How to Market Smart Homes as a Builder

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As a builder, the only thing worse than not offering smart home technology is doing so and no one knowing about it. This is a marketing failure, and it’s easily avoidable.
How to Market Smart Homes as a Builder

Smart home technology is something your clients expect, and there’s a massive opportunity on the table. To ensure that you take advantage, you should pay careful attention to how you market the benefits your homes offer.

When done correctly, you meet your clients’ expectations; you differentiate from your competition who either doesn’t offer smart home technology (or does a poor job marketing their offerings). And make a few more dollars per sale due to upgrades and packages you present at the time of purchase.

These benefits are a classic win-win. Your building business benefits and your clients benefit through the comfort and pride they feel in purchasing a home that matches their expectations and desires.

The Business Benefits of Offering Smart Home Technology

There are three undeniable business benefits for builders who offer smart home technology:

  1. Offering products that your clients want
  2. Separating your business from the competition, and
  3. Driving more profit on each contract

Offering Products Your Clients Want

As we’ve noted in previous articles, 8 in 10 homebuyers now expect smart home options to be available in new home construction. That’s 80%! No matter what you do as a businessperson, if 80% of your clients want something from your business, it’s a no-brainer to offer it. 

Offering smart home products aligns with the expectations of the majority of clients who will be interested in working with you. Give them what they want, and kick off the sales process on the right foot.

Separating Your Business From the Competition

If your competition is savvy, they’re offering smart home technology. However, even if they are, that doesn’t mean their marketing efforts pack the punch it needs. If they aren’t offering these options, the opportunity’s even more significant.

Making marketing a priority helps you to separate your business from the competition. If your competition is already marketing smart home technology, you can analyze how they’re doing it and simply do it better. Either through the messaging you use, the prices of your products, or how you leverage referrals and your networks to build your client base.

Separate yourself from your competitors by giving those potential clients what they want.

Driving More Profit on Each Contract

Offering smart home options to your clients is a natural opportunity to make more money on each contract. With the right approach, marketing these options to your clients is a softer sell throughout the sales process.

There are opportunities to work with your realtor partners to outline the initial benefits within listings and make those listings stand out by outlining the available smart home options.

Within your design center or model homes, there’s a huge opportunity to give hands-on, person-to-person demonstrations of how smart home options work. People love to touch and feel the technology they adopt. Give them the chance to do so!

When you’ve correctly nurtured this process, it’s much easier to sell upgrade options - at a substantial markup - when you reach closing on your contract. Smart home technology is the star of the show for everyone involved in the sale of the home.

When you market smart home options as a builder in the right way, you appeal to your client’s emotions. It’s less about the gadgets and devices in their home. And more about how this technology will improve their quality of life.

Marketing Smart Homes is About Feelings, Not Gadgets

Your clients want to live in a smart home because they want the benefits of living in a smart home. The smart home experience is about increased convenience, comfort,  and personalization that isn’t available in traditional homes.

When you market smart home options to your clients, the language you use in your marketing needs to focus on these feelings and benefits, not the technical details of the technologies you provide. 

It’s important to emphasize how the possibilities you offer improve your client’s lives by introducing more convenience, leading to more energy efficiency and lower utility costs, and feelings of peace of mind and safety.

Your clients are less concerned with the gadgetry and the ins and outs of the fixtures you use to build a unified smart home system for them to enjoy. They’re interested in what this system will do daily to impact the quality of their life. 

Smart home technology delivers the benefits your clients seek. This idea should flow throughout everything you create within your marketing efforts, whether it’s on your website, social media, walkthroughs at a buyer center or model home, and customer testimonials and reviews as you move through the sales process.

Tactical Marketing for Builders

Understanding that marketing smart homes to your clients are about feelings and not features, it’s essential to know the tactics to use throughout the sales process to drive this home.

