This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Andrew Bazan of Lennar speaks with Greg and Kevin about the importance of examining and understanding the science of digital marketing data.
As digital marketers, it is vital to be constantly and consistently assessing data. Andrew says, “…in science and in anything in life, you can provide answers using a hypothesis, using your gut, what you feel, but doing that research and finding out results based off of data, that's something that's not subjective. It's something that's so objective and it's tried and tested and you can’t argue against it…”
There is a scientific method when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign through numbers. Andrew explains, “So, you have a theory. You have a budget where you think if I have two different platforms that I want, and we can just go very high-level general here, and you say, I have a budget to spend on social media and I have a budget to spend on Google ads. It's the same process. You have a hypothesis. If I spend the same amount, will I get the same amount of leads? Will it lead into the same kind of qualified leads? Will it lead me to the same amount of appointments kept? Will it lead me to the same amount of sales and you test it out?”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how understanding data can impact the success of your marketing efforts.
About the Guest:
Andrew Bazan is a marketing aficionado with a knack for data collection and interpretation, currently focused on new home real estate and homebuilding.
Andrew has keynoted for Masterclassing: Digital Marketing, paneled for Zillow New Construction, and was recently appointed to the Advisory Board for the Executive Marketing Program at USF’s MUMA College of Business.
Currently, Andrew is the Director of Marketing & Online Sales for Lennar Homes’ Atlantic Coast markets in Florida.
Above all else, Andrew is a proud father of two intelligent little humans, as well as a doting and patience-wearing husband to a woman completely out of his league.
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine,
Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse,
Greg Bray: and we are excited today to welcome to the show Andrew Bazan, who is the Director of Marketing and Online Sales at Lennar's Palm Atlantic Division. Welcome, Andrew. Thanks for joining us.
Andrew Bazan: Thank you guys for having me.
Greg Bray: Well, Andrew, for those who haven't had a chance to meet you yet, why don't we start off with that quick introduction, help us get to know a little bit more about you.
Andrew Bazan: Yeah, absolutely. So, for sure, like none of your listeners know me, so [00:01:00] we won't even play that. I head up, like you said, the Marketing and Online Sales Department for Lennar's Palm Atlantic Division. I've been with Lennar for a little under five years and I'm originally from the agency side of things. So, for a very long time, I lived and breathed digital marketing for our clients and then made the move to corporate America, and I've loved it. Not just the corporate aspect of things, but the home building side of things. It's been incredible to witness all that.
Kevin Weitzel: So, that's on the digital side. That's on the home builder side. What can we learn about you personally that people only hear on this podcast?
Andrew Bazan: I always had a go-to fun fact for like a very long time, but I feel like I've used it so much that it's not a fun fact anymore, but I'll say it anyway. So, after I got my degree in biology and chemistry, I went to medical school and I dropped out after a year to pursue business. So, I'm a medical school dropout, and then after that, I somehow got into working with the State Department's Global Engagement Center where, I kid you not, we [00:02:00] tried to combat terrorism with SEO, which was like a really cool thing.
I know that that's kind of more work-related and on the more personal side of things, I am a dad. Like we, you know, joked about earlier. I look like I'm 18, but I'm, you know, well in my thirties guy with a lovely wife, who's pregnant with our third baby and happy to be a dad. So, that's the best thing ever.
Kevin Weitzel: Congratulations. You got the princesses or stormtroopers? What do you got in the house?
Andrew Bazan: You know what. I am a big feminist, which is another fun fact about me. So, I'm going to say that they're both.
Kevin Weitzel: Nice. I love it.
Andrew Bazan: Like they are stormtroopers in tutus.
Kevin Weitzel: I love it.
Andrew Bazan: There we go.
Greg Bray: All right, Andrew. There's a whole lot of SEO people who didn't know they could fight terrorism. So, I'm just, I'm just saying that that just took the level of coolness of the SEO job to a whole nother level.
