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Home tours are massive marketing opportunities for builders and remodelers in Minnesota. Hundreds of clients coming right to your front door as they explore what the area has to offer. So, how do you get the most out of your entry and make an impact with your homes? Here, we share five tips as you prepare for your next tour.
Having the right visual assets to promote your homes and your brand is an important step to making the most of a home tour. Hiring a professional to take high-quality photos is often the fastest and easiest way to get the best shots and will give you compelling images to catch a homebuyer’s interest and motivate them to explore more. If you are working on mastering your own photography, consider lighting, staging, and the composition of the shot.
If you’re starting a remodel project that you know you might enter in a tour, take a wide array of before photos as well. Having various angles to show future clients will help tell the story of the full transformation.
These photos can be used to market your homes during the tour across social media, your website, blog posts, and print materials, and they can help when pitching your story to different press outlets in the future.
By now, most builders and remodelers know the value of maintaining active social media channels. Tailoring your social strategy during special events such as the Parade of Homes can help increase engagement and connect you with new leads.
After you’ve gathered great photos of your home projects, it’s time to put them to work. Curate which photos you want to share that will pique the interest of tour-goers and inspire them to stop by and learn more. And, if you have photographer permission, sending your photos to the producers of the home tour and industry partners to share on social is a great way to get even more potential free promotion of your homes.
Along with photos of your project, check for assets you can share on your social channels and be sure to tap the resources that are available to you. Housing First Minnesota provides graphics to participating builders and remodelers to promote the Parade of Homes, Remodelers Showcase, and Artisan Home Tour, but you can also use the logo kits to create visuals that fit within your own brand guidelines—as long as you are participating in that particular event.
Do your homebuyers have a unique story to share? Have a new or trending product in your model home? Maybe your designer is passionate about creating stellar work-from-home spaces for your clients. Pitch your story! Writers and editors are looking for compelling stories and expert sources to create valuable content for their readers. It helps establish your brand authority and, depending on the topic, can give readers a deeper insight into what it’s like to be your client.
When pitching your story, keep in mind many writers and editors are working on editorial months in advance. For example, if you’re thinking of pitching a story for the Parade of Homes or Remodelers Showcase fall guidebooks, start gathering your details and photos during the spring tours. And many editors will want to be the first to share a story, so be transparent if the story has already appeared (or will be appearing) in another publication.
Along with clear details on what makes your story unique, don’t forget to include photos! Providing images allows editors to visually interpret how the story might fit in with the rest of the context mix of a publication.
As you head into a home tour, a collaborative approach gives all participants a larger pool of content to incorporate into their content strategy. If you are a builder or remodeler with a home in a tour, creating a plan with the partners that made the home possible is a great way to cross-promote your entry. From your interior designer and architect to your lighting and window manufacturers, tap into your project suppliers’ marketing teams to help amplify content. Think: Instagram takeovers with suppliers who will promote your homes while showcasing their products or a blog post sharing which homes feature a particular supplier’s product or service.
Many tour-goers’ first interaction with your company will be online, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward virtually. Upload photos, take advantage of the virtual tour options online at ParadeofHomes.org, and write a robust home description. A well-written home description will draw homebuyers in and help them imagine what it’s like to live in a particular home or community.
If you have a home in the Parade of Homes or Remodelers Showcase, your builder or remodeler profile may be awaiting your finishing touches. Add even more photos of past projects (and don’t forget to tag these images so they appear in the online photo galleries), set your location criteria, and upgrade your profile to add videos and social links to connect with new clients.
Entering the Parade of Homes, Remodelers Showcase, and Artisan Home Tour is a big commitment and an excellent marketing tool to reach new clients, so make sure you’re getting the most out of each entry. After you’ve entered, prepared, and fine-tuned your marketing plan, you’re ready to shine in upcoming home tours.