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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Townhouse Construction Increasing: Weather Can Motivate Buyers

A recent Eye on Housing report from the National Association of Home Builders projected the share of  townhouse construction to increase from its current 4%  (do you remember the days of a 12% share back in 2004)?

NOAA 2/2014 Average temp comparison!!
Now, take a look at the NOAA February 2014 weather map on the left!

What might that map suggest to you when marketing your new townhome community? Some parts of the country usually factor in  weather but.. who would expect agents in Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte or even Myrtle Beach to develop new selling points focused on weather?

We'd suggest go interactive and provide an Advantages of Townhome Living section.  Your home shoppers typically look at floor plans and sitemaps; however, they might not focus on all of the advantages your townhomes offer.

You might visually mention: No Shoveling, No Exterior Maintenance, Community Gym Available (no driving at the end of the day!), Community Clubhouse Available (sense of community available here!),  Underground Parking (no scraping!) and the like. Maybe another No Shoveling Necessary image could cycle through!

Tongue in cheek? Sure...but, we all know there are all sorts of motivators in the purchase process!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Interactive Touchscreens: Branding Dives Deeper than Marketing

Previously, we've talked about how using an interactive touchscreen system at a sales or leasing office or a welcome center provides builders and developers with a unique branding opportunity
Branding:  providing benefits to customers

Branding is at the core of a business' marketing strategy.  More than logos, colors, web designs, sales office styling... branding reflects your business purpose, values and culture.

How do those big picture concepts get translated to an interactive touchscreen? We've always said SalesTouch is more than a pretty face -- although the introductory screen presented here is certainly attractive! 

Is your market first-time buyers? Your home shoppers might not be familiar with your community or the surrounding neighborhood or the financing process .  They're just getting started in the purchase decision process: let them engage and explore using the touchscreen.  Storytelling is key for this demographic!

Now to the opposite buyer profile: 55+ buyers: they're just as concerned about the surrounding neighborhood; however, their specific interests probably differ than the first-time buyer. Schools give way to golf courses, local attractions to golf courses.  Financing might not be as much of an issue as available structural options: is it possible to convert bedroom #3 to a flex room? What makes your amenity package attractive?  Details are critical to this demographic.

A well-designed touchscreen system helps you respond to your homeshopper's objectives; it benefits your customers -- and isn't that your brand's objective?

Want to continue thinking about branding and the relationship to marketing strategy? There's a very interesting branding discussion in a recent Kissmetrics blog located here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Homebuilders: Managing for Quality Task-by-Task

Task level quality scoring -- on the jobsite, using an iPad!
Homebuilding, says Carl Seville, faces difficulties few other industries encounter. What other industry has to build their product in the rain, using dozens of other companies, each of which hires their own employees to perform the work? If you watched GE build a refrigerator in your front yard, Seville asks, would you buy it?  Read his Builder Online article here.

High-performance (think: quality) construction, Seville posits, will provide long-term benefits such as happier clients, fewer callbacks, decreased warranty issues...but how do you achieve it?

One suggestion is a commitment to quality from your entire team -- and that takes time and requires processes.  Everyone in the organization

Monday, February 17, 2014

House of Cards Offers Construction Strategy, too!

Recently, Koka Sexton wrote that the much-anticipated second season of Netflix' House of Cards offered some interesting lessons as well as sales strategies;  you can read his article here.

We're going one step further to suggest some of those same House of Cards strategies might apply to your construction team, as well!
Vendor Portal: Information as Networking!

Which ones?  How about #1:  Know (and grow) Your Network? Sexton suggests selling is a team effort -- and new home construction is certainly a team effort with architecture, estimating, field management, subcontractors and accounting (amongst others!) actively involved.

How does this concept of construction networking play out?  We're suggesting collaboration is key; keeping subcontractors in the loop, providing up-to-date schedule information, offering real-time access to drawings and other construction related paperwork. It's the classic win/win approach as both builder and vendor become more efficient with all the related benefits accruing to both!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What Can the Girl Scouts (and their cookies!) Tell Us About Marketing?!?

Jason Forrest, with Forrest Performance Group, offered a great blog recently, Five Sales Lessons from the (Girl Scout) Cookie Trade.  You can read it here!

The blog suggests Girl Scouts are learning 5 lessons about keeping the sale sold. We're going to focus on 2 of these lessons here:

#1: Communication Comes From More Than Words -- we all have heard sales people should make eye contact, smile, stay approachable. We've also heard a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Very few words; lots of communication!
#2: Spice Up Your Presentation -- You've all seen the folding table with box upon box of Thin Mints, Trefoils, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos.  Just looking at them brings back the taste, childhood memories, even a personal first selling experience!

Spicing-Up a 55+ Information Center!
How about combining these two concepts with an interactive touchscreen in your sales/leasing center?  Touchscreen systems are engaging, approachable and full of images (photos, video) about your product, your location, your selling features.  People will walk up and start touching because they want to find out about your community, what is unique.  The touchscreen will help you keep the sale sold.

Communicate your uniqueness; Spice Up your sales center! Find out more about CPS' interactive touchscreen system, SalesTouch, here.