Andrew Bazan: Thank you so much. I aim for that.
Greg Bray: How do you fight terrorism with SEO? Come on. You got to give us a little more on that.
Andrew Bazan: Okay, and if you don't find [00:03:00] me after this podcast airs for sure.
Greg Bray: Oh, sorry. You're not allowed to tell us this.
Andrew Bazan: No, no, I can. I can. It's fine. I think. No. So, back in 2015, as you guys know, there was a very big uptick in Jihadism in ISIS, and a lot of it was, a lot of the Westerners were, especially the younger kids, the teenagers, were really much attracted to that, Diesh type of life.
So, one of the things that the Global Engagement Center got funded to do was to essentially detract folks who were looking up ways to how to join in the fight, how to join ISIS, and what they wanted to do was push that material, the actual material that they were probably looking for, down by pushing up certain websites that kind of spoke to why you shouldn't, why it's bad, why look what happens after you join in this fight with Diesh.
So, it was a very big project to take on to be able to research the type of keywords, the type of phrases, the type of videos that [00:04:00] came online when kids, teenagers, you know, at the age of 15 were saying, how do I join ISIS? Well, we had to fight for those keywords, and as you guys know states, the federal government doesn't have a ton of money, so this was not a paid advertising initiative. It was a, it was an SEO, and also too for, digital marketing purposes, longevity wise, and we know SEO is for much longer return. We just wanted it to build that up, and it worked out for a couple of months. Administrations changed, and State Department budgets got cut and so that was where it got cut, but for a while, it was very cool and I felt like I was part of the CIA. So, that was probably the most important part of it all is how I felt.
Greg Bray: Yeah. That's right. Get you a hat, or something.
Andrew Bazan: I know. I should have at least gotten the hat.
Greg Bray: No. That's cool. That's cool. That's an interesting use of SEO, right? To put the content in front of the content we don't, which is what SEO is all about.
Andrew Bazan: Yeah. When we first got the call, we were like, are you sure, like, you know what SEO stands for, right?
Greg Bray: Can't you just call Google and tell them to take the other stuff out? You know, it's like.
Andrew Bazan: Yeah. I thought you [00:05:00] had an in.
Greg Bray: That's right. Well, Andrew, tell us more about the journey from medical school to digital marketing agency to home building all in a very short amount of time in your career.
Andrew Bazan: So, after leaving med school, I still kind of thought maybe I should stay on track with science, so I ended up doing a little bit cancer research at the University of Georgia, and to me, the most important part of that was the end. I didn't actually like doing the actual research portion of it.
What I loved, and what I realized I loved afterwards, was the data and the results that were yielded because you can provide, in science and in anything in life, you can provide answers using a hypothesis, using your gut, what you feel, but doing that research and finding out results based off of data, that's something that's not subjective. It's something that's so objective and it's tried and tested and you can argue against it, and if you did, you'd still have to do the experiment over again, and I fell in love with numbers. I fell in love with data and I fell in love [00:06:00] with what that meant to an overarching strategy, to an overarching idea.
So, it was there actually, UGA, go dogs, where I met an acquaintance who recommended me to an entry-level intelligence analyst position. It was at a startup marketing auditing firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That was where I learned essentially the ecosystem of digital marketing. They took me in to just look at data, and tell them trends, right? Here's your data. Tell me what you see. Find any anomalies.
I didn't just want to do that. I genuinely liked what digital marketing looked like. I guess I kind of self-taught myself digital marketing in reverse because we were a marketing auditing agency. We had certain clients who we audited what their marketing ecosystem look like, right?
So, if there's certain brand standards for a university meant that they could not get leads, or you know, using one of those websites where you fill out a survey and it says, you know, are you looking to learn something new and then you get [00:07:00] an ad for school through malware or ransomware. We had to catch that, right? How did it go through all of these third-party publishing services and where's the mess up? Where did somebody sell the PII that shouldn't have sold the PII? That's how I taught myself the digital marketing world.
