September 11 2015

Homes On-Demand

Homes On-Demand

In the present age of smart phones and tablets, the world is at our finger tips. We have become accustom to on-demand service from everything from ordering food delivery to even car shopping. While the conveyance and speed of mobile-powered communication is making everything faster, a number of software companies are finding ways to incorporate the real estate industry into an on-demand service.

Apps, such as Avenue, a text based “real estate concierge “company,  are allowing homebuyers to get real time answers by realtors and experts in their area. Homebuyers can now have the tools they need to make a smart real estate transaction at the tips of their fingers. The best part is, users don’t need to commit or sign a contract with the realtor they are soliciting advice from.

AgentPair and Curb Call allow buyers to place a call to local agents when wanting to see a home for sale, again with no contract needed.

Can such tools be used in new construction? What about an app that allows a home buyer to explore a community for the comfort of their home?  How about a 3D walk through of the model home that allows a buyer to view all available upgrades? Or an app that allows home buyers to schedule model home tours and live chats with sales representatives? Maybe, should I dare say it, even the ability to use your smart phone to buy a home on-demand?


August 13 2015

New Home Feed and New Homes Directory Partner Up

New Home Feed and New Homes Directory Partnership

New Home Feed is a marketing tool that allows homebuilders to advertise their communities on the widest possible network of free and fee-based home listing websites. New Home Feed’s easy-to-use platform allows marketers to manage property listings and make updates a breeze. Once a listing is updated on New Home Feed, that update is pushed to all networks. Easy to follow reporting allows you to know where you are getting quality website traffic from and monitor budgets and spending. New Home Feed also shows you what potential buyers are looking at on your website and connects to your CRM so you can save money while selling homes. In need of a feed generator? You’re in luck, New Homes Feed’s flexible API plugs into your website to automate and customize your feed.

New Homes Directory is a New Home Feed top performer in delivering high quality traffic to home builders. That is why we saw it a great fit to partner up. If you are not currently a New Homes Directory client and list 5 or more communities you may be eligible for a package deal promotion! Customers taking advantage of this package will still be able to have access to all other features on NHF, including listing their homes on other directories. Contact Troy Reierson or Sarah Cook for details.


March 24 2015

Are You Ready for the Millennial Homebuyer?

It has been predicted that the millennial generation (those born from 1980’s – early 2000’s) are going to dominate home purchases in 2015, even over baby boomers. This generation is starting to shape how real estate marketing is going to look moving forward.
 
Millennials are dependent on technology. They are the first generation to have computers in classrooms, own a cell phone before a driver’s license, and some were even placed in front of iPads before they entered first grade. So it is no surprise that when it comes to looking for a new home, the first thing they will do is reach for the Internet.


Home Builders:

Millennials are smart and will do their research before hopping in a car to find new communities. Advertising on new home directories is a great way to be found and build a brand that homebuyers can trust.
 
Using social media will also drive traffic and leads to your website. Use this platform to advertise any real estate seminar or fundraiser you are hosting. If you have any blogs about your new community’s events or phase release, social media is an inexpensive way to target your audience in the ZIP codes that are beneficial for you to promote that blog.


Realtors:

Millennials will not only be searching for a new home online, they will find their realtor online as well. This makes it more important than ever for realtors to have a website, and not just the one their brokers give them. They will need an up-to-date website that is pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate.

First impressions are everything and your website is the first contact a realtor and potential homebuyer will have. Millennials have become accustomed to fresh content and clean designs. Nothing says you are out of touch with today’s market then having a site with photos taken 10 years ago and your last blog post done around the same time. What realtor do you think a 30-something home buyer will flock to when having a choice between these two websites?

Real Estate Site Example One

Real Estate Site Example Two

 

Once a millennial partners with a realtor, please do not bombard them with emails. Millennials are smart and will most likely send you listings they are interested in seeing. They count on up-to-date new home directories and MLS listing sites to do research on homes that meet their needs. Once they find a property they are interested in they contact their Realtor on homes they would like to see.

Millennials have no problem being upfront with you during their home buying process; however there are some things they may keep to themselves. To be the best Realtor your millennial client, listen to the unsaid things they may be afraid of telling you. This, along with your great looking website, will impress them and make you the rock star real estate agent they need!


March 13 2015

Quick Tips for Home Builder Marketing and the 2015 Home Buying Season

Home Builder Marketing

As home buyers begin to search for new homes online to prepare for the home buying season this summer, it is important to have your marketing ready for action. Now is the time to capture your spring leads before your competitors do.  Here are some quick and easy tips for making your home builder marketing ready for spring.

Knowledge is Power:

Not only will great content on your site help with your internal SEO, it is also an import tool for showing your homebuilder expertise to potential home buyers. Using blogs, email campaigns and social media are simple ways to show off your knowledge on home building and design. This includes creating a weekly blog post and promoting it on your social media profiles and email campaigns.

Make sure your blog posts are not self-promoting, but informational to home buyers. Create topics that answer home buyers questions like, “When is a Great Time to Buy a Home?” or “How to Start the Home Buying Process”. When you promote the blog within social media and your emails, show just an excerpt of the post with a link to your website. This will increase traffic to your homebuilder website and hopefully some home buyer shopping as well!

