Talking about what’s ahead for housing is always a lively discussion for builders and companies involved in the construction industry. Those attending the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Semi-Annual Construction Forecast Conference online received the latest news in what is moving housing forward and what might be delaying the comeback.
Builders might ask the same thing about their marketing efforts as they transition from a poor economic environment to a more robust one. At the beginning of the housing crash in 2006 the social network platform MySpace was a success story. Blogs were gaining acceptance by mainstream media and businesses. Apple Inc. introduced the first iPhone in 2007. North American advertisers spent $9.4 billion on search engine marketing in 2006. By 2013 that spend was more than $20 billion. In 2014, ninety percent of companies are using content marketing to reach customers according to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.
What is moving your marketing efforts forward and what might be slowing you down?
For housing, the impact of severe weather slowed overall economic growth during the first part of 2014 but consumer confidence is improving said David Crowe, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at NAHB.
Housing affordability and inventory is high. However, new home construction sales are lagging. The low supply of suitable lots is holding some builders back. A shortage of skilled labor remains a concern. Contractor access to commercial loans is improving.
Buyer hesitancy revolves around several factors including concern about employment, not being able to sell their existing home, qualifying for a mortgage and negative media reports.
Bright spots are projected for the second half of 2014 and onward to 2015. New home starts are up by 22% compared with last year and that number is likely to grow in 2015 to satisfy pent up demand. But, when will the entry-level buyer be back? Better employment and economic expansion are key to making young buyers secure enough to buy their own house.
How will builders reach these new home buyers? In 2014, well-designed web sites are functioning across device types, as lead generators, social media connectors, data analyzers and customer news source. That’s a lot more than the static, billboard type websites of 2006.
Still, marketing challenges persist. Tracking return on investment, executing new marketing programs, and staying current with how customers choose to interact with you are some of them.
Are you improving your outreach efforts through social media? Rethinking your email campaigns? Is your content marketing driving traffic to your website? Are you creating custom content that engages your audience?
If not, what’s holding you back? Buyer confidence is better, so should be your marketing efforts. Find the resources you need to stage your comeback.