This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Tami Ostmark of Hamlet Homes joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how successful home building digital marketing plans promote experimenting and risk-taking.
There is no question about how important technology is in home building marketing. Tami says, “Digital's the way to go, and the fact that we can analyze it and there's metrics behind it. You can see what you're getting from it. That's huge. And so I would just say make sure you've got your numbers to be able to prove your case because you can do that. And it is a really good case. The majority of your lead gen is coming from that digital marketing and you can prove it.”
Some digital marketing strategies will be more effective than others, but lessons can be discovered regardless. Tami explains, “The majority of the risks that I've taken have either worked significantly and I'm still using them, or they didn't, but they made me think about something different and so I would try the next thing a little bit different. So, I learned a lesson from it or I'm using it. So, I feel like you need to be a risk taker in that digital world and what you're doing because nobody is an expert in this digital marketing, and nobody ever really will be because it evolves so quickly.”
Adjustments and changes are an integral part of any digital marketing plan. Tami says, “Digital marketing is quick. It's dynamic. You can change it tomorrow if it's not working. You can see if it's not working in real-time. So, there's no reason to not try things because you can change it. You don't want to become complacent and not be utilizing every new technology that comes out... my advice would just be trial and error is going to be what works for your company.”
Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how important trial and error is in home building digital marketing.
About the Guest:
Tami Ostmark is the Vice President of Marketing & Design and a Problem Solver. A title she has taken with her from job to job. She has been known as the company therapist, party planner, problem solver, creator of all things equal, prize junkie, gift giver, collaborator, leader, and marketing specialist over the years. And while some may think she is the life of the party at the office or work or business functions, her most favorite place to be is at home with her family.
Tami met her husband, Cory, in Junior High School way back in 1990. He was her best friend then and is her best friend now, but just with the added title of “Spouse”. They grew up together and raised a couple of pretty cool kids together, too. Their daughter, Taylor, and son, Cameron have been the highlight of their lives and they have spent the better part of their marriage at either dance or baseball. And while they still plan to spend a lot of time with their kids (adult kids now), they are also excited about being empty nesters!
While home might be her favorite place to land, traveling is where her heart is. Bear Lake Family Trips since she was born are right up there on her list, but sometimes 2.5 hours away is just not far enough. Her parents instilled a love of travel in her when she was young and that carried through into adulthood. She has traveled and worked all over the world, and after dozens of stamps in her passport later, she plans to spend the 2nd half of her life exploring even more. Now, that would be much easier if they had a lot of money, so trips to Idaho for lottery tickets or Vegas to play the odds are also on the calendar every now and then.
She believes every moment is creating a life experience and she loves to create experiences for people. She is at her best when creating special experiences for those she works with, especially her family.
When you live life with a tattoo that says, “This too shall pass”, you know that you will get over the hard moments, but that you really need to take the good ones, cherish them and soak them up, because they will go by so fast. Because that quote was not just meant to let you know you will get through it, it was also written to remind you to take the time to live through it. Hard times, good times, whatever times.
Tami is also a teacher. If you study communications, hit her up – she might know the answers to your tests. She has been teaching on and off for many years and is so looking forward to watching those young adults and what they will do with life – the future is bright, people.
In addition to teaching, volunteering, and public speaking, Tami serves on many boards and committees. She believes in the power of her network.
Tami started her career in Real Estate, in Marketing for Wardley Better Homes & Gardens about 25 years ago. She has held some big positions at big companies, trying to break the glass ceiling and make a place for women in a typical man’s world. She was the General Manager/Marketing Director for Jordan Landing Shopping Center, Marketing & Business Consultant, Vice President of Marketing for KSL Broadcast Group, Head of Global Business and Marketing for Overstock.com and in addition to her most recent role as Vice President of Marketing, Tami is also one of the owners of Hamlet Homes.
She is proud of all the accomplishments in her work life and knows that each of them has made her a better person, and a better leader, and led her straight to where she is today. Funny how things take on a full circle in life and she ended up back in the real estate world – this time for the best Homebuilder in Utah.
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 Zonda Livabl.
Greg Bray: And we are excited today to welcome to the show Tami Ostmark. Tami is one of the owners and the VP of Marketing at Hamlet Homes. Welcome, Tami. Thanks for joining us today.
Tami Ostmark: Thanks for having me.
Greg Bray: Well, Tami, why don't we start off by just having you give us that quick introduction and tell us a little bit about yourself?
