When I originally emailed Renée back in November and volunteered to be a contributing party to the new HAVAN blog, my initial thoughts were; ‘Excellent, this will be a great opportunity to gain some exposure for Marcraft, and better yet – from a personal standpoint; demonstrate my savvy writing skills, sharp wit, and exceptional command of the industry dialect (that I’ve gained in just my 2nd year in)’, and that was that.
Then, four months later, after seeing Renee at the Market Outlook Conference with Dr. Tsur, it hit me. She really expects me to do this. And not only that, mine will be the FIRST submission to the blog. I cordially thanked her for the opportunity and explained I was very much on board and looking forward to it, and as I walked away from picking up my nametag I distinctly remember feeling a very acute and somewhat tingly feeling coming from my legs. As I got further away from the table and the information sank in, I recall thinking only two things; one was a junction of two words when put together make a very formidable point (they rhyme with “oh fit.”), and the other thing was, what in the world am I going to write about. Regardless of my fear of public scrutiny and humiliation, I am marching on.
One of my favorite aspects of the homebuilding industry and my topic of choice whenever schmoozing at a HAVAN event is always the way a company markets their product. Whether it be on land, new home construction, renovation work, or even smaller aspects of what goes into the home – the buzz I am hearing throughout is that in 2013 in the homebuilder industry, the game has changed. It is no longer enough to have an awesome land position and a quality-built home. Today’s home shoppers are world-class competitive shoppers. They are unrelenting in their demand for detailed information before making a purchase decision. They expect a high level of presentation and marketing savvy from the retailer of one of the most expensive purchases they’ll ever make – a new home. These are just some of the things that have been going on for a decade or more but have reached unprecedented heights in our industry—and they’re not going anywhere except higher on the scale of buyer requirements.
Below are some key areas of thought to be considered when analyzing today’s consumers, compared to your company’s current marketing strategy:
- What is currently attainable within the skill and ability level of you and your team?
- Do you have an effective marketing presentation that today’s buyers demand?
- Have you integrated an effective social media strategy?
- Does your design integrity become a baseline requirement in every facet of your architectural product and the finishes and features your buyers require?
So far it looks like a great start to 2013 in our industry, at least from my perspective. Yes the market is slow moving, yes there is speculation of further plateaus in the upcoming year, and yes, we’re all feeling the pressure from buyers to continue to ‘sharpen’ our pencils on their behalf, regardless of increasing costs in the industry on raw materials. However, I believe 2013 is going to open up some unique opportunities for getting out in front of the pack. I feel now is an imperative time to look at your company’s future in regards to its driving force – attaining the goals set in this new market, and creating the leads and opportunities that lead to successful sales.
Embrace. Don’t fight that you will have to commit an unprecedented amount of time, energy and focus to turn today’s prospective buyer into your next customer. The future looks brighter than the recent past, it’s time to really invest in the tools you need to succeed.