/pay per click budgets. I know because I did it and I’m still doing it successfully right now (Yes, this strategy is deployed and working while I’m writing this).
The key is to pinpoint what it is you can offer that the competition can’t. Or, as Sunny says:
“It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; ”
Sun Tzu, Art of War, Chapter 3 – Strategic Attack.
And Sunny’s never wrong, so have a good look in the mirror and think about what makes your company different. For example, what do you do that a volume builder doesn’t? Examples may include:
- Your customers deal with a builder rather than a sales rep.
- You’re a family company.
- You take on jobs that volume builders won’t. Like building on odd shaped blocks, sloping blocks, dealing with tricky council requirements, poor soils etc.
- You customise plans to suit the owners and the environment?
- You’re a “local” entity? Many people value the idea of a local builder. You’re someone whose reputation is on the line and is embedded in the community.
All of the above will attract a certain type of customer who will want to do business with you over a bland, impersonal, volume builder.
Once you have established your points of difference then you simply have to deliver this message to your audience on a consistent basis.
Once you have established your points of difference, start talking about them online. Spread the word by:
- Start writing news or blog posts on what you’re currently doing. Google will pick up key phrases in these pages and deliver them to people searching for the same thing, e.g. “A double storey home on a sloping block in Melbourne’s East”.
- Start talking about what you do on social media.
- Start talking about your work on other websites, there are millions of websites dedicated to discussions on home improvement, building, design and architecture with active communities.
A few hints on things to avoid
Save some time and money by avoiding the following:
- Avoid all those too good to be true emails promising #1 Google rankings. They’re a complete waste of time and can even attract Google penalties.
- Unless you really know what you’re doing, avoid spending money on pay per click advertising.
- Don’t invest time in any online marketing strategy that doesn’t inherently make sense to you. There’s far too much jargon, smoke and mirrors to be fooled by.
Start attracting high quality leads right now by:
- Writing 500 words on the last home you built. Include any special features, the location and how you met the expectations and wishes of the owners.
- Get some good quality photos of the home.
- Publish the above on your website, along with a testimonial if you can get it.
Then let the world know about it by:
- Posting a link to your new content on Facebook.
- Posting photos on your latest project to Instagram.
- Searching for related blog & forum websites with similar content and publish a comment with a link back to your site.