Tami Ostmark: Yeah, for sure. You said my title. I'm one of the partners and owner at Hamlet Homes and also Vice President of Marketing and Design. Been with Hamlet for just over six years now. Started my whole career in real estate like 25 or so years ago and made my way back to it somehow, so. Love being in this very cyclical industry of real estate and home building, and loving what we're doing right now. We're based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I'm from here, born and raised. So, love that I get to build homes for my neighbors here in Utah. [00:01:00] So, excited to be on this podcast with you guys.
Kevin Weitzel: That's all great, but I'm gonna ask you the toughest question you going to have to answer all day. I want you to tell us something personal about you that our listeners will learn that is not home builder related.
Tami Ostmark: Oh, geez. It's so funny, I asked my husband last night like, what would people not know about me? Because I tell everybody everything about me the second they meet me. So, I think the one thing people probably don't know about me is that I should have been a therapist. That was originally what I wanted to be, and I think it actually works its way into marketing somehow, kind of the psychology side of marketing. But I always wanted to be a therapist. I thought it was just like my track in life and somehow it's working out for me in real estate though, so.
Kevin Weitzel: You have a degree in psychology?
Tami Ostmark: No, I just wanted to do that and thought that's what I was gonna go to school for, and then didn't end up getting my degree in that, but still use it all the time, so, yeah.
Greg Bray: Well, we could [00:02:00] all use a good therapist. Right, Kevin?
Tami Ostmark: I think so. I think everybody can use a therapist today, including myself, so.
Greg Bray: Tami, tell us a little more about why you chose real estate then, and how you got started in this industry.
Tami Ostmark: Yeah, so funny. Like I said, I started my career in real estate a long time ago. When I was 18 years old that was one of my first big jobs. I started in the marketing department of a local real estate company and stayed there all through school. It was kind of just, it felt at home with so many different personalities in the real estate industry. And that was more commercial and resell real estate, not home building necessarily, but and kind of stuck with that in a couple of my next jobs.
Funny enough, prior to this I was with overstock.com, running their global business, and was out of the country more than I was in the country. And just decided I wanted to stay local and be around my kids and spend time with family. And the stars aligned for me to be here at Hamlet and with the people who work here and my [00:03:00] partners.
And I had always wanted to get back into real estate. And actually home building was this fun little dream that I thought of when I was younger. Like, I would love to work in a model home and decorate a model home and do all of this stuff. And it's so weird how when you put something out there, it manifests itself the way it should, and now I'm here hopefully at my forever career at a company I now am a part owner in. So, yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: So, you want to work in a model home? I just wanna live in one. You know where it's always perpetually clean and properly staged, pillows all have a karate chop.
Tami Ostmark: That's right. It's so true. It's always clean and pristine. It looks like nobody's ever been in there. Clearly, nobody lived in a model home with kids, so, yeah.
Greg Bray: Well, Tami, tell us a little more about Hamlet Homes, where you guys build, the type of buyer that you're trying to serve, and some of the background there.
Tami Ostmark: Yeah, for sure. I could sell this company all day long. So, Hamlet Homes is a local builder here in Utah. We actually recently expanded into Idaho, so we're now in Idaho Falls. The company was [00:04:00] started in 95, so about 28 years old now. We are a production builder who sometimes likes to vary outside of that and let our home buyers customize or personalize their homes a little bit. But the majority of our homes are production-built homes.
And it's funny, people ask me who our home buyer is all the time, and it's hard to say because we have such a variety of homes that we offer. We're selling anywhere from townhomes, you know, in Salt Lake City, all the way up to single-family homes that are in kind of the vacation areas of Park City for two and a half million.
So, our home buyers, I like to say to people, are families in Utah, whether they live in the home or they rent the home as a vacation home, that just wanna enjoy the outdoors of Utah. So, we try to make sure our communities and the homes that we're building are in areas that people can enjoy all seasons of Utah, and that their homes offer them a [00:05:00] lifestyle that they're looking for.
So, a lot of them have HOAs where we're maintaining the grounds and doing their landscaping and things like that so that they don't have to worry about it and they can go drive to Zion's a couple of hours away and enjoy the weekend and not have to worry about yard work on the weekends and stuff like that. So, we are really focused on making sure that Utah's families can enjoy Utah with our homes.
