FloorPop  - Internet Marketing that Works, June 2, 2004

Vol. 4, Issue 3: Copyright (C) 2004 Blair Kuhnen.  All rights reserved.

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Building Your "Coming Soon" Interest Lists

In the past 3 months we have discussed:

In this issue we will discuss how to build large and effective interest lists for new communities.

To have an effective "coming soon" community marketing program and generate sufficiently sized interest lists, you need 3 things:

  1. Tools to collect and manage your interest list members
  2. Effective methods to encourage interested home shoppers to visit your website
  3. Solid promotion of your "coming soon" communities on your website

Tools for Collecting and Managing Your Lists

At one time builders simply collected interest by putting a sign up on their land and asking home shoppers to give them a call. By all means have a sign. Have a big one. However, encouraging home shoppers to phone you will make managing your interest lists difficult. If your aim is to manage multiple lists and price increases for phase releases, you need the right tools. You want to offer additional information about the community and an online subscription list.

There are many ways you can collect information online. You can collect leads through your contact forms and then separate out your interest group later. Alternatively you can modify your contact forms with opt-in check boxes for groups or create a subscription page to manage several interest groups. The right choice depends upon how you release homesites and the number of groups you expect to manage. Application Service Providers (ASP) such as Microsoft's bCentral can help fill the list management gap or, for a relatively small investment, you can take a more integrated approach. Tadian Homes, a Detroit area builder took this more integrated approach with their Website http://www.tadianhomes.com/Subscriptions.aspx?type=HomeShopper&MetroID=1 "It gives our customers the convenient option of joining a V.I.P. interest list. This integrated approach has allowed us to capitalize on the qualified leads that our Web site generates," said Laurie Tarver, COO of Tadian Homes.

Many builders question whether they need a separate website to promote each new community. Sometimes, but in most cases no. Decide on a case-by-case basis. A separate Web site can be very effective for the high amenity or separately branded Web site. Otherwise, you may find your primary Web site more than adequate for the job and can spend your money elsewhere.

Getting Users to Visit Your Web Site

There are many ways to promote your "coming soon" communities. Of course you will put the URL on your on-site signage. Make it as large as you can without interfering with your marketing message. Promote these communities in your other offline advertisements as well. Consumers love the word "New." Some of your most effective methods for encouraging shoppers to visit are already at hand, but many builders ignore them. Here are some ideas:

Finally, think about how you communicate with prospects, customers, and Realtors. Many savvy builders already have effective online and offline methods for effectively communicating with these groups. At David Weekley Homes, they have an online HomeClub Newsletter http://www.davidweekleyhomes.com/homeclub/webarchive.asp?id=404&city=dal and use this to tout their "coming soon" communities. "Demand is there. It gives us the opportunity to give them (HomeClub Subscribers) the first opportunity to see what's new," said Natalie Harris, Vice President of Marketing for David Weekley Homes.

Getting Web Site Visitors to Register

Now you need to get shoppers to take the next step and register for your offering. Here are a few simple guidelines for improving your results.

Get the right tools, encourage shoppers to visit your Web site, and make it easy for them to sign up, and soon you will have a solid list of prospects. If you need help, feel free to call upon us to help you put a program in place the gets results.

SPECIAL NOTE: We also invite you to explore Lux Solutions' latest website project for Tadian Homes at http://www.tadianhomes.com

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    FloorPop is published on the first Wednesday of each month. We welcome your comments, thoughts, and questions. Please send write or call anytime. blair@luxsolutions.com.

    Blair Kuhnen is President of Lux Solutions, an independent consultancy serving the homebuilding industry by building sales and marketing solutions. He can be reached in Fort Worth, Texas at 866-923-4026 (toll free 866-923-4026) or via e-mail at blair@luxsolutions.com