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On this week's episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Greg and Kevin had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Riley of Group Two. Join as they discuss how to cleverly take on "good market syndrome" and how to continue to set up your business for years to come.
A trailblazer within builder sales and marketing, Matt really does do it all. You may have heard him speak at NAHB’s IBS, Pacific Coast Builder Conference, HomebuilderTECH, and other industry conferences and events. For the past 17 years, Matt has built an illustrious career in every sense of the word; he has not only significantly increased profits for builders (as a builder himself), but has created fulfilling and meaningful experiences for homeowners all over the country. With his extensive knowledge of technology and builder challenges, Matt continues to pioneer sales and marketing innovations that deliver substantial results for Group Two and many other Home Builders.
Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody and welcome to today's episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine
Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse.
Greg Bray: We are excited today to welcome to the show, Matt Riley, the vice-president at Group Two. Welcome Matt. Thanks for joining us.
Matt Riley: Well, thanks so much for having me Greg and Kevin, I almost just combined your two names.
Crevice Krevin Keg Keg. That works. Is this like the J Lo how every time somebody's with J Lo, they combine their names. Is it J Rodriguez or something [00:01:00] now? I don't know, but let's just go with, that's a compliment and me not screwing it up.
Greg Bray: We'll take all the comments we get. We're always shorthanded on those.
So appreciate it. Well, Matt, we're really happy that you made some time for us today and appreciate you being with us for those who don't know everything there is to know about Matt Riley already, give us kind of that short introduction about who you are and what you've been doing.
Matt Riley: Well as you so eloquently said, my name is Matt Riley and I am the vice-president at Group Two.
I have been in the industry, the home building industry now for almost 18 years 15 of those spent was an actual builder, I started off as a salesperson in the model home selling home. So I'm a sales dude at heart. Love selling houses and really got into the marketing side of things because I've always also been a complete and utter nerd and loved computers and electronics is as early as I can remember.
And [00:02:00] so I got into the marketing side of things because as we all are well aware on the home builders side, we are laggards. We're like 10 years behind everybody. So I like that was always my hobby, so I got into that because. I understood how the internet worked and from there, it just blossomed.
And so I know I'm happy to, I love helping our builder partners with their strategy and just kind of troubleshooting. I love, love taking things apart and trying to put it back together again, or sometimes to put it back together again. Better than it was before. So that's the one minute overview.
Greg Bray: No, that's great. So, before we dive into, you know, all the builder experience, you gotta tell us something a little more personal. I'm going to steal Kevin's line. Do you know how to juggle? That's what he always wants to know. But, something a lot of people don't know about you.
Matt Riley: Let's see something that a lot of people don't know about me. I'm going to go way back. [00:03:00] So before I got into housing I was in retail, which is where my nerdiness comes from. And I worked for, at the time I worked for a company called Comp USA and so I sold computers.
I got this, this will be a good story. So I actually was on a weekly TV show in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. And it was called dot com. That is how old this goes back because the show was called .com. And I did a weekly show with, like the local, you know, famous radio TV anchor, and it was a cable news or a cable show that we did.
And we just talked about technology and then rewind a little bit before that, I'm gonna give you two pieces. I got my start in sales. I always tell people this, I got my start in sales because. I worked as a kid as a 16, 17 years old, 18 years old at a theme park, I worked at a Six Flags, Kentucky Kingdom and Louisville, Kentucky.
And [00:04:00] I was a shy kid when I started. I was in the games and attractions department. So like my first week on the job, they actually put me on the Guess your age, weight, and birth month game, where the guys out there on the microphone trying to talk to people and by the way, they give you no training.
Everything is a complete nutter guess because you pay like two bucks to play the game. And if you win quote unquote you get like a 60 cent prize. So either way. You're paying your two bucks and somebody gets to insult you by trying to guess your age or weight or birth month. But that's how I got my start in sales because I sat there for like a week and not saying a word.
I was like, this is the most boring thing ever. I kind of came out of my shell and started like next thing you know, I got a lines of people waiting in line to play the game because I was just acting a fool on a microphone as people were walking by. I got to tell people, they were either skinny or fat or, you know, guess how old they were and, yeah, that was that's. That's my fun facts.
Kevin Weitzel: How much lattitude did you have with what you got to [00:05:00] say to people?
Matt Riley: Okay. So, weight, you had to be within I think like three pounds either way.
Kevin Weitzel: Not that, not the spread. How much latitude did you have? Like what did the management say that.
Hey, when you're going to go attack somebody in their weight and guess their weight. If it's a guy that looks like me now, not me when I was a kid, but me now, could you say, Oh, you're a hefty old bugger. You know what I mean? What was the latitude there? Could you get really like, dig in the ribs
Matt Riley: Some days, I got a little froggy and I would get pretty aggressive, most of the time it was to shame people into getting to play the game.