Kevin Weitzel: Wait a minute. You're losing me somewhere on this. You mean to tell me that you actually value the scientific research and data fields that came through all this copious amounts of research, when you could have shortened up that whole process a bunch, by going to Aunt Peggy's Facebook page,
Andrew Bazan: I could have.
Kevin Weitzel: and just taking her various posts that she puts on there.
Andrew Bazan: I really could have, you know, like so much time and money wasted.
Kevin Weitzel: It's a much shorter pathway, and all you get is, all you need is the headline.
Andrew Bazan: I messed up. Don't tell my mom cause I came out of there, you know, a ton of student loans.
Kevin Weitzel: So, having that appreciation of the data, points, numbers, how are you incorporating that into your marketing in your digital aspect of both spend and, you know, products that you gravitate toward [00:08:00] and how are you implementing that at Lennar?
Andrew Bazan: So, I see it the same way that you would a scientific process, right? So, you have a theory, you have a budget where you think if I have two different platforms that I want, and we can just go very high-level general here, and you say, I have a budget to spend on social media and I have a budget to spend on Google ads. It's the same process. You have a hypothesis. If I spend the same amount, will I get the same amount of leads? Will it lead into the same kind of qualified leads? Will it lead me to the same amount of appointments kept? Will it lead me to the same amount of sales and you test it out?
That's what AB testing is, right? You let that budget flow. Obviously, not all at once. You feed it slowly and you check to see if your scientific process has worked. So, I think that social media is not going to get me as many qualified leads, as many low funnel leads as Google ads is. So, let me test my theory out. Let me feed them both the same budget. From there, you get to see results back. Okay. I got a ton of leads in social media and not so much in Google, but is that really all that great because I can get a thousand leads from social and a [00:09:00] hundred leads from Google, but from there, what actually got me the sale? Which, at the end of the day that's all anybody cares about, right?
You care about other secondary, tertiary things, but the main thing is to get the sale. So, it's just a matter of incorporating science. I hate to say that because people hear the scientific process and they're just like, oh sounds terrible, but it is. That's what we're all doing.
Kevin Weitzel: Well, if ten leads close five, you know, has a 50% close ratio, and you're closing five of those ten leads versus working a hundred leads with a 1% close ratio. I'll take those ten leads all day long, and I will work the heck out of them.
Andrew Bazan: Absolutely, and that gives you the amount you can shift your budget at that point, too. So, it's down to the science.
Greg Bray: Well, Andrew let's take a half step back. Tell us just a little bit more about, I don't know, everybody heard of Lennar. Everybody raise your hand if you haven't heard of Lennar but tell us, you know, more about your division, kind of who you guys are targeting from a buyer standpoint and give us that framework of background to know, you know, what you're working on.
Andrew Bazan: Yeah, absolutely. [00:10:00] So, our Palm Atlantic Division, we operate on the Atlantic coast of Florida and we go as south as Palm Beach County and as north as Brevard County, right underneath Orlando. At that point, our Orlando division takes over.
So, what we build is primarily single families, our division at least is primarily single families. Multi-family, of course, and then any sort of paired villas and anything in between. Our main focus right now is, and I guess because of the land and how quote-unquote inexpensive it is compared to some of our other Florida counterparts like Miami and Fort Lauderdale, we tend to get a lot of first-time home buyers.
It's very rare that you can find somewhere in mid-Florida, a single-family home, two bed, two bath, in the high two hundreds. That's unheard of. You can't get a single-family anything in Miami for the high two hundreds, not brand new, and I know that cause I used to work for the Miami division as well.
Our main audience is first-time home buyers, but we also have a very heavy 55 and older active community lifestyle. So, three of our communities are well expanded between Palm [00:11:00] Beach, our Treasure Coast counties, and our Brevard County. So, we have the 55 and older and the audiences there, as you can imagine, are typically non-Floridian. Particularly now, we have a lot of folks flying in from New York, California, and choosing to reside there. As you all know, Florida is a place where people really love to just spend the rest of their lives.
