Tag Archives: Marketing

How Do We Respond To Change?


Remember the book Who Moved My Cheese that was handed out by many companies back in 1998 during times of restructuring? The book had little characters in it named “Sniff and Scurry” and “Hem and Haw”.

Essentially, the book (synopsis) was about how these two groups dealt with change in their little maze. One group, “Sniff and Surry” just took the fact that their regular place that had cheese had changed and went on their way to search for new cheese. The other group, “Hem and Haw” held out that the cheese would eventually be in the same place and began to wait it out relying on their old familiar ways. The moral of the book is that “change happens”, and it’s best to roll with it and adapt.

It’s ironic that in those times of the Dot-com bubble and the NASDAQ peaking at 5132 we thought that the economy was in turmoil. Little did we know that there was one of the largest housing booms about to occur and that the “Great Recession” would be the follow-up. Or, in the words of Judas Priest the rock band, “You’ve got another thing coming”…………

So, what is it about change that rocks our worlds so much? It is certainly human nature to fear change, but this is not a good reaction. In an article by Sherri Bourg Carter entitled “Why We Dread (and So Often Fail to) Change”, she sites that the unknown or untested are primary reasons for this fear which is one of our most powerful emotions. However, shouldn’t change be a constant for a person and/or company if they wish to pursue a better way? If status quo was the norm, we would not have the advances we use today? However, she also sites that “when fear grips you, you become powerless”. That rings true when Franklin D.Roosevelt had to calm our nation during the Depression with the words, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.

We at The Contrado Group continue our changes as a newly merged company; we too are intimidated by what these changes in our industry are bringing about. However, we are taking these circumstances as a way to position ourselves with new industry alliances. These alliances are with companies that share the same vision of process integration. It is our firmest belief that we are in the midst of paradigm shift in homebuilding. This shift is going to involve more streamlining of processes, a tightening of the supply chain, and strategic alliances. In the end, we believe that tomorrow’s homeowner will be able to have a home that is more efficient, customizable, technology driven, and delivered in a manner that removes any false expectations. Builder’s margins will be able to climb due to increased demand, adjustment of the supply chain, and lower of costs due to operational efficiencies. The future looks bright…………………

Differentiate Your Property From Others

Could you split these two up?

One property I spoke with increased their maximum pet weight limit from 25 to 50 lbs and gained 3 new tenants in the first week that normally would have been turned away.  Another property added an online furniture planning tool to their floor plans and increased the average time spent online by over 300% (http://a.ifp.outhouse.net).

Interactive Floor Plans - Will my bed fit?

We all want our property to stand out differently than others (in a good way!), right?  We all believe, at one level or another, ”If I can implement a marketing tool or strategy unlike any other property, I will gain more traffic and more tenants.”  We think this because for the most part it can be very true.  Or if you can revise a common policy more lenient than another, maybe that will fill your vacancies faster like it did by allowing a larger pet. 

Please share with us other clever strategies or even the simplest ideas you have come across that have driven additional traffic to your property or website.  And what have you seen other properties implement that seem to be working?

Perfection vs. Excellence

Learning About The Process Of Integration – Witnessing Perfection

“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing” – Harriet Beryl Braiker

jordan final shot

Jordan's Final Shot

Do you remember Michael Jordan’s last shot against the Utah Jazz in 1998 that clinched the championship? Certainly, this was a brief moment of perfection in the making.

As we are continuing our efforts to integrate a very fragmented construction process with our task force, we are reminded about our end goal. That is to achieve a process that aligns all party’s interests, that will enable the dissemination of information to trades, builders, manufacturers, distributors, and the market in such a manner that has these three key areas realized:

  • Velocity – speed to market in such a fashion that unit pricing coincides with energy rating and market demand
  • Accuracy – that the market research through online analytics supports justification of new floor plans to go to market and to have accurate construction documents that reduces material waste and field errors
  • Results – that key performance metrics are met.

This reminds me of what it takes for the likes of a Michael Jordan to achieve such greatness as an athlete. For he certainly needed to be fast, accurate, and score points for his team to be victorious. However, I don’t believe there was a day in his career that he felt he had reached perfection. As should we all be constantly willing to pay the price of practice, work, research, risk, or any other element to push the envelop of constant improvement in our lives.

