Disclaimer: This transcript was auto-generated using AI-powered software. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
To listen to this podcast episode, visit Ep 4: Fixing That Broken Community.
Kevin Oakley 00:09
Welcome to market proof marketing the weekly podcast from the marketing minds at DoYouConvert.com where we talk about the current state of all things digital, and how they impact Home Builders and developers around the globe. I’m Kevin Oakley. And as always, we have with us Andrew Peek. Let’s
Andrew Peek 00:25
let’s get started. How was your
Kevin Oakley 00:27
weekend? True how it was it’s been a while
Andrew Peek 00:29
since it’s been a fun week. It’s been? Well, it’s been about 15 minutes in real life. But a week since the podcast last podcast recording. Yeah, it’s been good. It’s been it’s been a fun week. A lot of things have been happening. Rick, I was at homes.
Kevin Oakley 00:44
I was yo Yeah, people are selling houses. There’s no doubt about that. We’ll get into that in the news too. And I saw you got your scores back from the builder show your first ever talk there.
Andrew Peek 00:56
I was I was terrified when I got that email because Unlike this, this could be the end of my IBS speaking career or, or maybe next year, they might invite me back and not invite they might favor my you know, they’ll take that history into account when I apply for another speaking but no, I was excited to open it up and yeah 4.91 was edify. Oh, let’s,
Kevin Oakley 01:20
let’s let’s be nice. I like the specifics there. 4.9 1.9
Andrew Peek 01:25
Yeah, that is super big difference
Kevin Oakley 01:26
is guys, like, point nine higher than my score. Not that I’m keeping track Andrew, but boy, you know, I had
Andrew Peek 01:36
a lot less time. I had no I was like 20 minutes. I shared the stage with Dave Betcher with lasso CRM. We had a great talk Kevin had was it 45 minutes I believe it was in the farthest room ever at the Orlando Convention Center.
Kevin Oakley 01:52
They call it the spotlight because you need to get out your flashlight and hunt for that room. It’s on the other side. And it’s a great room.
Andrew Peek 01:59
It is awesome looking room The lights are amazing this bit like it’s I think they should have more stuff in that room you
Kevin Oakley 02:05
had reason to be scared when you opened up that email because I remember gosh, it was my first year with with my client Do you convert and I want to say my first score was like 3.8 or something is there was definitely stuffing on the ballot. There’s I don’t know people didn’t I said something that people didn’t like, but I thought for sure that that would be the end. Thankfully, there are a second chances but you don’t you’re not gonna need one man 4.9 that is a that is a legit scores,
Andrew Peek 02:34
which is Yeah, thank you think it’s crazy because back to like college or high school, which is way back but like speaking on stage, and like all that stuff is for the majority of my life up until the past like year or so like not me whatsoever. Like you would never say, oh, Andrew, he might be doing that. No, not me. So it’s, it’s cool. Definitely change. you challenge yourself. You learn you get better, and you go I actually enjoy this. It’s kind of fun.
Kevin Oakley 02:59
Andrew Peek 03:00
yeah. And now we have a podcast every week.
Kevin Oakley 03:04
Every week you get to practice talking more and more and more. All right. Well, let’s go into story time. Andrew enough some chitter chatter chitter chatter.
Andrew Peek 03:13
Yeah, so this story is actually a collection of stories. This big this week has been weird for me. client side, whole different variety of clients sending a whole different variety of challenges and good news, but I had like a series I think was like two and a half days in a row, where I was like, What is going on? And it was not like a super negative thing. But I’m like, what, what is happening here? Just communication was like the underlining thing there was when do these promotions in across a lot of different communities. techie marketers, we all know those people who want to make things really, really complicated and technical. That’s actually me making things Yeah, it is. That is that’s my tendency, or just larger marketing teams and other things like just larger marketing teams. with brand new strategies and so like what’s happening or requests, which I’m sure on your end you’re at a builder you might get Hey, we need we have this home that is for sale, do something with it, please and you’re like, well, what am I going to do with it? You need more information actually, to make any movement on that request, whether that came from a sales manager or what have you. But it made me think about like, if you are internal at your I’m have a agency speak today. I don’t know why. But you’re the marketing director of marketing for today at the builder at the builder, you’re four, and you have everything coming across your desk, and it’s all incomplete, where you can’t actually do anything with it without having to get clarification on it. You know, that could like that’s like, so much time is wasted for everybody. And then for the whole business side, if everyone kind of acts like that, that that’s just like insane. Like this is like a cluster of issues that could happen and just making sounds like
Kevin Oakley 04:57
Katie Well, you’re insinuating Andrew is that like us? Sales Manager or a company owner would drop something off on your desk as a marketer without complete information or thoughts all the time.
Andrew Peek 05:09
I don’t know I’m sure people are saying that is my life that is a single day of my life. Now.
Kevin Oakley 05:16
If you’re thinking about that, right now, it’s your fault, because every other home builder has got this figured out. Now, I mean, you know, circling back real quick, you know, when to promotions and sometimes that’s when the sales team decides it’s going to end or, you know, at the end of a successful promotion, sometimes you go Okay, let’s just keep that running lion make itself extend it to more weekends. The techie marketer thing, you know, a lot of that’s good natured, but it’s Yeah, it can. It can be tricky.
Andrew Peek 05:49
Yeah, that’s, uh, there wasn’t really an end to that story other than, you know, ideally, ideally, there’s like a fix for all that where it’s, you know, my thought my mind is like, well, if this was happening in marketing, and it’s coming from people outside of marketing, then they also are doing that to other departments that are not marketing, and the amount of friction or just wasted time for the business as a whole. You know, I think that could prevent them from meeting meeting their goals or just having like, hey, whoever on works a lot more than they should for the whole week. You know, it’s just it adds up is the bottom line.