So for instance, you'd be like, Oh, come on, you know, a guy and a girl go walking by you clearly know they're dating. And you're like, come over here and play win your girlfriend a prize, Their like, no, we're not doing that. And so then it would just be like, Oh, my gosh, your boyfriend just said that you weren't worth two bucks, like yeah.
And of course nine out of 10 times they would come over here.
Greg Bray: The shaming sales technique,
[00:06:00] Matt Riley: what you're saying is she's not worth two bucks to win a prize. And it works.
Greg Bray: So here's the next question? How old do you think Kevin is? Right.
Matt Riley: So I spent a long time, so Kevin's a little unshaven today.
Kevin Weitzel: So very unshaven. Yes.
Matt Riley: Uh, I'm going to say, Kevin is 44. I get two years.
Kevin Weitzel: You got six off. I turn 50 next month.
Matt Riley: Good. I'm glad I went young. I'm not in the shaming.
Kevin Weitzel: You're always supposed to it with the ladies. You're supposed to guess lowly.
Greg Bray: All right. Well, this is why you don't do that anymore. Right?
Matt Riley: Clearly out of practice
Kevin Weitzel: You went, you went from a Barker, they call those barkers by the way, from a Barker and a game attraction. Selling computers. Just lump right into home building. to started selling houses and they write in this whole home selling. Who did you go to first? What home builder were you with first?
Matt Riley: My first home builder. So I've [00:07:00] been in three markets, Indianapolis, Indiana, Huntsville, Alabama, and Raleigh, North Carolina. So in Indianapolis, I worked for a builder called CP Morgan.
We were one of the largest privately held builders in the country. We did almost 3,000 homes a year between Indianapolis and Charlotte, North Carolinas. So we were doing like 22,000 to 2,500 homes a year, just in Indianapolis. We absolutely annihilated market share there and worked there for a long time.
And then the crash happened. And so a company that was building 3000 homes a year went under.
Kevin Weitzel: Unfathomable. Isn't it though.
Matt Riley: It is unfathomable. It was crazy. So then that's how I got to Huntsville, Alabama. So a builder there, cause we were a really well-known builder and we got recruited down there and I was like, I'm not moving to Huntsville, Alabama.
Are you crazy? Yeah. But Huntsville, Alabama, was that a shelter in the storm? Like it had more engineers per capita. It [00:08:00] had tons of government jobs there, missile defense, DOD, all that stuff was there. So the market, there was a lot more sheltered and kind of got to weather the storm and then went out to North Carolina and Raleigh to run as vice president of Royal Oaks Homes, who then we later sold to Mattamy Homes based out of Toronto.
So, and now I'm here at Group Two.
Greg Bray: Well, Matt, tell us a little bit more about, you know, Group Two and the services that you guys provide there for those who aren't familiar.
Matt Riley: Yeah, so real quick and not to turn this into a commercial, but we specialize in home builder marketing, all aspects of everything that a home builder would need for soup to nuts from onsite to online everything.
So that's what we do. We've been in business for 51 years in this industry specifically. And yeah, so that's, that's our company. Based out of Philadelphia, PA Philly.
Greg Bray: Well, we're good friends with, [00:09:00] with Molly and the team over there. So, we really work together with you guys a lot and love everything you guys do.
Do great work.
Matt Riley: yeah, no, we love our relationship, both with the Blue Tangerine and Outhouse. We have some really great common clients and happy to be here chatting with you guys.
Greg Bray: So, Matt, one of the things that I remember that you said a couple of years ago at IBS, that really kind of stood out to me that I think would,
You know, Hey, you're gonna, you say things that in public and you gotta take the time to watch that.
Kevin Weitzel: So I want to see if your, a quote is my same quote, cause I've got one that I hold it.
Greg Bray: And this was back when we had a conference called IBS.
You might remember that you talked about that today's home buyer journey is more like a pinball machine than a straight line path. And I kind of remember that when, and you've probably said it more than one place, so you don't remember where he said, but, [00:10:00] I I'd like to take that.
Cause that was a couple of years, I think, even that you were talking about that from that perspective. And so I like to dive in a little bit today and kind of pick your brain a little more on where that customer journey is now and how that's changed over the last little bit.
Obviously last year has changed a lot of things for everybody. Is it still a pinball machine? Has it narrowed at all? What's new and what's different.What are your thoughts on that?
Matt Riley: I still think it's a pinball machine. It's certainly not a linear path straight line path, because I think that what we've seen in COVID has expedited that pinball machine.
So instead of the ball bouncing around and rolling slower, I think it's happening a lot faster and it looks more like a pinball machine on speed and that's just bouncing back and forth like crazy, but they're still all over the place. I hear a radio ad or a TV spot, or I drive by a billboard or god for sake I'm just driving around, [00:11:00] randomly looking for houses. Cause I don't have any other resources or the newspaper, like all that is is gone. And I think that it's not coming back ever. Like, I don't have any other thing to say, but it's not coming back ever, ever, ever, ever. And it's going to continue to get more and more complicated.
