New Home Marketing Trends

PRINT > DIGITAL > PERSONALIZED > EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING

Since our founding in 2001, we've seen dramatic changes in New Home Marketing:
We have witnessed how it has evolved from Print to Digital to Personalized to now Experiential Marketing techniques. Practically, we have followed suit: migrating from print brochures to digital content (responsive design websites) to interactive home design apps to today's virtual tours using 360s, augmented and virtual reality, and drones. In the near future, we'll see the culmination of all of these trends where Buyers can interactively explore their customize-designed virtual homes online anytime, anywhere and from any device.

Traditionally, new home marketing has been slow to change and to technologically innovate. However, faster and more revolutionary technology advances are accelerating the evolution of these progressively advanced marketing approaches. Make sure your marketing media and campaigns effectively utilize these new technologies.
With the major shift from print to digital, renderings have evolved from 2D B&W hand-illustrations to 3D color computer renderings. More recently, the growing popularity of videos has sparked a migration from still Renderings to Animations (i.e. 360s and Virtual Tours). Animations help Homebuyers visualize a new development and generate pre-sales excitement.

The next technology leap will be Augmented and Virtual Reality - probably in conjunction with drone videos. The “digitalization” of new home marketing has accelerated the pace of revolutionary rendering advances. These new technologies will fundamentally change the way Homebuyers visualize new homes and communities - and the way Homebuilders sale and market their homes.


Action Plan: Get Animated!
For decades, print (newspapers, brochures, flyers, postcards) was the dominant medium to market new homes. But the internet has changed everything. Now, most new home marketing and shopping has moved online. Digitalization has accelerated changes in new home marketing techniques as new digital marketing channels are constantly appearing and evolving.

Historically, online shoppers searched for new homes on wired desktop computers. But increasingly, they are searching for new homes on mobile devices. This rapid shift to mobile requires Builders to create responsive design websites and web apps.


Action Plan: Go Mobile or Go Home! 
Historically, Homebuyers picked up brochures. Then as information went online, they downloaded generic pdf brochures to their dedicated website-browsing desktop hard drive. But with the proliferation of mobile devices, consumers routinely switch between their multitude of desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. They don’t want to print or download. They want to save everything to the Cloud for anytime, anywhere, any device access.

With apps (like Facebook, Netflix, etc), Buyers can do just that. Homebuyers can save their homes to their private cloud accounts and basically, pick-up right where they left-off from any of their devices. Their product selections are automatically updated with current data (prices, options, etc.). Everything is immediately and literally at their fingertips.


Action Plan: To the Cloud and Beyond! 
For SEO, the goal is to drive Buyers to the website. But visitors just found generic static renderings. Thankfully, new interactive Apps have made websites a more engaging, personalized experience. But Buyers still had to visit the Builder’s website to do this.

Meanwhile, the growing popularity of Social Media and Real Estate Portals have made the likes of Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, and Zillow routine destinations for Buyers. It's simply easier to regularly visit familiar platforms than search dozens of completely different Builders' websites.

So in addition to driving Buyers to their websites, Builders will need to bring their content to where the Buyers are at online - while retaining interactive features. APIs (Application Program Interfaces) do just that. They enable different platforms, websites, and apps to utilize an online rendering engine - without using an app or leaving the website. New home designs are simply rendered in the cloud and delivered straight to the Buyer’s desktop or mobile device.

This enables interactive renderings to be ubiquitous across many different digital channels.


Action Plan: Come Over to My Place!
Builders have traditionally marketed new homes using static renderings. Not only does this not showcase the hundreds of product options available, but this is an ineffective way to facilitate a complex, expensive, and collaborative home purchase. Unlike new cars, new home shoppers cannot not customize, visualize, price, or even save their homes. Today’s buyers don't want to drive around, attend presentations, and pick-up generic brochures. Instead, they want to learn, interact, and personalize their homes anytime, anywhere, and anyhow.

Traditional marketing required knowledgable sales people to bridge the information gaps. But with "real-time rendering" technology and interactive design apps, Buyers can now find, design, price, compare, share, and even save their personalize designs to their own cloud accounts.

No more static renderings and generic brochures, every rendering and brochure is personally created - with the Buyer's selections itemized.


Action Plan: No More Static Cling!
Websites were originally created for wired desktop users and were comprised of hundreds of linked static pages. Web browsers were ideal for searching, navigating, and viewing mountains of static content. But this traditional "big website browsing" approach is painfully slow, complex, and limiting in today's hurried mobile world.

Today's Homebuyers don’t want just a presentation of sample homes. They want to Find, Design, and even Sign Online. They also want an engaging, interactive, informative, and collaborative online shopping experience.

So what's the solution? Integrate web apps into the websites. The web apps provide the dynamic personalized product experiences while the website is the virtual storefront that provides branding, generally static corporate referential information, and houses the interactive product design apps.


Action Plan: Don't Look, but Touch!
Brochures and technology limitations have forced people to buy new homes from generic house renderings. Buyers endured risk, frustration, and endless meetings to bridge the differences between the sample house and their desired home.

Today's buyers don’t want to shop generic products. They want personalized, interactive, and dynamically-created content and experiences - on their own time, place, and device. Instead of NAVIGATING dozens of complex pages only to see the SAME generic content as everyone else, they want UNIQUE content to be BROUGHT to them. They expect the web content to be created based on their preferences just like they experience on their Facebook, Pinterest, Linked-in, Netflix and other Web App websites.

The future of New Home Marketing will be Personalized where website content, and email and social media marketing campaigns are tailored to the shopper’s “profile” and the products are customizable by the Buyer.


Action Plan: Let's Get Personal!
New homes are traditionally sold through "push" marketing where Sellers pushed their products to Buyers via model homes, sample renderings, and persuasive presentations. Shoppers needed a lot of time, interaction, and imagination. Both Buyers and Sellers were dependent on the Salespersons’ skills, knowledge, and availability.

But with new technology and changing consumer behavior, Buyers are becoming the sender of SPECIFIC product requests instead of being the recipient of GENERIC product representations.

The tables have turned. Instead of Sellers asking Buyers to "Buy This" based on a sample rendering, Buyers are telling Builders to "Build This" accordingly to specific specifications. Ultimately, this gives more control to the Buyers while reducing their risk, providing more shopping engagement, and reducing frustration. As Buyers adopt this technology, Builders that don't provide this real-time DIY capability may be at a distinct marketing disadvantage.


Action Plan: Buyer Be Where?