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Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast Digital Marketing Podcast Hosted by Greg Bray and Kevin Weitzel

166 Content Marketing That Delivers - Jeff Schneider

This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Jeff Schneider of Velocity23 joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how the right content marketing structure can help home builders produce sustained lead generation and increase home sales.

Content marketing is an ideal way for home builders to promote interest in homes and communities. Jeff says, “..the traditional definition of content marketing is like creating and sharing content with a target audience, right? Typically, educational or informative, but it's especially useful in industries where there's a longer sales cycle or more education that's required, so it's a perfect fit for the real estate industry.”

Content marketing is an integral part of any home builder digital marketing strategy. Jeff explains, “I view marketing as an engine that propels a company forward. If you think about an engine, it's got an air intake system, and a fuel system, and an electrical system, and it's all run by a computer. All of those components have to work together in a very particular way in order for that engine to produce output. If you think about it as marketing, every marketing tactic that you use, whether that's email marketing, blogging, social media, et cetera, it's all a component of this engine…content marketing, in my opinion, is the fuel for the engine. So without it, the engine's not gonna turn over. You're not gonna go anywhere.”

Successful content marketing involves the use of various materials including videos, blogs, emails, and social media posts. Jeff says, “My philosophy is there's no silver bullet in marketing, right? And I know everyone's always looking for it, but it doesn't exist. It's a myth. You need to use a lot of these different tactics, but they all have to be used in a very particular way together. So, strategy before tactics. They all serve a purpose within in this like greater framework.”

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how valuable and relevant content marketing can create leads and sell homes.

About the Guest:

Jeff Schneider is an esteemed digital marketing expert and the founder of Velocity23, a highly successful Edmonton-based agency that helps home builders scale up their lead generation and sales. For 13 years now, he has formulated the Home Builder Growth Engine Framework - an exclusive marketing framework that produces reliable results regardless of market conditions. Using this framework, Jeff's clients have been able to attract over 6.7 million website visits, generate 96,506 leads and sell 7,601 homes—all adding up to over $2.6 Billion in revenue!

Jeff's extensive knowledge of the industry has helped him develop strategies that have revolutionized the way many home-building companies market themselves. He has a deep understanding of consumer behavior, allowing him to provide insight into how best to reach new prospects and convert them into customers.

In addition to his work with home-building companies, Jeff enjoys music, cooking, and traveling with his wife and two children to explore different cultures. He is deeply curious and has a passion for learning, always seeking opportunities to learn new skills, deepen relationships and become better every day.


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 OutHouse.

Greg Bray: And we are excited today to have joining us on the show, Jeff Schneider. Jeff is the founder and managing partner at Velocity23. Welcome, Jeff. Thanks for joining us today.

Jeff Schneider: Hey, my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Greg Bray: All right, Jeff, well, let's start off and just help folks get to know you a little bit. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jeff Schneider: Yeah, sure. So, I'm Jeff Schneider. I'm the founder and managing partner of Velocity23. We're a growth [00:01:00] agency that specializes in helping home builders to scale up their lead generation so that they can close more sales and grow their company. I'm also the creator or the architect of the home builder Growth Engine Framework. This is a marketing framework that we've developed that to date has helped our clients generate over 6.7 million website sessions, 96,000 leads, 7,600 home sales, totaling over 2.6 billion in revenue. So, that's my feather in my cap.

Kevin Weitzel: Sounds like a lot, but that's a lot of business stuff.

Jeff Schneider: That's a lot of business stuff.

Kevin Weitzel: Let's hear something personal about you that has nothing to do with your business or the home building industry. Something about you that our listeners will learn on this podcast.

Jeff Schneider: Yeah, for sure. So, there's actually like two things that stand out. So, first I'm a bit of a music aficionado. So, I've been deeply passionate about music ever since I was a kid. I basically have Spotify going nonstop, and I kind of get grouchy when I gotta shut it off for a meeting. So, I love music. [00:02:00] The second thing is I'm deeply curious. I'm always on the internet looking at something, researching something, digging into another topic. I love learning about people and things and history and politics and stuff like that.

Kevin Weitzel: So, music aficionado. How many albums do you have? If Spotify didn't exist, you couldn't download music anymore, how many albums and or CDs do you have in your collection?

Jeff Schneider: I have over 400 albums in multiple boxes in my garage. When I transferred them all to iTunes, back in the day, I think it was like 250 gigabytes or something like that.