And even as we start to get into this, we're going down this privacy battle path right now. Right? There's the battle between Apple's new iOS 14, they're trickling that out and eventually they're gonna shut that off. We've gone through the no more third party cookies and you know, it's so going to make it harder and harder to trace back exactly what people are doing and where they're coming from.
But it's not going anywhere. It's still gonna be bouncing around and you still have to be in the right places to be efficient. That doesn't mean that you just spend money on everything everywhere and hope someone sees it. You have to still take a tackle, an educated do it in an educated manner, but it's [00:12:00] not going to streamline out.
Anytime in the near future. I don't know. What do you guys think?
Greg Bray: Well, let's define if we could, just, for those who didn't hear the speech that I was talking about, when we say pinball machine, what do we mean when we say the journey is like a pinball machine? What exactly does that look like?
Matt Riley: Yeah. So they are across more devices in more mediums than they ever have before. And it's not always, you get the listeners, can't see me. You guys can, but you know, I'm looking at, I've got my hand up in front of my face, like a moron, but that's representing one screen and it's not like they see, Oh, okay.
Here's a Facebook ad. Here's the builder site lead, right? Like it doesn't work that way. They're going to see it. They're going to interact with your brand on Facebook. They're going to interact with your brand on Google. They're going to interact with your brand on Zillow and they may not click on anything, but they're going to see you.
[00:13:00] And you know, it's the recall methods, right? It's at least you got to see someone five to seven times. It's like follow up touchpoints, but it's like five to seven times before you start to have real brand recall. And then they start to come in. It's always interesting.
I find that when a builder starts advertising in the right places with the right message, with the right kind of logistics and brainpower and strategy behind it. You'll also start to see a rise in website, direct traffic, Greg, I don't know if you guys see this at Blue Tangerine or Kevin, if you got to see this, but it's like all of a sudden, out of nowhere, all these buyers, quote, unquote know who we are.
We don't need to advertise on these places. They're coming straight to us and it's like, no, no, no. they're not, trust me. We always, as a builder, we always overestimate how many people know who we are. Right. And so they're not, they didn't think of mattrileyhomes.com and just come straight there.
Right. And so that's where they start [00:14:00] to see you in multiple places. And then they may start bouncing around inside that pinball machine. And they may go to your Google reviews. They may go to your Facebook page and they may go, and then they'll find you from an organic search and all these other things.
And to me, that's the pinball. It's not one source website conversion, it's five sources bouncing back and forth. Oh, then maybe I'll come back to your website and then I'll go bounce around another five or six different places or times, and then I'll come back again and then maybe I'll raise my hand and say, Hey, I need some help.
To me that's the pinball machine.
Greg Bray: I love it. I love the analogy and this idea that they're at stage one and now we will do this to move them to stage two in their journey. Right. They decide which stage they want to be at and how they want to get there.
Matt Riley: Yeah. It's much more, you know, we used to think of the funnel.
It literally, was like they come in to the top and they're interested and then they come down and they keep it in the people that start spitting out the end of the funnel. And we as builders, try to [00:15:00] force people down this funnel in a particular order, because that's what we want them to do. But it's much more like a flywheel and there's spaces in between each section of the sale of the process where the buyer can skip right through it and you can get the purchase or they can go straight to the home site or they can go straight to the floor plan.
They don't necessarily have to come to your homepage or your builder story or all those kinds of things. They just want to get straight to where they are based on where they are. We're there personally yet in the process, they may have seen seven different home builders and they've gone through that whole discovery process already.
And then they come across you and see, Oh, well this is a great floor plan. Yeah, I want more click it's just anywhere.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh, that same notice. Cause you mentioned that we wanted to channel them to the homepage and we just assume that that's where they're going first. How much of the buyer story is still relevant to today's consumer?
That's buying a home when they have the picture of the husband, the wife, the staff founded the company and the team that's going to be selling the homes [00:16:00] and that can build the homes. How important is that today?
Matt Riley: I think it's important. It's important in different stages of the funnel.
So I think that that becomes important when they're in the lower half of the buying process, they really don't care about you at first, it's all about them, right? It's with them, what's in it for me. Right. So they want to know, do you build. And an acronym I've used forever call. I call it BACFLIP, budget, area, community, floor plan, lot, paperwork.
That is the process. And the BAC of the flip can go in any order budget, area, community, but these are still the steps of the sales process. And by the way, marketing process that a buyer has to use in order to come to a logical purchasing decision. So when they come to the home builder, all they're focused on is budget, area, and community upfront.
Right. Do you build in an area where I want to be? Do you have communities in that vicinity that fit my lifestyle, amenities, [00:17:00] proximity to my life. And then do you have floor plans that are worth a crap? Do you have floor plans that means something to me. How's it going to benefit my life? Once we've checked those things off the list, then at that point they might actually care about who you are and what your builder story is.