Kevin Oakley 06:26
Yeah, I mean, and if I was going to give a little bit of advice here, it’s going to take me back to my PCBC talk of, of last year, you know, not I use this four step outline, when I’m thinking about this, you know, identify the problem, create a strategy for addressing the problem. What content Do I need, that will talk to that strategy, and then how am I going to distribute that content? And I like, obviously, four is a small number. It’s easy to remember, but I’ll So just that that order, because so oftentimes, identification and strategy is skipped all together. And people rush straight to this is what we need to tell them without really thinking through why. And without, you know, identification isn’t just what is the problem, but is it an internal problem or an external problem I referenced frequently. I think I already have on this podcast, you know, the production team at my builder coming to me saying, we need to change some of the questions on the survey that we asked people. And, you know, after talking to them, it’s like, well, why? Well, because we have an internal problem of the scores are not good. And so we’d like to change the questions to try to make those scores better. We want better Who knows? Yeah, that’s not that’s not that’s not a fix. That’s not the fix that we want to go for. So identifying and even just this week, I was talking to a client, and I said, Hey, a lot of your emails. These look great. This one. I don’t really have It looks completely different. What happened here? And and then before they even answered, I said, Did the owner just say this has to happen? And they’re like, yes. We knew this was kind of pointless only six people ended up opening, click clicking on the email, you know, they’re like, so we just, we pushed back, we push back. And then finally we just said fine, give him his email. We made it as quickly as we could, which is why it looked not as good It didn’t perform well, because the audience was not was was not well defined. And so, you know, just identifying Why am I doing this in the first place? And that also can tell you kind of, I mean, the one thing I really liked about what they did is they said, Okay, this isn’t, this isn’t going to go to a lot of prospects anyway. And I’m and I have to do it. So my perfection scale of you know, 100 is perfect and zero is this is the worst piece of email marketing ever. I’m good with a 30 Let’s just get it done a 31. Yep. But anyway, back to the identification strategy. identification is often overlooked in terms of why am I really doing this? And then the strategy part of, of are we just doing the first thing that comes to mind which my art teachers taught me a long time ago, the first idea you have for a logo, or any problem trying to solve is not usually the best one. It’s that you know, the 10th or 11th thing that you come up with that has a little bit more context a little bit deeper meaning to it and more thought. So you just can’t skip those first two things that I think back to the examples you gave when you’re in a larger team. Oftentimes, there’s there’s one person as a rogue strategy or just is pushing the whole team down this path towards content and distribution faster. And skipping those first two pieces. The techie one techie, people often are kind of thinking, well, isn’t this isn’t this content and distribution that I can do really cool. Isn’t this nifty? Without? Yeah, without our saying that, that whole context. So yeah, it’s a, it happens, you know, that’s it we like to say job security. When you have days. You’re sure you’re sure that’s awesome. Well, my story comes from a little while ago where I sat down with a CEO of one of the top 10 home builders in the country. And he said, hey, I’ve got this Excel sheet here that shows that if we could do online sales, the way that you convert, says they should be done. Online Sales and Marketing we would get we sell 1100 more houses next year alone. And so he said, Kevin, this is kind of important to me. 1100 more houses would be
Andrew Peek 10:51
that’s a few houses,
Kevin Oakley 10:52
a few houses a little bit of revenue. He said, How do I make that happen? And the answer was that at the time They have, let’s just say 45 homebuilding divisions in this company. And they only had, I want to say 15 to 17. Inside new home specialist online salespeople, I said, you just need to get to 45 as fast as possible. And he didn’t, he didn’t like my answer, because he went straight to Well, this is going to be a lot of extra overhead. That’s a lot of salary that I’m bringing on. When you hire employees at a public company, it can be very difficult to let them go later if the economy turns like you’re not very nimble. And so he didn’t like my answer. But just in reflecting on it. I’m, I’m glad I didn’t change my answer, just because he didn’t like it. It wasn’t a well, if he tell you what if you don’t want to hire 30 more people. We could just run more ads on AdWords or you know adjusting the call to action on your website. Those things mixed into it. But I, I didn’t change my answer. And sure enough, two years later, when I met the person who was in charge of their inside sales team, they with great excitement told me that they already had hired they had gotten to 40. And they were trying to get to 50 as fast as possible, because some divisions needed more help than others, more than one person could could handle. And so just a good reminder, I think for all of us that just because there’s pressure because again, we know marketers get pressure from sales from management, from all different parts of the business. You have to have enough mental energy and confidence in your own strategy and an understanding of what’s happening. To not just change that answer. Change that answer in the face of pressure from from around you because otherwise you’re going to put all that time energy money down a rabbit hole that may never return it and ultimately Put your job in jeopardy. So
Andrew Peek 13:01
I always thinking that, yep.
Kevin Oakley 13:03
Yeah. You’re, you’re gonna, you’re gonna
Andrew Peek 13:06
have it. And then it’s on you because you get the wrong answer. So it’s, it’s, you’re just delaying that conversation or whatever. And that’s
Kevin Oakley 13:15
pretty similar but different. For those of you who are listening who worked for public company, you’ll understand this tongue in cheek joke of, you’re gonna get in trouble no matter what you do. You know, it’s the sense of there’s so much pressure at a public organization to be delivering in and out every quarter. So you’re going to be held accountable on all ends of the spectrum. And so when you realize that you just say, well, then I’m just going to do what I really think is right. All right, do what is right. Closing the book on storytime. And moving on to the news machine.
Andrew Peek 13:50
And what’s up first, this is a fun one. Should I keep names out of this in particular last names, or give the full context of the story?
Kevin Oakley 13:59
No, you The context. Not, we’re not saying anything about anything other than the facts around what happened.
Andrew Peek 14:07
So this past election with Trump and Clinton, pull the digital space and it’s still going on
Kevin Oakley 14:16
Facebook. I love it. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this one, not me.
