August 3rd, 2012

Home Builder Social Media: Houzz

Categories: Custom Homebuilders, General | Tags: , , ,

As social media becomes more and more important for internet marketing, we need to start looking beyond the traditional Facebook and Twitter gateposts. Not to say they’re not still important (they are) but because they’re no longer the be all and end all of home builder social media. We’ve talked about Pinterest and Instagram; have you thought about Houzz?

Houzz is a collaborative platform for home remodeling design, created for both home owners and home builders. It brings them together “in a uniquely visual community”, as they say. There are more than 500,000 photos up and hundreds of users, tons of articles, and an active discussion platform. And important to you, there’s a listing of home builders by area. Think about how great this is for you: people already looking to remodel or buy a home, searching for ideas, can find your profile and site right there. Along with a listing on a site like Custom Builders, a Houzz profile could really benefit you. Although it does lean more toward design and remodeling, they also take home design blogs – yours could be a great addition.

Not only should you post a profile, but be involved! The site is created for idea-sharing, mainly through the venue of photography. So those photos you’re taking of your interior designs and special features? Post them! (You’re already taking them and sharing them on your site, Pinterest, Twitter, et al, right?) It’s a fantastic way to share your work with the world, prove what’s possible, and attract lots of interested attention. Posting a beautiful kitchen on Facebook is good, right, and is going to attract some eyeballs. But most people checking on Facebook aren’t there to buy a home that day. Now Houzz? Houzz is for people interested in the home market. So you’ve already targeted who you need to reach, and the quick proliferation of photos mean that hundreds of people will see your work – on Houzz and as it gets passed on from the site. (A lot of Houzz shots end up on Pinterest, for instance.)

Remember, too, that while beneficial to sales, Houzz – and other social media sites – aren’t really about marketing. They’re about sharing, a conversation that takes place between home buyer and home builder. Put some nice photographs and ideas out there, and see what you hear back. Expect to hear more from us on home builder social media in the coming days. We know it’s important now, but the next phase of social media and internet marketing we’re reaching? It’s going to change all that’s come before.

August 2nd, 2012

Bella Vita Custom Homes of Texas

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Are you looking for a custom home in Dallas? Be sure to check out Highland Park, a new luxury community by Bella Vita Homes.

Highland Park is an impressively beautiful custom home community located between the Dallas North Tollway and Highway 75. Hackberry Creek and Turtle Creek meander through this Dallas neighborhood and connect parks, green spaces, and smaller neighborhoods together.

Homes in this community are spectacularly designed and architecturally sound. Conveniently situated just two miles from the Arts District in downtown Dallas, Highland Park offers a the perfect location for any Dallas home buyer.

Children living in this community will attend Armstrong or Bradfield Elementary, McCulloch Intermediate, Highland Park Middle, and Highland Park High schools.

Homes in this Dallas neighborhood start in the $1 million price range.

Bella Vita is passionate about working hard, listening attentively to customer needs, and constructing only the best quality custom homes. Their management team is dedicated to negotiating on your behalf so you get the greatest value for your expenses. Contact them to start building your custom home today.


August 1st, 2012

Ridgecrest in Portland

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Are you searching for a new home in Portland? Don’t miss your opportunity to live at Ridgecrest, a great new community by Arbor Custom Homes.

Ridgecrest offers single-family homes on spacious lots with gorgeous views of Mount Hood. These 10,000 square foot home sites are close to shopping, minutes from Highway 205, Seasons Market, Eagle Landing Golf Course, Mount Talbert Nature Park, and the Clackamas Town Center.

These custom homes start with an option from a variety of floor plans and range from 2,738 to 3,523 square feet in size. Move-in ready homes feature 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a 3-car garage.

Children living at Ridgecrest will attend Scouters Mountain Elementary, Happy Valley Middle, and Clackamas High schools.

Homes in this community range from $400,000 to $480,000.

Arbor Custom Homes is proud to be recognized as the 2011 Builder of the Year in Oregon. Every home built by Arbor is Earth Advantage and Energy Star certified and the pride they take in their work means you’ll be a satisfied customer. You can make Ridgecrest your new home today.

August 1st, 2012

Online marketing and CRM: Lasso’s solution

Categories: General | Tags: , ,

Most custom builders run a lean operation. That’s one of your best qualities, after all, working individually with your home builder through their entire process. Lasso CRM understands that, and their home builder software is designed with the custom home builder in mind. The role of  their team, they say, is to help you put CRM into practice to maximize the value and ROI of your investments. To do so they provide personal, knowledgeable service and help every step of the way.

Marketing and selling in the custom home building industry has a lot of moving parts. You’re finding and attracting leads, offering tours, creating relationships that lead from interest to closing. All in a highly competitive market, too. New home communities and lead follow-up mean there are plenty of priorities: are you always multitasking? Deadlines looming over you? Lasso home builder software supports your team from implementation to training, with constant support and innovation based on your needs.

