Buying a house can be an emotional process that takes between six months to a year. That’s why it’s critical for marketers to meet prospective buyers at every step of the journey. At 90octane, we work across different channels to create holistic marketing programs that capture the attention of prospects, show the unique lifestyles offered in our communities and nurture them through the purchase process.
Where do you start?
The first step in the lead generation process is identifying your community’s key differentiator. Based on that differentiator, determine your audience. If you’re in a premier school district, your audience would likely include new or mature families. If your community is surrounded by acres of preserved open space, your audience is looking for a respite from their busy lives. Or maybe your audience is likely looking for lots of community activities and a close-knit neighborhood. Whatever the case might be, build your marketing foundation on your differentiators and your relevant audiences. We recommend creating audience personas and a messaging matrix to determine which messages resonate at different points of the buyer’s journey.
2) Lead Generation
Once you have your messaging, it’s time to put it into action. We use a variety of different tactics to identify and engage prospects – organic search, paid search, paid social and digital media. Each aspect of this media mix is important for targeting people at different points in the sales process.
- Digital Media includes a variety of different tactics – programmatic display, native ads on Zillow, Realtor.com and Homes.com, targeted emails, homes listings, etc. These are important for prospecting and retargeting. Display banners generate initial awareness, whereas Zillow ads or homes listings engage prospects who are actively searching for new homes.
- Paid Social, especially Facebook, enables us to use advanced targeting or lookalike audiences to serve ads to prospects on a platform we know they use.
- Organic and Paid Search help prospects find your website, whether or not they’re looking for your community or something similar. These tactics are effective because prospects often know exactly what they are looking for, and you are it! Through advanced targeting, we can use factors such as interests, income level and online behavior to zero-in on your likely buyers and generate highly qualified leads.
Once prospects visit your site, you can use retargeting to encourage them to continue down the buyer’s journey.
3) Retargeting & Email Nurturing
By placing specific pixels on your website, you can use digital media and Facebook to retarget prospects who have visited your site without touring a model home or speaking to a sales representative. These ads should be more specific than your prospecting ads. For example, you can serve an ad that includes the exact home image that was featured on the page they visited or engaged with. Or if they are looking for an age-qualified home, as indicated by the page they visited or the form information they provided, you can use age-relevant messaging and images. This approach reassures prospects that your community offers exactly what they’re seeking.
Email is also an important piece of the nurturing process. Once you collect an email address, you can share relevant community news, inventory and real estate trends. You can even create different email flows based on the information provided prospects — a family-focused email series for the family shopper, for instance, or tips about home shopping for the first time-home buyer. The possibilities are endless if you understand your audience and have the right data.
4) On-site Visit + Sale
The ultimate goal of both lead generation and lead nurturing is to encourage shoppers to visit the community, tour model homes, check out the amenities and soak up the lifestyle. After that, builders and sales step in to close the deal. However, you don’t want to stop your nurturing cold turkey. You can and should continue to engage your buyers and community members.
For help crafting the perfect marketing program for your community, contact us.
About the Author
Holly specializes in building and nurturing client relationships and using data to build and optimize effective, engaging campaigns.