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186 Connecting Emotionally to Home Buyers - Kate Jarrell

This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Kate Jarrell of True Homes joins Greg and Kevin to discuss how home builder teams can better connect emotionally to prospective home buyers.

Buying a home is a significant financial investment with a very emotional component. It can be easy for home builder teams to overlook the intense feelings a home buyer experiences during the process. Kate says, “I think one thing that sometimes home builders forget is the buying experience is primarily still emotional for so many people. Yes, we need a house. Yes, we need those four walls. We need those walls to be sturdy and we need the plumbing and electrical to be safe and secure. But at the end of the day, it is still an emotional decision. And I think realizing that our clients are human. They have the same needs and wants as everyone else. They want to make sure their children are safe. I think being able to add in that human element is a huge part of it. And sometimes it's easy to forget, especially as we get into the day-to-day of grading land and building foundations and framing. It's so easy to forget that these are going to be real people living in our homes, and to really still make it all about them.”

It's important to understand who potential buyers are if home builder teams are going to provide exceptional customer service throughout the entire home buying journey. Kate explains, “…my team and I like to discuss through customer personas who are actually purchasing our homes, and the answer changes per market…It’s going to change, so we want to make it as personal as possible. And with the knowledge of that customer persona, go back to our sales teams and say, Hey guys, while you're getting the client when they're coming into your sales center, marketing is responsible for capturing them online, on the web, through a digital media, maybe through design. Chances are we're going to be at the very, very, very top of that funnel, and we want to make sure that every single touch point all the way down until that client walks into that sales center, it's not only consistent, but they are getting the best of us.”

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about how home builder teams can foster an emotional connection to home buyers.

About the Guest:

Joining the real estate industry in 2012 as a property manager, Kate Jarrell now leads the marketing team at True Homes as Operations Partner of Marketing. Using her unique fusion of creativity and innovation, Kate supports True Homes in their endeavor to provide more life for their clients, trade partners, employees, and stakeholders. Along with having an in-house graphic design team, the True Homes marketing team also excels in digital marketing, social media, email campaigns, event marketing, corporate branding, and more. Kate is a NALP and CAM designate, an educator for the GCAA, and a national speaker and trainer. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, two perfect children, a cat, and dogs.


Episode #186: Kate Jarrell

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 have joining us on the show, Kate Jarrell. Kate is the Operations Partner of Marketing at True Homes. Welcome, Kate. Thanks for being with us today.

Kate Jarrell: Thank you guys so much for having me.

Greg Bray: Well, Kate, let's start off and just help people get to know a little bit about you. Give us that quick introduction and tell us about yourself.

Kate Jarrell: Absolutely. Well, I am still technically new to True Homes. I've been here four months as of next [00:01:00] week, but I've been in real estate for about 11 years. So, I started in multifamily back in 2012 and held every title from leasing associate to property manager to director of marketing. And I made the transition to come over to True Homes back in April of this year. So, absolutely love residential real estate, love marketing for those residential companies. So, it is a joy and honor to be here with a home builder based where I grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kevin Weitzel: We'll probably dive a little bit more into, you know, your pathway there. But for now, I want to hear something personal about you that has nothing to do with work or the industry that people will learn about on our podcast.

Kate Jarrell: Okay. So, I have two children. Ella is three. Isaac is one. I am currently trying to potty train my three-year-old and it is proving to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and that is including giving birth. So y'all, I don't know how people with children do it. It is so stressful and has caused more [00:02:00] accidents and more tears on my part, not the child, than I care to admit. So, that is 100% something that is top of mind right now.

Kevin Weitzel: Oddly enough. I usually like to see if I find a parallel, but in this case, I truly find a parallel here. And I'll tell you how I can relate to this. My girlfriend is struggling with her 52-year-old, and potty training him. I don't want to connect the dots, but she's having a hard time potty training me. Okay. Anyway. All right. Joking aside, thanks for being with us today, Kate. I'm looking forward to hearing where we're going to go with this, and Greg's going to get us started on that pathway right now.

