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Impact of Marketing Strategies on the Success of Small Residential Developers

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Title:
Impact of Marketing Strategies on the Success of Small Residential Developers
Copyright Date:
2008

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Brochures ( jstor )
Business structures ( jstor )
Cost of sales ( jstor )
Customers ( jstor )
Homes ( jstor )
Logos ( jstor )
Marketing ( jstor )
Newsletters ( jstor )
Profitable firms ( jstor )
Sales promotions ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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IMPACT OF MARKETING STRATEGIES ON THE SUCCESS OF SMALL RESIDENTIAL
DEVELOPERS



















By

JULIA WILLIAMS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE INT BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007
































O 2007 by Julia Williams






























To my family: Mom, Dad, and Lilly
For their constant encouragement and support in all of my academic endeavors.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I want to thank a few important people that have helped me directly and indirectly succeed

in completing this thesis. Of course, this would not have been possible without the guidance and

support of my committee. Many thanks go to Dr. Raymond Issa, Dr. Ian Flood, and Dr. Douglas

Lucas. Dr. Issa, has been my biggest sponsor since my first day in Grad School at Rinker. He is

never one to let me go a couple of days without seeing him and making sure that everything is

going okay. The concern never went unnoticed and I appreciate the fact that we have teachers

who care as much as he does. Dr. Flood is always a calm and collected source of supervision,

despite just welcoming a new member to his family. Dr Lucas has been a great recent addition to

the Rinker Family and I will miss the office visits and his great stories of a wise and experienced

war veteran and business man.

I want to thank Dottie Beaupied for putting up with my increasingly frequent trips to her

office. Her assistance has been integral in the completion of not only this thesis, but also for the

entirety of my time in Rinker.

I want to thank my roommate, confidant, and partner in crime, Courtney. I never would

have gotten through this without her and her insatiable desire for coffee.

And last but certainly not least, I want to thank the most loving family anyone could ever

hope for. Their constant support has given me the opportunity to become the person that I am

today and no words could ever describe how much I appreciate everything they have done for

me. I love them: Mom, Daddy, and my little Lilly-Kins!












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ............ ...... ._ ...............7....


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ............._. .......... ..............._ 10...


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............11.......... ......


Statement of Problem ................. ...............11................

Obj ectives of Study ................. ...............11................
Overview ................. ...............11.................


2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .............. ...............13....


Introducti on ................. ...............13.................
Basis for Research .............. ...............13....
Data Collection Medium............... ...............13.
Data Analysis............... ...............14
Limitations ................. ...............14.................
Conclusions............... ..............1


3 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............16................


Promoting, Marketing, and Selling.................. ..................1
Construction, Not a Business of Building: a Business of People ................. ............... .....16
Marketing for Residential Builders and Developers .............. ...............17....
Defining Specialization ................ ...............17......__. .....
Developing Client Base ................... ...............18..............
Defining Profiles of Target Markets .........__. ........... ...............18..
Defining Best Practices in Reaching Target Clients .............. ...............19....
Marketing Consulting Firms Specializing in Construction .............. ...............19....
Tools Used to Reach Potential Clients .............. ...............20....
General Company Tools............... ...............20.
Corporate logo development ................ ...............20........... ....
Company package .............. ...............21....
Company brochure .............. ...............22....
W eb designs .............. ...............22....
Corporate advertising .............. ...............23....
Newsletters and bulletins .............. ...............24....
Relationship marketing .............. ...............24....












Development Specific Tools .............. ...............25....
Development logo .............. ...............25....
Development brochure .............. ...............26....
S al es centers .............. ...............27....

Signage ................. ...............28.................
Direct m ail ................. ...............28.......... ......
Promotional events ................. ...............29.................

A Complete Marketing Program .............. ...............30....
Defining Profitability of a Marketing Program ................ ........ ......... ................30


4 RE SULT S .............. ...............39....


Introducti on ................. ...............39.................
Client Profile............... ...............39

Proj ect Inform ation ................... ........ ...... ... ...............40....
Analysis and Discussion by Marketing Tool ...._ ......_____ .......___ ...........4
Analysis of Marketing System by Client Profile ...._ ......_____ .......___ ..........4


5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .............. ...............52....


Conclusions............... ..............5
Recommendations............... ............5


APPENDIX: BUILDER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ................. ...............54................


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............56................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............58....










LIST OF TABLES

Table page

4-1 Client Profie Information, Builder A............... ...............43...

4-2 Client Profie Information, Builder B .............. ...............43....

4-3 Proj ect Information, Builder A ................. ...............43..............

4-4 Proj ect Information, Builder B ................. ...............43..............