Real people with real answers that care about your success and understand the real estate industry: every custom home builder is assigned an experienced Client Manager. They have extensive practical knowledge in real estate CRM, as well as IT and project management, to provide you with personal assistance, mentoring, and problem solving. When starting out you have the option of instructor-led online or onsite training; both are complemented by their built-in audio/visual e-Learning modules so you can learn or refresh your skills, at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Then once you’re up and running, you’ll get any question answered quickly by their knowledgeable team of Client Support Representatives via email or toll-free call. You’re also automatically enrolled in their unique Customer Success program, which keeps you updated on new features and maximizes your skill set with the program. Home builders have been collaboration partners in the design and functionality from day one. So if you have an idea for a new feature, or change to make it better? In their quest to make their home builder software “work the way you do”, they’ll incorporate your suggestions into future software updates. These updates are free and automatic.

If your marketing and sales team ever think they could benefit from home builder software, check out Lasso CRM for them. Their core purpose is to equip you to sell more real estate: “Faster. Easier. Profitably.” As a custom home builder, you shouldn’t miss out.

July 26th, 2012

Oak Tree, A New Community in Edmond

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Are you searching for a custom home in Edmond, Oklahoma? Don’t miss your opportunity to live at Oak Tree, a gorgeous new community by Tommy Huelskamp Homes.

Oak Tree is a gated, 24-hour security luxury community featuring custom homes. This golf & country club neighborhood offers residents a place to live where they play.

Children living in this neighborhood will attend the Edmond School District, including Cross Timbers Elementary, Sequoyah Middle, and Edmond North High schools.

Homes in this picturesque community start in the $750,000 price range.

Huelskamp Homes combines quality and style in order to construct amazing custom homes in the Edmond and Deer Creek areas of Oklahoma. Their unique personal attention to each project and client makes them a sought-after builder in the area. Let them build your custom home at Oak Tree.

July 26th, 2012

Custom building and home builder software

Categories: Homebuilding | Tags: , , , ,

As a custom home builder, you’re in close contact with your home owners and your prospective home buyers. Have you heard about Lasso CRM? Their home builder software is designed exclusively for real estate sales and marketing professionals, delivering all the tools you need to manage your leads, build lasting client relationships, and convert more prospects to purchasers.

Lasso’s system comes with plenty of benefits, including a pay-as-you go system that includes free weekly updates, a strong training and support team, free webinars, and, of course, major returns on you investment. Their home builder software has five major features:

Lead Management: As a custom homebuilder, you’re investing a lot of money into marketing to generate interest and leads. Use Lasso and you won’t have to worry about losing those leads, and it makes managing them almost effortless. You can capture, distribute, and track every lead from your web registration page, model home kiosk, iPads and other tablets, as well as online directories. Every online lead will automatically receive a personal, themed email acknowledging their interest. And a notification is sent to your sales agent. With such fast and personal follow-up, you’ve the beginnings of a relationship.

The agent’s dashboard is designed uniquely for real estate selling: new leads by project, prospects by rating category, and there are auto alerts to prompt the day’s (and future’s) to-do’s. With Lasso you can focus on your home buyers and sales without worrying about the ‘administrivia’.

Convert Prospects: With Lasso you can schedule systematic follow-up process, including automatic alerts. The net result is more appointments and so more conversions. Prospect profiles are comprehensive and easily updated with all contact history and notes. Quick reference is available wherever you go, at the office or on the road.

Lead Intelligence: Lasso’s special Lead Intelligence program provides critical information into the unique buying interests and preferences of your leads. Sales agents are also instantly alerted whenever prospects return to your website; follow-up is timely, personal, and tailored to their most recent interests. Lasso will pinpoint which media is delivering the best leads by source and publication. That way you can gauge the results of campaigns and media spending, moving around your budget to best maximize ROI.

Email Marketing: Naturally email marketing is built right into Lasso’s CRM. You can easily create and send professional mass mail campaigns to potential homebuyers and realtors, without the cost of external email providers. Target your email campaigns with any desired criteria, like sales rating or last visit. Lasso offers industry-specific templates to convey your project identity, home features, plan types, and more. Their system will even let you confirm RSVP’s and allow registrants to update their profile online. There’s real-time reporting on open rates, click-throughs, and forwards; effortlessly resend to all those who didn’t view the prior mailing.

Realtor Communications:  Do external realtors and brokers play a significant role in connecting home buyers to your new projects? With Lasso you can maintain the same level of communication with them as you would potential home buyers. With their realtor database you can track and manage your brokers, and alert them to upcoming project launches, open houses, and community events. It’s also a great tool to pinpoint the top performing external brokers.

Purchaser Tracker: Tired of spreadsheets? Reduce costly errors and save time and money with a single CRM database to view and track everything: all deal activity, inventory, pricing, and contracts. You can also prepare purchaser activity, broker assignments, deposits due, escrow amounts, and payment information. Use Lasso’s home builder software to automatically populate professional contracts to present to purchasers. It’s an easy way to create options and upgrade packages, plus will keep important documents in one place for easy reference. You’ll have digital storage of contracts, galleries, and floor plan ideas to offer your custom home buyer.