Capture and Use Your Leads:

Capturing leads from your website and having a CRM system in place to make sure your sales team is in constant contact with those leads is a must.

Catching leads can be done in several easy ways, with the most simple being the “interest list” or “contact us” form on your community landing pages. Note: always make sure to test that your lead forms are working properly, especially heading into the home buying season.

Another fun way to gain leads is to offer prizes or contest (a great blog post and social media topic as well). Home buyers on your site may be more willing to give out their contact information for a contest or prize giveaway.

Now that you have your leads, it is important to utilize them. Have a CRM system in place, as well as a sales follow up process ready. There are some great home builder CRM systems out there, for example, Lasso Data Systems, which allow you and your sales team to easily manage your leads.

Make sure your sales team is well trained and in constant contact with potential home buyers by phone calls AND emails. A good rule of thumb is to always follow up a phone call with an email or vice versa.

Warning: Your Website MUST Be Mobile Friendly!!

While 90% of home buyers begin their search for a new home online, tablets and smart phones have started leading in device searches. Because of this, home builders have started to integrate a mobile friendly website as a user friendly interface. BUT on April 21, 2015, Google will be releasing an algorithm update, known as “Mobilegeddon”. This update will hurt any home buyer’s website search rankings that are not mobile friendly!

User-Friendly Home Builder Website:

Here is another area that will not only help your SEO, but may increase your leads as well. Make sure your website is easy to use for home buyers. Many times the builder is used to their website and finds it easy to navigate; however the home buyer may beg to differ. Ask a family or friend to explore your website and get their input.


February 14 2014

Creating the Perfect Pinterest Pin

Pinterest For Home Builders

The perfect Pinterest pin consists of three factors; visual dominating,  eye catching and mysterious. Let’s start with the visual dominance factor. Every pin should have a primary focal point that will help capture the users’ attention. How do you do this? Make sure the pin’s main focal point had a dominant appearance in size, color and density. The image’s main focal point should be larger and brighter than its counterparts and background. This is important since the layout of Pinterest has a multitude of interesting images. Most users will glance over the pins until something stands out. That is why your image must have a visual dominance within the photo that will catch the user’s eye.  You can also apply this by simply adding a border or posting a long/tall pin.

Make your pins stand out by posting things that are out of the ordinary. This does not means you need to have a brand new idea or concept; you just need a new spin on an old one. Remember the goal is to get the user to re-pin and share your pin. Your pin should make them say “I want to remember this” or “I want my followers to see this”.

Say you got the first two steps down, you are able to grab the user’s attention and they share your pin. But you are struggling to get the user to use the pins to get to your website, which is what the third factor of the perfect pin is for. You have to add some mystery. Your pins create mystery when you do not give the important information up front. For example you can have a pin that says, “10 New Kitchen Designs” but only show three kitchen photos. This makes the user click over to your site to see the remaining 7 kitchens.
 
To maximize your Pinterest marketing strategy, your pins must:
• Stand out within the Pinterest feed
• Motivate repining
• Drive clicks to your site

Tune in next month to find out how to get the most ROI out of your Pinterest campaign.


November 27 2013

NewHomesDirectory.com adds "Pin It" Button to Listings

Test

As NewHomesDirectory.com grows, we are continually working on improving not only our user’s experience, but also trying to find new and exciting ways to drive homebuyers to your site. We advertise over 500 builder’s new communities across the US and Canada, with nearly 1,000 new communities just added this year. We want to make sure each community as an equal opportunity to be found.

As always we make sure the homebuyers can narrow down the community that fits their needs with filters such as bed and bath count, square footage, home type and price. Once they have narrowed down to their ideal community, they have more options to share that community within their social network. Giving homebuilders more exposure with just of the click of a button. How have we done this you ask? NewHomesDirectory.com has added a Pinterest “Pin It” button to all community listing images! Now each community listing can include the builders Facebook, Twitter, Blog, YouTube and Flickr accounts along with having their community images shared with 70 million users on Pinterest.

 

 


January 25 2011

The Reward Comes To Those Who Maintain

Over the past few months we have been going over a lot of tips and tricks to get your Craigslist.org postings for your new homes looking perfect but now we need to go over how to maintain those perfect postings.

NewHomesDirectory.com lists 700-1,000 postings a week on Craigslist and we are still growing.  The Craigslist crew here at NHD daily check each posting to make sure that they live up to the high standards we have before they are live for all the world to see.  When we check them we make sure that the follow items are always accurate: price, picture and correct community/other home information such as square footage, bath count, HOA information etc. within the description.

There are always certain things that we sometimes overlook when we get into the routine even though they may seem like common sense.  Make sure you check your spelling, grammar, whether the content is appropriate for your target audience, as well as length of posting.  A long or wordy posting can make buyers run away rather than want to buy.

Lastly, we make sure to change around the look of the postings very frequently because after awhile those who are looking for a new home on Craigslist will start to recognize the same posting and thus it will get flagged.  Depending on how many posts you maintain, you should change the wording and/or layout every other week.

In the words of W. Clement Stone “Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.”