Greg Bray: Tami you are kind of a little bit different compared to some of the other guests we talked to in that you have this ownership stake with the company. How does that influence your ability to get the marketing budgets that you want and need?
Tami Ostmark: Yeah. So, it's interesting. I just had a conversation with a colleague at a different home builder last week about this exact same thing because they asked me that same question. You definitely think about things different when you become an owner. I've been in marketing my entire career and have had to fight for marketing budgets all the time. My budgets have also been some of the first that are cut when times are hard, right?
So, it's definitely different looking at it from an ownership [00:06:00] perspective because, in my area, I'm always the one that is spending the company's money. A lot of it, especially because so many different areas fall underneath marketing, especially within my company. Not all home builders, but under marketing, I have design as well, the model homes, decorating them, all of that falls under my budgets.
And so, it is very different when you look at it from an ownership perspective in that I'm always looking at the bottom line from an ownership perspective and marketers don't always look at the bottom line. Although we do think we contribute heavily to the bottom line. So, Yeah. I think you definitely have a different perspective on it, but I'm still fighting as a marketer every day with my partners to make sure that budget is healthy.
Kevin Weitzel: A question on that topic actually, because this is an interesting point. Because you manage so many different silos, are they truly siloed or is it just one big budget, and it gets evenly decimated and plopped up per project? Or do you say that digital is only X number [00:07:00] dollars, print is only that much, signage is only this much?
Tami Ostmark: I am given or allocated a specific amount for all of those categories together, and then I'm determining, you know, which category it goes in. It does all live under the same budget. Although, you know, model home furniture obviously is more ties over years, so that's when you look at it a little bit different. But, once I get my budget, I've allocated it out. Digital marketing is a specific amount of money and design is a specific amount of money and billboard, tv, radio, whatever we do, collateral, print, stuff like that is a separate budget. But it all rolls up under what we consider our marketing budget.
Kevin Weitzel: Depending on that marketing budget, have you ever considered just scrapping at all, hiring a guy with bodacious sideburns to stand out on the curb with a megaphone?
Tami Ostmark: Well, hell yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: Boom, let's do it.
Tami Ostmark: Yeah. There's been times when we've done that actually. Which is so funny because not too long [00:08:00] ago 2017, 18, 19, they were good years, but they were like the best years. And I remember getting myself and two of the other partners and our kids on street corners flipping Hamlet signs. So, we've done that. Not with a megaphone, but with a sign. You'll do whatever you gotta do when you're a marketing director.
Greg Bray: She's about to be flooded with resumes by all five of the guys with bodacious sideburns.
Tami Ostmark: I know. Yeah. Bring your megaphone a phone.
Kevin Weitzel: I just started at Zonda, so I can't quit just to be a tawny holler guy, you know.
Greg Bray: Well, but Tami, that's the other thing that ownership gives you the perspectives like, yeah, I'll go stand on the street corner.
Tami Ostmark: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. We do owner cleanup days of our communities right now. There's seven of us partners. Literally, we'll take a day, like every month and the seven of us go out and we're in our grubbies and we're cleaning up trash in our communities. I just think you also have to set that precedence for the rest of the company that we're not gonna ask you to do anything that we wouldn't do. And that kind of helps them to [00:09:00] see like, Hey, our owners are out here doing this. We gotta step up our game too. So yeah, definitely.
Greg Bray: One more kind of dive into the whole ownership view of marketing. What tips would you have for the marketers who are trying to get those budgets, who are approaching ownership? You know, as far as what things resonate with an owner when you're asking for some of that budget or trying to make a pitch on why we should try something new or do something different?
Tami Ostmark: A hundred percent analytics, anything that can prove your case. I am an analytics girl. Everything I do is based on the numbers. I mean, intuition of course, because of years of experience plays a role in that. But constantly I am proving my case to how and why dollars should be allocated to marketing or even a specific area of marketing.
That's what this podcast is about, is digital marketing, and that has become the way to do it. Like I told you before, I came from the local, you know, media here where I was completely focused on [00:10:00] radio and TV and billboards for years, which are so unmeasurable. There's no analytics to that. It's just like, yeah, I think 25,000 people saw my billboard maybe.
Digital's the way to go and the fact that we can analyze it and there's metrics behind it. You can see what you're getting from it. That's huge. And so I would just say make sure you've got your numbers to be able to prove your case cuz you can do that. And it is a really good case. The majority of your lead gen is coming from that digital marketing and you can prove it. So, I use that every day.