Greg Bray: Awesome. Well, tell us then, from Lennar's standpoint, being such a large national builder, do you guys operate as a hundred independent little marketing departments or is it one ginormous kind of marketing group that has a lot of corporate headquarter oversight?
Andrew Bazan: Yeah. Absolutely. I've talked to a lot of my counterparts in other big-time homes, right? Like Meritage and all those stuff, and it's fascinating how everybody's so different with the way that they manage with their corporate marketing and then their division marketing side, but the way that we handle ours is every division, our over 30, 40 divisions that we have across the nation, is essentially its own little company. We all have our division [00:12:00] president who we answer to, our VPs, our directors, and we are all in charge, and I'll speak for myself in the marketing and online sales department. That's my department. That's Palm Atlantic's marketing department. We have nothing to do with Raleigh's marketing department. We have nothing to do with Texas's marketing department. We don't share budgets or anything like that.
Kevin Weitzel: You don't share budgets or anything, but I'm sure you share successes with each other or failures.
Andrew Bazan: Absolutely.
Kevin Weitzel: Like you guys have your meetings of all the marketing nerds and they all get together and they're like, this works, this doesn't work.
Andrew Bazan: Yes, absolutely. That's exactly how it sounds and yes, you're absolutely right.
Greg Bray: Oh, I hope that's not how it sounds.
Kevin Weitzel: Greg is alluding to a pretty good point that, you know, as companies get larger, they become battleships and usually you have a command center that's just decimating the orders throughout the hierarchy of the company and then it gets down to the people that actually have their boots on the ground, or boots on the deck of the boat that actually get things functioning, but it sounds like to me, like you have a, let's say a carrier fleet, where you have not only you have [00:13:00] that large battleship, but you guys have all these support PT boats that can zip around and do things much more efficiently.
Andrew Bazan: Yeah, I was following that analogy, but I'm not a boat guy, but that sounds about right. Yeah. Our main corporate marketing team, absolutely they work with us. They want to help us. They dish out and gather research based off of all divisions. The way that I always explain it is they are trying to feed all of their children with recommendations, with best practices, and then, like you said, the boots on the ship, the
Kevin Weitzel: It had to be ship cause it was a naval representation there.
Andrew Bazan: And then the boots on the ship, will take those recommendations into consideration. You know, does it apply? We work with corporate if we need additional help, or if we felt that, hey, maybe we can switch something. You know, we're seeing this on our end. Perhaps our counterparts in, I don't know, New Jersey, are seeing the same thing, It's absolutely encouraged to share findings and best practices, not just with corporate, but with each other. We all work for Lennar, not just our division.
Greg Bray: So, Andrew, how does digital [00:14:00] then play within your marketing mix? Is it small, large, all of it? Where does that kind of land?
Andrew Bazan: I always used to say, my team can back me up on this, I hate when we say, you know, where's digital marketing. How do you feel about digital marketing? Digital marketing is advertising. It is marketing. You are not going to find a company that exists and is successful who doesn't have some sort of online presence and digital marketing is online.
So, for us, I oversee essentially three biggies. It's the advertising side of our marketing, the field side of our marketing, so welcome home centers, models, and then the online sales part of our marketing. You would think that that's probably one out of three, but in all likelihood, that's probably two out of the three because online sales is really big, heavily involved with our advertising side of things. They're the first ones in the trenches. They're the first ones in the boat who see the leads that come in. It's very heavily involved in our overall marketing strategy. It is our advertising.
Kevin Weitzel: How much cross-pollination [00:15:00] do you have with sales? Like, does sales come to you and say, hey, this new widget that you put on the website, this thing is garbage. We can't use it. Or, hey, this thing's awesome. We're getting so many leads from it. It's crazy. Can you throttle these on a little bit more? I mean, how often do you, are you getting that feedback and how much does it affect you changing your pathway and what you do as that marketing decision-maker?