And because it's still a real, I would rather do business with Kevin or Greg than Walmart. Right? I would rather work with an individual than support the conglomerate. I mean, nobody says Hey, I found this great chain restaurant. Right, right. Have you everybody says we're some really great local place, like just fantastic places to eat. The best places to eat are never the chain. It's never McDonald's right. Like you don't go. I'm going to go to McDonald's to celebrate this special occasion. I'm going to go to this special place to eat that you can't get anywhere when you travel. What do you want to do?
You want to eat a place that you can [00:18:00] only eat there? When I go to a city, don't take me to steak and shake.
Kevin Weitzel: When you travel. This is a little traveling tidbit for the less affluent travelers out there. If you want a really genuine, and take it I weighed 265 pounds, I know how to eat. When you go to fancy places. or enough hands for fancy locations. We're talking Hawaii, we're talking, you know, I was going to say Puerto Rico, but Puerto Rico is not all that fancy right now, but you know, anywhere in the Caribbean, you follow the workers, wherever the work trucks are going. That's where you want to eat.
When you're going wide, you see a construction truck drive by and they're going to eat lunch. I guarantee where they're going. It's going to have some of the best food you've ever eaten in your life.
Matt Riley: Yep. Absolutely. So that's kind of my tie into the builder's story. Right? So they care, they care further down their path.
And I truly believe they would rather buy from someone local than, not naming any names, but the chains. Right? Like, why wouldn't [00:19:00] you.
Kevin Weitzel: Yeah.
Greg Bray: So, Matt, to that point, you talk about those things that the buyer is looking for. A disconnect that I see a lot of builders doing just in their web presentation related to that is this idea they forget that Google doesn't necessarily understand that, and might actually put someone on a floor plan page before they figured out the area or before they figured out based on the search they've done. Right. So we often look at it this floor plan page on the website and we assume, Oh, they've already read this, they've already picked the community. That's how they got to this floor plan. When in reality, Google put them on the floor plan first and they haven't seen all these other things, and the floor plan page itself doesn't connect back and make it easy for them to go back and then answer those other needs and other questions.
I mean, yeah, my oldest, a beautiful floor plan, but I have no idea where it is. I can't figure out which community it belongs to. I don't know the area it's in. [00:20:00] And so then they go back to the homepage if you're lucky and start over, or they just back out to Google and go to the next one, which is what you don't want.
So, I think it's important that we recognize that. That this process that the website has to support it no matter where they enter, no matter where they start.
Matt Riley: And honestly, as you say it, like the website has to be set up in a way to support the pinball machine as well. Right? Like it can't be this linear path where I'm on the floor plan page.
And from there, there's nowhere else. It doesn't lead me anywhere else. It doesn't give me any other options because I didn't come through any other. I didn't come through your pretty funnel. Google said, Oh, this looks like a good match, and then I went straight in there, but now you've backed me into a corner and I can't go anywhere else.
You gotta look at that. Like, I think when you're looking at your website, your product pages, you know, towards the bottom of that page, are you giving customers other options to say, Hey, you like this plan, you might like [00:21:00] this one, you know, Oh, this floor plans built in these six communities.
Right. Do you like this plan? We have three of these that are ready to move into right at, well, maybe not right now, but we don't have any right now. In general, you know, we start to give that, and I think that the more we can shorten or lower the learning curve for the prospect, for the customer that comes in and make it more similar.
That's really bad grammar. That's not right. I make it similar. It's like more better. We like, even though, I always say, even though that's really poor grammar, I want more better personally. I'll take more better. Why would I not, if better's good, why would I not want more of that? So more better anyway, so we want to make our websites more better.
And we want to shorten that learning curve and make it feel there. Oh, by the way, guys, they're on Zillow. If you can make it feel like a Zillow, if you can make it feel like an [00:22:00] Amazon where they've just spent the last year of their life, buying everything. Those are all to me, those are all positive things.
And you can look at those companies for inspiration on what a real buyer journey looks like. And stop just looking internally at home building, because again, we're like 10 years behind.
Greg Bray: Well, hopefully this year, some folks woke up and started moving that a little bit closer. Seven, eight years behind now.
Yeah. So, Matt, besides this idea of the plan pays that we've talked about, are there other mistakes that you're seeing, as people aren't reacting to the buyer journey, maybe the way that they could, or as well as they should?
Matt Riley: I think, like you said, Greg, when someone comes in, you don't know where they're coming from.
So I would take the same approach to my community pages, my inventory pages, when I'm coming into, I think we do a really poor job of a community is telling the story of why immunity is there and the surrounding area as a whole, [00:23:00] we just assume, and this is a salesperson mistake, right? So like when you're doing sales training, and a lot of people forget when the buyer comes in, it's always like, Because they're standing in front of me in community a they only want to live in community and know they're there, they're considering a multitude of other communities and Oh, by the way, they're probably also considering other areas as well.