4-5 Profitability Analysis per Tool: Retirement Client Profile ................. .......................44

4-6 Profitability Analysis per Tool: Young Professional Client Profile ........._..... ..............44











LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

3-1 The Construction Business Differentiation Triangle. ............. ...............32.....

3-2 Company Logo................ ...............32.

3-3 Company Package ................. ...............33........... ....

3-4 Company Brochure. ............. ...............33.....

3-5 Typical Cost per Thousand (CPM) of Maj or Media Buys. ................ ............ .........34

3-6 Company Newsletter............... ...............3

3-7 Company Logo................ ...............36.

3-8 Development Brochure ................ ...............36........... ....

3-9 Sales Center .............. ...............37....


3-10 Sales Center Wall Display .............. ...............37....

3-11 Signage ................. ...............38.................

3-12 Direct Mail, Die Cut Card............... ...............38..

4-1 Corporate Logo Development Profitability .............. ...............45....

4-2 Company Package Profitability .............. ...............45....

4-3 Development Logo Development Profitability ................. ...............46........... ...

4-4 Web Design Profitability .............. ...............46....

4-5 Newsletter Profitability ................. ...............47........... ....

4-6 Relationship Marketing Profitability .............. ...............47....

4-7 Company Brochure Profitability ................. ...............48................

4-8 Corporate Advertising Profitability .............. ...............48....

4-9 Development Brochure Profitability ................. ...............49................

4-10 Sales Center Profitability ................. ...............49.......... ....

4-11 Signage Profitability .............. ...............50....











4-12 Promotional Event Profitability .............. ...............50....

4-13 Monthly Home Sales for Builder A ................. ...............51........... ..

4-14 Monthly Home Sales for Builder B .............. ...............51....









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction

PROFIT POTENTIAL INT MARKETING MIXTURES FOR SMALL RESIDENTIAL
DEVELOPMENT BUILDERS


By

Julia Williams

May 2007

Chair: Raymond Issa
Cochair: lan Flood
Major: Building Construction

The residential development industry is a profitable market if in fact the units in the

development can be sold and in a timely fashion. The large residential construction firms of the

twenty-first century have realized the importance of the promotion of services and defining a

target market in which to advertise their services. The smaller residential development builders

in today's industry are slowly catching up to the marketing bandwagon. The emergence of these

specialized marketing firms is the basis for my study.

My study explored the profitability of marketing mixes developed by marketing consulting

firms for small residential builders. These marketing firms specialize in customizing a set of

marketing tools to reach the target market most effectively for each. The profitability of the use

of these firms' services is indisputable, but the extent of exactly how much profit is being

obtained from the services utilized for a particular development is in question. The information

collected during this study will help other builders to appreciate the profits that are realized from

the services of the marketing firm. Interviews conducted with two builders comparing a pair of

similar proj ects with the variable of the marketing tools were conducted to determine the amount

of the added profits and the expeditious returns on the initial marketing expenditure.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

Statement of Problem

In today's construction industry, there exists a fair amount of residential builders who

believe that marketing and sales schemes are not necessary and the capital investment is

spending on frivolous items. These are the builders who have to bid work to drive sales volume,

who do not have a loyal client base, and who are more than likely to go out of business.

Marketing a specialized product in the business world today is at the heart of every company.

These naive builders need to realize that "a small investment in sales and marketing will generate

a big return over time toward [their] bottom line" (Hedley 2006).

Objectives of Study

The obj ective of this study is to determine the profitability of marketing tools implemented

by a marketing consulting firm for small residential development builders. A specific mixture of

tools to be used for a particular proj ect can be determined after a thorough assessment of a target

market is completed. Only then can a client profie be created and analyzed. The profitability of

the use of these firms' customized tools is indisputable, but the extent of exactly what profit

percentage is being obtained from each tool for a particular development is in question. This

information will help other builders appreciate the profits that are realized from the services of

the marketing firm.

Overview

In Chapter 2 the research methodology used in this study is described in detail. Chapter 3

contains a literature review pertaining to marketing in general, relation to the construction

industry, client bases, the emerging trend of specialized marketing consulting firms, marketing

tools used in residential development, applying the tools to a specific target market, and profit










potential analysis procedures. Chapter 4 contains an analysis and summary of the data obtained.

Finally, Chapter 5 presents conclusions from the analysis of data as well as makes some

recommendations for future areas of study.









CHAPTER 2
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Introduction

Today's small residential development builders are beginning to realize the importance of

defining a target market and adapting a sales system to promote the differentiation of their firm

in relation to the target market' s specialized needs. In efforts to try and recruit potential

customers, builders are learning the added benefits of employing marketing companies which

specialize in residential development promotion to ensure that pre-construction sales of homes

are realized in full and often in accelerated time periods.