Andrew Peek 14:20
I know, right? I’m not, this is not good. Well, they were talking about, like how Facebook ads influence the election. This is not in regards to anything with Russia and all that stuff. But this is in regards to US companies running the ads for Trump or for Clinton for their campaigns. And so this article, by the post, put it together and they, I think they did a really good good job as far as what the big differences were. And so we’re going to take this and apply it to you as a builder. So we have one side over here who used video campaigns to push their message across so they wanted to say They said, and their videos and they wanted their audience to accept it and, and take it. Right. The other
Kevin Oakley 15:07
Yeah. So kind of Sure, like traditional television radio advertise
Andrew Peek 15:10
like pretty much take a TV ad and put it on Facebook. Yeah. Sounds Yeah, Facebook is cheaper. Yeah, that sounds like the best idea ever, not the other competitor, who in this article said they paid about 100 times less than the other competitor, the other person running for office ran ads that created a lot of engagement. On Facebook, typically, they were just images that had something that that person was for or against. And then it got tons and tons of engagement. I’m sure they used engagement campaigns on their for their ads. Yeah, that makes sense because they need engagement. So I’m sure they did a whole bunch of other complexities as well. But they didn’t. They had their message in there and the ads, but they weren’t forcing it or they weren’t saying hey, this is what it is. They’re creating that conversation on Facebook. Which is what Facebook That’s what they want. Facebook wants people to comment, like and share and engage with the content. As you can imagine, the person who did the videos did not win the election, the other one did. If we were to take Facebook, and this is our method,
Kevin Oakley 16:16
so so now we burst a bubble. Let’s just for the sake of brevity, let’s just say Trump, Trump is running campaigns. So yep. So the clinton campaigns spend a lot more money on Finland, I think a way to say it is they spoke to their art or they spoke at their audience, correct? Yeah. Not to the audience not like saying, Hey, this is what we believe is right. And you should believe it too. Or this is why you should XYZ or a lot of Trump campaigns did what differently?
Andrew Peek 16:45
They did. Yeah, they created conversation. They talked about issues. So like back to Clinton real quick. There are a lot of the I’m with her message. So it’s all it was content focused, versus what Trump did. He created conversations with the ads. Yes, it was focused. on himself, as far as actually in the ad itself, but it was always about different issues that he was for or against. And then he created this, this, really this space that people can comment on Facebook. And so then he got the engagement is crazy. And so they look at the metrics, I’m sure they say if they spent the same money, say a million dollars each, which is obviously a lot more than that. Trump’s campaigns were much, much, much more efficient versus Hillary’s campaigns were not efficient. So she her ads were viewed less far less. But this article saying 100 times less than than Trump’s campaigns for the same cost.
Kevin Oakley 17:38
Well, and I want to quickly shift away from the political but I do think it’s interesting that if I was for or against an issue, whether or not I was for Trump, maybe I was for one of the other primary candidates originally. And I may not have wanted to vote for Trump. I think what’s really smart about that strategies just saying if you care about x, you’re likely to share it. Regardless of whether my name is kind of maybe sort of attached to it or not yet, versus saying, Oh, that is a Trump ad, I’m not going to share it because I’m actually not for Trump. But if you’re for one of the issues that Trump is also, you know, anyway, I think that’s, it’s, there is a there is a method to that madness, for sure. And again, we always have links to all these articles if you want to go back and read them at their source yet it’s,
Andrew Peek 18:31
it’s, it’s enjoyable. So bottom line is make when you’re building your ads on Facebook and stuff, make sure they are engaging in your speaking with your audience. pretty pictures. I think it’s a big one. I have heard
Kevin Oakley 18:43
Yeah, well, good pictures, but also, you know, that’s the other thing is, you know, do you put your builder logo in the image? Mm hmm. Yeah. Do you that’s a good name the community versus saying, me we’ve seen this over the last three years that if you run an ad that says Come visit happy acres on Saturday versus come see, Columbus, Ohio is number one selling community on Saturday. Or you just talk about the unique aspects of that community. The curiosity factor that you get by not speaking at your audience, but to them, I think is another way to kind of apply that same idea.
Andrew Peek 19:24
Definitely. Yep. Second example that much better. Columbus is number one. All right. This is your next article, and I think it’s pretty cool.
Kevin Oakley 19:33
Yeah. This was originally reported on by Inman, I’m an Inman Connect member and if you’re not in your you should be in men is a general real estate focused organization that that does, puts on great conferences and and news articles. But I first saw the sun in men. You can also read it for free on Keller Williams website, but the reason that this spoke to me is They Keller Williams made an app, but not for the consumer, they made an app for their agents. And this reminds me back when I was at heartland homes in 2009 2010, we were creating an app with the help of Jeff Turner and the folks at Zeke interactive. And it was not for people shopping for new homes. It was for people who, after they had purchased with us as a builder would help them, communicate with us to stay organized to get push notifications on updates. It encouraged them to be social, they go to your house, take pictures of it, and framing. And if you share that, we’ll look at the numbers of how many people have seen that and give you points associated and you can win prizes you could get our goal with the app was to send two families each year to Disneyland or Disney World. So the two that were most socially engaging, so it had to do with how big your network was and how social you were. is a great, great concept that unfortunately wasn’t able to see the light of day once the NVR acquisition occurred, because lawyers get really nervous when it comes to putting that much power in the consumers hand. But Keller was one of the similar strategy and they said, You know what, we are going to make an app for our agents. This is not probably inexpensive. And the reason they did it, it uses AI. They have I believe you pronounce it Cal ke Ll E. Or maybe it’s Kelly. And so just like you would talk to Siri or Alexa, you can say Kelly give me a comp on home three to five nine want to drive. Kelly, who which of my prospects Should I call right now? So you can you can get answers to questions you can find and connect with other Keller Williams agents, manage referrals and check progress against Real career goals. Just this idea of We have this pool of agents in our company that is a very high tech forward thinking company. And they’re not gonna, a lot of agents don’t feel comfortable with this technology. And so let’s make an app that lets them use our CRM more effectively, or interact with our customers more effectively, while letting kind of that that AI be the front face of it so that they can interact with it using natural language.