Kevin Weitzel: Awesome.

Jeff Schneider: And now Spotify. I mean, yeah, it's probably my favorite software.

Kevin Weitzel: Endless.

Jeff Schneider: Endless music.

Greg Bray: Well, Jeff, help us understand a little bit more about Velocity23 and the kinds of things you guys are offering. You gave us a little teaser about some of the services but just give us a little more detail there.

Jeff Schneider: Yeah, for sure. So, like I said, we basically specialize in helping home builders to scale up their lead generation so that they can hit their sales goals and grow their company. The [00:03:00] services that we offer kind of fall into like three different areas. So, our core service is implementing our Growth Engine Framework, and so that's helping builders to get this evergreen marketing framework in place that generates leads and nurtures them, and it's all automated. It's a service that we used to help Sterling Homes go from 190 closings to 576 closings in three years, and that was during a tough market. So, we've implemented this over and over and over with many dozens of builders, and it works like gangbusters. It's amazing.

Beyond that, our services mainly focus on content marketing, and so we do blog posts and email campaigns, and social media posts for home builders. And what I basically tell people is like we do the heavy lifting for you. We all know that new home marketing professionals have a ton of different priorities that are competing. They're always pressed for time. It's just go, go, go, go, go. And a lot of times that means that they don't get the consistent marketing work done that they need to do. And so our team's really great for that. You can lean on us and we'll just produce all your blog [00:04:00] content for you all the time, or do those email blasts and that sort of thing.

The last thing is we're HubSpot experts. It almost feels awkward to say that cause everyone's like, oh, we're an expert at this, we're an expert at that. But we've been using HubSpot for over 12 years. We're actually one of the first HubSpot agency partners that specialized with home builders. We've become known for our ability to like hack HubSpot or make it do things that it wasn't designed to do outta the box.

So, we have a lot of companies come to us and say, Hey, we have this problem. We wanna fix it with automation. How do we do that? Or we have companies that come to us, they're using HubSpot, but maybe they implemented it on their own or had somebody else implement it for them, and they just feel like they're not getting the most out of it. Where we really shine when it comes to HubSpot is the more complicated or advanced automation or customizations that people are after.

Greg Bray: Oh, I appreciate the fact that you've got kind of those three different categories of things. That's awesome. When you were just getting into marketing and trying to figure out what you wanted to do, what made you decide to focus on [00:05:00] real estate and home building as an industry versus anywhere else that you could have taken some of these skills?

Jeff Schneider: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I kind of just stumbled on the industry. I'll share the story with you. Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I was a kid, right? And I was like, oh, I need to be a real estate investor. I walked away from my job back in December 2006 and started on this path of being a real estate investor.

You know, I did pretty well with it in the beginning. Was working with a bunch of different high-net-worth individuals. We were buying up properties like cash flow and doing pretty good. And then in 2007, I started using this marketing automation software called Infusionsoft. People that know the industry know Infusionsoft's been around forever. So, I was using that to like grow my real estate business and attract new investors.

Everyone's familiar with 2008 when the real estate market absolutely just crapped the bed. And at that point, I was stressed out and I'm like, I don't want to do this for a living anymore. Like, I'll invest in real estate, but I don't wanna do this for a living. So, I switched [00:06:00] paths and started just being a marketing freelancer. Marketing's what I had taken in college, but my real education and marketing came from studying Dan Kennedy and Rich Shefren and Jeff Walker and Frank Kern and Ryan Deiss and all these pioneers of the direct response marketing industry who now today are like some of the greatest internet marketers on the planet. These guys back in the day were way ahead of the curve.

At the time, I was offering inbound marketing services for local businesses before HubSpot had coined the term inbound marketing. So, I was using the same methodology, but it was like an internet marketing guru strategy or hack at the time, and not this like well-known methodology that HubSpot popularized. So, that's kind of how I got started.

And then in 2010, I got hired by this marketing guru who was a part of this group. He was doing this big course launch, and so he hired me as his internet marketing manager. We did this course launch and in a stretch of seven days, we did [00:07:00] 1.2 million in sales for this online course that he created. Then in 2011, and this is kind of where the real estate came into the picture for me, is I got approached by a consultant who got hired for this project. It was a multi-family development and sales had completely stalled out. The bankers and the financers were getting a little agitated and they wanted to recoup their investments.