Greg Bray: How has your focus on digital evolved over the last few years that you've been with the company? Has it been the same or have you been moving more and more into digital? Tell us a little more about that journey.
Tami Ostmark: Yeah. I mean, I still came into this business, to Hamlet specifically, using some older traditional methods as well. We were still doing a little bit of TV advertising. We were still doing billboards. Funny enough, billboards are even starting [00:11:00] to go more digital with some analytics behind them. So, that's still a little bit in the realm of what we're doing today because I can measure it. But definitely has evolved 180 degrees.
Two of the reasons because of that is I've been lucky enough to have what I consider my Google charm. I've had a friend that works at Google that has kind of helped me, and she stayed my rep at Google since 2010. So, she's been there for a really long time and she's been what I call my lucky charm because there's a lot of times that something new might be coming out, or some new tactic I need to take, or something they're about to launch that I should take advantage of. She'll kind of gimme a heads-up on it so that I can test it out.
I think that the path that we've taken with digital marketing has been hugely successful because we've allowed ourselves to take risks in areas that I wouldn't say that not other home builders are doing, but just that [00:12:00] I haven't maybe done before. And so it took me a minute to become comfortable with it or understand it and get used to it and see the measurable results from it.
Geotargeting alone was like huge for marketers, specifically in real estate, in home building, and in resell, but for home builders in general. Just because I could go out and say, I'm gonna target people who are walking into the model homes of my competitors or resales that are around my model home that they're looking at in that specific area.
And now I'm targeting 'em with specific ads that have to do with them and their lifestyles and what they're looking for. So, that alone changed, I think, the landscape of how marketers marketed to their customers in new home building. And if they're not doing it, they should be. So, yeah, I think it's changed dramatically and it's changing every day. AI and everything's gonna change really quickly, and we need to stay on top of that.
Greg Bray: So, Tammy, when you talk about taking risks and experimenting, you're all about [00:13:00] analytics. You wanna see measured, but what about something that's just totally brand new? You've never done it before. There aren't any numbers. Like, how do you go about approaching that decision, should we try it or not?
Tami Ostmark: Yeah. I am a risk taker. I always have been. I'm probably like batting, let's say 600, batting 600 on this one. Which I think is pretty dang good. The majority of the risks that I've taken have either worked significantly and I'm still using them, or they didn't, but they made me think about something different and so I would try the next thing a little bit different. So, I learned a lesson from it or I'm using it. So, I feel like you need to be a risk taker in that digital world and what you're doing because nobody is an expert in this digital marketing, and nobody ever really will be because it evolves so quickly.
I've been in marketing my whole career, but I'm not an expert in marketing because the landscapes change so much. So, I take risks. I make sure that I'm trying different things. I move my money around often. If it's [00:14:00] working, I'll keep it there. But if something isn't working or I question it, or it's not driving the results that I want, then I'm moving money around all the time to different platforms, whether it's Google or our local KSL affiliate, which is pretty significant here, or Zillow or realtor.com. I'm moving my money around constantly and I'm never committing to long-term media bias.
Kevin Weitzel: Flat response with an educational win is a win no matter how you look at it. If you learn from that mistake, instead of forgetting about it, making a mistake again, that's what you can do over and over again and just create insanity. So, you're on it.
Greg Bray: As you measure these things, you're an analytics girl, you said, right? Did I quote you properly with that? Right.
Tami Ostmark: Yep, yep. Everybody here would tell you that.
Greg Bray: There's a t-shirt on the way, right?
Tami Ostmark: There is.
Greg Bray: But what are the key performance indicators or the success metrics that you watch the most?
Tami Ostmark: It's a good [00:15:00] question. Funny enough, there's never been really like a spreadsheet or a platform that has worked for me or how my mind works around the dollars that are spent in our company from a digital marketing standpoint or results that I'm generating from them. So, I kind of built my own. It is what people would call, they literally say it's the Tami Analytic Bible.
It's a spreadsheet that literally compiles data from every place that I am placing our digital media bias with right now. It's telling me all of the time, where am I generating leads from? What platforms are people coming in from? At any given time I've got, I think right now I have 380 Google ads, different types of display ads out there right now, that focus on different people's habits.
If somebody's been looking at baby stuff online, and also stepped into our model home or our competitor's model home, I now know they're buying a house because they're gonna have a new baby or [00:16:00] something similar to that. And now these ads are being delivered up to them that have to do with maybe a nursery photo. So, it's not even in their face like you're having a baby? Come buy our house. It might just be a picture of a nursery that is resonating with them or something like that.