Andrew Peek 22:28
That’s very cool. It’s like a, it’s like a manager. It’s like a personal manager, very self. As far as I saw this one feature in there, it said that it would remind the agent of new leads that they need to contact, which is like, Oh, that’s pretty cool, which the CRM already does that. I hope like, oh, if you
Kevin Oakley 22:47
logged into the CRM know that too. And so now,
Andrew Peek 22:51
I can send the work over text message, I believe it said it was text message. They’ll send you a text, they’ll send the agent a text, hey, you need to contact Debbie Sue. She’s tell somebody And she is interested in homes from $5 million plus, you should probably talk to her saw the commission for Yeah, you’re leaving on the table. Yeah, I thought it was super cool. I’ve not seen the bigger aspect of this is using AI and the kind of like chat bot type of technology internally for the professional not for like the consumer, which you don’t really that doesn’t get attention I that I feel like as far as everyone’s like, oh chatbot to help someone buy at home, but what about AI chat bots to help people sell more homes or to have their job be more efficient? I think is is really, really cool concept and probably will be adapted much quicker than the than the before.
Kevin Oakley 23:43
Yeah, I’m sure there’s going to be hesitation at first I don’t want to talk to this thing either. I don’t want to talk to Siri. I don’t want to talk to Kelly. But once you do and it helps you and again, that silly example of logging in. You could log into the CRM every day and know what you need to do. But knowing that fortunately A lot of sales professionals will not do that. I said how about if we just get proactive with this in a way that is you know, everyone gets text messages now they that’s not going to be a shock of how do I interact with this and it tells me something that’s actually useful. I just thought that was a good job on Keller Williams part for sure for spending that money and investing that time appropriately instead of just chasing more prospects on the front end.
Andrew Peek 24:25
That’s right. It’s not always more leads is it you need to work them properly. Exactly. Exactly. What’s the next one? super boring article but really all it is talking it really because it’s been said before again and again and again and again again since since forever since mobile has has been a thing when the first iPhone came out. Do you remember what year that was? 2000 and I don’t
Kevin Oakley 24:51
five I don’t know head way back when but but in essence, I have it in my closet still iPhone. I have Have an original iPod. I have my iPhone. I don’t have the boxes. My client if you’re listening, I don’t have the bias.
Andrew Peek 25:06
There we go. 2000 Yeah, 2007. But I do have my iPod. I still remember those commercials with the the white headphones and like the, the solid color. Classic. But so this article by adverts is just talking about the impact of mobile on your conversion rate, as far as if your site pulled up from a device that’s not on Wi Fi, which is so if there are people are out and about and they’re searching, and they’re on your website. And if it’s slow, what type of impact should that have on the conversion rate of your site? And so it’s pretty cool to have a calculator on the link. You could you could click that on on the post on the website when we have the podcast step. But it’s you know, we all know that mobile speed is super important. And I think it’s even more important just as if you look at like the long term trends. If you segment out desktop versus mobile, and AdWords it’s like a reverse chart. You have mobile going up and desktop going down. So just the efficiency of your site is even more important as people are, are on mobile more and more even though speeds are going up every year, every six months to 4g, 4g LTE, and whatever else is, is next after after that. But if a site’s taken two or three seconds to load and nothing is showing up on the screen, and it’s white, I think most people are just gonna click that back button. And you won’t even here’s the nerdy part, if analytics doesn’t load at all, because it’s so slow, you will not see that that was a bounce. If that makes sense yet, you won’t even you won’t even know. So I think what will happen if people like oh, I kind of know my mobiles really slow? If they fix that, which there’s a tool called pingdom comm p i n g, d o m calm that could, that’d be linked down in the show. You might have to make a login or if it’s, if it costs anything, it’s it’s worth the cost. So you know, get it, get it done. It will tell you like exactly what resources are loading our website, what the size of them are, and how long It takes for them to load. And so you can’t get everything fixed. And a big a big one is just having images that are too large, like they’re not the actual scale, or they’re being scaled down. So they’re like 3000 pixels, like, say from a camera, but they’re showing on the screen at 300 pixels. So that’s a big,
Kevin Oakley 27:19
yeah. And Google their PageRank tool, our PageSpeed insight tool that’s changed, so it no longer will give you the score on Raw speed. So that’s why you’re talking about using a service like that, I imagine is they used to tell you, they still will tell you how friendly your speed your pages. But the PageSpeed insight tool will not give you the same score metric. Well, we’ll put like we said the link to pingdom down in there as well as another one that’s escaping me right now. But I know the folks that like different tools to do this This last one I love because I just get really frustrated again, this is one of the main reasons we started the podcast is when you see a headline, and everyone in your company or your management freaks out about something that shouldn’t be freaked out about. Today, I went to lunch with someone in the mortgage business. And I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was even surprised at this headline, and because he would rely on this greatly, but the headline says Ryan, again, new home sales actually rose in January. And this is from real estate consulting.com, the website for john Byrne’s real estate consulting, and I love it because what they outline is, you know, there was a headline that came out that said, new home sales were down in January. And what they, what they highlight is that well, at the bottom, there is a plus or minus margin of error of 19% on the numbers, which is insane, saying one fifth of our numbers could be totally off, you know, essentially and We’ll still be covered in the fine print. So plus or minus 19. But you know, you hear that story if you’re in the mortgage business and you’re like, oh, shoot, well maybe that’s why my business was down in January. Not saying that’s what the guy went to lunch with was thinking but if he was giving himself some some solace by saying well, you know, I’m sales are down my my business and new home sales mortgages results are down, therefore, it must be the market. Not the case is what this article says. Their own internal survey of 300 plus homebuilders indicates a January new home sales jumped 20% month over month, and 14% year over year. So I just guys, you got to go beyond the headlines here and really understand how those metrics are coming up. And I’m going to loop in something else that I still believe is happening. But if you’re part of the selling new homes online, Facebook group that lassos started a couple years ago will do just that post The article from Redfin on there that roughly 33% of people are buying or putting offers on homes that they have never seen. I know that that happens. But I also know that if I asked the last 10 people that I know who have purchased a home, how many of you put an offer sight unseen, it wouldn’t be three out of 10. Now, so yeah, I live in Columbus, Ohio, I don’t live in California or Austin or Seattle, some of these really hot markets around the country where maybe that data and there was some of that, but the end the day you look at that story, and you say, it absolutely happens. I know people do that. But I’m also I’ll just always cautiously skeptical about what headlines are doing and why they’re doing I mean, it’s a great PR move for red fin they got a ton of exposure for that. I also just think it’s kind of interesting that on Redfin site, there is a button right next to say hey, you could say fourth thousand dollars by working with us if you put in and then it says make an offer. I saw that So hey, are they they surveyed 4000 people 1000 of them came from Redfin’s website. If they said, Hey, did you ever click on this button right here it has like, I don’t know. I’m just saying like an advertorial. You show me Everything is not as obvious. Next, it’s Yes. Just really, really well done. That’s my point. Yeah. And so I still think will did a great job of putting that out there. Because the bigger issue is not that 33% of the people are making offers sight unseen, is that it happens at all because it does. And yet builders think it doesn’t happen at all, just like the myth of someone buying on their first visit. That happens a lot. I’m not going to ever tell you that happens gonna happen 50% of the time, even if I look at a piece of data somewhere that says somewhere Did you know because anyway, I just think you gotta always be be a little bit scattered. But know that at the end of the day, people are making offers without seeing homes and also know that this spring is rocking. I have the ability to talk to just this past week. At least four of them said this was the best January February combo are the best February that the company has ever had even back in 2006 2007 90 sales in a month for a single market builder. just crazy. Another builder who is going to sell or sold 50 I think 52 homes January in February sold 75 all last year. It’s crazy. So it is it is rockin out there. Don’t do anything stupid. Make sure you stay disciplined and do what makes sense and then take this opportunity to look ahead and what can you start working on now that’ll be make make the summer months in the fall months better for you should there be a pullback for sure. Alright, time for a break. I think Andrew what we’re going to toss is a really
Andrew Peek 33:05
good title 360 headline if you make a great article, you have a clear thesis as a clickbait clickbait Oh, you have a broken community now what? So we’ll get into what you should do with that broken community. And I can’t give you full details on how to diagnose that thing.
