It is both easy and straight forward for independent home builders to use their websites and social media profiles to generate a consistent flow of highly qualified leads.
So forget about wasting time on quoting jobs for tyre kickers, it’s time to attract a steady flow of customers who want to build with you!
The problem for custom home builders
The homebuilder market is saturated with volume builders who can outcompete the independents on price and dominate Google’s search results with advertising.
With far larger marketing budgets and resources than most independent home builders can dream of, the traditional avenues for advertising are saturated; TV, print, digital, radio, you name it, they’ve got it covered AND they can throw 20-30 times the amount of money at it than you can.
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?
Firstly, 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 and aren’t entirely driven by price. You might have even tried developing a digital strategy with mixed or no results.
However, I know that it’s possible to generate a steady flow of excellent leads on a long term basis, without spending the earth, or even very much at all. I know this because I’ve spent the last six years working closely with a few home builders in Melbourne’s East and North, developing a system that works on auto-pilot, and fills up their work pipelines with quality projects.
This is how it’s done.
The first step is to pinpoint what it is you can offer that the competition cannot. Or, as Sun Tzu said:
“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 it’s time to have a good look in the mirror and think about what makes your company different. Or to put it another way, what do you offer 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.
- You can build on odd-shaped blocks, sloping blocks, and blocks with poor soils.
- You can deal with tricky council requirements.
- You can customise plans to suit the owner’s lifestyle.
- You can customise plans to suit the environment and views.
- You’re a “local” entity – don’t undervalue this point, many people love 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. Can you add anything else to the list?
Once you have established your points of difference then you simply have to deliver and amplify this message to your audience on a consistent basis.
Once you have established your points of difference (see above list), start talking about them online.
Spread and amplify the word by:
- Start writing blog posts or project description on what you’re currently working on and what you have built previously. Google will pick up key phrases in these pages and deliver them to people searching for them, e.g. “A double-story home on a sloping block in Melbourne’s East”.
- Pro tip: make sure you get some quality photos of your projects, no half-built, messy work sites snapped from your phone, please!
- Start talking about what you do on social media – post some of the pics and a few talking points to Facebook, see some examples below.
- 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.
- Setup a very niche Google ads campaign directed at your local area, with your niche keywords (see above list), to your chosen demographics.
- Setup a very niche Facebook ads campaign – again, directed at your local area, advertising your niche, to your chosen demographics.
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 big money on pay per click advertising.
And most of all:
- Don’t invest time or money in any online marketing strategy that doesn’t inherently make sense to you. There’s far too much jargon and smoke & mirrors to be fooled by.
Start attracting high quality leads right now by:
- Write 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.
Or, if you’re serious about changing the direction of your business and want my help, simply fill out my questionnaire here and we can talk about how we might be able to work together to grow your business and stop wasting time quoting for tyre-kickers!
Patrick O’Doherty is founder and Managing Director at Yarra Web, a digital agency who has proudly been supporting digital and bricks and mortar businesses since 2008.