Greg Bray: I'm going to admit, I don't think we've ever had a potty-training discussion though, before on the podcast. So, this is a new first-time experience.

Kate Jarrell: I am so glad I could do that for you guys. I really am.

Greg Bray: And nor do I have any advice to offer.

Kevin Weitzel: I do. Greg, I do. Is it a boy or girl that's having the potting training?

Kate Jarrell: Girl.

Kevin Weitzel: Can't help you.

Kate Jarrell: I was so hoping for that little nugget, Kevin. I really was.

Kevin Weitzel: With boys, you just put targets in the toilet and tell them to aim at them and that's all you got to do. And then they make a game out of it. They get to sink the [00:03:00] battleship, you know, sink the tissue battleship.

Kate Jarrell: All right, well hey, Isaac's one year old. So, in a couple of years, I might be taking that advice.

Kevin Weitzel: There you go.

Greg Bray: And moving on, Kate, give us a little bit more background about how you got interested in real estate and being part of this industry.

Kate Jarrell: Yeah, absolutely. So, gosh, I was in retail sales for about 10 years through college and then in my twenties, and I was a store manager for almost that entire time, working with some pretty big names out there. I did retail merchandising, floor sets, all that sort of stuff, and absolutely loved it. And I think I got to Black Friday of 2011, and I thought, I can't do this anymore.

This was before, this was pre-pandemic. This was after the Great Recession. But it was around that time where, you know, you really saw E-commerce having an uptick in our lives and it just became harder and harder to maintain that client experience on a storefront. So, I thought to [00:04:00] myself, I love retail so much, what's the closest thing to retail without being retail? And that answer was leasing apartments.

So, I actually started applying at a bunch of different companies where I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. And shockingly, most companies wanted you to have prior leasing experience, but there was one company here who took a chance on me and said, You know what? We know you have management experience and retail. Come on over. And I absolutely fell head over heels in love with the industry. It was just amazing.

Learning everything on the apartment management side was just fantastic. It was a whole new world, but it still retained the piece that I love, which was that client experience, that relationship with the resident, and the entire experience that a landlord or homeowner could impart on somebody who is coming to you looking for a home. It was the best part of the retail experience that I was able to bring with me. So, that kind of got me into the industry and never looked [00:05:00] back.

Kevin Weitzel: Three-part question. One, who was that company that gave you that start? Two, are they still around? And three, what was your most favorite retailer that you worked for when you were back in those days of working retail?

Kate Jarrell: Okay. Okay. The property management company is Southwood Realty. They are still around. I still have many friends who work for Southwood. They're a fantastic company headquartered in Gastonia, North Carolina, and they have communities all over, mostly the Carolinas. Just fantastic, fantastic company.

The third question of most favorite retailer. Oh, goodness. So, I was in high-end fashion with Burberry and that was phenomenal. I worked for them for about a year and it was a really amazing thing to be able to see that level of client experience versus some of the other fast fashion retailers. I worked for Express for a while. That was probably another top favorite. But just seeing the nuances and that client experience, I think really kind of pave the way for marketing [00:06:00] different communities later on in life.

Greg Bray: Okay. Let's just get a little bit more background about True Homes, where you guys are located, what types of homes and buyers you are working with.

Kate Jarrell: Absolutely. So, True Homes is headquartered in Monroe, North Carolina. That's right outside Charlotte, North Carolina, about 10 minutes away. I joined, like I said, True Homes about four months ago. The company itself has been here since 2006. Our founders, Dan Horner and Mark Boyce always talk about, they chose the perfect time to come out and start a residential home builder company, literally right before the great recession.

But it made for an extremely strong, flexible, and resilient company because they came in not knowing really if they were going to make it or not. They talk about it all the time, and I think hearing their stories of resolve and resilience really inspire a company that is now grown 20-fold in the last 17 years now.