Kevin Oakley 33:45
All right, here we go. 360 topic discussion this week is you have a broken community. Now what? And the idea here is, we all have them or I had them when I was in your shoes. There’s that one community Sometimes it’s sometimes it’s a sub market of your MSA that’s just not performing like the others. How do you diagnose potentially What’s going on? And then how do you react? We’re going to talk mostly about the diagnosis part, but the react, obviously, it mixes in. So the first thing that you’re going to do is we’re only gonna look at the data that we can find from the online customer journey. Why is that? Andrew? Why do we focus on the online side?
Andrew Peek 34:29
Well, we know it’s accurate. So that is super important. That’s, that’s very important. But then we could also compare that broken community against communities that are working. I think that’s our biggest relative those numbers that are relative to each other and they’re accurate amongst themselves. So that’s, that’s why
Kevin Oakley 34:48
Yep. That of that accuracy can’t be understated or overstated. Sorry, it can’t be overstated. Because we know that salespeople even the great ones are going to just naturally not realize They don’t even always realize they’re doing it, but they will underreport traffic and engagements and what’s happening in the front lines. And so if your Google Analytics is completely messed up and your site doesn’t load within, you know, a couple seconds on the phone, you can still have issues with here. But at least it’s going to be overall more trustworthy, more accurate set of data than if we’re looking at metrics from from offline stuff. So we’re going to we’re going to, in our, in your minds come along with us on this journey. Imagine you’re looking at your Google Analytics account or go ahead and open it now. On the left hand side, you’re going to get your Yeah, look at the channel setup and all that conversion data in there. It’s a beautiful thing. On the left hand side, you’re going to click on behavior. And then you’re going to click on all content. And you’re going to want to make sure you’re looking at at least the last 30 days, sometimes 60 days or a quarter, but you’re going to want to look at at least a 30 day period of time to get enough data in here to really make this make sense to you and be accurate. So let’s just imagine we’re looking at a 60 day set of data. And we are going to look in underneath that all content we’re going to go to the magical search box and we’re going to type in happy acres. And so we’re going to now in Google annex be looking at a page that’s just going to show the amount of of online traffic, unique visitors and sessions that happy acres is getting on the website. And because this is not a visual medium, we’ll try to make this easy on your own to use really round perfect numbers. So let’s pretend Andrew that that this neighborhood happy acres has not sold a home in the last two months. Oh. And so before we have the data now in front of us on the traffic. While what i the only other piece that I need to do to set the table is just quickly run through Mike Lyons last pro builder article professional builder magazine article, where he talks about the overall base metrics that we look at. So, real quick grab your pen, pen and pencil or on it, count on your fingers if you’re driving on one hand, so you can keep at least one hand on the wheel. Hundred percent of buyers are influenced by the internet, meaning they will go online at some time, but of the people who go on your website, one to 3% of them at minimum 1% should be reaching out for more information. Once they get on a page of that 1% minimum conversion 30% of those people at a minimum who reach out so we’ll just say 10. So three of those 10 people who reached out should become an appointment and then 20% at a minimum of those appointments should result in a sale. So in this, you know of those three, we might have zero sales. Are we might have one for an overall contribution amount of this online process of at least 30%. So just some base base numbers there for you. as we as we start looking through this, so if we look in at Happy acres for the last 60 days, and we see that they have had 50 people visit that that community page and again, we’re using small simple numbers here so we can keep it in our brain as we’re talking through this, but if you saw a 50 traffic units, unique users to that to that community last 60 days, what kind of things are going through your mind? What are you thinking about?
Andrew Peek 38:40
Well, if we take those numbers, you just said one to 3%, you might have so 50 people 1% of 50 is half a person. So you might have no leads, or you might have one lead every 60 days, or you might have half a half a person leads so that’s not good. You, you probably need more traffic, like there’s no other way looking at it. That’s that’s really depressing. That’s sad. You need more eyes looking at that, that page.
Kevin Oakley 39:11
Yep. So we know that there’s not enough people there at the overall benchmark. Now again, in an ideal world, you wouldn’t be using just the percentages from Mike’s professional builder magazine article, you’d be looking at your overall company average for all of last year or all of last quarter. Yep. So like you were talking about earlier and true, instead of just saying, Well, is it? Are we getting 1% conversion? Yes or no? Are we getting more than or less than the average for my company? How’s this? How’s this one community doing?
