June 12th, 2012

Cobblestone Park by Sun Custom Homes

Categories: Custom Homebuilders, New Community | Tags: , , , , ,

Are you looking for a custom home in Oklahoma City? Look no further than Cobblestone Park, a community by Sun Custom Homes.

Located near the Kilpatrick Turnpike, Cobblestone Park is set in a prime location in the middle of Oklahoma City. The Quail Springs Mall, Gaillardia Golf and Country Club, Mercy Hospital, and much more are all within a few minutes of this neighborhood.

Cobblestone Park features several lakes and multiple convenient entrances for easy access from the north or south side of the community.

Children living in Cobblestone Park have the option of attending either the Putnam City or Deer Creek school system; both are great award-winning school systems.

Homes in this Oklahoma City neighborhood run up to the $120,000 price range.

Sun Custom Homes fills a niche in Oklahoma City for authentic design, luxuries, and superior craftsmanship at all price ranges. Their drive comes from being passionate about building custom homes tailored to the individual clients needs. Sun Custom Homes has won several awards throughout recent Parade of Homes tours and is a member of multiple builders associations.

If you’re ready to move to Oklahoma City, make Cobblestone Park your new home.

June 8th, 2012

Writing Good Web Copy

Categories: General | Tags: , , ,

Thinking of your website as a model home, you know how important the basic framing is: the foundation and walls, the programming and design. But after you build the house, you’re going to fill it before inviting people in. As a custom home builder, you want to show off your eye for detail and design, the perfect staircase or dramatic lighting that makes your potential home buyer gasp in amazement.  Think of your website content as home interior. And that’s why your website is only going to be as good as your content.

Content is what conveys your message, boosts online presence and traffic, and invites the home buyer in. Content needs to be fresh, and it needs to be convincing. We offer a few tips on writing and preparing good web copy.

Be personable. While professional, the atmosphere of company websites online are expected to be personal and relaxed. Very formal language is often looked at askance; you don’t want to be reciting your company history like a Wiki page. You want to tell them a story. Write in first, not third person. Even more important is avoid a pressured, sales-oriented tone.

Now of course you’re looking for sales. But sales are a second step. The first step is drawing interested attention. And that’s designed around giving your potential custom home buyer the information they want. Tell them what you can do for them! People highly distrust pressured marketing and advertising online, even moreso than they do in traditional print advertisement. Visitors want helpful and informative content that isn’t all in their faces. Your style will back up your assurances of honesty and customer service. Hype doesn’t sell.

Be organized. People scan when they read online. Studies show that they skim written material online far more than they do in traditional print media. You want to think like a newspaper, not a book. In fact, too much text will often push people away. Big bold headlines will grab attention and succinctly summarize the material underneath, so that your home buyer can flick through until they find what they need. Then nicely-written and well-organized paragraphs attached will offer them more detail.

And we’re sure you know this, but avoid caps lock. They don’t draw attention, they just feel like SOMEONE IS SHOUTING at you.

Enrich your text. Here’s where we think more about marketing. Using keywords in your copy is necessary if you want to draw in a crowd. SEO enriched copy is key. A balance here is important: use them throughout every page, but don’t over use them, as you don’t want to sound spammy or forceful. When creating keywords, think as the user. What words would you use to find your site? What terms would you throw into Google? Remember that they’re searching as a home buyer, not as someone already involved in the industry. So avoid jargon and use natural phrases.

SEO is crucial. If your website is the model home, and your content the interior design, then SEO is the map to it. If you build a beautiful custom home and no one sees it, what’s the point? You wouldn’t build a custom model home in the middle of the desert! You’d make it easily accessible and well-advertised. So too your website. As always, feel free to contact us with any SEO or web design questions.



June 8th, 2012

Stratford Farms by Rieger Homes

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

Are you searching for a new home in Poughkeepsie? Rieger Homes presents their new community, Stratford Farms.

Stratford Farmsis adjacent to the scenic Pleasant Valley and is set in a prime location for commuters traveling to Connecticut, NYC, or Northern New Jersey. Area amenities for this community include a plethora of museums, Dutchess Stadium, Poughkeepsie Galleria, James Baird State Park, and much more.

These single family homes feature 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and showcase the classic colonial New England architectural style. Children living in Stratford Farms will attend Traver Road Primary, Arlington Middle, and Arlington High schools.

To get to Stratford Farms from Route 44/55 East, continue on Route 44 to Bower Road. Turn left on Bower Road and Stratford Farms will be be on your left.

Homes in this neighborhood begin in the $300,000 range.

Rieger Homes has been building superior homes in the Mid-Hudson River Valley for more than 50 years. Their experience building more than 6,000 homes has allowed them to perfect the art of high quality homebuilding. If you’re looking for a new home community in Poughkeepsie, be sure to check out Stratford Farms.