So, True Homes, what we do is we [00:07:00] are a semi-custom home builder. That value proposition semi-custom is really kind of an underserved group, especially in the Carolinas where we build. Because normally out here, you're going to get a production builder. Those homes that look very, very similar. They have that one style, that one layout, and that's what you get. And then you have the gorgeous custom homes that are out here that are popping up all over Charlotte that you're probably going to pay 2, 3 million for.

There's a sweet spot in the middle, right? There's an underserved group of the 300 to $700,000 range where you can get a gorgeous home with so many custom features, but it not be that custom builder price. So, that's where True Homes comes in. So, we have 80-plus floor plans for our client to choose from. We also have five design studios located throughout our five major markets in the Carolinas. And when a client comes to us [00:08:00] and purchases their True Home, they then get to go to our design studio, work with our design studio associates, and start the fun stuff of picking out their granite, their backsplashes, their lighting, even their paint color. And it is a phenomenal journey.

I've actually been able to go through the sales process, acting like I'm a client and picking out my floor plan, and picking out my paint colors. I was this close to moving to Charleston because our sales team is just that good at what they do. And it's a really fun realization when you're able to pick out your home, pick out the elements that make your home yours, and realize that you're still not touching that seven-figure price tag that you'd find at any other builder. So, that's really True Home's value proposition in a nutshell.

Kevin Weitzel: So, do you ever have it on like a dry-erase board in the office, you know, Wilmington, get it together? Be more like Charlotte. You ever have anything like that, or is that frowned upon in the workplace?

Kate Jarrell: You know, we don't really have that on a whiteboard. There are definitely some markets that are kind [00:09:00] of head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to traffic and sales. But I think that's also really because Charlotte, for example, was our first market. It's broken up now into three regions, north, south, and west, and south extends all the way down into South Carolina, Lancaster. North extends all the way up into Huntersville, Cornelius, Kings Mountain, that area. We're talking about three very big regions, three very different regions.

But I think as far as what we offer, the same client experience, that same sales process. Even a smaller market like Coastal, which is Wilmington and Southport in that area, you know, we're still getting our feet in. We're still going deeper with our current markets. We have no plans of expanding past our current regions. We want to continue going deeper with our broker partners and our clients.

Kevin Weitzel: Out of morbid curiosity, is there any reasoning behind or specificity to the highlighted U in True Homes?

Kate Jarrell: I'm glad you asked, Kevin. Back in, I think, [00:10:00] 2014, the True Homes kind of flipped the tagline from, we value what you value. I believe was the old tagline. Coming up into 2014, they flipped it to be, it's all about U. You just the letter U. So, if I had to guess, and I obviously was not here when that rebrand happened. Knowing what I know about True Homes and knowing where our marketing and branding partners have really brought us up to this point, that U really leans into the fun and whimsical branding that we're after.

It doesn't take itself too seriously. It's something that is immediately recognizable. Orange and white are our colors. So, anytime you see that on our billboards, our branding that U was highlighted, we try to highlight it throughout our logo as well, and it's Leaning back into that value proposition of, Hey, it's all about you here.

When you buy a True Home, we're going to make it as customizable as we possibly can, but we're still going to support you because we're going to pass along that production builder price [00:11:00] tag to our client. So, really focusing on not only their experience but their opportunity. To have more life and not go into a home paying a ridiculous seven figures when we can offer them something so wonderful at a price point that they're comfortable with.

Greg Bray: Hey everybody, this is Greg from Blue Tangerine and I just wanted to take a quick break to make sure you know about the upcoming Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit that Blue Tangerine is hosting together with OutHouse, October 18th and 19th in Denver, Colorado.

This is gonna be an amazing event full of digital marketing insights, knowledge, best practices, and most importantly, some fun. So, be sure that you get registered today and come hang out with us, an amazing team of speakers and presenters that are gonna be together. Again, that's October 18th and 19th in Denver, and you can learn more and get registered at buildermarketingsummit.com. We'll see you there.

Kate, you [00:12:00] talked about your retail experience and learning about engaging with customers. As you transitioned from retail into new homes and understanding that product and that experience, what are some of the things that you learned in retail that you were like, wow, home building could really use this or hasn't quite captured this yet as well as maybe they could?