Andrew Peek 39:42
Exactly, so that means that half a percent conversion rate, but if your average is two and a half percent, then that even that I think gives even more context like hey, we do need more traffic because we have 50. But there’s a conversion issue here. Like there’s there’s something wrong with that page. Is the traffic going to that page? Where is it coming from? Is the pricing crazy? It opens up a whole different set of issues that could be affecting it versus just we don’t have enough people looking at it.
Kevin Oakley 40:11
Yep. So before we skip to that conversion part, what’s another piece of data that you would want to look at there and analytics of the 5050 traffic analysis you have? What else would you want to slice that up?
Andrew Peek 40:22
Where’s where are they coming from? So the source, so you have 50 people? Is it organic? Is it Facebook? Is it Google paid search AdWords? It’s a syndication. So really, really, those top three I want to focus on organza is a spec. Wait,
wait, what about other is it Twitter,
Andrew Peek 40:41
Twitter? What about Twitter, right Twitter Herve arrow, vero, Veera, what’s
Kevin Oakley 40:46
the arrow? The new social network? Yeah, they could be coming from anywhere.
Andrew Peek 40:49
Yes, not least one. No. Yes.
Kevin Oakley 40:51
Yeah. Well, yeah. Where is it coming from? I think that’s one reason that could be really important to know is because sometimes the This happens where we talk to a marketer, and they’re like, Oh, yeah, we haven’t been promoting that community, like ever. That will do it. So whatever it’s getting, it’s getting it from, you know, email marketing or organic or some other place, but we have not been paying to promote it at all. And so, yeah, it’s kinda like, Oh, yeah, well, maybe that’s why there’s no one looking at it, because we’re not, we’re not focused on it,
Andrew Peek 41:23
that that will do it.
Kevin Oakley 41:25
Okay, so the first check there is just to say, at the very beginning, like you just did, if you had 50, that means you might have one lead, you might have none. So we know that even in a perfect world, we don’t have enough traffic. But like you said, if we’re converting that half of what our overall average is, that means then we have to get twice as much traffic to get the number of leads that we need, and you may or may not be able to afford to do that. Especially if you have more than one broken neighborhood, you may not have enough budget to go around. Mm hmm. So when we talk about You know why that conversion rate might be half of what it is for other communities? What are some? What are some possibilities there?
Andrew Peek 42:06
So starting from where the traffic comes from, say the two we can control the most. Yep, Google AdWords and then Facebook ads. You could check those to see like, Okay, is there an obvious issue that’s making the performance on those be lower, say on on adverts, maybe your other ads have pricing so that people that do click those ads, they go to the other communities, they already know the price point, but maybe the ad for this community doesn’t know the price point. So they’re clicking the ad because the location matched up with what they’re searching for. They get to the page and like, Oh, I was looking for homes from the four hundreds, this is homes from the six hundreds that’s out of budget, so then they bounce back. So that could be affecting the conversion rate for Facebook. Maybe the targeting is too broad. Like you had a 20 mile radius around the community, which is pretty far depending on where you live, but maybe it needs to be six months. Because you’re in a denser area and people just don’t move that far from where they’re looking or where they’re looking for. So I would check
Kevin Oakley 43:08
if it’s in Pittsburgh, people just don’t drive across rivers or bridges in Pittsburgh. That’s, I’ve heard I learned a lot here for seven years. Interesting stuff. Yeah. Well, like where you live. People don’t want to trash takes forever to get on my side. Yeah,
Andrew Peek 43:20
yeah, half an hour of the day, guaranteed. Let’s say, Yep. So all this the
Kevin Oakley 43:25
other that what I want to hit on or just re emphasize that you said is super important. Guys, if your website is, is is primarily pushing inventory homes, homes that are already on construction, or complete, if they see those first on your webpage before your floor plans, and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. What I am saying though, is if your inventory homes have 50 to $100,000, and options in them, and you were running ads that said we start from the three hundreds and all of your inventory is from 400 to 500. That can be a huge reason why conversions will drop off because they may never even get to the point where they see Oh, they do actually, they just they would they do it. I could actually buy a home in here from the three hundreds if I wanted to build it from scratch. But again, just don’t overestimate what the consumers ability to pick up on what your website’s trying to tell them. If they scroll down, and they see only four homes listed in there all 400 plus and your ad said 300. Plus, they’re like I’m out of here. I can’t afford this. So we just see that a ton. where people are over specking their inventory relating to their starting price and not really pay attention to to the ads that are getting that traffic there.
Andrew Peek 44:40
Yeah, it’s super common. I come to learn over specking inventory is a common thing. Which Yep, you can’t blame on make sense. Like, hey, let’s sell it for more. Why not?
Kevin Oakley 44:52
Yeah, well, that’s another episode. That is how much you should load your inventory up with options or not. That’s The other P and marketing, we’ll get to at some point. But okay, let’s continue on with happy acres and the diagnosis here. So we know there’s not enough traffic. Let’s say that there are, there are though to, let’s just say, let’s say there are four leads. So the traffic number is low, but in this case it’s converting relative relatively well. So we have, let’s say, five, let’s say five leads. So there’s five leads in the system. And only, let’s just say none of those went to an appointment. So we got five leads, no appointments. So that ratio is hey, I can do that math. 000 percent conversion ratio on leads. What what kind of things come in your mind about what could be causing that to happen?
Andrew Peek 45:46
Oh, well, I would first want to have a conversation with the OSC at least or at least look at their notes. Hopefully there’s really good notes and that would ideally I
Kevin Oakley 45:56
am clapping for you, Andrew, because yes, everyone One skips that one
Andrew Peek 46:01
will be the other truth on what happened, hopefully. Mm hmm. So that’s which most I think most OSC are really good about this or at least they should be because they live and breathe in their in their CRM, as far as
Kevin Oakley 46:15
most PCs are OCD, right. And so they they keep track of this stuff.
