It’s officially the first day of spring and many of us are celebrating warmer weather and the flowers popping up in every field and garden. Here in Austin, TX we are starting to spot families taking their annual bluebonnet pictures—a hallmark of spring in Texas. What most of us don’t look forward to is the necessary task of spring cleaning. Who came up with the idea of spring cleaning anyway? The tradition began 3,000 years ago in ancient Persian tradition called Khaneh Tekani which translates to “shake the house.” While there are many religious and historical traditions tied to spring cleaning, we thought that “shaking the house” was a great one for us to adopt in the home building industry, so let’s shake out some marketing spring cleaning tasks that will serve you well in the coming year.
Spring cleaning your website, listings, and files should start with a visual inventory of what you have. Here are some questions that you should ask as you take notes of what needs cleaning.
1. As you review your listings and your website, how do your images and renderings compare to your competitors?
2. Do your listings stand out on the page?
3. Are your renderings a good representation of the quality of your homes.
4. Do any of your renderings show dated design styles?
Pro Tip: Renderings can get a facelift with new furnishings or colors from time to time for a minimal cost!
Did you know that content with high-quality visuals gets 94% more views? What exactly is high-quality? Check out our recent infographic as we dive into the anatomy of a high-quality rendering.
If by variety you mean one exterior rendering of each elevation, a floor plan, and the tombstone image from every community then most builders would score an A+ in this category. Unfortunately, consumers expect much more when it comes to choosing which builders to add to their short list. Below is a quick check list that will give you the A+ from consumers—the reward is typically a conversion.
1. Exterior Rendering of each elevation (Easy & obvious—we hope you all checked this one off the list J)
2. Floor Plan
3. Interior Renderings (some research indicates that interior renderings may be more effective at getting the first click in a listing)
5. Lifestyle shots
We love high-quality images, but it’s also important to make sure that you take website load speeds into account. You can still showcase great images without slowing your website down which would affect the user experience. What’s the use of great images if they take too long to load?
1. Make sure that the images on your website are the appropriate size for where they are. Your main hero image should be crisp and eye-catching, but it doesn’t need to be 3MB.
2. For gallery pages that have many images to load, it’s best practice today to utilize lazy loading so that the page loads as a home shopper scrolls vs. waiting till all of the images load before the page comes up.
3. All the images in your listings and detail pages on your website should be cropped to approximately the same size and feature the same quality.
Pro Tip: You can process all your images to crop them and adjust the quality in one batch by utilizing the script functionality in Photoshop. Here is a tutorial on how to use this handy feature.
While it used to be considered high-tech to have visualizers and interactive floor plans on your website, it’s become more of a norm thanks to the pandemic and the need for shoppers to quickly make decisions often from out of state. The boost? Interactive elements are more than just pleasing visuals; they solve problems for home shoppers that often earns builders increased time-on-site and conversion success. Here are a few you should consider:
1. Room visualizers
2. Interactive floor plans
3. Entire home virtual tours
We hope you find these tips helpful and spend a few minutes shaking your house up a bit this spring. We bet that if you do, more leads and contracts will follow. For more information on high-quality visuals, visit us at TheBDX.com or email us.
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