June 7th, 2012

Madison Ridge of Grey Oaks by Prieb Homes

Categories: Homebuilding | Tags: , , , , , ,

Are you looking for a new home in Shawnee, Kansas? Don’t pass up an opportunity to live in Madison Ridge of Grey Oaks, a new home community by home builder Prieb Homes.

Madison Ridge of Grey Oaks is conveniently located between I-435 and Highway 7, just north of Shawnee Mission Parkway. Members of this community will find themselves close to the Mid American Sports Complex, Kansas Speedway, downtown Kansas City, and Corporate Woods.

Those living in this neighborhood will enjoy a pool and cabana, covered picnic areas with grills, and perimeter stone and wrought-iron fencing. Children living in Madison Ridge will attend school in the award-winning DeSoto District. The homes themselves feature spectacular prairie and craftsman style detailing and are two stories.

To get to Madison Ridge north on Hwy  7, take Johnson Drive east one block to Woodsonia Drive. Head south on 57th Street and the models will be on the corner.

Homes in Madison Ridge start in the low $300,000 price range.

Prieb Homes is a family-owned, 3rd generation home builder serving the Kansas City area, based in Olathe. They offer a variety of floor plans and prices to suit any family’s need and have built nearly 2,000 homes. Madison Ridge of Grey Oaks can be your new home today.

June 6th, 2012

Heritage Park, a New Community in Virginia Beach

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

Are you looking for a new custom home in Virginia Beach? LR Hill Custom Builders would love for you to consider their community, Heritage Park.

Set on your choice of lake, wooded, or open area lots, these custom-built brick homes are beautifully tailored to suit your needs as a homeowner. Area amenities include crystal-clear lakes and walking and biking trails. This community is conveniently located just minutes from Sandbridge Beaches, shopping and dining, and a local horse stable and riding center.

Children living in Heritage Park will attend Virginia Beach Public Schools, including Three Oaks Elementary, Princess Anne Middle, and Kellam High School. Homes in Heritage Park start in the low $500,000 price range.

To get to Heritage Park from General Booth Blvd South, turn left on Princess Anne Road. At Hills Corner, head straight onto Sandbridge Road. Go past the shopping center on the right. Heritage Park will be on your right, directly across from the entrance to the Lagomar subdivision.

LR Hill Custom Builders strives to make the building process as stress-free and smooth as possible for both their building team and you. Recognized as Virginia Beach’s Small Business of the Year, LR Hill Custom Homes is committed to providing the highest quality service possible. If you’re looking for a new custom home in Virginia Beach, be sure to check out Heritage Park.

June 5th, 2012

Morgan Pines by Konter Homes

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , , ,

If you’re looking for a new home in Savannah, be sure to check out Morgan Pines, a new custom home community by Konter Homes.

Located in Pooler, Morgan Pines offers six different floor plan collections, ranging from modest town homes to custom Signature Homes. Their Carriage Square town homes are among some of the most unique available in Savannah, and are limited to two families per town home.

This neighborhood offers two pools, a fitness center, playground, tennis and basketball courts, and many other amenities to help you take advantage of all the great outdoors has to offer. Kids living in Morgan Pines will attend West Chatham Elementary and Middle and Groves High School.

To get to Morgan Pines from I-16 heading west, take exit 115 for Pooler Parkway. Turn right and exit on to Pooler Parkway and follow for almost a mile. Turn left on to Pine Barren Road  for about 1/2 of a mile and the entrance to Morgan Pines will be on your right.

Four types of single family homes are offered in Morgan Pines which range from the low $140,000 to upper $250,000 price range.

Konter Quality Homes, established in 1977, has built more than 2,000 homes and 17 communities. They have twice been recognized as Savannah’s builder of the year and have been recognized as a Guildmaster three times for outstanding customer satisfaction. If you’re looking for a quality custom home in Savannah, let Konter Homes build for you in Morgan Pines.

June 5th, 2012

Ballymeade, a community by Keystone Custom Homes

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

Are you looking for a new custom home in Chester County? Keystone Custom Homes would love for you to consider their community in Oxford, Ballymeade.

The Ballymeade custom home neighborhood is located in Southern Chester County and boasts one acre homesites. Despite being slightly off the beaten path, this community remains close to everyday conveniences and Delaware state, where shopping is tax free.

To get to Ballymeade from Route 1, take the Rte 896 South exit. Follow 896 to Old Baltimore Pike and take a right at the blinking light. Follow for about a 1/2 mile to a right on University Avenue across from Lincoln University. Make a left on Hall Road and Ballymeade will be on your right.

Builder Keystone Custom Homes has been ranked by the industry’s leading trade journal, Builder Magazine, as one of the top 100 home builders in the nation. They are also proud to be the first builder to be named America’s Best Builder three times by Builder Magazine of more than 200,000 home builder companies. With a reputation for outstanding quality, let Keystone Custom Homes build your new home in Oxford.

June 4th, 2012

Creating Funnels for your Site

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , , ,

So you’ve created the perfect website, and are ready for the sales to roll in. Are you looking to increase those website leads? We should be – the question is how.