He hired us and we put together a blogging campaign and different lead magnets and email marketing. And we were even doing some Facebook back then. The campaign absolutely just took off. The development sold out in a matter of months and it worked so well that this guy then introduced me to a local production home builder called Pacesetter Homes. Different from the Pacesetter that most people are familiar with cuz most are familiar with Pacesetter Homes in Texas, but owned by the same parent company. This was just the Edmonton branch of it.

We basically replicated the same system and put it all on top of HubSpot, and then within two years [00:08:00] they went on to become the largest builder in the province based on volume. After that success, we got the attention of the parent company Qualico. Then at that point, they had us on board and put this framework in place for a lot of their builders. And that really took off for us. It was at that point where I just said, you know, all of this home builder work is coming to us pretty effortlessly, so why don't we just double down on this?

We've started to develop a reputation for it, and so we just focused on that. As more work came in, I just started hiring more people to help me out cause I was overwhelmed and couldn't do it all myself. And so we just evolved from a freelancer into an agency and yeah, we just doubled down on this particular industry.

Greg Bray: That's a great history and it is always so interesting how as an agency you either choose, oh, I love this niche or all of a sudden it just happens to you because you start getting some clients and some referrals and you build that expertise up in a particular industry and now can attract even more of those same types of clients.

Well, Jeff[00:09:00] let's pivot just a little bit. You mentioned that one of the key areas you guys focus on, which is part of all of this inbound marketing concept, is the content, this idea of content marketing. Which is now become an official buzzword, I guess, out there of marketing strategy and focus. How do you define content marketing, and where do you think that kind of fits for a home builder in their overall marketing strategy and playbook?

Jeff Schneider: That's a great question. So, I mean, the traditional definition of content marketing is like creating and sharing content with a target audience, right? Typically educational or informative, but it's especially useful in industries where there's a longer sales cycle or more education that's required, so it's a perfect fit for the real estate industry.

I actually like to use this analogy when I'm talking about content marketing and how it fits into the mix, and that's that I view marketing as an engine that propels a company forward. If you think about an engine, it's got an air intake system, and a fuel system, and an electrical system, and it's all [00:10:00] run by a computer. All of those components have to work together in a very particular way in order for that engine to produce output.

If you think about it as marketing, every marketing tactic that you use, whether that's email marketing, blogging, social media, et cetera, it's all a component of this engine. My philosophy is there's no silver bullet in marketing, right? And I know everyone's always looking for it, but it doesn't exist. It's a myth. You need to use a lot of these different tactics, but they all have to be used in a very particular way together. So strategy before tactics. They all serve a purpose within in this like greater framework. Getting back to the question, content marketing, in my opinion, is the fuel for the engine. So without it, the engine's not gonna turn over. You're not gonna go anywhere.

Kevin Weitzel: So, looking at that as an engine analogy, I've been up to Canada. I used to race bikes and traveled up to Vancouver and Whistler quite often. It gets cold up there and engines have to warm up. So, when you turn off the fuel supply to the [00:11:00] content marketing, how hard is it to get that engine back started again?

Jeff Schneider: That's a really great question. I don't think you should ever shut it off first and foremost.

Kevin Weitzel: Boom. That's a gold star. All right. Anyway.

Jeff Schneider: So, here's the thing, with the growth engine framework that we built, it's based around content, but it's an evergreen automated system. A lot of times I'll refer to it as like a lead factory, and that lead factory will just continue to produce leads ongoing, but the more content you put into the machine in the beginning, that's like the raw resource that produces the leads out the other end of the assembly line. So, if you're not putting more resources into the beginning of it, you're gonna slow the output of it on the other end of the assembly line. If that makes sense.

Greg Bray: So, just like you said, there's no silver bullet, there's no single blog article that's gonna suddenly just do everything for you, right? There's no single social media post that's gonna suddenly just have all the leads and all the new followers and everything that goes onto it. It's this [00:12:00] cumulative effect of ongoing new information and updated content and activity that really drives it all. If I'm hearing you right. Is that a fair statement?

Jeff Schneider: Yeah, I mean, I totally agree with that. I think oftentimes as marketers, we're always looking for the next shiny tool to put in our tool belt. But what we sometimes forget is that our job is to build walls. We have to construct walls and all you need to do that is a hammer. That fancy new air nailer, yeah, it's all great and it's this cool new piece of tech, but at the end of the day, we need to hammer walls.

