September 24 2008

Social Media - New Hype or New Frontier

Social media is the latest craze, buzzing all over the world's media and is seemingly always in the headlines.  Outrageous acquisition amounts and sick numbers of consumer traffic grab our attention to some of the big name social spaces. 

MySpace.com
Mid 2005, MySpace was purchased for $580 million from the News Corporation. 
August 2008, comScore MediaMetrix reported MySpace serving almost 76 million people just in the US.

YouTube.com
Late 2006, YouTube was purchased for a package deal worth $1.775 billion. 
In November of 2007, ComScore reported YouTube serving almost 75 million people.

Blogging
May 2008, eMarketer reports 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users), and 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)
September 2008, Technorati reported there are 900,000 blog posts added to the Internet every day.

The question many in the building industry have today is 'what about us?'  Are social media spaces just for big media companies like Google, the News Corporation, and Yahoo!, or can we use them too?  Social media is the big buzz but how do I use it in my job and in my industry?

Social media has the Internet evolving at break neck speeds and can no longer be ignored by sales and marketing professionals in the building industry. The undeniable fact is that social media is not just a new fad; it is the new frontier of marketing, selling, branding, reputation management, and communication with consumers.  The faster we, as in industry, learn how to adapt and maximize these social spaces, the more productive and efficient our businesses will be.

Sales and marketing has always been about getting your product in front of as many of the right people as possible.  Millions of consumers are embracing social media which means if we want to be where the people are, we must meet them in their space.  Social media is just another form of media that we need to learn to use effectively, just like we learned to use radio, TV, and the newspaper.  I am putting together a multi-part series on making the most out of social media spaces as it relates to the home building industry so stay tuned.  As always feel free to email me at jadams [at] newhomesdirectory.com with questions or comments.

Yesterday, social media was an experimental fad; today, social media demands our attention; tomorrow, social media will be required by all business, just to stay in business.

Jim Adams
CEO - New Homes Directory.com


September 9 2008

Google and New Homes Directory share a common bond

A news article posted on CNet.com, August 20, 2008, by Don Reisinger entitled Google's search secret: It gets rid of you just caught my eye today.  We all know and love Google for bringing order to our Internet universe.  I know Google for being the cool hip rebel company for their results oriented philosophies and no nonsense delivery to products that really work.

Of the thousands of articles I have read on the Internet behemoth, Mr. Reisinger spun an angle I had not previously heard.  He writes that often overlooked is the fact that Google is designed to get you off the Google site and to what you're looking for as soon as possible.  He points out that search engines are nothing more than middlemen for the purpose of getting you to your destination.

"A quick jaunt to Yahoo's search page tells you everything you need to know about the company's ideas about search: it wants you to stay on Yahoo's pages and look around. But Google doesn't feel that way. It's of the opinion that the less time you spend using Google search results, the more often you'll go back instead of using a competitor's service." writes Mr. Reisinger.

He adds, "Think about that for a second. Doesn't that run directly against everything we know about the Web? Practically every site is designed to keep you there. How many times have you tried to click links in a blog post, only to find that it links you back to another section of the same site? It happens all the time." You can read the full CNet article here.

I am quick to point this out because the core concept behind New Homes Directory.com is entirely identical; to get consumers where they want to go.

The original and traditional ideology of a third party Internet media, whereby a site will show you pictures, videos, and any other information they can get their hands on, for the purpose of luring your personal information to pass on, was innovative and made perfect sense ten years ago, but today is antiquated.

The reason we love Google is because they deliver what we want (relevant search results) without trying to trap, confine, or strong arm us.  We love the Internet because it gives us control.  We love Google because they give us control.  New Homes Directory.com shares the same philosophy; give control to the consumer.  That is why you see the overly simple format with direct links to the builder community page.  We want to deliver the consumer to their intended destination, not keep them on our site hoping they will fill out OUR form.  The builder has a contact form, that's the form they want to fill out.  The builder is who the consumer wants to talk to.  Why should we stand in their way?

When you do a Google search for 'new home San Diego', you most likely will find the San Diego New Homes Directory in the top one or two natural results (click one).  Most people will click a Location/Region link next indicating the area they are looking for homes (click two).  The region page is filled with all the listings in that area.  Click the community link and you are on the Builder Community Page (click three).  So three clicks including the click on Google and the consumer has arrived.  Simple huh?  Maybe too simple for some but a concept we believe in; get the consumer where they want to go.  This is not a new concept or philosophy for us.  We have deployed the same format for the same reasons for almost eight years now and will continue doing what’s best in our eyes for our consumers.

Jim Adams
CEO
New Homes Directory. com


September 4 2008

SNHBA Turn the Tables

The 9th Annual “Turn the Tables” Night

Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, Las Vegas Nevada, September 3rd.  Sarah Cook, Director of Corporate Accounts -New Homes Directory.com and I attended this event where associate members of the SNHBA gathered to meet builders one-on-one.  It was my pleasure to meet Monica Caruso, SNHBA, Director of Public Affairs and Dr. Joseph A. Pantuso, Environmental and Urban Affairs Specialist in person.  In a short conversation, we talked about New Homes Directory.com and our relationship with GBI (The Green Building Initiative) and how we can work together to promote Green Building for the SNHBA membership.

Sarah and I were fortunate to meet many shakers, makers and leaders of Southern Nevada’s active and involved home building companies.  Everyone representing these builders was open, and gracious.  Some of these industry leaders included; Robyn of Concordia Homes, Rich Aguirre of Storybook Homes, Melonie Cook of Desertwind Homes,  Sia Howe of Astoria Homes, Duke Meadows of Signature Homes and David McEntire of Amstar Homes.

We felt like this was a fantastic opportunity to share our products and services with the builders and developers of Las Vegas.  We appreciate the SNHBA putting this event together and feel this event was of great value to us and other associate members of the association.  I wish more associations would realize how valuable these are to associate members and put on events just like this one.

Barbara Rossoll
V.P. Marketing
New Homes Directory.com

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