I'm watching how many people are clicking on that ad that are coming into our website, that are looking at which floor plan, and then calling a sales rep and then walking in a model home, and then purchasing a home, and then six months later we're sending 'em a baby gift. I mean, I've got it down to those kind of details so that I can make sure my money's spent in the right areas. So, I don't know that I could come up with like indicators to tell you specifically, but my spreadsheets and my analytic data is telling me what's working and what's not working.
Kevin Weitzel: Since you mentioned socials, let me ask you kind of a loaded question. I'd like to know your can't live without social platform and [00:17:00] who could care less social platform? What's the one that you cannot live without because of the results that you've seen from any kind of campaigns? And what's the one that is just absolute garbage, just a hot steamy mess that you need to dump?
Tami Ostmark: Oh geez. This is a loaded question. We for sure can't live without Instagram. That's just us. I don't know how everybody else feels about it, but it tends to be a compilation of a ton of social platforms for us. We use TikTok, we use Pinterest, we use Facebook, we use Instagram, we use Twitter, we use LinkedIn.
But all of them come together and somehow we use Instagram for almost every single one of them. When we're recording a video for TikTok, that TikTok video is being posted on a reel on Instagram, and then we're advertising around that. So, Instagram is where all of our traffic, we think our brand awareness lives there, and where most of our communication with the right home buyer lives.
As far as the one that I [00:18:00] could live without. This is gonna be a, should I answer it from a personal standpoint or from a business standpoint? Business-wise, we haven't seen any traction on Twitter. Personally, I could live without the TikToks. I think you can do those videos elsewhere and I don't think that's a platform that we need to have from a business standpoint either, but.
Kevin Weitzel: There's people that don't want to hear that, but I promise you, TikTok, in my opinion, is I'm right there with you.
Tami Ostmark: Yeah. That's one that I just feel like you can do everything on there on a different platform and it's not really needed. Though, I think depends on your demographic. I mean, our demographic is, we do have a little bit more of the I wouldn't say wealthier, but the higher income buyers right now with our mix of what product and communities we have available.
And they're not on TikTok, but they are on Instagram, flipping through those reels every night, and they're seeing the videos that we are creating on TikTok, but they're on Instagram and that's where they're seeing 'em. So, it's really critical for us to be on Instagram.
Greg Bray: So, Tami, I would [00:19:00] just wanna, first of all, tell you how impressed I am with the whole connection of your ads and your targeting that you just described as far as tracking folks and trying to figure out, oh, they're potentially having a new baby coming, so we're gonna show 'em the right type of engagement photo they'll connect with. I think some of our listeners, their minds exploded when you start talking. It's like, yes, I want that, but I don't even know where to begin with something like that. How did you build that system? Without giving away all your secrets, right? Just kind of the the high level. Where does somebody even begin to start with something like that?
Tami Ostmark: Yeah. It's a good question cuz I think it's been evolving. So, I don't know that there's like a point that you could start to make it just be where we're at today without trying your own thing. And by the way, I don't mind, actually have never been this way where I mind telling secrets to people who would be listening to this, even if you're our competitors, right? I think all of us collectively help each other kind of build up this industry.
So, with that being said, I feel like this really came from my, when I tell you that I have this lucky star at [00:20:00] Google, that's really where most of this kind of started, and the idea generation behind it. It's nothing new. I'm not groundbreaking in what I'm doing. I think it's just taking advantage of the system.
And when geotargeting and geo-tracking came out, I was instantly like, this is crazy. This is nuts that somebody can track me and they're delivering up these ads to me. You know? It's like, oh my gosh, I have this phone, and because I'm saying something or looking at something, or I'm in a location that somebody now is tracking me and delivering up these ads. This is crazy. From a personal standpoint, I was like, my privacy has been invaded and how, but then a marketer mind of me is like, this is freaking awesome. We need to take advantage of this.
So, I don't know. I think we just started playing around with it really. In the beginning, it was like, we gotta deliver up ads, just put 'em generic cuz we don't know what home they're looking at or what their interest is. Let's just put out some ads.[00:21:00] And we changed those display ads up often. Like, if we dropped prices or we're now opening phase two or whatever we're doing with our communities, let's just throw some ads out and start targeting these people that are looking at our competitors or looking at resales around us.
