Monday, September 4, 2017

Market Your Business During the Off-Season

If you’re a new home builder in the parts of the country that experiences off-seasons, this is for you. After your peak building season ends, a stretch of slow business begins, and your website and office traffic slows down. Plus, who's to say this season's new home buyers will remember you when the next season rolls around? It's a bummer of a thought, to be sure.


But don’t let the seasonal slumps get you down!

There are four distinct builder seasons in the Northeast, upper Midwest and New England regions, Winter when you talk to customers who want to build in the following Summer and Fall when you get the ones that want to build in the Spring.

With all the regulations, code reviews, inspections and restrictions on modular housing today, it could take those 6 months before you get to dig a foundation.

Instead of sitting around and waiting for your non-building season to start again, use this valuable time for marketing! That's right, seasonal marketers that think long-term and use their off-season time wisely can help tee their businesses up for smashing successes when peak season begins again. Here's what you should be thinking about to keep your business on people's minds year round.

Grow Your Prospective Buyer Database While the Season's Still Hot

During your peak building season, your website and showroom/office will be abuzz.

So while you’re doing business as usual -- or running around like a chicken with your head cut off, as the case may be -- be cognizant of the opportunity you have right now to grow your database. You know, while everyone is around. Getting a strong list of prospects who've expressed interest in your homes will enable you to stay top of mind during the off-season, and convert new leads into buyers during your next season.

Make sure your website has plenty of calls-to-action (CTAs) for people to stay in touch with you by subscribing to an email list for your newly created a blog.

Remember, growing this list is so much easier when you have plenty of traffic, so while it may seem daunting to add database growth to your ever-expanding list of peak season to-dos, your off-season success hinges on your productivity during this time.

Gather Customer Reviews

During your entire season, but particularly as your building season comes to an end (and heck, even after it has wrapped up entirely), you should be asking your customers to write stories and testimonials while they’re still fresh and have reviews that are more detailed and personal that'll resonate with off-season prospects.

On those long cold Winter evenings when people are visiting your website or looking at your Facebook page wouldn’t it be great to see testimonials or better yet stories about how you built a great home for one of your customers. Keep updating these so that prospective new home buyers will keep looking for new ones. And don’t forget the CTA for filling out a response form.

For an extra boost, ask customers to submit pictures and videos from their experience with your business, or you could even ask to video them for a case study. The more raw and interesting content you can get from your customers, the better your off-season marketing campaigns will be.


Continue Creating Remarkable Content ... With an Off-Season Twist

Off-season or not, it's still incumbent on you to produce remarkable content for your blog and Facebook page. Try to find a way to do it with an appropriate off-season twist. As a modular home builder the Winter months could be tough. But that doesn't mean you can't still create compelling content that will speak to your target audience and people in your database! Here are some blog posts or marketing offers you could create even during the chilly months:
  • 10 new styles of interior doors
  • How to add solar to your home
  • How to Make your patio great
  • 7 new choices of kitchen cabinet doors
  • 5 ways to cut your energy bills
  • 3 important things to remember when designing your new home
Just because your target audience can't utilize your products or services right this very minute, doesn't mean they won't benefit from and be interested in the information you have to give.

Two of best at doing this are Express Modular and Connecticut Valley Homes.

If you create helpful content of this nature that speaks to your target audience, you'll build solid relationships via your content that will sustain during the off-season, and bridge into your peak season ... bringing in not only familiar faces, but new faces with whom you've gained a following because of your fantastic content.

Stay Social All Year

Your prospective customers don’t vaporize during the off-season. It’s important to stay in contact with leads and past customers throughout the entire year. Consider social media your virtual, year-round storefront -- because even if your audience isn't chillin' outside your showroom or visiting your website, they are certainly perusing their social media feeds!

That means your business should consider leveraging Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to maintain top of mind awareness year-round. You should be using this real estate to, gather (and publish) reviews and testimonials, share the new content you're publishing, run contests and polls, and generate hype for the next season.

And it’s all free!

Stay In Touch Via Email, Too

But do so respectfully. Remember, if it's the off-season, so it's less likely your recipients to engage with you as a customer. That means your email communications will probably be less frequent than they would be during your peak season -- and that's okay. Just be sure you're delivering high-value content to their inboxes that tees you up for success when you're back in full swing.

What's great about this email is that it serves as a reminder to check in with their content, and to connect with them socially.

Differentiate Yourself Within a Super-Niche Market

In order to keep things steady during your slower months, consider focusing on a niche market with whom your homes or services could be a huge benefit. For example, if your sales area is experiencing a shortage of affordable housing, it might be a good time to team up with a developer and show them the advantages of modular similar to what the modular industry is doing for new hotel construction.  Specializing with these markets will give you an edge that not as many competitors can leverage, making you the stand-out business in your industry and giving that niche market even more reason to come and see you.

This doesn't mean you start marketing yourself as a purveyor of bleeding edge technology however. Try to stay within your capabilities.

Now get ready to start turning your Winter off-season into a hot bed of opportunities for Summer builds.


Anonymous said...

Marketing in this industry should be so easy yet very few companies get it right. CT Valley does and Express to a somewhat lesser extent like you mentioned. If you're a business in this industry, Manufacturer or Builder, you need to create video content. I am not talking about 30 minute tutorials on how you wrap your homes for shipment or why you clean the job site every night. I'm talking about quick 1-3 minute videos in a kitchen, on a roof, showing spray foam install, WHATEVER you think is or could be interesting. Check the insights/analytics on Facebook and Instagram. Videos get a ton of play and views. They're so easy to create too. Grab your phone, hold it up, hit record or dare to go live (better view rates) and talk. If you're really organized or well-equipped, use your Go-pro or other recording device and really make them worthwhile. It's a very easy concept that too few businesses in this industry use.

Anonymous said...

You should also remember to eat and live properly. That's the part of it I find so challenging.