Basis for Research

The goal for this research study is to determine the profitability of marketing mixtures for

small residential development builders. A new trend of firms specializing in marketing

consultation for residential development builders has emerged in recent years. The profitability

derived from the use of these firms' services is indisputable, but the extent of exactly how much

profit is being obtained from the services utilized for a particular development is in question.

Data Collection Medium

It was decided that the most effective way to determine the profitability of marketing

services was to interview companies who had employed a specialized marketing consulting firm

on a development proj ect to create sets of data which will be used in case studies produced for

each proj ect. The interviews were conducted over the phone with a builder' s representative. The

two residential builders were chosen from a list acquired from one particular consulting firm who

offered a wide array of services. The questions asked were directed toward data for two of the

builder' s proj ects of relatively the same size and target market, the variable being that one










proj ect (Proj ect B) used the marketing firm's services with the proj ect which did not employ the

marketing services (Proj ect A) acting as the control for the research.

Data Analysis

Two separate sets of data were collected from the builders, one for each of the proj ects for

each builder. After careful review of marketing tools used in the industry and offered by the

consultation firm the interview questions were developed (Appendix). The questions were

divided into two categories: Client Profile and Development Information. The obj ective of the

Client Profile questions was to define the target market that the development is designed to

attract in order to analyze the marketing techniques planned by the consultation firm.

The Development Information questions were intended to highlight the factors used in

determining marketing profitability. These factors are (Barr 1995)as follows:

* Marketing tools used
* The cost associated with each tool
* An approximation of the number of prospective buyers reached by each tool
* The number of homes sold, total and per month
* The average price of a home in the development during the specified period

The data received from these questions were constrained by a specific time period, the 18

months of pre-construction. The data from the two sets were analyzed by comparison and also

the profitability of each tool relative to the total profitability was determined. Microsoft Excel

was used to process the data and to create a visual representation of the results.

Limitations

This research focused on builders in one region and does not represent the entire

population of residential development builders, but only the data from the participating

companies. The other limitation of this study is rooted in the fact that some factors are

approximations as the exact number of prospective clients who were exposed to marketing tools










cannot be known. The approximations are discussed in further detail in the literature review

portion of this thesis.

Conclusions

This research was conducted to determine the profitability of marketing tools customized

for a small residential development builder by a specialized marketing consultation firm. This

information will help other builders to appreciate the profits that are realized from the services of

the marketing firm. Interviews conducted with two builders comparing a pair of similar proj ects

with marketing tools as a variable were conducted to determine the extent of the added profits

and the expeditious returns on the initial marketing expenditure.









CHAPTER 3
LITERATURE REVIEW

Promoting, Marketing, and Selling

The term marketing was first defined in 1937 by the American Marketing Association as

"those activities involved in the flow of goods and services from the point of production to the

point of consumption." (American Marketing Association 2007). The definition was modified to

read "an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and

delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the

organization and its stakeholders" (American Marketing Association 2007). The change in the

original version is due to the fact that some believe that the point if production is far too late in a

product' s life to start promoting it, marketing should influence the product being made.

Conversely the point of consumption is definitely not the time to stop marketing the product in

order to retain loyal clients.

Developing a marketing scheme leads to using promotional mediums for a firm to elevate

and accelerate sales. There is an old adage in sales that says "No sales...no company," in today's

increasingly competitive construction industry, nothing sells itself (Smyth 1999). Therefore, a

strong sales program, through market research and varied promotional mediums, is fundamental

to the life, health and wealth of the company.

Construction, Not a Business of Building: a Business of People

The construction industry is driven by the people who have a want for buildings to be

erected and is then realized by the individuals who coordinate the work of others to accomplish

the assembly of those buildings. The product being marketed in building construction is the

service of putting together the efforts of others to achieve a tangible Einal product, the building.

The interactions between contractors and clients are at the heart of every transaction made to










complete the new building. Mastering the acquisition and maintenance of the interactions

between those two groups of people is what distinguishes a successful builder from an

unsuccessful builder. Professional exchanges are only the beginning of communications that are

exchanged with the client. A builder must understand that the only way to obtain and retain

clients is to develop personal relationships making this not a business of building, but a business

of people.

Marketing for Residential Builders and Developers

Home building is a specialized market in building construction. The challenge residential

builders and developers face in selling homes is an intangible concept. The use of videos,

renderings, and floor plans can help a client visualize the final product. Builders differ vastly in

the size of the company ranging from single-person operations to companies with hundreds of

employees all over the globe (Barr 1995). The larger companies have caught on to the trend of

market differentiation and have employed marketing professionals or in the best case scenario

created an entire marketing department. The smaller firms are beginning to adopt the new ideas

to obtain new clients while maintaining existing clients.

