Thursday, August 27, 2020

Important Marketing Tips for Modular Custom Home Builders

Modular homebuilders are facing new challenges this year. Buyers asking for custom homes along with the rising cost of building materials means you have to change or at least improve your marketing approach.

Those custom home designs the buyer wants can mean extra time and costs and a longer finish time at the job site. There is a growing movement among some builders to begin offering house plans of a much simpler and therefore, much more cost effective design.

But what if a modular home builder wants to continue to building custom homes? 

If this is the case, one of the problems facing the custom home builder is explaining to your prospective new home buyer why your quote for their custom home is high and may continue to grow larger.

Here are some proven ways to let buyers know you can build their custom home dream and keep them informed of all the changes and rising costs that our industry is facing since COVID-19.

Optimize your company’s website for Google searches

Today, the first place just about everyone goes to find a custom home builder in their area is Google with a phrase with what they are searching for.

If they live in Maryland, for example, they might type in “custom home builder in Maryland”.

Within microseconds, hundreds of websites featuring Builders in Maryland will show up. Unfortunately for 99% of them, they are ranked somewhere between the end of the second page of listings and that black hole nobody ever looks in.

SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” is nothing new. Everybody who owns a website has heard of it and some even used it when they began their website but as time passes, Google redefines what is produced for the first two pages of results from a search. What was once effective in getting you onto those first two pages may now have you on page 15 and heading to that black hole of “never to be seen again”.

You can do the SEO yourself if you have some experience but you might want to have a consultant who specializes in SEO help. They are not inexpensive but truly worth it.

Add case studies and photo galleries to your website of homes you’ve already built for customers.

Telling visitors to your website that you build great custom homes and showing only renderings lowers your credibility. Showing only basic ranch and two story home pictures on your site is also a no-no for modular custom home builders.

You need to keep putting up pictures of exteriors and interiors of homes you’ve built. Putting up a couple of homes 3 years ago and not adding any new ones can frustrate people that have revisited your site several times trying to narrow their search of who will build their new home.

By utilizing a “case study” or “customer stories” section, you can harness the power of your previous customers to gain new ones.

Set up CRM program

A CRM progam (Customer Relationship Management) helps businesses build a relationship with their customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and customer retention. Since customer loyalty and revenue are both qualities that affect a company's revenue, CRM is a management strategy that results in increased profits for a business.

That CRM strategy should begin when someone visits your site for the very first time. You can engage them by having them sign up for your “free” booklet describing subjects about buying a modular home, why you are a good choice, etc. Once they sign up you will have their name and email address. You can also ask for other information such as when they want to build and offer to help them with their custom home design.

Whatever it takes to get their name and email address is what you should be striving for.

This will allow you to use your CRM program to send them updates about what is going on in new home construction, new home plans, set up appointments to meet, etc. 

If you don’t have a CRM program at the present time, it should be something you need to consider for the near future.

Start rethinking your approach to social media

Almost every modular home builder has some sort of presence on FaceBook. Some even use Twitter and Pinterest and there are a couple of brave souls that think Tik Tok and Triller are great places to advertise their business.

However, there are some things to remember if you’re a modular home builder selling custom modular homes. 

Resist putting up pictures or videos of the modules being trucked to the jobsite. Drone videos of the crane setting the home in place are fun to watch…once! Seeing the ship loose items stacked inside the module being unloaded is also something you really don’t want to show.

The best things to put on your social media pages are pictures and videos of completed homes, either right before your customer takes possession or a month after they move in.

Buyers want to see what your other customer’s dream home looked like when they are complete. They really don’t want to see what it looks like dismantled. Remember, you’re selling a finished home, not the parts and pieces being delivered.

Every single social media post must have a link back to your website, especially if you have a signup page where you can get them to give you their info for your CRM program. Without a link back to your site, you’re just giving away pretty pictures.

Write great content for website

You need something that will keep your prospective new home buyers coming back to your website and staying longer than just reading the front page. You need to write blog posts, show videos, post infographics and anything else that will keep them on your site.

Here’s one of the best tips I can give you. 

Check out other modular home builders’ websites. Some will look like they did the very first day they were put on the Internet. UGH!

Once in a while you will come across a modular home builder’s website that will simply jump out at you with color and simplicity. It will feature an up to date blog, pictures of their finished homes, a signup sheet which you should fill out and start receiving the information they send to prospective new home buyers.

This is the website you should imitate! 

You need to think of your website as a sales person that works 24/7 every day of the year for relatively little pay and gives visitors as much time as they need to learn about what you do. 

Gary Fleisher is a housing veteran, editor/writer of the, blogs and the ‘coming soon’, Construction Consultant’s Directory. 


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