Reporting:  Lasso’s system has a variety of comprehensive reports: standard traffic, sales activity, purchaser and financial reports. All can be personalized to your vernacular and downloaded for presentations or offline analysis. They also design and develop custom reports for your unique operations. All of this information is easily available for informed decision making. Lasso supports industry standards like CSV and XML, so data can be easily exported for external reporting or integration requirements.

For a full list of Lasso’s home builder software features, check here.

As a custom home builder, you deserve custom software – programs adapted to your exact needs that empower you to turn potential custom home buyers into happy home owners. Lasso’s home builder software can make that happen.

July 26th, 2012

Rio de Bella in Oklahoma City

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

If you’re looking for a custom home in Oklahoma City, be sure to check out Rio de Bella, a great new community by Sun Custom Homes.

This neighborhood gives home buyers the option for a lakefront or greenbelt lot with homes starting at 2,400 square feet. These gorgeous homes feature 75% masonry exteriors with 3-car side or rear entry garages.

Rio de Bella is just minutes from I-44 and I-240 and residents are convenient to Will Rogers World Airport, FAA, shopping, dining, and more.

Children living at Rio de Bella will attend the Moore School District, including Wayland Bonds Elementary, Brink Junior High, and Westmoore High schools.

Homes in this community start in the $250,000 price range.

Sun Custom Homes boasts a grand reputation as a custom home builder in the Oklahoma City area. Their client-based approach allows them to tailor your home to your needs and price range. Their community Rio de Bella can be your new community.

July 20th, 2012

Housing Production on the Rise

Categories: General | Tags: , ,

In the month of June, housing production rose nationwide by 6.9%, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 760,000 home units. According to these newly released figures from the US Census Bureau and HUB, this is the fastest rate of new homes construction since October 2008.

“What’s especially encouraging is that, as consumers realize the advantages of purchasing a newly built home while prices and interest rates are so favorable, builders are able to put more crews back to work on construction sites across the country,” said National Association of Home Builders chairman and Florida builder Barry Rutenedge. He continued, “his in turn is helping spur local economic growth, and policymakers need to be very careful to not take any steps that would derail the beginnings of such a positive trend at this crucial time.”

This is the fourth consecutive month single-family housing rates have risen. Multifamily rates have risen 12.8%, keeping pace with the increasing demand for rental units.

Regionally, combined single and multifamily homes housing has risen 36.9% in the West and 22.2% in the Northeast, but fell 7.3% in the Midwest and 4.2% in the South during the month of June. Declines were due to monthly volatility on the multifamily units, as single-family homes showed increases in every region during June.

This increase is good news for all home builders. It shows an increase in interest in the housing market from consumers, who are starting to feel more secure about buying a new home and more comfortable with the market. For more information, check out this article by the National Association of Home Builders.

July 19th, 2012

New Community by LR Hill Custom Builders

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

Are you hunting for a custom home builder in Virginia Beach? Check out Ashville Park, a new neighborhood by custom builder LR Hill.

Ashville Park is one of the newest communities in in the area. Residents enjoy the benefits of a master-planned community while relishing the luxury of living in their own custom home.

A variety of home styles are welcome in this neighborhood, ranging from quaint cottages to lavish, custom estates. Amenities include sparkling pools, thoughtfully designed streets, and a community center.

Children living in Ashville Park will attend Virginia Beach Public Schools, including Red Mill Elementary, Princess Anne Middle, and Kellam High schools.

Homes in this community start in the $600,000 range.

LR Hill Custom Builders understands that building a new home is more than just a decision of necessity, it’s a purchase that will affect your life for years to come. They are proud to have received countless awards in recent years and continue to work hard to stay abreast of the constant changes of the homebuilding industry. Let them build your new custom home at Ashville Park.

July 17th, 2012

Chateau Gardens in Memphis

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

Are you searching for a new home in Memphis? Check out Chateau Gardens, a great new community in Germantown by Magnolia Homes.

Chateau Gardens features beautiful single-family homes with up to 6,000 square feet of space. The unparalleled craftsmanship of these homes begins with exterior French doors with Creole influenced shutters which open up to quality architecture and beautiful interior design.

Homes in this neighborhood are styled to reflect Louisiana culture and radiate Southern charm. Every home is custom-built to align with each customer’s particular tastes. This neighborhood consists of nine total homesites, giving it a private, quiet feel.

Children living in Chateau Gardens will attend Germantown Elementary, Middle, and High schools, or families may select an area private school if they wish.

Homes in this community start in the mid $650,000 price range.

Magnolia Homes was founded in 1987 and is known as the leading custom home builder throughout Memphis. They believe it’s important to take care of the customer as if they were family. If you’re ready to move to a custom home in Memphis, be sure to take a look at Chateau Gardens.

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