Like, I often riff on TikTok a lot. If you follow me on LinkedIn, I kind of bash TikTok. And it's not because I think there's anything wrong with TikTok. With my experience in this industry, I don't see anybody yet that has said, do A on TikTok, get client buying home. How do you map that out? And until somebody does, I'm like, why focus on it? Let somebody else trailblaze and experiment. I'm all about what's effective, what works, and a [00:13:00] lot of times it's not sexy so people don't want to talk about it.

Kevin Weitzel: Wait a minute, Jeff. Are you gonna stand there, look me square in the eye, and tell me that doing a well-timed synchronized dance with my daughter on TikTok is not going to get me more home sale leads?

Jeff Schneider: Unfortunately, that's the truth.

Kevin Weitzel: I think some people might be doing this all wrong then.

Jeff Schneider: Look, I think if you have a juicy marketing budget and you've got funds available that you can burn or play with, then do branding, focus on experimenting with new things. But if you don't have this consistent framework in the backend that's just constantly producing leads for your sales team, don't play around. Put your budget and your time and your energy and your effort into building a framework, or a lead factory, or whatever you want to call it, that's just gonna continually produce leads for your sales team.

What that does is it changes the dynamic for a marketer, right? It allows us to [00:14:00] start looking at it going, okay, fancy shiny object, sexy trendy thing. How does that fit into my framework? If I can make it fit into my framework, great, try it. If I can't figure out how it fits into my framework, scrap it. Don't waste any time with it.

Like I said, us marketers were always looking for the next thing, the next big thing. I just think that too many times, too much ego comes into those decision-making processes and we focus on, I want to be the guy that's known for making new trendy thing work. But at the end of the day, our job as marketers is to line 'em up and produce prospects and produce leads for the sales team, so sales team can knock 'em down. Yeah, I just think that there's just this strange focus that happens with marketers sometimes where we get too caught up on tools, but not enough on rubber meeting the road.

Greg Bray: Well, and Jeff, you used the word experiment in there, right? And I think it's okay to explore new things if you put it in that category to start [00:15:00] with, right? We're gonna stay with the engine analogy, right? You got the engine over here, and now you want to experiment with something new as long as you call it an experiment. You know, which again, still needs to have a premise you're testing. It needs to have some type of expected outcome that you can measure against, and say, did it do something? As opposed to, well throw some money at this thing and put an ad out there and all right. What happened?

Jeff Schneider: That's always been my problem with traditional marketing, right? So, many builders are still doing radio and doing signage and stuff like that, and I'm like, yeah. I mean, okay, signage. Yeah, you gotta have signage, but like doing radio or like even some builders still doing print. I'm like, what? Why are you doing that? How do you measure the outcome or the performance of that?

And yeah, you know, it could be argued that there are ways to track the effectiveness of a radio ad or a print article or something like that, but everyone's digital these days. Like, my grandma just turned 92 and she's on Instagram. There's no excuse now to not be using digital marketing. And the amount of data that we can collect from digital [00:16:00] marketing, we know if something's working or not working.

Greg Bray: You talked about a phrase called evergreen and I'm not sure that everybody always connects with what we mean when we say evergreen content. Can you peel that back just a little bit and give some examples that might apply specifically to builders?

Jeff Schneider: Yeah, for sure. So, evergreen basically just means timeless. It means it's not relevant to the time of the year or trends in the market or anything like that. Let me just take a step back for a sec. So, a few years ago we did a series of focus groups. What we wanted to determine was how to build an effective website and how to do effective marketing for a home builder.

We talked to two distinct groups in these focus group sessions. One of them was people that were gonna be buying a new home, like actively shopping and looking to buy within the next three to six months. And then the other group was people that had just purchased. So, they either had signed their contract or took possession within the last three to six months.

We recorded everything. We [00:17:00] scrolled down mad notes, we had everything transcribed, and we compiled all that data to figure out what does the home buyer's journey look like and what are the most important components of marketing in a website? What we came to realize is that people, generally speaking, even when they fall into different personas, different buyer personas, whether that's a first-time buyer, move-up buyer, downsizer, they all generally follow this same path.

There's 19 different decision points along that path that at any one of those decision points can steer them closer towards buying new or steer them off towards resale. Those 19 decision points, it doesn't matter the market, the time of year, they're timeless. It's timeless information. That's the kind of content that we refer to as evergreen, and that's the kind of content that we put into this Growth Engine Framework.