For me, I believe we can witness and/or attain perfection but for a moment. This is what I believe the difference is between excellence and perfection. It is the love of our trade, craft, profession, sport, relationships, and any other areas in our lives that allows us to endure the pain associated with the attainment of goals. These goals are often associated with excellence as defined by constant improvement and the disdain for mediocrity.

On that note, here’s a great clip that shows Brad Pit catching a fish in a near impossible situation. His (character’s) love and dedication of the sport allowed him to be in that very brief moment of perfection:

Is It Really Time to Buy A New Home Again?

So what is real right now? Is the waiting over?

What is real is that market conditions truly are beginning to point to a return to new home demand. Here is what we know:

  • Cost to rent is up significantly
  • Home prices are way down
  • Foreclosures are slowing
  • New jobs are being created
  • New build numbers are at levels not seen in a decade

All of these indicators point to an oncoming demand for renters to move across the street to a new home of their own. The time is coming for families and couples to get back into the game. New homes being built will be a large part of that story.

In non distressed markets, jobs creation is showing some good growth. Rents and home prices are rising at about the same pace as apartments are in short supply. As resale home inventory is becomes thinned out, people will realize how few new home builds are available currently, only 78,000 in 41 cities studies by Metrostudy. That is down from 343,00 units at the peak! And is down from a decade ago as well. Construction is ripe to take off!

Even in distressed foreclosure markets like Phoenix, the outlook is indeed looking better. Investors have been an important part of buying through distressed properties. Families that have been displaced are moving into homes as renters, further reducing the number of homes on the resale market. Most importanly, foreclosures are slowing. We will hit some bumps, but the overarching story is that the health of the resale market is beginning to return. New construction will follow suit!

For several years the fundamental of cost to own vs. cost to rent along with new build levels has given a number that indicates an unhealthy market but for the first time in a long time, it would appear that that number is going in the opposite direction. One where confidence returns, home valuations rise, the American Dream becomes attainable once again.

To read a full article explaining why new home demand is on the near horizon, please read this informative article.

Market Watch - Sales of new homes up

Additional news from Builder Pulse,  Market Watch and Arizona Republic.

Who is your Most Profitable Home Buyer in 2011!

Who are they? What are they buying? How are they buying?

Finding a home buyer in this market can make grown men and women cry. ItĘĽs OK, we donĘĽt judge… But now itĘĽs time to put away the Kleenex. After doing some digging, we have the news you want to hear. Are you ready? There are customers out there, itĘĽs true, that can bring you optimal profit this year!

We heard your cries and we wanted to take them as a challenge to find out just who these buyers are; what they look like, their wish lists, and what homes you should offer to draw them to your table. Turns out these customers are very knowable indeed. Furthermore, the home they are looking to buy is very specific. In this post we will take a look at the characteristics of the buyer, characteristics of the home, and the process of buying a home to learn more about the current market’s potential “optimal profit” customer.

Click the “more” link below to see for yourself YOUR most profitable home buyer in 2011 (Kleenex not required).
read more »

What Are THEY Doing That WE Aren’t?


Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

What Ideas and Strategies Can We Imitate From Single-Family Home Builders?

I commonly hear from the multifamily industry how “the big builders have deeper pockets and can afford more for marketing campaigns”.  I wonder how true this is.  What campaigns have you seen from a home builder (or any other industry) that made you think, “Ugh, if we could only afford to do that we would get so much more traffic to our properties (or website)”.  Once we get a few ideas down, let’s take the discussion to the next level on how adjustments might be made to make similar and more affordable campaigns for multifamily.

Since the format of our blog revolves around “dialog marketing” it means it’s time to share and contribute your thoughts, solutions, ideas and experience below with your group.  It’s amazing how the collaborative power of a talented group (Yes You!) can come up with great ideas to work for us all as individuals.  It is because of your experience in multihousing that you are a part of this blog in the first place!

Be the first to comment!

Marketing In The “New” Economy

Let’s Start The Dialogue - It’s Not All About Twitter

As you may recall, we introduced our focus on our last blog for the next few months as it relates to Dialogue Marketing. The term is quite apropos in that there needs to be several factors in place to reach the correct audience. As we proceed with this fairly new style of marketing, we will be exploring these areas:

  • Learning Who Customer Is
  • Engaging The Right Customer
  • Establishing The Relationship
  • Tapping Into The Right Marketing Innovations
  • Differentiating The Message In A Sea of Noise
  • Establishing Metrics of Performance for a Successful Campaign

read more »

Built in Wordpress — Fueled by The Contrado Group