July 20, 2022
Home Builder Marketing Tips When Facing Low Inventory
In the last few years, home builders across the country have encountered several challenges including staggering demand for new homes, rising construction costs and material shortages. These issues subsequently led to periods of low inventory, with many home builders selling their homes much faster than they could complete new projects.
The consensus of these builders was that the best next step to take was rolling back their marketing to allow their teams to catch up with the already-high demand. With more than enough prospective buyers than they could accommodate and nothing new to promote, why did they still need marketing?
This question stems from a lack of understanding about the many roles marketing plays in furthering homebuilding companies. Marketing strategies do more than generate sales; they also build brand awareness, expand brand reach, help engage your target audience, strengthen brand credibility and so much more.
When met with a demanding market, the best action home builders can take isn’t to stop their marketing altogether. Instead, strategic adjustments should be made to match the current circumstances and continue making memorable impressions on prospective buyers that could lead to future sales.
Let’s take a look at how home builders can make the most of their marketing strategy, even when faced with low inventory.
Place Your Community Front and Center
Even without homes to sell immediately, home builders can continue growing anticipation among their target audience for their master-planned communities still under construction, as well as current communities without available homes. Instead of waiting to promote the community until new homes are ready to buy, home builders can adjust their marketing to highlight the community’s strong selling points such as its lifestyle opportunity, amenities and location.
If homes aren’t ready yet, there’s no reason not to continue sharing the reasons homebuyers will want to buy their new home there in the future. This allows you to continuously increase your list of qualified leads who will be ready to buy homes when they finally do become available.
Educate Your Buyers
You may not be able to sell to every prospective buyer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them opportunities to learn more about your brand and your homebuilding process in the meantime. A great way to educate, empower and retain your buyers’ attention is by continuing to produce and publish regular blogs on your website. Ideally, this will encourage users to stay on your site longer, which also subsequently helps boost your SEO ranking as search engines gauge greater interest in your website.
Potential topics could include tips to prepare for the homebuilding process, answering FAQs, home design inspiration ideas, etc. Other types of blogs could inform buyers with content centered around the lifestyle new homeowners in your communities will enjoy by highlighting amenities or nearby attractions and activities.
Highlight Floor Plan Designs
When prospective buyers visit your website during times of low inventory, they’re likely going to discover a sparse “Available Homes” section. To fill this gap, home builders can add a selection of floor plan designs that buyers can browse in the meantime. In place of sharing newly available homes on a blog, social media or newsletters, home builders can also highlight various selections from their floor plan collection.
Ideally, available floor plans should come complete with some kind of virtual walkthrough option or 3D rendering to give buyers a sense of what each home would be like. This will help buyers envision their family’s new life and allow them to start dreaming about which of your floor plans they want as their new home.
Invest in the Customer Experience
In an unpredictable market, the customer service companies provide is more important than ever. Today, 48% of customers say the pandemic has significantly raised their customer service standards. Many homebuyers expect home builders to provide a stellar customer experience that is modern, seamless and personalized.
As a result, many companies have updated their online interaction opportunities to provide greater opportunities for prospective buyers to connect with their teams. These investments into elevating the customer experience to encourage interaction and exploration of your home opportunities could include online sales consultant (OSC) live chat, online contact forms, virtual floor plan tours, etc. Home builders should not be an exception to this change. When demand is high and supply is low, many buyers often encounter difficulty getting in touch with home builders who solely focus on the buyers they can accommodate and choose to disregard unnecessary new leads – but this is a huge mistake!
Builders who fail to prioritize customer experience when they don’t need to fill their pipeline will lose a substantial number of future potential buyers. Every lead may not be able to purchase a home right away, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still a valuable prospect to keep in your pocket when homes become available. Companies that place focus on their buyers and institute customer-centricity are found to be 60% more profitable. When homebuyers enjoy pleasant experiences with your brand, no matter the state of the market, they’ll also be more likely to recommend the business to friends and family.
Build Excitement for the Homebuilding Process
When the thrill of a quick move-in isn’t something you can promote, home builders must find other ways to build anticipation and delight around choosing their homes. Instead, home builders can replace highlighted quick move-in opportunities with content that speaks to the joys of the home design and building process.
There’s something to be said about the delight of building a home that’s brought to life just the way you want it. Home builders should reinforce this idea to excite their buyers about the design opportunities to come. Some ways to bolster buyer enthusiasm about your home design opportunities through your marketing strategies could include:
- Glowing Testimonials – Share testimonials from happy homeowners, ask these customers to speak about their favorite aspects of the homebuilding process.
- Design Center Features – Highlight the design center, showcase homebuyers visiting to make selections for their new home.
- Interactive Floor Plan Designs – Incorporate interactive floor plan renderings with options to browse and visualize different design options
- Floor Plan Blogs – Use blogs to describe the ways floor plan designs can be altered to fit homebuyers’ unique needs, emphasize the endless possibilities that come with building new homes from the ground up.
Grow Your Newsletter List and Interest Lists
While inventory is low, home builders can still build lists of prospective leads to pave the way for future sales. In the meantime, ask prospective buyers and website visitors to join a home builder monthly newsletter list. When they provide their email, home builders can offer digital community brochures or other valuable downloads to deliver an enticing offer. Calls-to-action within these newsletters during periods of low inventory could include invitations to join interest lists for upcoming homes and communities.
When your new home inventory does return to normal levels, you’ll need a way to re-capture the attention of prospective buyers who showed interest when there weren’t available homes. To accomplish this goal, prompt interested buyers to sign up for the newsletter to be among the first to know when new homes are available. By growing this list, home builders are providing consistent content to keep buyers engaged while also forming a valuable pipeline they can turn to when they have more homes to sell.
Don’t Let Low Inventory Affect Your Marketing Strategy
Whether housing demand is high or low, having a marketing strategy in place is always important. No matter the state of the market, marketing has tremendous effects on home builder brand reach, awareness, engagement and credibility.
When you work with Milesbrand, we work to create authentic relationships with exceptional marketing strategies that show homebuyers their customer experience is valued. Talk to our team to learn how we can develop powerful strategies that bring your homebuilding business to its highest potential.