Builder Homesite is planning to launch a multimillion-dollar national marketing and advertising campaign designed to “take back market share” from resale’s and foreclosures that have marginalized new homes for many buyers.
BHI has decided to launch this campaign as a way to reinvest in the industry and help drive additional business for all home builders. Builders don’t have to pay to participate or fund the initiative. This is something we are doing because we believe we have a unique place in the market, we have the industry connections, the market expertise and the resource to be the voice for all builders. AND, it is the right thing to do for our clients and the industry as a whole.
Here is an excerpt from an article that was recently published on BuilderOnline about the initiative. Click here to read the full story.
By: John Caulfield
Within the next 60 days, Builder Homesite Inc. (BHI), the Austin, Texas–based consulting firm owned by a consortium of 32 leading builders, is planning to launch a multimillion-dollar national marketing and advertising campaign designed to “take back market share” from resales and foreclosures that have marginalized new homes for many buyers.
BHI has hired GSD&M Advertising and Edelman, a leading public relations firm, to help devise and execute this three-year campaign, which will be spearheaded by Keith Guyett, a former account executive with GSD&M and Richards Group, whom BHI hired last November as its vice president of marketing and industry communications.
Tim Costello, BHI’s chief executive, tells Builder that the purpose of this campaign is to win back the hearts and minds of consumers whose perceptions of new homes and the housing industry in general are not always positive. He notes that new homes last year accounted for only one in 15 sales; in past years that ratio was more like one in six. He also says builders are their own worst enemies when they continue to refer benignly to existing housing stock as “resales” instead of “used” homes.
“I believe the product that we build today is better than anything that’s already on the market, but there’s simply not an agency out there forming opinions about our homes,” the way the National Dairy Council and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board promote for their industries’ products institutionally.
To that end, BHI has been conducting consumer focus groups in three markets—Phoenix, Houston, and Alexandria, Va.—to ascertain public perceptions about the industry and new houses. Costello says BHI will track these opinions over multiple years to determine if its marketing campaign is working.
Costello says his group is still trying to determine whether it needs to come up with one marketing message for all groups, or tailor that message for different regions and buyers, such as Millenials who might require more coaxing to see the investment value of buying a house.
However, the campaign is likely to revolve around planting the idea of buying a new home in the minds of people who may not be in the market today but could be in the future as a result of “trigger events,” such as the birth of a child or a relocation to a new job. “We want these people to consider a new home before they’re ready to buy,” he says.
Costello adds that BHI will also be targeting Realtors, who notoriously don’t show new homes to clients. One reason, he explains, is that new-home data typically don’t exist in multiple-listing services (he says his group is trying to rectify that), or if they are listed the new houses are identified by individual addresses without information about their communities or amenities.
John Caulfield is senior editor for Builder magazine.