Grow your homebuilding business — and display your positive customer experience — with online reviews and testimonials
By Danielle Russell
We hear it on every single call we have with builders about marketing services: the current majority of new customers come as referrals. The majority of new home sales come to builders through word of mouth.
In such a human industry, customer service is one of the most critical pieces for a positive homebuilding experience. Building or buying a new home is a huge leap of faith on the homebuyer’s end, and knowing that someone they trust has taken the leap and landed safely before them helps make the decision easier.
The most important marketing element to growing a builder’s business is positive customer experiences.
How WOM Marketing Has Evolved in the Digital Age
In previous generations, word of mouth marketing was a literal term. It meant your happy customers would tell their friends, family, and neighbors about their positive experience in building a new home with you.
In 2020, homebuyers don’t need to hear directly from a friend in order to trust a homebuilder. In fact, online reviews carry almost the exact same amount of weight as a recommendation from a loved one.
Word of mouth marketing today includes online reviews and testimonials. The most powerful marketing tells a story, and reviews and testimonials tell the story of a happy client. Those who are still researching your company and considering who is the right fit for them will see these stories and want to have the same experience.
A well-written review or carefully crafted testimonial video is the best referral you can get.
How to Market Customer Stories
With the power of good customer service, your homebuilding business has plenty of powerful customer stories to share. Odds are you already know exactly who your happiest clients are!
The easiest way to get online reviews is to reach out directly to your happiest clients and ask. This may seem overly simplified, but it works. When creating review campaigns for our builder clients, we typically use a few different marketing methods:
Ask for reviews
Send an email to your customer database thanking them for choosing you and asking them to review you online. You can include links directly to your Facebook Reviews and Google My Business profile to make it even easier. It may help to include an incentive such as a $10 Starbucks gift card for all who submit reviews.
Tip! We suggest reaching out directly to your happiest clients and even including a personalized story of how you enjoyed working with them. This will increase your odds of getting responses (and better ones at that).
Share your reviews
Once you have several online reviews to choose from, you can copy and paste these onto a customer testimonial page on your website. Having these testimonials on your website will increase the odds of others who are researching your company seeing them.
Tip! We suggest including an image of the happy family with the testimonial on your website. Seeing a smiling face with a testimonial helps make the customer story feel more relatable.
Create customer testimonial videos
If you have truly outstanding online reviews, reach out to those customers in particular and ask if they’d be willing to film a brief testimonial video for you. Not only is video the most consumed form of content online right now, it also feels like an even warmer referral than simply reading reviews online. This will set you above any competition!
Tip! Share these customer videos on social media, embed them on your website, and even send them to leads who call you. A great testimonial video can be used to capture leads in any stage of their buyer journey!
Happy Customers Market Your Services for You
As you’re investing in your customer service team and developing your internal processes around your customers, it’s critical to remember that your best marketing is a happy customer! It all starts there – with your customer service.
Danielle Russell is the Inbound Marketing Director at Builder Funnel. She is passionate about building killer lead generation machines for her clients through inbound marketing. To learn more, visit www.builderfunnel.com.