Andrew Bazan: Heavily, right. Marketing supports sales. We are so involved. We are sales. We are an arm of sales. Every week, and again, I'll speak for my division only, we have a weekly sales and marketing meeting and it's not just, hey, this is what I need. I need to sign or I need this. We look at the numbers. All right guys, so last week we received 1000 leads, form submissions. We received 1000 phone calls. Our OSCs booked these many appointments. They kept these many appointments. What did our sales folks, our new home consultants, what did they see? What did they report, and then we take a look at what they reported per community, per collection, and then we say, okay, and out of those, what was our conversion ratio? So, how many homes did we actually sell? [00:16:00] It's very much in the numbers.
I like to think that our VP of sales, who's just phenomenal. I love her, and I love working with her. Her and I really we're both on the same page about numbers. We're both on the same page that we can't really change anything if we don't have something to physically look at. HC can tell you all they want. I think this week, we were kind of low on traffic, but it's something totally different when you actually see the number. You know, because they could have seen 20 people and out of those 20 people, they can tell you that, you know, really only two of them were viable.
Well, that's good to hear. Terrible to hear, but it's good to hear because maybe we're sending them the wrong kind of people. Are our OSA's booking garbage appointments just to get the booking done, right? There's always a conversion ratio that will tell you about that specificity of what you're looking at, and that's how we work. That's how we operate and I'm very proud of that.
Greg Bray: It almost sounds like you need to be a data guy.
Andrew Bazan: You know, I've looked into that.
Greg Bray: No, I think it's great that you guys are working to make [00:17:00] the full connection. Lots of times the marketing folks end at the, well, the website did its job. It kicked the lead out. Sales have a nice life, you know, with the all these leads we sent you and you never circle back and connect them back together. You know, are these leads actually the right ones? Are they actually converting into sales, because if we don't sell anything, we're all not going to be around very long? We got to sell stuff, got to sell stuff.
Andrew Bazan: Exactly right. Yep.
Greg Bray: Andrew looking at kind of digital from a customer experience standpoint, beyond just the advertising marketing piece, how do you guys see digital improving or enhancing your customer's overall buying journey?
Andrew Bazan: So, by digital, do you mean like technology?
Greg Bray: Yeah. Technology. Whether that's on the website, whether that's helping them after they've had an appointment.
Andrew Bazan: So, I should probably start by saying we don't have a buy now button on the website. Yeah, I know is a really big topic right now, but for the moment isn't on our radar. Again, corporate, it's separated from us, but on the division level, were not looking at that right now. [00:18:00]
So, when it comes to what we want our customer journey to look like and what we present to them on the online presence side, we've noticed that transparency really works with customers. One of the things that we AB tested for a very long time was how a consumer will respond best to an ad, whether by click or whether by form submission, and we tested ads when it was really nice and fluffy. Like, find your dream home in this incredible resort-style community versus new homes. Literally with like periods. Quick. Move-in homes. Starting at the two hundreds. Location. Palm Bay, Florida, and that was it.
We noticed that as nice as these ads sounded, the ads that actually had the very blunt information were the ones that got us the clicks, got us the form submissions, got us the appointments. So leveraging digital, leveraging technology to be as transparent to our consumers, I think is [00:19:00] incredibly important.
We have a live chat. We want to be able to get communication for our consumers as fast as possible. I would be remiss to say that we're probably not that great at the division level at it right now because we are being so bombarded with leads, with calls, with form submissions, and I hate to say that, but our OSCs feel like they're under avalanche right now of inquiries, of queries and what I think we should be using technology for at the moment, even if it's as simple as having a call menu, where somebody has the ability to filter themselves out a little bit more might be able to help our OSCs.