Because everybody has to make decisions based on those 19 key [00:18:00] points, right? Everybody does. If we can serve up that information to people, rather than allowing them to try to find the answer themselves through their own research. They're gonna research it anyway, we might as well give them the answer. In doing that, we can steer them towards buying new and ultimately buying from that builder at the same time. So, it's a win-win.

Greg Bray: All right, Jeff, you can't hang out 19 decision points and not at least tell us what one or two of them are. Okay. I'm just saying. Give us a couple of examples of what you're talking about with these decision points.

Jeff Schneider: Yeah. I mean, they're really common questions too. It's like, is now a good time to buy? What do I need to know about finances? If they're a current homeowner, should we buy new or should we renovate? When it comes to deciding on communities to live in, what's the best community for us? When it comes to home models, what's a good floor plan or layout, or home type for our family? What features should we be looking for for our lifestyle? All these common questions that people ask all along the way, [00:19:00] but we can create content around those different key questions.

If you think about an email campaign, the email that they received might be like, you know, you're probably thinking about, what are the best communities in and around our city? Well, we've got a couple of ideas. We wrote a blog post about it. Click this link to find out more. You're gonna love number three. Some kind of marketing hook like that. Push them to the blog post with an email.

But instead, what we see a lot of home builders doing is producing emails that are like, Hey, it's our latest promo. Buy now. Buy before the end of the month. Oh, there's only five lots left. Oh, there's only three of these quick-possession home left. And it's all just pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch, pitch. And I think what a lot of builders tend to forget is that people will buy the way they want to buy. It's not up to us as builders to convince people to buy the way that we want to sell. The way that people buy has fundamentally changed over the last five years, especially because of the pandemic. And we need to adjust the way that we sell [00:20:00] to be in alignment with how home buyers want to buy. That's the key in all of this.

The other thing is that the best marketing provides value, right? So, you should be looking to deliver value before you are trying to extract value. By bombarding people's email addresses with promo, buy now, only three left, hurry before it's too late, it's off-putting. When somebody's in information gathering stage or information gathering mode, we need to deliver what they're after. We need to give them what they're looking for rather than trying to push them into the sales stage. They're not ready yet. A lot of times onsite sales reps refer to these people as baseboard kickers, you know? Oh yeah. I had some baseboard kickers in this afternoon. They're not baseboard kickers. They're information gathering.

Greg Bray: Jeff, I think that what you're saying really resonates from the standpoint of how powerful it can be when that email shows up and it has the question that I, as the [00:21:00] buyer, have actually been thinking about. It's like, oh yeah, I have been wondering about that and maybe I haven't gotten around to starting that go find an answer type thing yet, or whatever. Or it's the, oh, that's a really good point. I hadn't gotten to that one yet. You know, it's like, oh yeah, I do need to understand the impact of that particular question.

And when you lay it right in front of me and you've got the answer that goes there, it's like, wow, that's for me. That's like, oh, it's helping me. It's like, and not only not scaring me, right? This whole hurry up, you're gonna miss out, is a little scary. Now granted fear sells too, right? We can't ignore that but this idea that you're trying to scare me into buying now, like I'm gonna miss out or whatever.

I just know that when that person hits me with that email that has the actual question I'm thinking about or should be thinking about, I'm gonna click on that link. I'm gonna go look at it. I'm not just gonna delete that email. And it's really powerful stuff. So, it's almost like, oh, how did they know I was thinking that, right? It's like, [00:22:00] man, they've hacked my audio and they hear the conversations in the house, right, or whatever. It's like how did they know we're thinking about that? It's really powerful stuff.

Jeff Schneider: Just further on that. This is the great thing about where some of these tech tools are at today. We can take a tool like HubSpot and based on how your prospects are interacting with your website, or the emails they're opening, or the types of blog content that they're looking at, we can start to segment those contacts into different contact buckets or different lists, and then we can serve up content that's relevant to those people.

Oftentimes what we do is we create these different lead nurturing pathways for the different buyer personas. So, if you're a first-time buyer, you're gonna ask slightly different questions than if you're a move-up buyer, or compared to a downsizer. But based on the interactions on the website, what they're looking at, the content that they're reading, the emails that they're opening and they're clicking on, we can start to see like, oh, they've moved further ahead in this [00:23:00] buyer's journey than how our campaign is delivering content.

We've hacked HubSpot to be able to be intuitive that way and go, oh, they're two steps ahead of us. We're delivering content that they've already moved past. So then it skips forward and starts delivering content that's in alignment with where they are in that journey now. And so that's the cool part about having some of these tech tools. It just gives us this ability to like message-to-market match, right where people are in their home buying journey today.