It starts with your analytics.  A critical component of any successful website initiative is an ongoing analysis of your analytics.  You may be finding that you’re getting good traffic, but then not converting that traffic into leads. It’s an important part of your custom home builder internet marketing strategy.

A good rule of thumb is that for every 1,000 visits to your site, you should be converting twenty leads.  If you aren’t getting that, think about creating funnels on your site.  A funnel is nothing more than a process where you maneuver your prospective buyer to give you their email address in return for more information about your homes or communities.  Sounds easy enough, right? And mutually beneficial!

A couple best practices are the ‘download brochure’ and ‘print plan options’ offers.  For example: you have a prospective buyer who is looking at the details for one of your communities. They’re checking out your custom home offers, and you’ve given them just enough to get them interested. The next step is offering them more information.  Maybe it’s community features, or lot information, or floor plan ideas.  You want to give them the information they’re looking for – you just need an email address for them so you can email them the printable brochure, or whatever collateral you have to offer. They fill in a quick, convenient form right there on the page. And while you’re emailing the information to the prospective buyer, you’re also emailing your online sales counselor.  A follow up call is initiated, and the sales process begins.

These quick steps are fantastic for creating sales. You just need the right design and programming backbone to make them happen. Make sure your site provides an easy way for a potential home buyer to contact you, and for you to contact them back. What are you doing to funnel those sales?

May 30th, 2012

New record high for nationwide housing affordability

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

More good news for our custom home builders: Nationwide housing affordability has hit a new record high! This is so for a second consecutive quarter in the first three months of this year, according to the Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo. This new HOI data reveals that 77.5 percent of all new and existing homes sold in the first quarter were affordable to families earning the national median income of $65k. This is an improvement over the previous record in the final quarter of 2011. Then, only 75.9% of homes sold were affordable to these median-income earners.

However, tight credit has remained an obstacle for many home buyers. Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Flordia, said that, “Homes in this year’s first quarter were more affordable than they have been at any time in more than 20 years, yet many potential sales are not happening because of overly tight lending conditions that are keeping hardworking families from obtaining a suitable mortgage. Without this significant hurdle, the housing and economic recovery could be proceeding at a much stronger pace.” Read the whole article here.

Have you seen these limitations on sales as a custom home builder? The housing market may be improving, but as we noted in the last post it’s been a tough fight. To be on the forefront of the housing market as it improves, you definitely need to consider your scheme for custom home builder internet marketing. And that’s true whether you’re in the most affordable housing market, like Indianapolis-Carmel Indiana, where 95.8% of homes, and Cumberland West Virginia where 99% of homes, were affordable to households earning the area’s median income. Or whether you’re in the bottom of that HOI listing, like in New York were just 31.5% of homes sold in the first three months of this year were affordable to those earning the area’s median income.

If you have questions about your internet marketing – from website design, to mobile websites, to SEO – contact Builder Designs and we’ll be happy to answer any question or just mention your options.

May 24th, 2012

Market improvement for May

Categories: Custom Homebuilders | Tags: , ,

Good news for custom home builders! Builder confidence has risen five points this May, for the strongest reading since May of 2007. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) records that builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes have reached a level of 29. This is up from a downwardly revised reading in the previous month.

Derived from a monthly survey the NAHB has conducted for 25 years now, the HMI records builder perceptions of sales expectations. Gauged for the next sixth months, they’re rated “good”, “fair”, or “poor”. The survey also asks builders to rate the traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high”, “average”, or “low to very low”. Scores are then collectively calculated for a seasonally adjusted index.

For May, the sales conditions and prospective buyers have risen to 30 and 23, respectively. The traffic component has hit its highest level since April of 2007. The section for sales expectations rose three points to 34. Both have rebounded from declines in April. The Northeast recorded a six point gain to 32, the Midwest five points to 27, and South five points to 28. The West posted a two point decline to 29.

Barry Rutenber, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Gainesville, Florida notes that, “Builders in many markets are reporting that buyer traffic and sales have picked back up after a pause this April. It seems we have resumed the gradual upward trend in confidence that started at the beginning of this year, as stabilizing prices and excellent affordability encourage more people to pursue a new-home purchase.” Read the whole article here.

The market is still competitive, but with more people interested in buying new homes, the better the custom home market will do. Which is certainly good news! Have you seen an improvement in your single-family homes? What have you been doing to gain attention and drive interest in this slowly improving market? Along with your listing here on Custom Builders, we can provide SEO and website design to help you turn those prospective buyers into happy homeowners. We also create mobile sites, a new function of home shopping that’s increasingly important in this perspective market. Builder Designs doesn’t merely create websites: we create sale opportunities. Consider the effort and cost you’d pour into a model home if you were promised all 9 out of every 10 buyers coming to see it for their new custom home! Your internet presence is an important part of your overall marketing scheme, and we’d love to help.

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