Happy posting!

W. Clement Stone quotation source: www.quotesdaddy.com


January 7 2011

The Bridge Between Web Traffic And Home Sales

Live Chat by Active Sales Agent

New home builders are faced with many challenges in today’s market. The days when people were entering lotteries to be able to buy the most recently released home is over and now new home builders main priority is getting their product in front of consumers.

You cannot sell a product to someone you have never had conversation with, right? So how do you reach out to homebuyers?  The internet is the best place to start of course, it offers powerful strategies which help you gain the traffic you need. While traffic generation strategies lead prospects to your site, it sometimes is difficult to convert that traffic into closed sales.

Some homebuyers are turning to Live Chat resources to get their sales team in front of more consumers and helping convert web traffic into real sales opportunities. With live chat the builder is able to take their website from a brochure to an online live sales center!

Maronda Homes has implemented a Live Chat service on their website by Active Sales Agent.com. Within hours of having the live chat on their site, the sales team was in conversation with new buyers! The estimated increase in lead generation is over 300% according to Active Sales Agent.com. With over 2.5% of unique visitors engaging in chats and over 80% of these chats results in contact information being obtained, live chat seems to be the bridge that closes the gap between web traffic and home sales.

With Active Sales Agent.com live chat services, new home builders are able to receive detailed analytics of the traffic on their site.  These analytics show which traffic sources are driving the most activity to their sales team and will allow home builders to refine their online marketing strategies.  We all know that you need to generate traffic to your site as a new home builder, now you have a solution to convert that traffic into a conversation with live chat!

 


December 20 2010

To Flag or Not To Flag, That Is the Question

The flagging situation on Craigslist.org reminds me somewhat of the classic game, Sorry!  Each color on the board is trying to get to their appointed “home” section in order to win the game but to do this you have to go around the whole board and hope that you don’t pick the wrong card that will make you move back multiple spaces or even worse send you back to the start.

The flagging system was made so that the moderators who flag posts are the users themselves.  In theory this is a great idea but it has gone completely awry with flagging software made in order to get rid of postings with certain key words and such, and people flagging other postings in order to knock out their competition.  Then there are well intentioned people who just don’t want spam within their area Craigslist.

Don’t get discouraged though, flagging programs are not allowed on Craigslist and they do try to stop them as much as possible.  But you have to take the proper measures to make sure that your posts don’t look like spam and that they aren’t spam in order to properly get your posting the views it deserves.  I’ll give you a few of my tricks I like to stick with in order to help keep flagging and looking like spam to a minimum.

 width=

1.    Terms of Use aren’t guidelines, they’re rules.
Take time to read over Craigslist’s Terms of Use and then abide by them.  It may seem like a no brainer but there are many people who wonder why their account has been blocked by Craigslist when they were clearly going against the Terms of Use on something they thought was tiny but in reality was a big deal to those seeing the postings and ultimately flagging it.

2.    Infomercials are meant for television not Craigslist.
Don’t take the information from your brochure that says “Lovely new home in quaint little village full of happy new homes waiting just for you!”  People on Craigslist want to get straight to the point, tell them the bed, bath, square footage, if there is a community pool, park, etc. up front.  Save the sweet talk for your website.

3.    Pictures, pictures, pictures!
If you’ve read a few of my previous blogs, you’ll come to find that having at least one quality picture with your posting is something the I highly recommend for all of our postings.  If it is a drawing of a home it looks more like the home is not yet built, people want something now that is why they are looking now so show the picture of the home.

4.    Last but not least, don’t over post.
Posting the same thing in different areas of Craigslist won’t get you more customers it will just get you flagged.  Stick to posting in the area the home is actually located and if you feel the urge to repost it then wait 48 hours or longer.

Happy posting!


November 11 2010

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You!

In the words of Penelope Lively, “Getting to know someone else involves curiosity about where they have come from, who they are.”

As a company, NewHomesDirectory.com wants to make sure you know what we can do to help you sell your new homes but we also want to make sure you know the faces behind the website as well.  By doing funny company videos, welcome videos or introduction videos we have opened up our company to our consumers so they always have an idea of who we are.

This is a great idea for every company to do.  It gives your customers a sense of trust and lets them become a part of your company in a fun way.  Take time to capture the funny moments in the office, that are relative to your business of course, such as Halloween costume contests or a short video about some innovative new ideas that your company is coming up with.  The sky is the limit and we have many outlets in which you can showcase your videos including YouTube.

Just make sure you don’t go over board and forget about working only to film everyone in the office.  And always make sure your content is appropriate so it lifts your company’s image instead of pulling it down.

Check out our latest video, The Ladies of NewHomesDirectory.com.

Search


Subscribe

Feed ic_myyahoo.gif

ABOUT THIS BLOG

The New Homes Directory.com Corporate blog began in 2008, due to the increasing difficulty of keeping both our company personnel as well as our client base up to date with both site and product enhancements. Read more...

Comment Policy

We encourage comments and look forward to hearing from you. Please note that New Homes Directory.com may, in our sole discretion, remove comments if they are off topic, or inappropriate. Copyright © 2017 Fat Cat Inc. All rights reserved.