Kate Jarrell: I think one thing that sometimes home builders forget is the buying experience is primarily still emotional for so many people. Yes, we need a house. Yes, we need those four walls. We need those walls to be sturdy and we need the plumbing and electrical to be safe and secure. But at the end of the day, it is still an emotional decision. And I think realizing that our clients are human. They have the same needs and wants as everyone else. They want to make sure their children are safe. They want a safe place to come home to. I think being able to add in that human element is a huge part of it. And sometimes it's easy to [00:13:00] forget, especially as we get into the day-to-day of grading land and building foundations and framing. It's so easy to forget that these are going to be real people living in our homes and to really still make it all about them.

One of the things True Homes and our founders have always said is, we offer service worthy of our signature. It's up in our corporate office in the lobby. If you ever visit True Homes here in Monroe, please look me up. You come in and there's a wall of signatures. Not just something we scraped off Adobe, it is literally a signature of every single one of our employees. And it's meaningful to us because we want to bring, whether we're framing or grading or driving trucks across markets bringing supplies, whatever we're doing, even if we're sitting in an office marketing, we want to make sure that we're doing service worthy of our signature and that's something that was instilled in me in retail.

Hey, you have, you know, the name of the store on your chest, you have your name tag. We are performing in a way that makes the [00:14:00] client want to come back to us again and again and again and again. And retail is different, right? It's repeat customers. A home buying experience, maybe it's not repeat. Maybe a client will only buy one True Home in their lifetime. But for us, if our client is coming back to us and saying, I've referred my friends and family, I've told everyone about the experience I had with you. That to me is success. And that's a level of client experience that I learned in retail that I've brought through in every single job I've held since then.

Greg Bray: You know, you reminded me of a quote from Jimmy Diffee over at Bocca Group, Kevin, I don't know if you remember this one, but Jimmy said once that customer experience is what our buyers tell their friends. That really resonated with me. And I think you just said the same thing in some slightly different words, right? That that's the heart, that's how you measure success with the customer experience.

Kate Jarrell: One hundred percent. And it's going to become more and more important. Who goes on Amazon and purchases something without looking at the reviews? I don't buy lipstick without reading reviews. That peer recommendation is [00:15:00] everything and it's money. It's going to continue making the difference between a sale and if a client goes to our competitor. And so that's something that we absolutely want to make sure we pay attention to.

Greg Bray: All right, so it's about emotional connection. So, what are some of the more detailed things that you actually implement when you say, okay, how do we improve emotional connection? What are some of those day-to-day things that are happening at True Homes that are trying to connect?

Kate Jarrell: Yeah, absolutely. I think there's a couple of different things from the marketing department. For example, my team and I like to discuss through customer personas who is actually purchasing our homes, and the answer changes per market. Somebody who's down in Lancaster, South Carolina might not be the same customer persona as somebody who's looking to build or buy in Wilmington or in Raleigh. It's going to change, so we want to make it as personal as possible.

And with the knowledge of that customer persona, go back to our sales teams and say, Hey guys, [00:16:00] while you're getting the client when they're coming into your sales center, marketing is responsible for capturing them online, on the web, through a digital media, maybe through design. Chances are we're going to be at the very, very, very top of that funnel, and we want to make sure that every single touch point all the way down until that client walks into that sales center, it's not only consistent, but they are getting the best of us.

They are understanding that whether it's marketing, whether it is our call team or our internet sales team that's picking up the phone and actually speaking to a client, you're going to get that genuine happiness to be talking to a client. You're going to get that care. You're going to get that dedicated time to bring a client through the process, so by the time they get to our sales center, they're already 80% sold because of the experience that we've brought through from top to bottom.

Greg Bray: So, you talked about your sales team. With the different areas and, you know, you even mentioned that you're serving different types of [00:17:00] customers in those areas. How have you guys chosen to structure that? Do you have folks that are spread out, so they're more local and touchy? Is everybody in the corporate office together? What does that team look like?

