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5 Christmas Presents for Home Builders

5 Christmas Presents for Home Builders

The holidays are almost here! Football teams are ready for bowl games, Christmas music is playing on the radio and the temperature might drop below 80 here in Houston. For home builders, an inevitable slowdown is coming during and shortly after the holidays. However, there are 5 Christmas presents home builders can get for their businesses! Downtime for the holidays gives home builders a chance to regroup and start 2013 on strong footing.

Early Christmas Present #1: SEO for Home Builder Keywords

When sales are down, searches are usually down as well. Check out a 12 month trailing window of “New Homes Houston” and “Custom Homes Houston” in Google Trends. However, your home builder marketing efforts should be anything but dormant!

The graph demonstrates a drop off in searches starting with late November, December and January before picking back up in February. When in a seasonal trough, it is a great time to expand your selection of home builder website content and gather back links to your site. It often takes 3 months for various organic changes to be reflected in the search engine results. November is the perfect time to get out in front of the competition early.  Waiting until after the holidays could mean less new home sales and fewer satisfied customers to evangelize your home builder brand. Don’t stop with SEO! Personally reach out to new and existing customers and start a conversation by thanking them for their business.

Early Christmas Present #2: Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great, inexpensive way to connect with partners, new and existing customers. Holiday time means increased social media activity over friends, family and shopping. Capitalize on the conversation be being a lighthearted friend sharing in the holiday joy. For example, Thanksgiving presents a direct opportunity to ask customers what they’re thankful for, or gifts they want to give their family. If you’re just getting started on social media, not to worry! Check out a handy guide on how to build a Twitter following in 3 weeks.

Early Christmas Present #3: Testimonials

The holidays are time for sharing, no? Use downtime to reach out to your customers and ask if they are willing to share their testimonials and positive experiences with your home builder brand. Testimonials are a key element in high involvement purchases, such as new homes. Reaching out personally to existing customers could help secure the sales of additional new homes by reinforcing credibility and trust with new home buyers.

Home builders could even take this a step further by going beyond testimonials. For example, hold an incentivized competition for the best web content generated by users. Ideas for your content could include favorite family memories in your homes, dream home ideas, or ways to decorate a house into a home.

Early Christmas Present #4: Competition Check

When you begin hunkering down for the holidays, take a minute and see what your competitors are doing. Check out these 3 quick steps:

1. Are they outpacing you in their website in terms of content, search optimization or technology?

2. Are they investing in home builder PPC? If so, who are they targeting, and what strategies and keywords are they employing?

3. What are they doing in social media? Pay attention to what other home builders post, when they post, and how they interact with customers, prospects and partners.

Early Christmas Present #5: Evaluate Your Website

After you give yourself the first four gifts, jump into gift number 5! Pour through your website, ask new and existing customers to go through it. See if there are things you can improve on, or grow ahead of the competition. This can also be helpful for planning your budget and strategy next year. Learn more about how to craft a digital marketing strategy.

Wrap Up (No Pun Intended)

Let’s wrap this post up and put a bow on it. Okay, perhaps there was a pun intended. 🙂

The holidays are a time of year when people turn inwards and focus on family and friends.  Likewise, home builders can turn inward to their business and marketing to get a head start on the competition in 2013. However, just as knowing what gifts to get your family is important, it is also important to know the needs of your digital marketing program when making the most profit from it. Did you find this post useful? Please let us know in the comments if there is something you’d like to see here or would do differently! Be sure to share the post with your friends, or get in touch if we can help you with home builder marketing.

Nick Lindauer
Nick is the vice president, client services and operations at Forthea. He’s been working in internet marketing since 2002, when – ironically – he answered an ad in the newspaper. When he’s not at work, he’s off spending time with his family, working on his house, building furniture, cooking on his two Big Green Eggs & brewing hot sauce.


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