And so we forget to like, let that be the surrounding area of a community is also it's amenity, not just the pool and the clubhouse is not the buyer's only amenity because they don't come there, parked their car and never leave again. Right. So it's got to be a bigger picture, a part of a bigger overall picture.
And I think that we do a poor job of painting that.
Kevin Weitzel: Wait, are you telling me there's a neighborhood that somebody builds in. It's near an amusment park where I can go have my weight or age guess.
Matt Riley: That's exactly what I'm telling you.
Kevin Weitzel: Sign me up, sir. Sign me up
Matt Riley: Here, [00:24:00] live in this community, or you're going to be able to go over here to this amusement park and this weirdo over here is going to insult you by guessing your age and weight.
Kevin Weitzel: Well, you know, you actually said something kind of funny in there and not funny, some peculiar in there. You said that, you know, there are no homes, move in ready homes right now. The market is great right now. It's very, very great for builders literally across the country.
I, don't talk to one builder that doesn't say they're not having a record here this year. Yep. That brings me to the quote that I remember of yours. Not, I don't know if you penned it, you coined it, whatever, but good markets syndrome.
Matt Riley: Oh yeah, absolutely.
Greg Bray: I love that one too. Yeah. I love that.
Kevin Weitzel: Know, that's when I actually, probably, when I first met you. I was in one of the webinars or not webinars, one of the seminars that IBS, and you said, GMS, Good Market Syndrome, you know, why are you stopping your production and moving forward in your marketing plan just because you're selling homes now.
Matt Riley: Yeah, I think it's so true right now. And I made up [00:25:00] GMS when I was at Royal Oaks as a builder, because this was back in like 2015, 2016. And I felt like my salespeople were getting lazy. Right. I felt like they were getting back on their heels and don't get GMS.
They were like, what is the GMS and like it's Good Markets Syndrome. We at the time we actually worked with Myers Barnes. So Myers would come in and do monthly trainings and Myers were like, okay, Matt, we worked in for years and years. What do you want to train on? I'm coming in next week.
What do you want to train on the meet and greet? What do you mean, the meet and greet? Like I would have trained on the meet and greet where you guys are selling 450 homes a year. You're telling me you don't know how to meet and greet. No, I'm just telling you, we need to focus on the basics. Right.
I'm a baseball guy, obviously with the Nolan Ryan picture behind me. But there's a reason people that make $50 million a year to hit a baseball, hit off a tee. There is a reason that people that make $50 million a year take ground balls every day and [00:26:00] practice their bunting. Because it's the basics.
You don't practice how to make a diving catch over the wall to save the home run, right. Or laying out flat to you. Don't practice those. You get good at those because you're so freaking good at the basics. You're so good at reading the ball off the bat, in which direction it's going to go.
That person's not actually faster than the next person. They just are better at the basics and they understand where they need to go essentially before the balls hit and they can make the phenomenal plays because they've practiced and continue to practice at the basics. So for me, Good Markets Syndrome is even though you're selling more houses than you've ever sold in your life, even though your company's building more homes than they've ever built before.
Focus on the meet and greet, focus on discovery, focus on selecting one, focus on overcoming objections, even though right now, you don't, your only objection is I need more [00:27:00] homes and I need more lots, but focus on those things. And then from a marketing perspective, it's how can I, what can I focus on?
What are the basics like? We're still talking about content. I feel like Allen Iverson. This is we're talking. Are we talking about practice? This is, we're talking about practice, man. We're talking about content like we're talking about still, we're talking about people need to have professional photographs and Kevin I know this is going to get you riled up, but.
Don't have color rendering, like color, water, color, renderings, penciled, 2d, like just don't do it. Like this is where I'm my AI. We're talking about practice. We're talking about the basics here. Like these are the things that you have to focus on.
Kevin Weitzel: Matt. I'm having to fight the urge to use profanity so bad.
I'll just use the term. Dog poop. I am blown away at how many builders will pull it out, black and white stick drawings. Those, you know, and I'm not talking about nice, beautiful [00:28:00] architecturally rendered, you know, those nice watercolor looking scenes I'm talking about just colorized junk and they are expecting their buyers.
They're insulting their buyers basically saying, Hey, we hope that you can gather that we sell a quality home out of this crap that we're showing you. Yep. It blows my mind and builders do it all the time.
Matt Riley: You know, people ask me all the time. What is the next greatest thing? I'm like pictures, video, Matterport tours, interactive floor plans.
Yeah. This stuff's been around for years. You don't have it, right? Like that's the next biggest thing practice you're hitting off a tee. So you don't hit the, you hit the ball and not the tee, right? Like those are, I mean, once you get the fundamentals down, the rest of it comes to, for Greg that same presentation at IBS.
