Web Site Priorities
I was thinking the other day about a car radio I bought from a friend for my 1959 chevy pickup. I didn't know much about radios so I was skeptical to take his word that it was the top radio of last year as he proclaimed. Well I found out it was a 350.00 dollar radio (like he said) and he was selling it to me for 125.00. Today I am enjoying that radio while cruising down the road.
What does this have to do with web sites? Well, I have been writing, telling you about a great system, affordable, specifically designed for home builders and thinking that my word means nothing to someone who doesn't know me. I know my friend well, and yet until I checked out radios at the store to learn more about what I was purchasing did I give him my money.
Therefore, I am suggesting that you search the web for anything that is comparable so you can make a proper and intelligent decision, especially before you dismiss my emails altogether, (like some builders have. I have so many more services and great things planned that these builders have forfeited the greatest opportunity available to builders who wish to increase their offerings.)
With every email campaign I send out to members of the Home Building Association, 80 percent of these builders to unsubscribe have email addresses like, hotmail, yahoo, aol, msn, charter, cox, nc.rr, jaxnet and others... Why are you giving credit to these company's when you can be using your email domain name in your email as a form of advertisement and recognition? And, it gives you more credibility. Think about it!
Sorry, got side tracked...
Allow me to give you some pointers I am sure you will agree need to be part of your priority list while searching for a web site interface and hosting company.
It should be affordable:
That means it needs to fit within your budget. If you are a large builder turning out 100 homes a year, then you could easily spend 20,000 on a web site if you projected it brings in at least 2 - 5 percent of the sales.
If you sell only 6 homes a year, you need to find something for less.
You should have direct access to the content of your web site:
I am currently setting up sites for several builders who are tired of paying to have their web site updated by the designer/developer company. They don't really know what you need, you do and might as well add it yourself.
Template based interface:
It needs to be a template based interface because that takes a lot of the details that make up a web site programming out of the way, out of your way so can concentrate only on the page content.
Do not get caught up with company's telling you that you can change your template (site design) when ever you like. Ours can do that too, but I am not going to focus on something that goes against company branding. They can even offer you 1000 templates to choose from, but you only need one that portrays the characteristics of your company.
You should look for a company that will design your specific web site:
When searching, you should look for company's that will design a web site specifically for you using your photos and colors. Do you have time to design and setup the main portion of your web site, like do-it-yourself web sites offer? There are already to many builder web sites out there that have Not For Construction, or Coming Soon typed into the pages.
It should be specifically designed for builders:
That means they should offer you more than just a web site interface. Just because they say they design web sites for the construction industry doesn't mean a thing if they do not also provide dynamic construction related modules or included pages like a plan library or community listings page, etc.
Interactivity means that your site visitors can interact with your site, not just view a number of pages with some pictures and content. They need to be able to search your house plan library, home listings and properties for sale in your communities and developments.
Being able to print brochures and plans and email their friends specific content and links to your site.
We are going to continue to offer new systems like our Task Manager that will help your customers with their home selections, final check list and call back issues with powerful scheduled emails and supplier location maps. Our existing builder clients will always receive these services for free in their web sites automatically, making them even more powerful.
I have focused primarily on production type builders in many of my emails. But look for my next emails as I will cover some of our other services that tie hand and hand with your web site, and how you can use these services to promote your company and convince your customers that they have come to the right place. These services are focused more toward custom builders, but can be very effective for production builders as well.
We are a company whose focus is on the preliminary stages before signing a contract, and keeping a prospect interested. We will continue to offer tools and assets to help builders look more professional, sell more homes and equip them with the latest technologies home buyers are expecting in a business partner today.
Allow me to touch on that just a moment... You know you can plug in a skill-saw to cut a board; the thought of using a handsaw would be out of the question. Most home buyers today are working in company's where most of their work is done on a computer, yet many builders force their customers to go back to paper and pencil to accomplish their tasks. Do you think they are impressed?
We already have systems in place that really impress our builders customers. And that makes them a great referral asset.