Kate Jarrell: Yeah, so we have our corporate office here in Monroe. We actually have a three-building campus. We're about to open a fourth building later this year which I'm very excited about. Here we have one of our design studios. We have our accounting and finance team, our legal team, the marketing team, and several others, including our architectural services team, HR, et cetera.

And then all of our other sales teams are in their different regions. Our market partners or managing partners are in their respective regions. So, we have seven market partners. They're all throughout the Carolinas and they each run one of our respective regions. Their sales associates, we call them our True advisors or True associates, are headquartered at different communities where we have storefronts.

Now, True Homes has about I would say 60 to 70 [00:18:00] active communities right now, but we don't have storefronts in all of them. So, maybe we have a couple of model homes and sales centers open at a few, not all of them. And once we finish selling that entire community, we will then sell off and deconversion that sales center back into a home, pull out, and go on to the next community.

However, there are some communities, for example, we have a master plan community down in Lancaster called Edgewater. Massive community, close to 8,000 lots, or will be once we're done with it. And we will always be there. So, it's something that our team, that's their home base and they're just running traffic through there. They're touring. We have events down there. We have groundbreakings with different neighborhoods opening. It's a really fun place to be. I was actually just there yesterday, which is why it's top of mind. So, our structure does change per community and it does change as we continue to sell out of these communities and build new ones.

Greg Bray: So, specifically within that structure with the marketing team [00:19:00] specifically, how do you guys stay connected? You're all together in corporate, how do you stay connected with what's going on at the various communities, especially are our campaigns working? Are we getting the right type of traffic? Are we connecting with these buyer personas that we've defined, or have we misdefined them somehow? What's kind of the method you use to keep your marketing team in the know of what's happening everywhere else?

Kate Jarrell: Yeah, Greg, that's a great question. Well, there's really two parts to the answer. Part number one is pulling as much data as we can, and true data. So, looking back at our website CRM and seeing what leads are coming in. Where are they coming in? How many appointments have we set? Where are we seeing the traffic kind of get soft? Just knowing what we know from click-through rates, from bounce rates, from form submitted, and things like that. That's the data side. That is the logical, kind of right-brain side.

The other side of it is literally picking up the phone and talking to our managing partners and saying, Hey, talk to me about what's [00:20:00] happening at Edgewater. Talk to me about what's happening in North Charlotte. Every month I have something called flight rooms that are scheduled with each of my managing partners, and we get on a call for 30 minutes and I just say, The floor is yours. Let's talk through your traffic. Let's talk through your team. Let's talk through your communities. What are you seeing? And then let's start merging what I know on the data side and what you're seeing on the traffic side. And let's start making some connections here. And that's really where the fun ideas start. We're kind of able to pull through what we know and we're seeing on the number side and what's actually happening. That's for me.

Now, my digital teams, who runs social media, they run SEO, they run blogs, they run the website. They're also holding once-a-month, sometimes more often, calls with these managing partners to say, Hey, we're planning social content for the next 60 days. Let's talk through what events you have coming on. Let's talk about what amenities you're opening up or what new things we want to highlight. And they're out in the field, getting content, writing [00:21:00] things. It's phenomenal.

So, I think having those very specific and pointed conversations and allowing that managing partner to just let loose, tell us what they're seeing. And then allowing us to respond and saying, Hey, this is what I'm hearing, and this is what I'm suggesting. In the next 30 days, we have another flight room. We get back on the phone and we say, All right, let's look at this campaign. I see on my side that it was a success, but I want to hear from you. How's traffic doing? Talk to me. And just having that open communication, it makes a difference. Not only in traffic in campaign success but how well our teams feel supported.

Greg Bray: It sounds like you guys have got some great access from the marketing side into what's happening with the local folks. We don't always hear that with folks we talk to. Sometimes there's a little more of a silo there and marketing is off kind of on their own a little bit more. So, that's terrific to hear.

