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Woodward Avenue (Photograph by Mike Gray)

During a tour of the iconic Fisher Building in the the New Center area of Detroit, the owner of the building recounted a story. Last year the firm that had been hired to market the property suggested that the owners install a half-pipe in the Art Deco atrium. The owners asked how that would help drive new tenants to the property. The marketing firm responded: “Finding new tenants is the easy part. Making this property relevant again is the challenge.”

new home marketing strategy tipsMarketing strategy and implementation should serve as the foundation for any home builder’s sales strategy. A strategic marketing plan will help a builder realize, or even, exceed their financial goals. This takeaway, more than any other, was repeated consistently for two days earlier this year in an Orlando classroom at the International Builders’ Show. This message also was relayed at the recent Local Forecast Seminar for the new home industry in Richmond, VA. Increasingly, builders are recognizing the powerful role that new home marketing can and should play in their success.

Earlier this month, we joined more than 500 attendees at the annual Local Forecast Seminar in Richmond. The event, hosted by the Home Building Association of Richmond, takes a look at what lies ahead for the new home industry in Central Virginia. Always full of fascinating insights, this year’s event provided an overview of the economic conditions for home building, top design trends, and advice for home builders in the digital marketing space. Good news is that the economy’s fundamentals are strong and experts anticipate that the Richmond region should see about a three percent sales growth for new homes in 2018. That’s a solid prediction, albeit not as high as some had hoped. 

Spending a few days in Orlando, FL in early January might sound like a nice vacation, but I wasn’t there to enjoy the weather or theme parks. Rather, in the days leading up to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) massive trade show and conference, the International Builders Show, I was in a classroom with two dozen marketing professionals, builders, and developers for NAHB’s Master in Residential Marketing (MIRM) classes.

Investing in professional development and continuing education is critical for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It’s also a necessity for better client service. This belief reminds me of a favorite and well-known quotation from poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” To me, this quotation captures that education isn’t static. It’s not something that stops when school ends. Education is a life-long effort and one that requires ongoing work. As professionals, we have a variety of professional development and educational opportunities available to us, especially in the form of professional certifications. Whether working at an agency and serving clients externally or in-house and collaborating with internal stakeholders, professional certifications showcase your commitment to your profession and demonstrate that you continue to hone and refine your craft, which in turn benefits internal and external clients.

Negotiation is a valuable business and communication skill for any professional. Negotiating with someone else doesn’t just happen in an office or a boardroom sitting across a table from someone else. We are constantly negotiating as we navigate our daily lives at work and home. Sure, different situations require distinct negotiation and communication tactics and the stakes vary widely from one negotiation to the next, but the core principles of the best negotiators stay the same. That’s one of the key lessons learned last week at the annual conference of the Society of Marketing Professional Services’ Virginia Chapter. There were a number of insightful presentations with great takeaways, but the one that stood out the most was “The Cartography of Negotiation” by Scott Wayne of The Frontier Project. Scott outlined tools and tips to enhance your negotiating skills. Here are my three biggest lessons:

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?

The multifamily market has been hot for a number of years and often the bright-spot in new home construction and development. However, prominent multifamily leaders expressed concern that a slowdown, albeit temporary, is on the horizon. Andrew attended several seminars with leading multifamily voices and here are some of the top highlights:

If there was one big take-away from the International Builders’ Show earlier this month it was that the industry is bullish on the 55+ housing market. However, some of those reasons behind that enthusiasm may come as a surprise. Mike attended several seminars and participated in a tour of two major 55+ housing projects in Orlando. Here are some of the major points from those experiences:

The residential construction and new home market continues its rebound from the housing crisis. There were a number of new home design trends, including the role of technology and ways in which it’s becoming integrated into more home functions. Although these trends are important, we wanted to focus on the most significant macro forces shaping the industry.