What do I mean by that? Well, maybe somebody calls in, and instead of saying for sales, click one, for home warranty, click two. It's for sales, click one. After that, if you're ready to book an appointment, click one. If you would like some general information about the community click two. You're already filtering them out.
Our ICs have a priority list of who to get first, right? Which if somebody is ready to book an appointment that is so low funnel, get them to book that appointment. You know, that's going to be a quicker call as opposed [00:20:00] to a call where it's somebody who's just going to keep you on the phone for twelve minutes, trying to ask every single detail about the community. It might be a harder handoff to an appointment. So, leveraging technology, yes, for the consumer side to make it more transparent, so that way they have less questions when they get to you, but also leveraging digital and technology to make the lives easier for our folks who are our consumer-facing.
Kevin Weitzel: So, which camp are you in? There's three basic camps. There's the I've got blinders on and I am only concerned about my forward pathway with this company that I'm with. Option two is I have my forward blinders on, but they're transparent so I can still see what our competitors are doing, but I'm really not really worried about what they're doing, and option three is I need to make sure I know what every single competitor is doing to make sure that I know that we're still gonna be competitive, even though we're already one of the largest home builders in the world.
Andrew Bazan: Probably the more neurotic one. I like to know what's going on around me. I think when you're just so one way and your blinders are on to just one thing [00:21:00] you miss out on other opportunities. Yes, we're big, right, but how long can you stay up at the top? How long can you be so big? I think you should be paying attention to what goes on and maybe not as neurotic as the way that I do it. I genuinely like to see what goes on. It's interesting because it shapes the way that our industry will move forward.
There was a really big article that Taylor Morrison had gone to buying on the website, or it was moving towards that pathway. It was like, wow, that's incredible. It's not like we rushed to meet them there, but we knew that that was a turning point for us. Like, we needed to be watching out for that.
Kevin Weitzel: Speaking of the buy now, and I, and I know that's not on your radar right now, and I actually applaud you for that cause I think there's a lot of pitfalls that we could be not seeing as an industry because I feel that buy now is commoditizing the industry. So, I'm curious what your thoughts are on the buy now?
Andrew Bazan: I used to be made fun of, I think, for how young I was on the division level because a year before COVID hit I had this crazy idea that, hey, we should do a button [00:22:00] on the website. Maybe we should pitch it to corporate that they should go all the way up to reserve a homesite. Like, isn't there a way where somebody can just like in a five-step easy process, just I want this type of home? I want it on this lot. This is my color selection. Reserve and I put down a $500,000 reserve fee, and from there the person goes and signs, and I was like, this is great and like, oh, you're such a millennial. Nobody's going to want that ever.
It got shot down pretty quickly and COVID hit and I think a lot of people started to try to race to that. I think we should have a reserve now. To answer it as easily as I can. Maybe we should have a reserve now. I used to think that I could buy a home online. I really did, and I was a really big advocate when I was pitching this pre-COVID and I was like, oh, for sure like, people are gonna want this. I was very much on the extreme side of people aren't going to want to see people anymore. They hate salespeople.
Until last year when my wife and I decided to buy a pre-construction home and the first question that she asked was, do I have a model to [00:23:00] see this in, and I was like, well, the model's not ready yet and she was like, well, I'm not going to buy based off of a floor plan. She was like, I need to feel it. I need to feel what it feels like in the kitchen, and it's true.
There have been times where I see a floor plan and I see eight-foot ceilings and I'm like I'm five, six. I'm sure it'll feel really big for me. I walk into that model and I'm like, eight-foot ceilings? I can't imagine for people like Greg. That's touching your head. So, there is something to that in-person need for somebody. I don't think that buy now will ever be truly online. I think reserve now makes sense, but I still think that you need that person aspect to it. That feel what it feels like in the kitchen and in the living room. I don't think that's going to go away anytime soon. My thoughts.
Kevin Weitzel: I agree.