That's the exciting thing about using the right tools. How do we make the old stuff sexy again? Right? How do we make email marketing sexy again? We do it with being able to match up where people are in the buying journey and delivering content that's relevant that they need right now today.

Greg Bray: Yeah. I love that it's all about the right content at the right time. So often we make the customer find it. We might have the right content for them, but they have to figure it out. But if you can estimate where they really are and put that content in front of 'em, you just remove some [00:24:00] of that friction, some of that effort on their part, and keep them learning and growing and moving forward.

So, Jeff, when you look at a new builder site kind of for the first time, somebody wants to talk to you, work with you. What is it that you start looking for to say, okay, do they have X, Y, or Z already in place or not? What's kind of those X, Y, and Z elements that you are auditing, if you will, kind of as a first-time review?

Jeff Schneider: One of the first things that I go and I look at when working with somebody new, so we offer free strategy sessions, right? So, somebody can fill out a form on our website and then we'll sit down and we'll go through all their website and go through their marketing and then talk to 'em about their goals and you offer up some recommendations. And so one of the things I look for when we're doing those website reviews is do they have forms to fill out on their site that are more than just a Contact Us page.

You have a form on your Contact Us page, but are there other forms on your website beyond that one? And one of the key ones is like looking for forms that people can submit questions on, right? So, now a lot of people are using [00:25:00] OSC programs and you can submit your question to the OSC. I think those are good. Don't get me wrong. I think having an OSC is essential.

I think there's still a little bit of hesitation from some people sometimes because it's I don't want to get roped into somebody in sales yet. There's some hesitation there. So, having forums where people can submit a question about a community or a model or a quick possession home where it's like, I'm gonna send you an email through a form. You're gonna send me an email back. Great. That's something that we look for.

The next thing that we look for is lead magnets or brochures. So, I go to your home model page and I see that there's, you know, a rendering and there's some floor plans, and there's some photos and there's a description and some details. That's great. Can I download that as a brochure? And a lot of builders I see they have that download brochure button and you click on it, it just opens a pdf, right? And I'm like, okay, that's a missed opportunity.

If I clicked on that download brochure button, I got a popup window with a simple form that asked me for my first name and my [00:26:00] last name, my email address, and maybe what kind of buyer I am so I can get them on one of these lead nurturing paths. Are you looking to buy your first home, I'm looking to move up to a new home or a bigger home, that sort of thing. Now basically what we've done is we've given them what they're after this brochure and we have captured their contact information, right? So, we've generated that lead and now we have their permission to market directly to 'em.

And I think, you know, in talking with some people that they're hesitant about gating their content. And they're like, well, we want everything to be freely available on our website. I'm like, it is. Here's the analogy that I use. You walk into a bookstore and a book catches your eye on the shelf, and so you stop and you pick that book up. Maybe you look at the cover, you read the back cover, the inside flap. You're not gonna stand there and read the whole book cover to cover in the bookstore. You're just not gonna do that, right? What we do is we flip through it. Is this of interest to me? Do I want to take it with me? Yeah, I do. Great. You go to the till you purchase it and away you go.

The analogy is the same, like all of that information that's [00:27:00] in this brochure, this lookbook, that's what we like to call 'em is a lookbook, for a model it's all the same. It's just that the lookbook is nicely packaged up together and I can take it with me. Because life happens to people. I might be on your website looking at a home model and my phone rings, or dinner's ready, or Sarah's chasing Johnny through the living room and he biffs it and knocks his head on the table, and now I'm gone. I'm off your site. And then there's no opportunity to capture me as a lead anymore.

So, by having these little lead magnets or having these brochures where I have to opt-in and basically exchange my email to get this content that I can take with me, I'm getting what I need. I can take it with me cuz life happens, and the builder gets what they want, which is a lead that's given permission to market to them.

Greg Bray: And I think, Jeff too, lead magnets to be really successful have gotta have enough obvious value to make it worth me filling out that form. It can't be just, oh, hey, sign up and you'll be on our newsletter list. Congrats. You [00:28:00] know, it needs to be something that I can get a little more value out of to be worth giving up that email address.

