My favourite definition of marketing is ‘creating activity and an environment which enables sales’. Whenever I’m asked to create or improve marketing activity, it’s generally because the client is looking to encourage or improve sales.
Housebuilders are sales organisations who happen to be in the business of building houses.
“I build fantastic houses, they should sell themselves” – is something I’ve heard a number of times, but regardless of how fantastic a house or development is, any potential customer will need to first be aware of its existence and secondly trust that the house is indeed as fantastic as it seems.
- The marketing informs a customer that your house exists, presenting both the house and the housebuilder in such a way to develop trust in what and whom they are buying into, and cause intrigue.
- The sale (including the fact that a sales feature is that it looks like a fantastic house) is the process of reassuring, answering questions and closing the deal. Both the sales and the marketing involvement in some cases may very well be minimal, meaning that a house may indeed appear to “sell itself” without much involvement – however, there will most definitely have been sales and marketing input along the way.
As an example, I’ve organised a number of incredibly well-attended, successful new homes launches. One such launch event saw 250 people attend to purchase 14 homes, with all properties selling, at top-prices, within 45 minutes. I can assure you that they absolutely were ‘fantastic homes’, although in this example they weren’t actually finished until 2 years after the launch event – so there was only a belief, at the point of sale, that these would be fantastic homes. The only reason those 250 attendees were aware of the homes and the event, is because of marketing. The way the development and the housebuilder were presented combined with their reputation (again, communicated thanks to marketing) created an environment that gave confidence to purchasers and enabled the sales to happen.
So, will a house ever sell itself? In my view, no, houses don’t sell themselves. The selling of a property requires an equal measure of input on both the sales and marketing front. Don’t ignore the importance of marketing, and ensure your salespeople are aligned with your brand.