Categories Real Estate Lead Generation How Using Video, Demographic Research, And A Landing Page Sold Out 75% Of A Condo Building September 18, 2016Author travisthom Sometime in early 2010 I received a call from a developer to list a 26 unit condo building in a pretty hip part of town. That was the good news. The bad news was that we had a few hard factors working against us. We were still in a recession and the building was a luxury development with prices starting around $400k. (FYI, $400k is considered luxury in our market.) The development construction, as nice and high quality as it was, was also two years behind schedule. The delayed delivery of the project made the banks, investors, and our client a little stressed, to say the least. No pressure, right? We were the third team to be hired for the project. The first two had a pretty normal start but they also faced the same challenges we did. On top of the above mentioned challenges, those teams also didn’t have a finished product to show case either. So, the small number of sales that they did produce was a victory, to say the least. Our goal, coming in to a now finished product, was to increase our lead generation to a highly targeted group of buyers and convert them in a very short amount of time. This meant that we had to really do some deep research on who our target buyer is/was and build out a campaign that spoke directly to them so as to not waste any time, money, or effort in getting these sold. Time was ticking and our developer had zero marketing budget for us to work with. The Research Phase: The demographic research process that we implemented was something we did for every condo and town-home development that we were hired to take over. What I mean by “take over” is other teams had already been hired to sell said project, produced some sales, but were ultimately fired or cancelled their listing. Our research process was pretty simple – survey the existing home owners that lived in the project, interview each of them, ask them a series of questions about how the discovered the project, their personal purchase process such as – how many times did they visit the project before buying, did they look at this project online, how many times did they look at it online, what was the main and deciding factor that lead them to buy here, what was there current life-stage and reason for buying this type of property, what outside influence caused them to purchase here, did they know anyone else in the building, where did they work, how close was their work place, did they visit any restaurant or stores nearby before they bought?… etc etc… We dove pretty deep when we interview them. The reason for this is because our goal is to build a buyer profile for the building. The faster we can create an accurate buyer profile of the people that have already purchased a unit, the faster we can create a campaign targeting to other buyers who fit this model profile and draw them in, ultimately capturing their information through a lead generation campaign in order to nurture and convert them in to additional sales. The questions we asked each prior buyer at the building gave us several key and critical insights to who our target buyer would be. Here is what we found out. The buyer is between the ages of 49-70 The buyer is a late Gen X and Baby Boomer mix, stronger mix of Baby Boomers The buyer is down-sizing from a larger home The buyer is an empty nester ( kiddos left the home ) The buyer is educated, affluent and likes to travel The buyer works close by or from home The buyer enjoyed the appeal of the lifestyle around the development and visited frenqenulty before buying The buyer had the resources to purchase more homes or a larger home, but wanted to simplicity of a condo lifestyle The buyers were made up of more married couples and professional singles The buyers were active in their social lives The buyer relocated from a different part of the city ( on average about 15-30 minutes away ) We gathered more data than what I mentioned above, but this gave us a pretty strong idea of who our target buyer was and understanding how to target them became more clear for my team. Each item of information we collected gave us a direction on how to craft a campaign, what they campaign should look like, what it should say, and how we were going to attract this very specific person into our lead generation funnel. The Campaign: We knew who our target was, we knew where most of them lived or are living, we also knew what micro moments or key items about the condo development and it’s location lead them to making the decision to buy. Now it was time to craft a well engineered marketing campaign that hit on those key points and really drive up engagement to spark emotion and give the project that was once highly anticipated, and that then fell flat once it opened, a fresh face and lifestyle brand around it’s name. Part of our challenge is that the project had a ton of press and anticipation prior to being built but once it was completed there was zero marketing presence which meant little to no momentum to carry the good press forward for sales. Not only that, but there was no website in place, no branding, except for a logo, and no print or other marketing materials. For any listing, this is catastrophic. Which lead us to the question of a budget. Typically with development this size, and with something that is as high profile and high-end as this, we ask the developer to spend approximately 10% of the projected profits towards advertising and marketing on the project. Our developer said NO. The marketing budget for this project? Exactly $0.00. That was tough and usually no budget or a very small budget can be doable, however it does hinder any and all of your marketing and lead generation efforts drastically. When it comes time for a weekly sales and marketing update review, and you have no budget to work with and you have over $16 million is projected sales sitting there, it’s like trying to sell a Ferrari with a lemonade stand on a country road. Ultimately, the entire budget was going to be at our cost. Big ticket asset to sell, but no developer funding marketing budget to get folks to go take a look. So, on wards and upwards, we took on the challenge as way to flex our marketing skills and really fine tune our craft. Here is the campaign we put together. At this time, we had done several sales and marketing campaigns for different new construction developments and over the years we had put together a solid team of pros to help pull off each campaign on minimal budget. In our corner we had a amazing video dude ( only 16 years old at the time!! ), a stellar sound guy, me for video directing and digital internet lead generation. Toni, my wife, took on the architectural photography while I also got my feet