Greg Bray: So, short question, being a Gen Xer, Is it offensive to say you're such a millennial? Is that considered offensive if somebody says, oh, you're such a millennial?
Andrew Bazan: I don't know. I'm actually an elder millennial.
Greg Bray: I just don't know. I don't want [00:24:00] to be derogatory if I think that or say that to somebody. Yeah, but to your point though, I do think the idea that a lot of people are just going to buy homes by clicking a button with never a visit. I agree with you. I don't think that's the path, the idea that maybe they go visit and then they go back home and kind of finish.
I see that as being something where maybe part of the process can happen, but the idea that they never get to see it. I mean, there's some buyers, maybe a military move or something where it's not practical, or maybe an investor who doesn't care, you know, doing it for a rental property or something. So, it depends on the buyer, but this idea that it's, you know, unassisted online buying. Totally agree. Not likely for most buyers,
The idea that we can go tour and then go home and say, all right, now I'm going to finish, you know, now that I've seen it and understand the difference between this and that choice, you know, and some of those things, and being able to do that on a website. I can see that working for, for certain segment of the buying population, for sure.[00:25:00]
Well, you've been very generous with your time with us today, Andrew. So, just a couple more questions. What are you guys looking towards? What's coming next from your marketing and digital viewpoints of, oh gosh, we need to start trying X or we're interested in Y?
Kevin Weitzel: The audience literally just picked up every pen. I just heard it. I heard it from all the various, homesites around here that people are, you know, different builders. They all just pick up their pen. inquiring minds need to know. What are you doing?
Andrew Bazan: I feel like they're going to hate me because at the moment we're just trying to get, again, I'll speak for my division. We are just trying to get by with the amount of inquiries that we have, but one of the things that we do is that is like a conquesting geo-fence type of thing where, you know, you go visit and that's great, but what's the benefit of getting that particular person is they already know new home shopping. They already know what it is to buy a new home.
Kevin Weitzel: And they're already shopping in that area. [00:27:00] You're not necessarily competing against builder X, Y, or Z. You're competing more against, do you know that we're in this area that you are shopping?
Andrew Bazan: No, it's absolutely right. It's an online billboard. Instead of the billboard that we would be placing on that intersection. It's an online billboard. So, when they go to check out what's going on and in the news, they're just going to happen to see a display ad for us as well.
Greg Bray: No. I think that technology is very powerful and I think there's a lot of people that still aren't really playing with it, and it's not like crazy expensive either to play with.
Andrew Bazan: No, it's not.
Greg Bray: It's amazingly affordable for what you want to do, and you can craft those budgets as desired too. You don't have to spend everything. Well, Andrew, what are places that you look for new ideas? What are some of the sources, you know, where you're looking for inspiration, not necessarily in the industry either?
Andrew Bazan: I'm a big reader. I love reading when I have time and usually it's at night, like right before bed.
Greg Bray: Until that new baby comes.
Andrew Bazan: Exactly. No. At that point, it's what's reading? My vocabulary is definitely gonna sink at that point, but I love reading, [00:28:00] not just what's going on in certain journals, like Search Engine Marketing Journal. I love that because it tells you just what's going on trend-wise, right?
Google My Business is no longer Google My Business. It's Google Business Profile, and these are all the really cool things that it does now, i.e. now you can put a message button on your GMB, which is fantastic. As of two weeks ago, we've activated that and it comes straight to our OCSs' phones.
Which is another reason why we need to get out of the avalanche, but it's another way of people getting their questions answered. Maybe, I don't know if you guys have seen that already, but Google Business Profile now where it used to say, directions, call, chat, on mobile, now it has a message and that message option goes right to your phone.
Google will take it away if your folks don't answer within a certain timeframe. They're going to say you are not worthy of having this and so they'll take it away, but it entices our people to get back to people right away.
Kevin Weitzel: I don't want to blow the secret for you, but you are fully aware that you're actually piling snow on top of that avalanche that you're trying to manage.
