We handle the Inbound Marketing strategy and activities for a family-owned and operated home renovation company. The owners, along with their employee-based team (not subcontractors), delivers high-quality residential projects, from second-story additions and in-law suites to kitchen renovations and remodels. When we first met them in 2015, they were handling all of their marketing themselves, which was limited to direct postcards and a self-made website. They were paying an SEO firm a large monthly retainer to “keep them ranking.”
Custom Home Builder Marketing Problem
In 2015, the company was up to $1.5 million in annual sales. They were making an impact in their community, with raving clients and beautiful results, mainly getting new business from referrals. Their average job size was just under $100,000, which is representative of a large kitchen remodel. The team was also working on higher priced additions, however, their schedule was still filled with smaller projects, like simple bathroom updates, that took their crew away from larger money-makers. And yet they still had holes in their schedule.
In one year, they were getting about 40 home improvement leads from their website.
The brand image of their company was holding them back. While they were truly a Mom & Pop operation, the look of their outdated website did not convey the superior quality and beauty of their HGTV-worthy projects that they were designing and building. Their portfolio and featured projects were not representative of their capabilities, nor helping them land the larger, more modern projects. Their direct mail marketing postcards that had been making the rounds used outdated images, and no conversion opportunities for the reader, other than picking up the phone to call. Their social media presence was minimal, channels laying empty except for a few posts a year.
The other issue is that a home remodel is a large expense with a long lead time. It can take a potential client a year or more to do the research and feel comfortable with spending or financing roughly $150,000 for their project. The owners had no communication channels set up to stay in touch with website visitors or interested clients who weren’t ready to pull out their wallet.
Setting Goals for Growth
The company wanted to increase their revenue, increase the average job size, and stay focused on the larger projects to keep their crews busy. They contracted our firm to first start work minimally with a social media management retainer, with minor website updates, so we could get to know each other, and start work on improving their image and presence.
Their initial sales goal was set at $1,900,000. This represented three new, larger home addition projects, which their crews could handle. We also knew that their website traffic and quality of leads into their website needed to increase, but we were unsure what levels we could achieve initially, sticking with the existing website. The first six months were going to be foundation setting, and then we planned to set benchmarks based on initial growth.
Our Solution - Custom Inbound Marketing for our Custom Home Builder
After 6 months of pure social media efforts, we developed an inbound marketing strategy for the builder. This included a full website redesign with rebranding, HubSpot website migration and integration, content marketing plan, and paid ads strategy.
We kept the direct marketing campaign, but with a facelift.
We updated the postcards to show their most welcoming and stunning remodels, and invited readers to check out their new eBooks to learn more about the process of remodeling your home. Direct mail was still a great way to reach their non-digital clients, with mailings targeted to areas around a recently completed renovation.
Next, a website that truly represented their custom home builder brand.
For their website, we completed in-depth research of their brand and their buyer personas, to ensure our messaging, imagery and content resonated with the right audience and felt helpful, not salesy. We worked closely with them to capture their warm, family feel, coupled with their eye for clean, beautiful design and skilled craftsmanship.
Our content plan centered around local and industry keywords and frequently asked home improvement questions so we had a strong foundation of blogs and resources to share with the builder's growing contact list.
Then we added targeted digital advertising.
For digital advertising, we used Facebook’s ad targeting to reach homeowners in very specific zip codes, by their interests, to drive traffic to the website portfolio and conversion offers. We could now nurture the new contacts, with educational tools that followed them along their journey of deciding if a home renovation was the right solution for them (it was), and who they could trust to complete it with quality and style (aka our client).
Once the website redesign was completed half way through 2016, we began to see a lift in traffic, viable leads, and quality of projects. There was such a boom in 2016 due to the fresh efforts, that we saw a lift in ALL results, and our clients were very pleased with the growth that brought nearly $500,000 into their business.
Results of our Custom Home Builder Inbound Marketing Plan
- $1,980,000 (32% growth over 2015)
- Leads = 52
- Job size = $114,840 avg
- Web Traffic = 450 visits/mo
- HubSpot conversion visits to contacts = .95%
- And the growth continued into 2017, where sales still grew by 6% over the previous year.
- $2,109,000 (6% growth over 2016)
- Leads = 66
- Job size = $191,739 avg
- Web traffic = 605 visits/mo
- HubSpot conversion visits to contacts = 1.07%
Growth continued throughout 2018, with year over year sales increasing by 14%.
- $2,414,310 (14% growth over 2017)
- Leads = 218
- Job size = $165,349 avg
- Web traffic = 1310 visits/mo
- HubSpot conversion visits to contacts = 1.38%
Evaluating Results and Setting New Goals
The increases and shifts that happened in 2017 really improved our client's quality of life.
Now that leads were more qualified, the average job size increased by $77,000, and their crews spent more time on larger jobs, instead of fractured, smaller projects.
The goals that we have set for this coming year continue to compound the growth of sales, project size and quality of clients. The content marketing plan to support their clients' questions is ever-growing and informed on analysis of past successful content.
We will also be focusing on sales enablement tools to help their team streamline the sales process, and increase their closing ratio. HubSpot has been an amazing facilitator in all of our goal setting, growth mapping and strategy planning. Using tools like workflows, smart forms, custom CRM fields and personalized sales emails, we've been able to help make our client's sales process more systematic to improve their closing rate.
Their voice has now been clearly defined as a caring and helpful, family-run company that can help you achieve your dreams for your home, with a culture of education and support along the way. But now there's strategy to support it, and assured growth!
If you would like to see how you can grow YOUR construction business with a marketing plan, strategy and implementation - Download your copy of the construction marketing checklist below!