Andrew Peek 46:21
That’s right. They like it. Because that that’s that affects their performance, because they know they’ll have that conversation with someone. Hey, there’s five leads What happened to them? So yeah, hopefully they have the answers like, oh, all these people were XYZ price, price, price price. Or maybe they’re like, Oh, they didn’t know it was this type of product. They didn’t know they were townhomes, which would be crazy, because hopefully there’s really good pictures of townhomes instead of single family homes. So that that’s ideally that I’m I’m hoping on that one. I’m hoping
Kevin Oakley 46:54
that that happens all the time. In fact, where this happens a lot is the entry level price point. So you’re lowest price community is going to get usually a higher amount of traffic because more people think that’s, you know, that’s something that they could afford, it is more affordable to more people. And so the more people look at it, but they oftentimes don’t like the product that’s associated with that entry level price point as much as true. And so the website may pique their interest, they will convert and then when they have that conversation or the back and forth over email, and they realize, okay, so I can just get this one house that has, you know, one bedroom for that price. Yeah, that’s what that’s what you get. Okay. Thanks. But no, thanks, you know, he’s gonna keep looking. That’s very common reason. Another reason are things that have nothing to do with pricing or product. It could be a misconception about where the school district lines are, that may not be clear on the page that is kind of but it’s some form of confusion or information that your website is probably and you may have done this intentionally but it’s not letting the customer know that something that conversation is coming up. And the OSC is the place to go to figure that out. That’s right. That’s right. Okay, so in this scenario I just gave you obviously have no leads, so we have no sales. So we don’t even have those appointments to but let’s say that we had five appointments and no sales. So now, john, what kind of things? Well, again, I
Andrew Peek 48:34
hope there’s notes I, hopefully their therapist notes again, but if they got past if they made an appointment, which means they should be somewhat aware of the pricing, not the exact price, right, that’s for later conversation, where they should know where the home is and where the and the price point and some general idea about it more so than like, Hey has three bedrooms, but they should like okay, it’s This is the type of kitchen we could have this is I’ve looked at the pictures they’ve spent, which I’m sure everyone who’s made an appointment has spent more time back on the website, I would think 1015 minutes like looking at pictures, like they probably invested that time on the website looking at at images as far as what is possible for them to move to. So if there has been no sale, this is a challenging question. Geez, this one, this one’s tough. It’s a tough one.
Kevin Oakley 49:27
I think the cool thing about this, you go down on this one. Yeah, well, we may not be able to control it at all from the market angle. So that is a little bit of a trick question for you. But nonetheless, like I like to say, you know, it’s not your problem, but it is your fault as the marketer, you know, you might have had 20 appointments and no sales. Guess what, everyone’s still going to ask for more appointments. And enough until you get a sale and if that conversion rates zero, you know, it just doesn’t work. what’s what’s really good though about what You said is you want to look at notes, you’re saying I want to look at specific data as much as possible. Yeah. And the good news is, as we go down this process, you’re only going to have a handful of appointments. Even for a really popular neighborhood, you might have 25 names in the CRM to go look at and understand their story, and what happened with them. But you can absolutely do that in an hour or so. Oh, yeah, run through 25 names and have a good sense of what’s happening. Of course, you want to talk to the sales rep and say, Hey, what are you what are you seeing here as well. But if the main thing is we, we may not be able to solve it, but we have to identify the issue and pass that issue along to management in sales so that they can work with that frontline team. You know, hey, do we need to get the short team out here and do some training? Do we need to? What is it that we need to do? Do we have a model home that smells like death and no one wants to stay there very long. That’s right. You have to keep the desert Train Trotter. Yeah, the P trap. That’s the that’s that’s not filled with water and makes the whole place smell bad. It could be that there’s a train track outside. And the OSC never talked about it. It’s not mentioned on your website, but the train runs by every time someone walks in the model, you know, who knows what that is. But we have to identify so we can live in reality, because we have to make sure of is that each one of these different levels is at least functioning well enough, maybe not on high octane, you know, all cylinders, but it’s working well enough that we can spend a realistic amount of money because again, if all these numbers are small, and the ratios all don’t work, we could spend $50,000 on one neighborhood in a month and get no sales still. Yep. And so it’s just saying, hey, what what and this goes back to knowing your overall cost per sale average as a company said, Okay, I don’t like this as a marketer, but if I had to spend double that for this neighborhood to get some momentum, should I do that? Or Kip Can I Do that and going through this exercise will help you identify that. And then, of course, to wrap up, we do want to look at, you know, a sideways glance at all the offline data of walking traffic appointments, which again, most home builders are not tracking appointments, if that’s the only soapbox I could have for the next month, is that as a sales company, or as a home building company, if you don’t track the appointments that your sales reps have, to me that is infinitely more important than walking traffic count. And yet a lot I would say almost half of Home Builders do not track appointments. And again, appointment to me is a meaningful conversation about pricing that occurs in the model. So it could be their first visit and that first visit could turn into an appointment that could be coming back for an appointment to finalize pricing but a meaningful conversation around price option pricing, options, selections, those kind of things. You have to know those numbers because at the end of the day, this online funnel that we spent All this I’m looking at, according to Mike’s article, and I agree with him, you know, a 30% contribution rate, which means that you may only need to get one sale from the online, the other, the other two for that month should be coming from walk in traffic or from other sources that it’s not online, if that’s what your company’s ratio is. If your online sales contribution is 50%, then they should be you know, if you’re trying to get four sales a month, they’re responsible for bringing in two, but the other two are still coming from this other other source. So you still want to look at that as well. Because sometimes we find Andrew that the contribution rate on a particular neighborhood, the store actually might be 70%. Even though as a company, your contribution rate is 30. That’s right.
Andrew Peek 53:43
And yeah, that will that’ll vary. For sure. Have you seen this is a bonus question. Have you seen the online sales contribution rate change, say the past three years? Increase or Decrease?
Kevin Oakley 53:57
Yeah, our base metric uh, do you convert used 20% of all sales 20 to 25. Now that is increased up to 30 to 35. But again, that’s just the entry level point, that’s where you really should be after a full year, year and a half of doing things the right way. And, and, and really working at it. But there are absolutely companies out there that that we work with, and some that we don’t that are consistently above 50% contribution. And again, for those of you who may have never heard our voices before, when we say contribution from online sales, what we’re talking about is a scheduled appointment, where the person shows up at a set day in time, based upon the online salesperson nurturing that relationship and scheduling that appointment. So it’s not just people who have ever talked to an online person and then show up sometime later it is actually being the procuring cause for them walking into the model on that day in time. Gotcha.
