First off, this has nothing to do with the actual properties themselves, most display homes look stunning!
But… this is important if you’re a builder or developer trying to sell house and land packages using display homes as your main marketing strategy.
From recent conversations, it appears some builders don’t have a better option or they’re under the assumption they’ll receive enough foot traffic to warrant the build of multiple display homes.
This is not ‘Field of Dreams‘ and just because you build it doesn’t mean ‘… they will come’.
In years gone by this strategy may have worked well, but you only have to visit a display village on a weekend to see it’s no longer the case. The majority of the display homes are empty, bar the eager salespeople waiting for an opportunity to say hello to someone… anyone.
Display homes as a ‘marketing strategy’ is a mistake. They’re showcasing the product and quality which is crucial, but this is NOT a marketing strategy that actively and consistently brings people through the door.
They may work to close your sale, but they’re not generating the lead.
Plus it’s very hard (at times almost impossible) to measure the real ROI from display homes. Especially when many Companies aren’t even grabbing visitor details when they walk through the front door. How are you meant to market or more importantly re-market to someone who has shown interest in your product if you have no idea who they are?
It’s CRAZY and a HUGE waste of money!
I often see developers trying to market their display homes to get people to attend, which I understand as they’ve spent a lot of money building them. But most don’t realise they’re also spending money to get people to their competitors display homes as well, especially when they’re in the same estate, street or worse… next door.
And if you’re relying on the Estate or the Land Developer to do the marketing for you, and get people to attend these display villages, do you even know what they’re spending to do this? How are they planning on getting people through the door, through YOUR door? How can you measure that? I’d say it’s almost impossible.
Either option has big holes and leaves you little control over the people you actually get to connect with and push through the door to start making sales.
So WHAT’S THE ANSWER?
What’s the alternative for a builder or developer who doesn’t want to rely solely on referral or channel partners to make sales for them? What method offers them the best opportunity to attract and convert more of their ideal clients and take control of their marketing efforts to ensure they build more homes in 2019 than they did 2018?
There are many popular options available such as Google Adwords, Facebook and Instagram, the major Real estate portals like Realestate.com.au and Domain. These all offer varying options some better than others, but all have their issues gaining cut through in a seriously crowded, noisy and over-exposed marketplace.
How can you get the attention of potential buyers before they get sucked in by the big marketing machines of Australia’s biggest developers and builders?
The big players will (and can) outspend the smaller builders and developers to secure a sale. So how can they gain cut through and grab a potential buyers attention (so you don’t miss out on the sale) especially when you know you have a superior product and competitive pricing you can use to your advantage?
There’s no one simple answer. You simply have to outsmart and outmanoeuvre your competition. AND be very strategic with your approach and how you spend your advertising dollars to ensure you get a solid ROI on the marketing strategies you implement.
Builders and developers we work with often ask us, what is the best way to get maximum ‘bang for your buck‘ and to generate leads and new home sales.
Personally, we love using live events, seminars, workshops, whatever you want to call them.
WHY? Because they offer a unique and powerful opportunity not available in most other marketing methods.
We like to attract 100+ people to our events as we know we’ll have potential clients at all stages of the buying pipeline. Those who are ready to buy NOW, and those who are maybe 3 months, 6 months or even 12 months away.
A great seminar or live event allows us to take the best of our ‘online‘ marketing efforts, ‘offline‘. We have the undivided ‘in person‘ attention of our ideal target market for 90-120mins. This type of face to face interaction is priceless and generally unheard of in today’s day and age, and that’s exactly why it’s such a powerful strategy.
I challenge someone to share a better marketing strategy, where there is the opportunity to see, connect and build real rapport and trust at your very first interaction.
A seminar will often provide our partners with the first opportunity to win this prospect’s business, well before they actively start searching for a house and land builder.
In a sense, this makes the sale ‘yours to lose’, rather than ‘yours to win’ and that’s how we can beat the big builder marketing machines and secure new clients, by getting in front of them first.
So how does it all come together? The seminars we like to run are engaging, fun and jam-packed with education so the attendee feels valued and not just like someone with a dollar sign over their head. This makes locking in sales from this point much easier should you have the right product/property options to suit their needs.
BUT, if seminars are so great, why do so many fail at them?
There are a number of different reasons, however, the most common pitfalls usually relate to attendance, content, offers and follow up.
One of the toughest parts when running a seminar is getting people to actually show up. Getting someone to give up their time is no easy feat. There is a skill to it… one that doesn’t involve giving away iPads.
If you manage to get people to show up to your seminar, you need to deliver valuable content. Don’t just spend the whole time trying to sell something to them, especially if you’re making the assumption that they want what you’ve got.
You MUST have a desirable and high converting offer that turns attendees into clients, or at the very least starts that process for you.
Without a strong call to action and compelling offer you’re just running an ‘Information session‘. And whilst that’s admirable, it won’t win you much business. People want to be lead and told what their next step is if you don’t do this your competition will. This is one of the big reasons why companies fail when running a seminar.
For a seminar to be a success, you need to start with the end in mind. What’s the goal you want to achieve? If it’s to sell house and land packages, then we need to understand how to make this a no-brainer for the attendee to start a conversation with you. It all starts with that first conversation. You need to be diligent with your follow up, even with those who aren’t ready to do anything yet. The real focus and effort starts after the seminar finishes.
Now, for anyone still reading this article it ended up a little longer than I expected, so I apologise. If you’ve been struggling to get people through your display home and generate new sales off the back of them, hopefully, this has given you some ideas on how you can improve what you’re doing.
On a final note; I just want to clarify that I’m not against display homes or bashing the concept of them, in fact, I believe they are a brilliant way for a potential client to become emotionally invested in what you’re selling. It’s the perfect tool to future pace your prospect.
My advice, just don’t mistake your product for a marketing strategy. Whilst it will complement your marketing, they serve completely different purposes.
Remember a well-thought-out and measurable marketing strategy will always outsell even the most stunning of display homes.
If you’re a builder or developer and you want to have a chat about running your own high converting seminars, feel free to connect and send me a message if you need some advice to ensure these are a success for you.