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A Comprehensive ...

A Comprehensive Guide to Home Builder Marketing on the Community Level

By Chris Laskowski 5 min read

One of the most valuable tactics home builders can implement are Sales Associate Marketing Initiatives, or SAMIs as New Home Star likes to refer to them. These are low-cost, high-impact, community-level marketing efforts that a sales agent executes to market their own community. These initiatives can take various forms including community events, social media outreach, incentives, or contests, to name a few. They are designed to complement marketing campaigns done across the entire builder, but through a local approach, are able to bring incremental traffic that would not otherwise have been captured.

In total, SAMI activity should take approximately 36 minutes a day, five days a week, to drive one additional sale to each community on a quarterly basis. For agents, this allows them to earn that extra commission with time from in-between customer interactions, giving them ownership of their results — especially if they are placed in a struggling community. For these reasons, the SAMI approach is a staple at New Home Star and every agent is required to create and execute their own home builder marketing ideas. Continue reading to learn more about strategies we use as a foundation for this program.  

Four Types of SAMI Activities

Prospect: Finding new buyers as they search for their next home.

  • Hosting a Design Center Behind the Scenes event showing prospects an inside look into the selection process and offering a Design Center monetary incentive for attendance.  
  • Organizing and promoting a block party event with food, games, and a raffle.
  • Hosting an education event for potential buyers looking at learning about the benefits of buying versus renting.

Refer to this marketing to home buyers article for additional initiative ideas. 

Referral: Working with existing homeowners to earn referrals.

  • Hosting a community BBQ event to show appreciation for all members of the community and to announce a new referral program starting with a closing gift.
  • Setting up a donation event where homeowners can visit the model to donate items and learn more about the current referral program.
  • Hosting a referral incentive where current customers accompany their referral to a model home and, in turn, receive a gift card. 

For more initiative examples, check out this real estate referral marketing article for an extensive list of 25 ideas. 

Realtor: Networking with Realtors and promoting current offerings.

  • Hosting a headshot event where Realtors come to the model, have their headshots taken, and learn about the community. 
  • Dropping off a candy packet with collateral and contact information attached to Realtor offices in the area.
  • Organizing a Realtor appreciation lunch to advertise your community and learn more about what their buyers are looking for.

Check out this Realtor marketing article for more ideas to strengthen your approach.   

Business: Creating powerful relationships with local businesses.

  • Highlighting a small business in your area by collaborating with them on a special incentive. 
  • Dropping off a small gift bundle to local businesses with collateral attached to advertise your contact information. 
  • Organizing a trade partner appreciation event at the model to show your partners appreciation for all they do. 

Interested in more ideas? We've outlined additional examples for marketing to local businesses

Planning Your Initiatives

Quarterly Business Plan: Planning can make all the difference in the success of an initiative. In the New Home Star system, every agent is responsible for putting together a quarterly business plan on the community level that includes their marketing initiatives for the next 90 days as well as a recap of results from the past quarter. This allows the agent to plan all of their events at least 30 days in advance and effectively collaborate with the marketing department to ensure branding is consistent across all messaging. In this marketing strategies for home builders article, we dive deeper into the messaging approach and how to outline your divisional plan. 

Community Lifestage: This is one of the most important factors in deciding which type of initiatives should be performed. Typically, the focus will be to build relationships with Realtors and businesses while the community is in its early stages of development. This focus will shift toward prospects and referrals as the project matures, although all four types of audiences should be engaged on a monthly basis. 

Target Consumer Profile: Your primary buyers should be used to determine messaging, marketing channels, and the type of initiatives implemented. If most of your buyers include upwardly mobile young families, hosting prospect events that cater to a family-friendly environment and utilizing imagery and messaging that best aligns with the audience should be used. This real estate customer segmentation model is an essential framework for New Home Star's operations. 

Tracking Performance: Finally, keeping track of traffic, costs, and time spent for each initiative across multiple communities will help guide your efforts to the most effective initiatives. At New Home Star, this is done through our technology portal, New Home Connect™, which captures thousands of marketing campaigns across different price bands, Target Customer Profiles, and types of activity. At the end of each initiative, an ROI survey is sent, and the most effective bundles are recommended to agents.

Putting It All Together

SAMIs are valuable and proven tools that New Home Star has been utilizing for years. They are a major point of success for each of our new sales agents and are truly an invaluable way to improve traffic in a community and area. However, they require time and effort in order to be successful. A clear real estate marketing plan, close collaboration with your company’s marketing team, and creating high-quality and engaging graphics are key in order to execute each initiative. 

Learn more about our home builder marketing approach. 

Originally published Jul 22, 2021 under Explore the latest topics, updated January 24, 2024

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