Advantage Homes Offers Four Tips to Encourage Builder Growth

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By focusing on the right strategies, builders can emerge stronger than ever after the recession.

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Throughout the recession, Advantage Homes continued selecting only the highest quality materials & trade partners to work with.

There are four key practices we attribute to our ongoing success: strategic marketing, maintaining quality and energy efficiency, implementing a customer referral program, and incentivizing our realtor sales program.

According to a recent report by business solutions firm ADP, the pace of hiring by private employers has slowed significantly. With just 158,000 jobs added in March, the number dropped about 33% compared to the 237,000 jobs added the prior month. This marks the lowest tally since last October. The report claims a drastic decrease in hiring by the construction industry, which added zero jobs in February, is to blame.

While a number of homebuilders are struggling to bounce back after the recession, others have not only survived — they’ve thrived. Award-winning Maryland home builders Advantage Homes is one of the lucky few to prosper during the down economy.

“We’ve been able to succeed because we never lost touch of the principles or practices that founded our business,” said James McCormack, Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “There are four key practices we attribute to our ongoing success: strategic marketing, maintaining quality and energy efficiency, implementing a customer referral program, and incentivizing our realtor sales program.”

Forced to cut expenses and scale back wherever necessary, several home construction companies have limited or halted advertising efforts altogether. But, the new home builders in Maryland decided early on to continue their marketing and advertising. “Without marketing, nobody will hear about your brand or your homes,” said McCormack. A mix of marketing solutions, including SEO, online ads and social media marketing, help target builders' audiences, drive traffic to their website and, ultimately, increase sales. Advantage Homes also invested in an updated website with better viewing, navigation and sharing options.

Sometimes scaling back includes reducing quality, too, but not for Advantage. Throughout the recession, the MD home builders continued selecting only the highest quality materials and trade partners to work with. They never lost sight on maintaining their reputation for energy-efficient new homes either. As an ENERGY STAR builder, 100% of Advantage’s new homes exceed all energy standards. From air seal packages to ENERGY STAR appliances, homeowners still want sustainable building options. Advantage Homes recommends builders should still push their energy-efficiency packages and their increased annual savings during the sales process.

“Another vital selling tool builders should consider are referral programs,” says McCormack. A carefully crafted referral program brings potential new customers to your business and keeps current homeowners satisfied. “The people who buy our new homes enjoy the quality and craftsmanship we are known for,” said McCormack. “In return, they refer their friends and family to us, too.” For every referral to Advantage, current homeowners receive a check for 1% of the base price of the new buyer’s home. Plus, the new buyer receives 1% of the base price in free options and upgrades. These incentives encourage word-of-mouth advertising, and bring people to your model homes.

Building close relationships with the real estate community is also critical. A few years ago, Advantage’s Maryland builders implemented an Agent Alliance program to surround themselves with top selling agents. In return, agents receive 3% commission on their first settlement, 3.5% commission on their second settlement per calendar year and another 4% commission on their third settlement per calendar year. “We appreciate the time and effort realtors devote to guiding their clients to our communities,” said McCormack. “So, we do everything we can to reward our agent friends with exclusive benefits for selling our new homes in Maryland.”

About Advantage Homes:
Advantage Homes is an award-winning, custom homebuilder with a 98% customer satisfaction rating. A commitment to crafting extraordinary homes of quality design and construction underlies the Maryland builders’ dedication to customer satisfaction. Honesty, integrity and professionalism guide Advantage Homes as they strive to delight homebuyers with the finest quality new homes in Maryland.

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Tracie Hovey, Public Relations Director
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