Andrew Bazan: Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know. They hate me.[00:29:00]
But again, we should be at the forefront of this and who knows, maybe this organic way of obtaining leads helps us in our paid advertisement somewhere else. Maybe we can lower our paid ads on Google because now we have to have a direct way, organically where I'm not paying for it necessarily, for somebody to get in contact with me. So, it's a give and take. I'll figure it out.
Being able to read what's going on in the trends with search engine marketing type of journals, but I'm currently reading a book called Making Numbers Count and it's making sense of numbers. I sound really boring. I promise you I'm not this boring, or maybe I am and I just didn't realize it till now. It's the book Making Numbers Count. It's like a way to present numbers that make sense to people. So, when I read this, the only thing that I read is, okay, I can try to put this in my repertoire of when I'm trying to get my division president to allow me to hire another OSC and put the budget in there. I can break down numbers in a way that will make sense to him where [00:30:00] it's not just, you know, a throw up of numericals. It's reading. I read a lot and I genuinely like to know what's going on around us.
Greg Bray: That sounds great. I mean, reading is powerful. Absolutely, and sometimes we're all just too tired to do it. Andrew, any last pieces of advice, something that you just wanted to share with the world? Now's your chance?
Andrew Bazan: Big fan of ROAS, and if you don't know what return on ad spend is, or how to calculate it. You really should look into it. It is probably the most powerful piece of a key metric that we've been using for the past couple of years. You know, we used to be able to look at what's my CPA, what's my cost per acquisition, what's my cost per lead, what's my cost per sale, but there's something to being able to set a threshold on your return on ad spend and being able to say for every $1 that I put into advertising, how much money am I getting back in revenue?
It's a difference in ROI because ROI takes a lot more of that granular numbers that you need to look at, right? So, [00:31:00] ROI, you have to take into consideration, not just how much the home costs, but how much it costs for labor, how much that nail that you're putting in costs, right? Like ROI, if you really wanted to do a good calculation of ROI, you have to take into consideration literally everything it took to buy money-wise put into a home. ROAS is just calculating the amount of ad spend divided by the amount of revenue you receive on your home sales.
So, yeah, I spent, I don't know, a thousand dollars on Google ads last month and then I got 10 sales that I could tie back, conservatively. It's last-click. I can go on a whole thing about last click and multitouch attribution. I'm not a last-click, first-click person. I like multitouch. You know you can look back to see, okay, out of these leads that I got from Google, these got me sales. How much did those homes cost? What was my total ad spend divided by the home's final sales price, and you get a return on ad spend. There's nothing more powerful for setting yourself up for a solid benchmark and being able to say to somebody, hey, Mr. or Mrs. Division President, we've put [00:32:00] in 14,000 dollars into Google last week, but we were able to tie it back, attribute it, our ads never cause a sale.
It is an attribution of the customer journey. Our ads attributed to five sales, which amounted to this much revenue. So, ROAS, just a really big fan, a big proponent of it. If I wasn't such afraid of tattoos, I might actually tattoo somewhere on my body.
Greg Bray: Wow. Okay. You heard it here first. Ask Andrew about his tattoo. Alright.
Andrew Bazan: Yes. Please.
Greg Bray: Well, Andrew, if people want to connect with you and get in touch, what's the best way for them to reach out?
Andrew Bazan: I am on LinkedIn slash in slash ANDY, Andy Bazan, because I am a child and I can't change it. On Instagram, I just recently joined and I am @ Andrew, ANDREW BZN. and on Twitter not super active on Twitter. I just use it for the news, but [00:33:00] AndrewThomasBzn and so that's where I'm at.
Greg Bray: Well, thank you so much for spending time with us today and for being so generous with your thoughts. We really appreciate it.
Andrew Bazan: Thank you, guys. This is wonderful.
Greg Bray: And thank you everybody for listening today to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine,
Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse. Thank you.