wet with landing page copy, email copy, and ad campaign and setup for lead nurturing. The sales team was top notch as well – Joe Corso (now Qualifying Broker at Mercury Properties in Albuquerque), Joel Sanchez (now Qualifying Broker and owner of Helix Real Estate Group in Albuquerque), and myself lead the sales efforts and followed up with all of the leads, showings, and worked hard and fast to rack up the closings. When you have a well seasoned team of pros to work with things go a lot smoother. The campaign in a nutshell: Create a landing page with a video of a home owner talking about the lifestyle at the condo project and why they love it there ( this is a testimonial video basically) Have that landing page offer a list of the condos left for sale and the pricing sheet. We made this a restricted access item in order to generate serious leads. Nurture the leads with 10 well written emails about the area around the project, the lifestyle, the freedom and benefits of living there and what their daily life would look like The first 2 emails sent out, had two other videos, the emails linked to a hidden web page that had videos of other home owners living at the development, each video was strategically highlighting different segments of the buyer profile type we came up with from our data. We had the single male professional, the Gen X couple, the baby boomer married male that was an empty nester. The first 2 emails with video went out two days apart from each other, then an engagement email 4 days later asking if they wanted a private tour of the building, then the emails were spaced out 2-3 weeks apart from each other. We then drove traffic to the landing page using SEO keywords after some research on the keyword searches for the development since it was a highly visible and anticipated development the keyword traffic was high for a local area. We also drove traffic using targeted Facebook ads and large scale email campaigns to past clients we had and to every agent in our market. Since we had a no budget campaign and had to use what was somewhat free to us ( mainly our skills and grit) we never once used any print marketing. Here is what the landing page looked like. It’s been archived for a while now, so it doesn’t look exactly like what it did when it was an active campaign. Here is a link to that old landing page- http://venturenm.com/the-place-in-nob-hill/ Here are a few items that we used to help increase conversions for this landing page. High quality video Low friction lead capture ( only asking for the bare minimum as far as email and name only) Strong CTA ( call-to-action button) We had only one call to action for a maximum impact to attract leads, so there wasn’t any need to over think what they had to do next. “Download Pricing Now!” in bright orange. We used FOMO ( fear of missing out and scarcity ) in our landing page copy. “Limited Amount Left” and “Only a few condos are still available…. We used a video of our middle target buyer profile the single professional male. We did this because we wanted it so be appealing in age, but comfortable to each age range without making our other buyer profiles feel like this wasn’t the place for them. Plus he also did a great job helping to “sale” the place on video. We used a strong headline: 75% Sold Out! Only a few units remain! Once again leading with the scarcity play and the fear of missing out. This isn’t something to over do unless you are really close to selling out and it’s the truth, scarcity can work against you, so don’t over do it, but use it when it’s necessary. ( like when you have no budget and large building to sell in a short amount of time.. 🙂 P.S> This landing page had been tweaked any optimized over time as our sales increased and our web traffic increased to give us the data we needed to really create higher conversions. SO the scarcity play and the “75% sold out” copy was created later on once we hit 75% in closed sales, so we were being honest and transparent. You’ll also notice we had no other link to any other site, no social icons, no links to other pages, just pure good ole landing page with one goal and one path. The video did a ton of the heavy lifting for us, the video really helped to give each web visitor a real reason to enter in their info to get the pricing sheet. It converted very well with only a small amount of traffic that we had to the landing page. Here is that video: http://www.travisthom.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/The-Place-interview-1-1.mp4 Then as the leads were captured and nurtured over time we sent them videos two and three. Here are those videos as well: http://www.travisthom.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/The-Place-interview-2.mp4 http://www.travisthom.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/The-Place-interview-3.mp4 Our email campaign was geared towards the buyer profile we created and highlighted the lifestyle to help paint an image of what life there would look like once they moved in. With the buyer profile we created, we did some additional research about the consumers home buying decision cycle and the items that influenced them to buy. The main group we studied where the baby boomers. This information played a large part in our email marketing. Here what we found out: The home buying decision cycle for baby boomers is longer than any other buyer type, typically about 12-24 months long Baby Boomers media engagement is higher with email and print Most baby boomers visit the development onsite 4-6 times before the make the decision to purchase They require take home print material to digest the info and they rely heavily on print material after visits to process the vision of their future Community is a high priority and who they will be leaving around is important to them There life-stage plays a larger role in their housing choice for long term plans, regarding health, social life and access to every day needs in a quarter mile radius The Results: In a 18 month time span from the launch of the campaign, we sold out 75% of the building. We captured well over 350 leads from the landing page campaign and we had several life-style events at the development to keep the brand engagement of the lifestyle at the building, making sure to spread a word of mouth type campaign about how fun and exciting the building is to socialize and visit with others at the building. We had over 2,000 people actually visit the building and preview the condos over that time span and after all of our marketing efforts we had reached a point of success where the majority of the sales had taken the pressure off of the seller and the bank and had filled up the building with new and active home owners that were proud to call this development home. Not too shabby for an almost zero marketing budget.