There are three stages to consider in the sales process where marketing plays a role:

  1. Early - The stage when you’re working with your realtor partner to get listings marketed and publicized and emphasize ease of adoption and ease of use.
  2. Middle - The listings you’ve publicized are getting some attention, and you’re starting to do showings of a model home with smart home features installed. And you are walking potential clients through options at your buyer’s center or model home.
  3. Close - Your client is close to a purchase decision. They want their gut feelings about the purchase to be validated. The most significant opportunity for driving more profit from the sale lies here.

The marketing tactics you use in each of these stages are essential.

Early Stage Marketing

In early-stage marketing, the message you want to highlight is that your smart home options come standard within your homes. To do this, it’s vital the realtor with whom you’re working make this a featured element of the listings they create for your properties. 

When realtors work on their listings, there are three important sections to cover when it comes to smart home options:

  1. Ease of adoption
  2. Quality of life and safety benefits, and
  3. Ease of use

When your realtor emphasizes how easy it is to adopt smart home technology, and better yet, how easy it is to use, there’s less stress. Plus, everyone wants to be safe in their homes, no matter their age. Emphasizing the safety aspects of smart home technology early in the marketing process helps establish trust. And without trust from your clients, none of the rest of your marketing efforts will matter.

Outlining these features in a listing helps your homes stand out from the competition and earn the initial attention you need to move a potential client into your sales process.

Early-stage marketing is primarily informational, but it’s essential to do it the right way. When you provide potential clients with the correct information, their interest is piqued, and they move from being casually interested in your property to ready to take the next step.

Middle Stage Marketing

Middle-stage marketing takes the interest you developed with potential clients early and takes that interest to the next level.

The primary activity in middle-stage marketing is viewings. These viewings give your sales agentsand realtorsthe opportunity to demonstrate in-person the concepts you promoted in the early stages. 

Provide person-to-person demonstrations of your smart home options, so clients see the benefits and appreciate the simplicity of their use. Until potential buyers see the benefits, the value of these options won’t seem “real.” 

When they see a demonstration, they picture themselves using smart home technology daily, and their interest ticks up another level.

It’s also an opportunity to show how easy smart home technology is to use. 

The marriage of easy adoption and easy use is a potent part of the eventual purchase decision.

Marketing Tools to Use in Middle Stage Marketing

During middle-stage marketing, there are several tools you can use to focus the earn the attention of your potential clients on the benefits of your smart home offering and move them toward visiting a buyer center or model home.

These include, but aren’t limited to:

  1. A strong website presence
  2. Unified social media campaigns
  3. Yard signage, and
  4. Takeaway collateral within the buyer center or model home

Website Presence

A strong presence in your digital tools for your smart home offerings helps you tell a visual story of how these options improve your clients’ lives. The look and feel of your website should help people get a feel for what it would be like to live in one of your homes and interact with smart home technology. It’s easy to do this through imagery and proper storytelling, but the use of video can be even more powerful.

Video walkthroughs of a smart home are a great way to help people visualize what it would be like to have that option themselves. It’s a good idea to share these videos on your social channels as well. When you combine storytelling with this aspiration, people move from being interested toward deciding on the smart home they want to make their own.

Unified Social Media Campaigns

Once the website has been published and is starting to drive some traffic and interest, the next step is to build unified social media campaigns that continue to tell the story to a new audience.

These social media campaigns should use the channels that make the most sense for the makeup of your typical clients. If your clients are youngerlet’s say in their 20s or 30syou’ll want to have a presence on TikTok or Snapchat. If your clients skew a little oldermaybe in their 40s or 50syou’ll want to have a strong presence on Facebook.

Suppose you’re doing some Business to Business (B2B) work with realtors, integrators, or other partners. In that case, it’s a good idea to have a presence on LinkedIn to continue to nurture those relationships.

RELATED: If You’re Not Offering Smart Home Options, You're Likely Leaving Money On the Table

No matter what, you want to have a presence on Instagram, as painting the picture of what it’s like to live in a smart home is very visual. And there’s no better place to take advantage of this visual storytelling than Instagram.