Andrew Peek 54:50
Very cool. And I’d expect that number to increase. Like, I keep going
Kevin Oakley 54:56
and going. It can’t know it and that’s part of my frustration. candidly Like, gosh, why are we still at 3035 as an industry? You know, essentially Think about it this way. If we go all the way back to the news, and we say Redfin says one third of all people are buying houses or putting offers on homes without ever seen them. But as home builder, home builders, we’re saying only one third of our sales are coming from that online interaction. Something’s off here. We’re not you know, OCS aren’t trying to get offers written to turn over to salespeople, they’re trying to get them just to come out and and more or transfer that relationship. So it absolutely should be going higher than it is. And maybe we can pontificate about that when we have my client on as our special guests on it. So we are going to start rotating in other guests on the 360 topic. If you’d like to be one of those guests. Feel free to email us that show it to you convert calm, sh o w at Do you convert.com and that takes us to the question of the week from Lauren in Edmonton Oh, sorry about that women’s hockey team thing Lauren. But usa usa. Congrats. She says congrats on the podcast. I’ve loved the first three EPS. Short four episodes already can’t wait for the summit in September. Well, we can’t wait to see you either, Lauren. But that’s not a question. Let’s get your question. She says I’m wondering if there are additional online marketing slash social media conferences that you would recommend or that you yourself would go to? Good question, Lauren. First off, the shirts are, the shirts have been ordered. So we have this but in the meantime, I’m going to send you an an autographed copy of Gary Vaynerchuk crushing it. I’ll drop that in the mail to you, Lauren. So congratulations, and we’ll get your shirt as they come in as well. But what would be your answer for her answer? You’ve been to a couple non industry conferences. That’s
Andrew Peek 56:54
right. I’ll talk about the one that I went to, because that one I’m familiar with so unbounce out of Vancouver Canada, which is the landing page tool that we like they they put on a really good conference. I enjoyed it. It, of course is not industry specific, but they have a lot of different types of people their
Kevin Oakley 57:12
keynote at like big topic
Andrew Peek 57:14
discussions as well as really granular tactical discussions as well. Two days. That’s right, they’re downtown Vancouver. So it’s, there’s a lot of fun cool city really nice. The event was good. But again, the hard part is always applying that to our industry because we are so different. We’re dealing with different dollar amounts than 99% of the people that you’ll meet at any conference where they’re selling, you know, say ecommerce, totally different game. But it’s still really good and there’s a lot of takeaways from it from it as well and you’re already in Canada so it’s maybe it’s really cheap to go over just a no passport
Kevin Oakley 57:48
required for you, right? That’s right. I also like Moz moz.com. They have they put on every year called the Moz con kind of same idea, but Moz is a organic Next search company, the digital summit there. Those are done all over the country. Generally, I’ve heard good feedback and I’m able to watch some of those streamed over the internet. But what interested is absolutely true. You know, I just I saw another article that millennials are taking the shortest amount of time yet to look for a home. And you know how long Millennials are taking Andrew, you’re a millennial. I am a millennial. How long you think?
Andrew Peek 58:29
Did they do it in minutes or times? Or is it like,
Kevin Oakley 58:32
Oh, this is this is a month still. Oh, it’s a joke. and months and months? Well, I’ve been yet
Andrew Peek 58:39
three months. Yeah. 2.9
Kevin Oakley 58:41
suicide to me. The headline is Millennials are buying homes faster than ever before. the punch line is still 2.9 months. So when you go to events like this, I mean, you’re talking about I was listening to another podcast and the lady was talking she did organic SEO and PPC work for really local companies like locksmiths, and she’s like, that’s minutes. So you know, the turnaround time on that is minutes, you know, I’m locked out of my house or my car I’m googling, get a locksmith and making an instantaneous decision to move along. So you go to one of these conferences and you really have to always be filtering things through what you know about your target audience how they think and how they’re shopping for a home going back to the My recommendation, understand the psychology aspect last week, and the other thing that you know, it just happens is that most of the people who are speaking are also selling something and so they tend to over prioritize not even intentionally just over prioritize what the importance of it is that they themselves do for a living, right. But we definitely recommend you go to these kind of events, even Inman Connect, which again, is it’s kind of like the international builder show. There’s one on the East Coast, one on the west coast, but it’s it’s for general real estate, but really, really helpful place to be there. Great to great conferences. And it’s always good to hear things from outside because, you know, you pick up those one or two pieces, Andrew and you came back from the unbounce event, you’re like, Hey, here’s two or three things that we absolutely could could tweak or adjust to how we approach the business. That would be better.
Andrew Peek 60:15
Yeah. And and they, yeah, that’s some really cool things that they showed off that will be coming this year, which is another reason I’m a fan of unbounce. Ai machine learning with landing pages, and they showcased it there and who was exciting.
Kevin Oakley 60:29
That is exciting. All right. So remember, if you want a T shirt, just send us your question of the week. firstname.lastname@example.org. Sweet. All right, Andrew, let’s wrap it up. Where can people find you on the interwebs?
Andrew Peek 60:45
That’s right. I need your help and helping my Google rank increase. I’m stealing Kevin’s spotlight here. So search my name Andrew Peek. I’m on the second page. There’s some other guy that’s competing against me again, he’s still there. I need to beat them. So by you clicking on On the second page that will help me rank higher. But in case that doesn’t work, @andrewpeekdyc on Instagram and also on Facebook and then the website for all the recent blog posts.
Kevin Oakley 61:12
And where are you found Google search for me right? Google Kevin Oakley or visit doyouconvert.com this is the closest thing you’ll ever hear to a plug. There are blog articles, there are links, there are resources that we just don’t have time to talk about here. So besides just finding out how to connect with Andrew and I, definitely check it out. The goal there is just give you as much information as possible. We’ll see you next week. See you Sunday weekend.