Jeff Schneider: There's so many different opportunities for that as well. I mean, like, the easiest way somebody can do this is put together a guide, the 2023 Guide to Austin's New Home Communities, or Best New Communities in whatever city that you're in. You can create this in Canva. Download a template, create it in Canva, package it as a PDF, and offer it for sale through a popup on your website.

There's a great popup software we like to use called ConvertBox, and you can set it for exit intent. So, somebody comes to your website and it doesn't interrupt them doing what they're doing on your site, and when they go to leave, all of a sudden it pops up and it goes, wait, before you go, why don't you download this free guide to the Best New Home Communities Around Austin? Enter in your email address. And now you've got their permission and they've left your website with some value, with something that's branded with your company.

Greg Bray: Well, Jeff, this has been really insightful and I think we [00:29:00] could keep going for a while but need to be respectful of your time today. So, just one kind of last question for you. Is there just some huge mistake that you see builders who have tried to create some of these email nurturing campaigns or whatever, right, and you look at it and you go, ooh. What is it that makes you cringe when you look at what, you know, some of these builders have put together for their lead nurturing?

Jeff Schneider: So, there's a couple of things. I'll be quick. The first thing is not enough builders blog, and when they do blog, more often than not, what I see is that they use their blog as a news section and they talk about themselves. I know that this industry has a lot of pride. We're craftsmen. We work with our hands. We build these amazing homes, like where people develop memories for their lives. That's really respectful and a respectable thing to do.

The one thing that I always come back to though is if you have two builders side by side that have a model that's very close and a home buyer's looking at both of them, that award that you won is [00:30:00] not gonna sway them. They don't care. You care as the marketer cuz it's prestige and it feeds your ego a little bit. And I'm not being mean, I'm just being real. It doesn't matter to the home buyer. I'm not gonna pick one builder over another because this guy won an award and that one didn't. What I would sway my decision is social proof. What do the reviews look like for this builder? That kind of thing.

So, instead of talking about yourself on your blog, I mean, you can do it now and then, but put the focus on delivering value, delivering education, and information that's gonna make that home buyer's decision easier. Because if we can position ourselves as an advisor and provide helpful content while people go through this home buying journey that can be from months to years long now when they finally move out of the information-gathering stage and into the active buying stage, I have a leg up on my competition because I'm the advisor and I've helped them [00:31:00] every step of the way. And that makes a huge difference. So, that's one thing.

The second thing, when it comes to email nurturing, stop pitching. Deliver value. How can I be a go-giver? Give value before trying to extract value. People need to be educated. They're gonna hunt on the internet to do research to find the answers to their questions. So, if we can just deliver it to them, they need it anyway, so why not get it from you?

Greg Bray: All right, Jeff. Well, that was awesome. I love the give value. Stop pitching, give value, right? Sum it all up. Any last pieces of advice that you didn't get to share? Because that was a pretty good one. So, any last thoughts that you wanted to share?

Jeff Schneider: Oh, we could have a weekly segment, you guys. I could talk about this stuff forever. I just love our industry. I love our industry. I've been in it for a really long time. I love our industry and I love internet marketing and just my last takeaway is you need to have this evergreen system in place to generate leads. Stop focusing on the shiny new things until you have [00:32:00] something that's consistently producing leads for the sales team.

That's our role as marketers. We need to produce leads and send them over to sales. So, unless you have some kind of evergreen system or framework in place that's generating leads for your sales team, stop playing with the shiny, fancy, new, sexy thing because it's not gonna generate leads for the sales team yet. That's my last piece of advice.

Shameless plug, if that's okay. If not, you edit it out. But I encourage people to come pop by our website, velocity23.com. It's Velocity23.com. We've got a ton of resources. We practice what we preach. There's lots of guides and downloads and resources available for home builders on our website, and then we also offer free strategy sessions. So, if you're interested, hop on. We do it via Zoom. I'll go through your website, go through all your marketing, we'll talk about your goals, and then we'll talk about how to bridge that gap and get you where you want to be.

Greg Bray: So, the best way for them to connect then is to go to velocity23.com [00:33:00] and fill out the form there and connect with you?

Jeff Schneider: Yeah. Or find me on LinkedIn, Jeff Schneider, Velocity23. Search that on LinkedIn. You'll find me. I'm active in the community and looking to grow my network and connect with more and more people. So, those are the two best ways.

Greg Bray: Awesome. Well, thanks so much, Jeff for sharing some ideas and thoughts with us today. We really appreciate your time and thank you everybody for listening to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.

Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel OutHouse. Thank you. [00:34:00]

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