Kate Jarrell: I tell my team that if our sales teams are not successful, we don't have jobs. And our job here is to support [00:22:00] them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. And so while we might be top of funnel sending them traffic, we can't make tweaks or adjustments without knowing what's happening on their side.

So, we could be sending them all this traffic, but if they're not converting, we need to know why. Is it something in our verbiage? Are we targeting the wrong people who maybe are not qualified? Whatever it might be, having that open communication means that we're successful, which means they're successful and everybody wins.

Greg Bray: So, within your team, on the marketing team, how do you decide which of these skills you want to have, you know, in-house on the team versus potentially partnering with outside agencies and other types of partners?

Kate Jarrell: I came into a team of four people. So, it was five of us when I joined. As of next week, we will have an eight-person team. So, getting in, it was not necessarily me coming in and saying, oh, we have this opening and this opening, and let's just go ahead and hire. It was okay, let's talk to the people who are currently working in the marketing team. I want to talk to my graphic designers, [00:23:00] I want to talk to my digital marketing specialists, and I want to ask them, are you happy doing what you're doing, first of all? Do you like what you're doing? Do you like your job?

For almost everyone I spoke to, the answer was yes, but there was one person, our marketing administrator who said, not really. And I said, if you could do anything, what would you do? And she said I would love to do social media. And I said, well, it's your lucky day. You're our new social media coordinator. All right, let's put a plan in place. Girl, you got 30 days to give me a proposal. We're off and running. And I'm so proud to say that she has grown our social media channels. We have probably 200% more impressions than we did when I first started, and it's all down to her. Because we asked the question, do you like what you're doing?

Our graphic designers, for example, they liked what they were doing. But one of them, for example, was really interested in taking on renderings. And so I said, well, how expensive is rendering software? And he said I think it's about [00:24:00] this cost. And I said, okay if we were to render in-house, would you want to do that? He said, yeah. I said, if we don't render in-house, would you still want to own that piece and be instrumental in managing that key partner relationship with whoever we do vendor renderings to? And he said, yeah. I said, great. Go for it. Go learn renderings. If you decide it's not something you wanna do, let's go figure out somebody to go outsource that to.

That's exactly what we're doing. We had a conversation with a few partners in the past couple weeks and we're gonna make the decision. He's going to be owning that relationship and he's doing what he loves to do.

So, asking the question and making sure that my team not only feels supported, but also that they love what they do. So, I am so happy to say that we have well, Unfortunately, I'm not happy to say this, but unfortunately, we have cut ways with our former outsourced copywriter because we hired an internal content [00:25:00] copywriter. She started two weeks ago. She's absolutely phenomenal. The skies have opened. Velvet ropes have parted. She's absolutely great. We brought on a junior graphic designer to support our graphic designers and all that they were doing. And we have a new operations marketing manager starting next week, and so that is my team.

So, I think it really does start with just asking the questions, looking at workflow, and looking at scalability. Is who I'm bringing in now going to be scaled to five years down the line? Are we still going to need a social media coordinator, or does that role need to maybe grow into something else? If that's true, let's have the conversation around, well, what is your next step after social media coordinator? Is it something else? Are you a social media manager, and we hire another coordinator?

I think it's just thinking longevity, especially as a manager of a marketing team. We not only have to think about how we're growing our company's marketing footprint but how we're leveraging our team's strengths and talents to get them to [00:26:00] next and keep them where they are. Because man, I love hiring, I don't want to do it again for a long, long time. I got some good people.

Greg Bray: Hiring has been very interesting in the marketing world over the last couple of years. I think we're kind of coming out of some of the worst of it and some folks are with reasonable expectations I guess I should say are becoming more available than they were a couple of years ago after COVID kind of shook things up a little bit. So, that's terrific that you're finding the right people and you're building the team, and that you are so focused on helping them find a path to grow.

That's a challenge where people can get siloed into a specific, this is what you do. Internet and social and everything, it's always evolving and changing, and sometimes we have to let people evolve and change with it. So, it sounds like you're doing some great stuff there. Kate, want to be respectful of your time, but a couple more questions here before we finish up.

