Q: How important is adaptation to the market?
SS: Adapting to current conditions is not just a perk you offer, it’s a necessity. With everyone now moving toward digital meetings and consultations, there are ways home builders can adapt. For example, showings of model homes via FaceTime, virtual-reality tours where shoppers can change countertops and wall colours, and more. Technology can serve as a buffer to the current drop-in physical traffic to home builders’ sales rooms.
Q: Putting your activities online can leave businesses open to criticism. What can you do about negative reviews?
SS: Firstly, don't become paralysed by it because the longer a negative review is live, the more damage it can do. Next, check if the reviewer is a real customer by confirming their name with your customer records. If you think it's fake reply directly identifying yourself as the business owner/manager. The response should address the complaint, apologise for any dissatisfaction, provide contact details and offer to fix the situation. This response will signal to others that you are trustworthy, and the reviewer's claims will appear spurious. After that, click 'flag as inappropriate' and escalate the issue by calling Google (head to the ‘My Business’ homepage and look for 'Support'). If this doesn't fix things, you have the option to take this further with legal action. Fill out a Google form for a 'legal removal request' – requirements can be pretty high, so grab a legal professional for this route.
Q: How far ahead should builders look when creating marketing strategies and plans?
SS: Every business should incorporate KPIs when planning their overall marketing. New acquisitions drive growth and need to be quantified. Campaign creation is recommended to take place six to12 months in advance. A successful marketing strategy should lean on reviewing the seven core capabilities: identifying target audience, means to market, user trust, resourcing and structure, execution and timing, integrated communications, and customer experience.