Rehab me talk about the pinball machine. I also, I think in that same session, maybe it was a different session. Hell maybe it was a different year. I don't remember. However, [00:29:00] I do have a slide where I give the example of, if someone goes to Amazon right now, it was a kitchen aid mixer. It was a kitchen aid.
One of those countertop mixers, they were fancy, but it was, it was a $200 item. And on the Amazon page, I think I had something like 27 photographs of the KitchenAid mixer. I had a video of somebody showing me like how to turn the damn thing on. But, and then I went to a home builder page.
Next shot is, you know, I like all this copy, all this content on a $200 item. And then I go to a home builder page and it's like a $600,000 house. One. I'm going to use the word picture loosely one picture and maybe a rendering. And that was it. Like there was like, you know, please see agent for more details in the description.
Like that was the description. And what scared the reason I'm talking about that now is it because it scares me that what we're seeing with the environment that we're in right [00:30:00] now is going to make that worse. Yes, it scare's me.
Kevin Weitzel: You know, let's do this. Let's do an IBS presentation, that's in your face, we'll call it toast to roast, where we just put up examples on the screen and we say, could we roast this or do we toast this because look at this crap, you know, I think we need to do this. I think it needs, because we do this every year at IBS, we do this at every webinar and every seminar that's out there, we get asked the same question. It's like, how do you guys not see that this garbage that you're putting out there is.
Matt Riley: That's right. Well, and so what about the fancy AI, right? Like what about all this stuff that's happening? Well, you know, if you want, if we want to get real techie, we got to make sure that you're serving up content first, right? Like all that's gotta be there garbage in, garbage out. Right. So we can talk super high tech stuff and state-of-the-art things that are coming along.
But if you don't have the basics down, your screwed.
Greg Bray: We see that, not just the same concept meant not [00:31:00] just on the website content, but also in the marketing tactics. Right. It's like, Oh, I want geofencing Oh, I want it. You know, it's cool and it's new and all this, but you haven't done the basic SEO yet.
You haven't done, you know, kind of the fundamentals in the same way to make sure that you know, you're, you're appearing where you need to appear. You haven't put addresses on all your content, so that it'll show up on the map properly. You know, some of these basic ideas that again, but it's not very exciting to talk about that.
Matt Riley: You know, your website is not the wrong slow cooker. Yeah. You remember that blast from the past, you set it and forget it. This is not the set it and not the wrong slow cooker. You don't like, get your website built and throw it out there and be like, Oh cool. I've got a website. Where's all my stuff, you know?
What do you mean? I've got it. I've had this website for five years. What do you mean I have to update this thing and redo [00:32:00] it. That's crazy. That's a lot of money, 7,000 bucks on this website, five years ago. This, yeah. So anyway, I'm not going to get on that rant.
Greg Bray: We're going to have to retitle this episode, at the Kevin and Matt Rant.
Kevin Weitzel: I watched her roast in your face. I, think there's plenty of them that think they get it, but they really don't.
Greg Bray: So, what about the legitimate excuse? I'm going to put this out there cause I can understand it. I felt it myself. I agree with you, Matt. I agree with you, Kevin. I want this on. I'm just too darn busy right now, writing contracts.
I just, I don't have time to get these things done. How do we get past that one?
Matt Riley: Hire somebody. Hire somebody like I don't care because, Oh, guess what? You're also making more money so you can afford to out, you don't have to physically hire an employee, go hire a content company, right?
Go hire a videographer photographer, give them a list of stuff and say, this is what I want. You know, you'll [00:33:00] spend, you know, 30,000 bucks to get a whole bunch of stuff. But guess what? You got to play catch up. Like you're going to have to open up the checkbook and say, you know, like, well, I didn't run it.
You know, this is the question or this is I'm going to get close to my microphone. Cause I want this to feel intimate. I don't have that in my budget, Matt. I don't care. Like go make more budget. Cause you're telling me you're having the biggest year ever. You have more than 1% or one and a half percent because.
You have to. Like anything and honestly, like kidding aside the stuff. It isn't like a water faucet. You don't just turn it on and it's there. You don't hit the button and it's there. It takes time. Right? If I needed to get content, I've got to get photos, I've got to get these houses done. I got to get them timed out.
I got to get them staged or I got to get them, you know, whatever it is. And so it's like building a house if you want to move, you know, when you ask the question, all right. You know, when are you thinking about purchasing a new house? Oh, you know, June. Well, [00:34:00] when do you want to move in? June. Oh, well, we're well past that you should have started this process eight months ago, right?
I mean, because it takes time to build the home. It takes time to generate the content. So what we're doing today is not going to give us, it's not for the results for tomorrow. It's for results for six to eight months to 12 months from now. That's what it's for. So don't get lost in the sea of busy-ness.
Because you're going to look up because we got nowhere to go but down ladies and gentlemen, like we've got nowhere to go, but down we're going to blink and we're going to see a 40% drop just like that. Now, guess what? There's really good news. That's still 2017 levels. Right. I'll take that all day long, but what you're, what you're doing today is six, eight, 12 months result from now results.