When you came in, you've only been there a few months, was there one particular thing that you started with on the marketing side, especially digital? You said, okay, before we do anything else, I [00:27:00] need to understand this and we need to make sure that it's up to par and hitting full stride before we get too bogged down in anything else. Anything that just jumped out at you right away?

Kate Jarrell: As I was going through the interview process with True Homes, every single person I interviewed with asked me this. They would lean forward and say, What do you think about our website? And I'm thinking to myself, I got nothing to lose. I'm going to go ahead and tell you exactly what I think because I'm not getting any points for lying here. And I just said, you know what? It could use some work.

And, you know, I remember my now boss said, well, you know, our bounce rate is really low. And I said, Tracy, with all due respect, I think clients come onto the website and they get lost and they can't find their way out. And she just said. All right, I hear you. So, one of the first things that we did was take a hard look at the website and start sending out RFPs for new website providers.

The current website is about 10 years old. And while we have continued to make updates to it over those 10 years, the team [00:28:00] did, it is in desperate need of a lift. Not only is it overrun with content, and I appreciate that everyone at True Homes is so excited about what we do and our mission, and what we bring, but there is an absolute concise way to say all of that and not over 20 web pages.

There's a way to get those menu options down where a client, a broker, an investor, even a future employee going to our site, seeing what we do, five menu options. Let's not give them 15. Let's say who we are, what we do, what our value proposition is, and leave it at that. We've already picked a website provider. I'm really excited and we have a potential launch end of December, early January for our new platform.

But I think it's taking all the wonderful things that True Homes is and boiling it down to top three value propositions and using that as a jumping-off springboard. It's been a project that has been talked about since before I started and I'm so excited to say that we have the right people in the [00:29:00] right place. My digital marketing manager is spearheading that. My content creator is already starting to rewrite so much content. I'm just really excited about the project.

Greg Bray: Well, Kate, I think it's great that that was where you decided to focus first. Because driving traffic, doing ads, doing all this stuff and sending them to a website that's not going to convert is just wasting a lot of money. You highlight a really interesting point in the way that statistics can be used to support different arguments, right? When you talk about our bounce rate is really low. Is that good or bad? Right? It really is kind of an interesting discussion. It's probably beyond the scope of the time we have today.

But, you know, this idea that one person said, Oh, look, our bounce rates low because they've been told that people bouncing is a negative thing, right? And you're saying, well, it could also imply that they're not able to find what they're looking for, and so they're having to hunt for it. Quite often we try too hard to over-focus on some of these statistics or [00:30:00] metrics and don't realize that it has to be compared to something.

It's like we made a change and then the bounce rate changed. Does that mean that that change is good? Right. Bounce rate by itself doesn't really mean anything. Or a high bounce rate on a certain type of page that they're finding the phone number and calling us. That might be just fine if that's the goal of the page, right? So anyway, just really was intrigued by the fact that that statistic could be used in different ways, and so I thought that was an interesting insight. Thanks for sharing.

Kate Jarrell: Of course.

Greg Bray: Well, Kate, as we wrap up, do you have any last words of advice or thoughts that you want to share with our audience today?

Kate Jarrell: My biggest piece of advice is to open the conversation up, especially if you are in a seat where you are managing others in a marketing environment. It is so important Greg, just to piggyback off of what you said, look at the data. Yes. Data is so important. We can live and die by it, but unless we're opening ourselves up to having those conversations to the people who are dealing with our customers face-to-face, we only have [00:31:00] one-half of the total equation. And I encourage your listeners to really look at the full scope to make those smart marketing decisions going forward.

Greg Bray: Well, Kate, again, we appreciate your time today. If somebody wants to connect with you and reach out, what's the best way for them to get in touch?

Kate Jarrell: Absolutely. LinkedIn is probably the best way, Kate Jarrell. And I do have my national apartment leasing professional designation and my certified apartment manager designation. So, if you see the initials after my name, that is what that means.

Greg Bray: Well, thanks again, Kate, 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. [00:32:00]

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