If there’s the potential to establish some cross-promotional campaigns with your manufacturers and realtors, those can be particularly powerful. Leveraging each other’s social media networks is a great way to extend the presence of your smart home offerings and help your partners as well in the process.

Find the social media mix that’s right for you and stick with it. The most important part of social media marketing is to stay consistent. If that’s a few posts a week, do that! Whatever you decide consistency means, don’t stray off that path. Social media is a long game, but if you tell your story correctly and do so with consistency, it can significantly benefit your business.

Yard Signage

Yard signage may be a little boring in comparison to a flashy website and a strong social media presence, but the facts are, it works! A good percentage of your clients will be driving around and looking at open homes, buyer centers, and model homes.

As they walk up and see that you offer smart home options as part of the yard signs you have in front of the property, you grab their attention. It could even be enough for them to stop and come in for a chat or a viewing.

Takeaway Collateral

When clients visit your buyer center or model home, you want to have plenty of takeaway collateral, physical or digital, available to send them home with information that continues to differentiate your property. One great example would be a brochure that outlines the smart home technology that you offer within your homes. 

During the middle stage, the impact you make on your clients drives them closer to a purchase decision in the late stages.

Late Stage Marketing

When you’ve reached this stage of marketing, you have your client’s attention. It’s now your job to convert that attention into a sale. In the late stages, your clients are likely comparing your home against a few others. They’re sizing up their options and trying to figure out what makes the most sense for them.

This stage is a great time to offer optional upgrade packages to drive more profit from the sale. It’s natural, here, because your clients are in “decision-making” mode, and having these options available helps them decide, make a more informed decision.

In general, they’re looking for support in their decision-making that buying a home from you is the right decision. They’re looking for confirmation that their gut feeling is right.

There are a few important things to have ready in this stage: reviews and customer testimonials.

Whenever you’re considering a massive purchase that could change your life, you check out reviews. No one wants to have buyer’s remorse because they didn’t do their homework to ensure they were making the right decision. Ensure your manufacturer provides you with customer reviews that talk about how their experience with the smart home technology in your homes changed their lives.

Better yet, if you have writtenor videocustomer testimonials with quotes, that is very powerful. People want to see themselves reflected in someone that’s had a positive experience when considering a purchase. Give them that opportunity through reviews and testimonials.

Reviews and testimonials will answer the majority of your client’s questions. 

You hooked them in the early stages through well-developed and design listings.

You activated their interest in the middle stages through your website, social media presence, yard signage, and takeaway collateral. 

And finally, you’ve helped them complete their decision-making process by providing reviews and testimonials.

In Conclusion

As a builder who offers smart home options to your clients, marketing is essential. As we mentioned previously, the only thing worse than not offering smart home options at all is no one knowing you have them available.

The right marketing plan helps you as a builder to offer products to your client that they want, separate your business from the competition, and drive more profit on each purchase. Better yet, your homes will sell faster, creating increased opportunities for the growth of your business.

This marketing plan isn’t about gadgetry, fixtures, and technicalities. 

It’s rooted in how living in a smart home makes your clients’ daily lives better.

As you move through the marketing stages from early to late, your job is to earn awareness, activate that awareness, and help people decide to purchase a home where smart technology is a huge part of the experience. 

You’re doing potential clients a considerable service by improving their lives through your options. And your business benefits through more profit on each sale and a continual flow of great reviews and testimonials from clients whose lives are better due to their smart home experience.

A unified smart home experience is the modern smart home experience. 

A single touchpoint controls everything. 

No more patching together multiple parts from multiple manufacturers.

Orro consolidates all of the hardware needed for interior smart home living into a single, easy-to-install system. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to separate yourself from the competition and add to your bottom line in the process.

Unlock your smart home opportunity today with Orro’s smart home solution for builders!