And then we just started to get, you know, how do we take advantage of what these people are now doing on Google or on any site that they're looking at? How do we now take advantage of their interests in lifestyle or whatever their family status is at that moment, and how do we take advantage of that? Because now we have captured this unique audience that is like right in front of us.
I kind of took the personal side of it and said if I met them, they walked into my competitor and I saw them walk across the street into my competitor's model home, and I went across the street and pulled them back over into my model home. What kind of conversations would I have with them at that point? With my sales team's help saying, well, what are the questions you would start [00:22:00] asking them? Well, how many bedrooms do you need? And all of a sudden you look at 'em and they've got a belly on them, so clearly they're having a baby, or whatever those things are.
Well, if we didn't get to do that personally and we had to do that digitally, how do we figure that out? Well, let's go find out what other sites they're looking at. What are their interests? Now let's deliver up ads that have to do with what their interests are. Instead of just a generic ad that we're throwing out, they're hoping we're casting this net. That kind of started to evolve into what we're doing now, which is very targeted advertising.
It's funny, the other day we actually tried this new campaign because I love shoes. It's just like a thing I love. And so I know I'm always looking like Nordstrom's, half-yearly sale or all these things to try and find shoes. And I know that on my phone I'm now getting ads delivered for Nordstrom shoes constantly. Right? Like we all are. So, I'm like, Hey, why don't we just for fun put some ads together on our closets? We partnered with a new [00:23:00] company that in our closets, you can design a whole like amazing shoe rack if you wanted it.
So, I took a picture of a closet of ours that has this cool shoe rack in it, put some shoes in it, took a picture, and then used that picture. And now I'm like, go in and find all the people who are like me that are looking at shoes, have a shoe fetish, and go deliver up ads that have a picture of a really cool closet that they can put all these shoes they're buying in. It's actually been doing pretty good as far as performing goes.
So, I'm just throwing things out there because I think about myself. Or I'll even just do a little focus group around the office. Hey, what'd you do this weekend? Oh, you know, you went down to St. George or whatever Just anything. We're just kind of trying out everything and going into Google of making an ad. It doesn't take that long to just take a picture of some part of the home because a home is full of every interest you can imagine. Take a picture of it, put it on an ad, and go target an audience for that ad and see what it does.
Greg Bray: Man.
Kevin Weitzel: That's a lot. But I [00:24:00] love that you mentioned, what if I went across the street and pulled somebody out of a competitor's model home? So there's a kid, I'm not gonna mention his last name, but his name was Andrew. And when I was in the motorcycle and car world, he would literally troll and he was one of those, I know every speck about every car there is. You know, he knows the horsepower and the torque and the carrying capacity and all the different things you can do with this car, all the retails and stuff as well.
Instead of being in the bullpen with all the other knuckleheads that are all just chain smokers, waiting for the next person to walk in the lot, he would basically troll the edge of the lot next to the competitor. And he would literally go, Hey, I see you got a couple of kids. These cars here, this particular version has a larger backseat yadda, more trunk space. So, if you're gonna have more kids, this might be the way to go. But, just come see me. My name's Andrew.
He was crushing his competition because people would come in and they would be, I need to speak with Andrew. Brushing them. It was nuts. Now he did get in trouble for it later because the manager of that lot did complain about it to the manager of the lot we were on. But just the point being that sometimes you really [00:25:00] can just grab somebody and say, Hey, here's what they're doing wrong. Here's what we're doing right. And here's how it matches your particular situation. So, I get it.
Tami Ostmark: Yep. Yep.
Greg Bray: Well, Tami, I love how you're taking advantage of the technology though, and finding ways to experiment and try different things and just look at what connects with people. I also love the way that you can turn in this expense report for photo shoot props and get your whole shoe paid for by the company. So, that's great too. Oh, sorry.
Tami Ostmark: Right? Exactly.
Greg Bray: Is that, wait. Oh, sorry. I didn't even get that.
Tami Ostmark: I love that so much. That's exactly right.
Greg Bray: Yeah, let's do things, let's do photo shoots that I like to do, right? So.
Tami Ostmark: That's exactly it. So, funny. I know.
Greg Bray: Tami, we wanna be respectful of your time, but just a few more questions for you. What are some tips for those marketers out there that as they're trying to just get their marketing moving in today's environment? Because we have to market again. We had a few years where we got away with being a little slack.