And so that's why it has to be a focus. And so like when you're in your builder or a salesperson, you manage your calendar. [00:35:00] If you don't sell anything, it's this is February, almost March. If you don't sell anything in March, you didn't have one bad month. You had two bad months.
You didn't have any sales in March and you didn't have any closings in August. Right? And so that's kind of what you have to manage your calendar from what w what you need to focus on today and not get bogged down to. I'm just too busy mode, because if you don't do it today, it's gonna, you're not going to see the impact good or positive, good or bad today.
You're going to see that impact today. You're going to see that impact in eight months.
Kevin Weitzel: Good or positive. I love that.
Matt Riley: It's like more better.
Kevin Weitzel: Hey, if you can have extra large, you can have more better. Why not?
Greg Bray: We're going to have to get ahold of a book of Matt Rileyisms out there. Right?
Matt Riley: Well, Kevin just feeds things like gas on the fire, right.
Greg Bray: Matt, to your point about the timing of it. All right, then the good news. Here's the good news, right? I don't have to worry about. [00:36:00] Short-term promos or, hurry up and get one more lead this month because I'm busy and I'm full, right. So I can take that energy. I can take that budget that was set aside for those things, and I can invest them in the foundational content.
Better renderings, better photography, better tours, better SEO. All these things that will stick around. First of all, they're long-term returns. You know, it's not like you got to throw them out tomorrow, you know, you get to keep the benefits and it will bear that fruit six, nine, 12 months from now when things may not be that's I was good.
Matt Riley: And I want to be clear because there are other people within our industry that. That say, you know, our shut it down, right? Like you don't need to spend any money. No, one's having trouble driving leads and driving sales, like shut it down. Now, what I want to say is I understand that, but what we're talking about right here is not about driving leads and sales today.
This [00:37:00] is not what this is about. This is about investing in yourself and in your organization for the future. This is what this is. Don't shut it down. That you're gonna kill yourself later. You're gonna kill yourself later, I promise you. You're going to regret that decision in a year. That's what I just want that to be clear.
This isn't about driving sales and traffic today. This is about investing in your company, investing in your business, investing in your livelihood. When, when we're not at the peak of all peaks
Greg Bray: This is coming from a guy who worked for a builder that sold 3000 homes in a year and then went bust.
Matt Riley: I will never take my foot off the gas off the pedal ever, ever, ever. I can't,
Kevin Weitzel: You have to be weird and don't you have to be willing to morph Matt. I mean, you got to look at carburetors. You have to look at rotary dial phones. Uh, you know, those markets went away because they didn't change and evolve into [00:38:00] dial up or a fuel injection.
You know, the whole building industry follow suit, the same thing. Why do we still show the den as an option instead of the den as the commonplace. You know, and then add a bedroom and if you're going to have more kids or whatever, but you know what builders aren't doing that, you know? So, I mean, there are some, don't get me wrong.
There's plenty of builders that are on that, on that. Correct. But there's so many that aren't, and that's just a fun, simple, fundamental that more people are working from home. Give them an office. So if you're not a man, if you're not amending your business plan and to match that same thing, if you're not in a marketing plan to match, when the gas doesn't need to be pushed on, if you don't have those tools in place, you don't have anything to push up.
There's no fuel tank.
Matt Riley: That's right. I agree. Yeah. So, anyway, I guess I got on my little rant, but I wanted to clarify, like, this is not about like, if you're listening to this going you're right. I'm so busy. I don't have time to do any of this. This is not for traffic generation today. Right? This is like, think about wealth building.
Like you [00:39:00] didn't generate $5 million over the course of a day, right? Like you did things you planted the seed for to grow and continue to grow later. And later when you actually needed it. And this is what we're talking about, this is what I'm talking about.
Greg Bray: I love it. I love it. Well, Matt, you've been really generous with your time today.
I want to be mindful of that. So as we kind of look to wrap up, are there some trends that you're watching just in the future that you think everybody should be paying attention to? Again, we're talking about, Hey, that now is the peak and it won't always stay the peak, right.
It's going to kind of fall back, but what other, what other trends are you. I think we should be paying attention to,
Matt Riley: you know, trends. I think You've got to get on the virtual train. Like that's not going, you know, like that's not going anywhere. Um, you know, when the toothpaste is out of the tube and you're not going to get it back in the tube, you know?
Don't think that once everybody's vaccinated and people are more freely out that, [00:40:00] all the stuff that you did, you know, to be able to go virtual is going to go away. That's that's not going away. I think, as an industry, As a home builder, the trends are modernizing our homes and not modernizing in a sense of a style of modern versus modern and traditional like architecture.
I mean, modernizing like how people live. And I think that this pandemic of the past 12 months has really highlighted to people, how they live in their home and how they want to live in their home. And so, you know, while everyone's not going to always work from home forever they will go back into the office.
