Guest post by Rob Heselbarth of Qualified Remodeler magazine
For owners of any housing-related business, the ability to generate leads always has been, and always will be, a critical component of success.
Many business owners employ the same basic lead-generating tactics such as direct mail, jobsite signs, email blasts, newsletters, door hangers, “get a quote” buttons on their websites, radio ads, and many more like this. Much of it becomes background noise to the busy lives of homeowners.
To stand out from the crowd and generate fresh leads from a different corner of the prospect pool, try these not-so-ordinary lead-generation techniques.
1) Events for the Public
- Host a food truck party or a food truck Friday near your office. Coordinate one truck every Friday, or invite many trucks to your parking lot on a Saturday. Obtain approval from local officials. Then, publicize it and make sure staff hangs around to talk with potential clients.
- Host a dumpster party. Rent a large dumpster, place it in your parking lot and invite prospects to a barbecue. The price of admission is one household item to throw in the dumpster.
- Invite a Boy Scouts troop to your shop for lessons on and help creating Pinewood Derby cars. Proper supervision required, of course.
- Sponsor a local 5K fun run, concerts in the park, community theater, or a youth sports team, etc., to build brand and create goodwill within the community.
2) Events in Your Facilities
- Host free workshops in which you educate consumers. Charge nothing, offer food and drinks. Take names.
- If you have a showroom, put on a cooking class with a local chef and invite clients and prospects to learn how to cook, and eat.
3) Create or Improve Mobile Signage
- Convert a box truck or cargo van into a mobile billboard with modern vehicle-wrap products.
- Place ads on the back of metro buses or taxi cabs.
- Rent a traditional billboard.
- Buy ad space on grocery store shopping carts or public benches.
4) Upgrade Your Jobsite Signage
- Add an artist’s rendering of what the finished project will look like. This will alleviate neighbors’ anxiety about what the home will look like, and showcase your vision at the same time.
- Upgrade the sign’s framing material so it looks nicer.
5) Be an Expert
- Speak publically at meetings of local associations such as Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, Rotary, etc.
- Give talks in high school or community college classrooms about your profession.
- Offer to be an expert for local newspapers, radio shows, and cable channels.
- Offer to give presentations at your vendors’ events.
6) Participate in Open Houses and Home Tours
- Ask satisfied clients to open their home to their friends and your prospects and throw a party. Pay for catering and clean-up.
- Participate in or organize a tour of new or remodeled homes. Keep staff there all day and answer all questions with a smile.
7) Run a Giveaway Campaign
- Ask past customers to display a jobsite sign on their lawns in exchange for one entry into a giveaway for a computer, TV, tablet, or dinner at the nicest place in town.
- Ask people to supply contact information in exchange for their entry to the giveaway.
- Give away products for the home.
- Tailor your giveaway prizes to local interests and hobbies. For example, if you work in an area with lakes or rivers, give away a canoe or kayak, or fishing equipment.
8) Coffee Table Branding
- When a project is complete, create a portfolio or coffee table photo book of the project and give it to your clients. Remember to include your logo and website somewhere in the book so family and friends of the clients know who did such fine work.
9) Meet a New Audience
- Offer to speak at a meeting of the local organic gardeners’ club, the artists’ club, the craft beer makers’ association, a gathering of train enthusiasts, or other hobbyists. The goal is to try something different and expose your business to a new group of prospects.
10) Hit the Streets
About the Author: Rob Heselbarth is the editorial director for Qualified Remodeler magazine and is a member of the NAHB Custom Home Builders Technology Working Group.
- Adopt a highway and wear logoed clothing when cleaning up the road.
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