Tami Ostmark: That's for sure.
Greg Bray: Now we've gotta market again. How would you [00:26:00] kind of suggest that they juice up and get their digital marketing performing?
Tami Ostmark: I also teach a class at a local school here. I mean, it's not on digital marketing, it's on communications, but when you have a teacher that is in digital marketing, you're gonna get questions like that. These up and coming, they know so much more than I know because they've grown up in the digital age. It wasn't that hard for them to adapt to it as it was the older of us. But I am always telling everybody that I talk to that's up and coming, my team, anything like that is look for what's coming, always. Because there's always something new to try.
I mentioned AI earlier, right? I've been using ChatGPT to write content for me lately. If it's there, use it and we need to be ready for whatever's coming with that because there are so many new digital technologies and opportunities. I like to think there are opportunities coming our way, but I'm such a trial-and-error person. I'm never gonna be like, oh that's gonna be a ways out before I need to start using it or [00:27:00] whatever. I wanna be the first to try it because there's nothing to lose there. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.
That's what's so cool, I think, about digital marketing is if you did TV or radio or billboard or the older traditional models, you were spending a ton of money to produce a spot, a radio spot, tv spot, or a print billboard. And then it took another couple weeks to get it up and running, and then you had to wait a couple of weeks to see, are we getting any increase in any of our, you know, sales or leads from this?
Digital marketing is quick. It's dynamic. You can change it tomorrow if it's not working. You can see if it's not working in real-time. So, there's no reason to not try things because you can change it. You don't want to become complacent and not be utilizing every new technology that comes out. Yeah, so my advice would just be trial and error is gonna be what works for your company.
I mean, I have a girlfriend who's a marketing director of my competitor right down the street. Her and [00:28:00] I talk often. We're both similar personalities in that we were like, Hey, I don't know if you've tried this, but I have, and it, didn't work. And she'd be like, well, it worked for me.
Everybody's different. It depends on what your demographic is, depends on what message you're trying to get out there, what audience you're talking to, whatever it looks like. I think try all of them. You're gonna find out really quickly what does and doesn't work. That's what's cool about digital marketing.
Kevin Weitzel: Have you ever recommended to her any bad advice? Like, do you ever say, Susie, you need to use the wacky, inflatable, flailing tube arm man? Have you ever told her that?
Tami Ostmark: Well, we do that, but then we're kind of joking cuz we feel guilty. But no. I may not have said all of my secrets, but we definitely we do share and there's quite a few of us in this market that talk to each other often, and don't mind kind of sharing. I won't get off on the tangent of females in this industry, but we have a local group, Professional Women in Building, PWB, which is an amazing asset for people, especially women in construction to have access to. And there's [00:29:00] quite a bit of us from competitors within that group and that organization, and it's just the same as what business is, right?
If one of us is successful, most of us are successful. Because if somebody doesn't want your product, they're gonna want somebody else's. It's bound to happen. And so, we're pretty open with each other on what does and doesn't work. And I'm sure that we're all hiding a little bit of our secrets and stuff like that, but I've never been opposed to making sure people know, you know, Hey, try this.
Kevin Weitzel: And that's the PWB that built The House That She Built, right?
Tami Ostmark: That's exactly who it is. Yep. Yeah.
Kevin Weitzel: Lots of rock stars in that little quadrant of the globe. Lots of rock stars.
Tami Ostmark: I know. Utah is definitely like a place where PWB kind of made it stamp on the country. That's for sure. Yeah.
Greg Bray: Well, and I think too, Tami, at the end of the day, we can all remember that our biggest competitor in this market are used homes, not the builder down the street. When you look at market share and total sales and all of those types of things that are going on, new homes is a small piece of that pie. So, we can all go take some pie from those used homes, down down the street, so.
Tami Ostmark: That's exactly right.[00:30:00]
Greg Bray: Well, Tami, we really appreciate you sharing with us today. This has been great. You've been very generous with your time and your advice. If someone wants to connect with you and get in touch, what's the best way for them to reach out?
Tami Ostmark: Yeah, you can email me. I like to give out my personal email, not just my work one. It's on my LinkedIn too. If you wanna catch me, I'm on LinkedIn. Tami Ostmark. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Either way. I love connecting. I love relationships. So, even if we're not in the same line or just to kind of chat. Reach out.
Greg Bray: Thanks so much 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 Zonda Livabl. Thank you.