People there will still be people that are a lot of hybrid models. And I think that of every, you know, two person plus household at least one of those people are gonna be consistently working from home at one point or another. And if not two people at the same time. So, and so this is where it's like, your product starts as your [00:41:00] core.
And then it brand that then that's, therefore is going to then branch out to your market, to your messaging from marketing perspective. And it's going to then branch out to to how you demonstrate your homes, right? So like your overall pulling the thread all the way through the needle your sales message, your sales demonstration is an extended version of your marketing message.
Right, but that starts with the core product that you have. And I think that that trend is understanding how people, you know, that I want to watch is understanding how people have changed their lifestyle and what they expect out of a new home. And I think the word new home should have a different meaning.
Not just that no one's ever lived there. But it's new as in new, how we want to live our life.
Kevin Weitzel: Out of curiosity, Matt, and this is only, the personal curiosity. You were very well known in the home building industry. You know, you go to IBS. If you haven't heard the name, I haven't heard the name, Matt Riley or heard Group Two, you know, you're living in some crazy cave and in Afghanistan or something,
If you [00:42:00] eliminate all of the, what I would call the cool kids, you know, the people that everybody knows, the Kevin and Mike Lyon, you know, Kevin Oakley, my client. Do you eliminate the Ronda's? You know, you eliminate those, what is it one or two people that you reach out to, or if you're needing just a little bit of gas put back into your tank, who do you reach out to you?
Matt Riley: Hmm.
Kevin Weitzel: And the caveat being, you have to eliminate all the typical go-to it's, I've got all this go to this too, but just those two people that you could just think of that you're like, I need these people in my life to make Matt's game better.
Matt Riley: So Uh, of course, right. I'm friends with all those people that you just mentioned.
You know, the Myers of the world, those are all great. I, but one of the things that I have because I was a builder for so long I do have friends, a lot of my friends are still builders and I like to reach out and talk to the people that are still working for that are still builders. That I don't actual, they don't pay me the people that don't [00:43:00] pay me to work with them.
Uh, which by the way, if I know and you don't pay me, no, I'm just kidding.
Just kidding. Not really, bu so, those are the people that that's the people that I used to work with. But used to be part of my teams that I want to. That I like to talk to and that I like to get that real pulse of what's happening. And also just talk about. Normal stuff, not just like what's happening at this big national level, like real local real stuff on what's happening.
So the ex team members, teammates of mine, those are the people that I love to reach out to with within our industry alone. I love it.
Kevin Weitzel: Boots on the ground. I love that.
Greg Bray: Yeah, that's right. Matt, any last parting words of wisdom that you didn't get a chance to share yet that you wanted to make sure the words
Matt Riley: let's see a pinball machine, good market syndrome.
Toast or roast, you know [00:44:00] those are some, all those were my favorites of the episode, but now it really is Invest in yourself, continuing to invest in yourself, continue to invest in your company. In all seriousness, like don't get GMS. It's it's easy right now in everybody.
Everybody, the Warren Buffett's saying rising tide floats all ships, but when the tide goes back out, we don't want to be caught. So, you know, we're going to find out who is swimming naked. Don't be caught swimming naked, focus in on the basics that you have to execute on. Because sales really good sales cover up really big problems.
Things get swept under the rug. And so tackle those things now because they can spin out of control and create their own kind of monster later. That's a lot harder to tackle. So I say address issues now don't let, I'm too busy, be the excuse. It's kinda like, what people like, I don't ever want to hear it because we've always, [00:45:00] you know, the old saying the answer is not because we've always done it this way, you know?
And I think that's what the new saying is don't do it because they'll not do it because you're too busy. Like figure out how to do it. The, your too busy is now the new we've always done it that way.
Greg Bray: I completely agree. Completely agree. Love it. Well, Matt, if somebody wants to connect with you and learn more or talk, what's the best way to get in touch.
Matt Riley: I'm on all the socials except Twitter. I hate Twitter. Don't reach out to me on Twitter. I don't like LinkedIn either. Cause it's just somebody who wants to sell me something. So really basically Facebook and Instagram, I have an account on all the socials you know come to grouptwo.com.
You can find me there. You can email me, you can call me any online, just google Matt Riley. There's only a couple of us.
Kevin Weitzel: You can also find Matt Riley and at 5k, 10 K marathon near you.
Matt Riley: Maybe, I'm a such a fair weather runner. Kevin. My winter running effort has been such horse crap. I justify [00:46:00] like, Oh, well I'm outside.
Uh, so if it starting to warm up here in Raleigh, I'll start running with more effort. Yeah. So anyway,
there you go.
Greg Bray: Well, Matt, thanks again so much for your time today and all the thoughts you shared and hopefully folks learn something, cause I know I did. And thank you everybody for listening today to the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast.
I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine
Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse. Thank you.
Matt Riley: Thanks guys.