Defining Specialization

In the residential construction industry, there exists a trilogy of attributes which can be

found in most construction companies: superior service, low prices, and high quality (Figure 3-

1). The most profitable companies in the current business world focus on reaching an edge of the

triangle while most residential builders aim for the middle making themselves known as a "j ack

of all trades and a master of none" (Hedley 2006). Home builders are different than the average

company in that all of the attributes are required by most clients and a push in just one direction

would be quite detrimental to a company. In order to create a degree of separation from the

average, a builder one must chose a specialization. This can literally be an extra focus on one of









the differentiating attributes, or it can be by selecting a specific market niche such as waterfront

homes with the highest attention to hurricane protection. A differentiation from the general

industry allows a company to market themselves as an expert in whichever field they chose.

Once the specialization of the company has been adopted, the company can focus on delivering

the specialization to the best of their ability.

A company can also be set apart from the rest of the competition by offering something

more or something different. The main obj ective in differentiation is to make the potential

customers aware of why they should only use this particular company. More than one

specialization is suitable, and sometimes desirable, however, completely separate marketing

schemes must be developed for each differentiated business sector within a company (Sobel

2001). The clients for each of the specialized proj ect types are different and must be tended to

differently .

Developing Client Base

To have a successful marketing and sales scheme it is essential to know your target market.

The customer for the specialized market which has been created should have been the main focus

for the differentiation from the rest of the competitors in the market. The intended market must

be attainable to the company and the needs of the customer should also be familiar to the

employees.

Defining Profiles of Target Markets

The target clients should have a clear profile. In the residential building world, the

demographics of the clients in a particular market will be similar enabling the marketing tactics

to be focused in ways which the clients will intercept the promotional efforts. Demographic

factors that should be analyzed are age, income, gender, marital status, family size, and terms of

occupancy. These basic characteristics will inform rest of their personality, called their lifestyle










preferences, such as the school system, infrastructure requirements, religious facilities, and

development amenities for example (Sobel 2003).

In residential construction, the client base is basically divided into two categories: first

time buyers, such as young professionals or young families and move-up buyers, such as empty-

nesters or retirees (Butera, 1987). The needs and desires of the two groups differ in that the first

time buyer is looking for relations to schools, work location, playgrounds, and shopping centers

along with Einancing provided while the move-up buyers might be more concerned with

proximity to clubhouses, waterfront, health care centers, and a community where gatherings are

fostered along with large lots and privacy. The first time buyers are more looking for economical

homes and have a short but concise list of needs to be fulfilled. The move-up bu ers have a

lon er list of wants that they are looking for in a home or develop ment.

Defining Best Practices in Reaching Target Clients

Meeting the needs of a specified client base requires different techniques in marketing.

Each individual builder' s techniques should vary in term of the client base. For example, if the

client base is retirees it might not be in the best interest of the company to have a strictly

Internet-based marketing plan. However, if a company was trying to target young professionals,

technology-based promotional strategies would be more accommodating.

Marketing Consulting Firms Specializing in Construction

With marketing being such an important factor in selling homes, residential builders have

to stretch limited budgets to make the most profit per dollar spent. In order to achieve the highest

profit potential for restricted resources, employment of marketing consultating firms specializing

in new-home construction and neighborhood developments have become an increasing trend

(Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007). The expertise of these firms can help eliminate less









effective marketing tools and the use of inexperienced staff members of the builder' s team in

terms of marketing.

Most of these specialized firms offer a wide range of products with the builder having the

opportunity to utilize the perfect combination of services to meet the needs of their marketing

endeavor (Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007). The specialized marketing firms understand

the demands of the target markets and the best way to promote the services and products the

builder is trying to sell.

Tools Used to Reach Potential Clients

Within the world of marketing techniques, each medium has differing effects on the overall

marketing plan. The diverse range of the common tools used to promote in the residential

markets is broken into General Company Tools and Proj ect Specific Tools used to reach

potential clients. Within these two narrowed categories each tool brings apparent advantages and

disadvantages to the complete marketing program.

General Company Tools

General company tools are used by the company to help the client identify the company

and to build a brand in the mind of the client and to emphasize the specializations offered by the

company (Butera 1987). These mediums should be made to be distributed in the short term (six

months to a year) and the long term (three to five years). The General Company Tools are what

sparks initial interest in the company from the potential client.

Corporate logo development

Design of a logo or logosytle is essential in catching the attention of potential clients and

appealing to existing clients. The logo should be a reflection of the individuals in the specified

target market. For example if the company is trying to market themselves to a stylish, high-end

user the logo should resemble that market (Figure 3-2). The use of a tag line should be









incorporated with a logo. The tag line "give[s] additional emphasis to a logo or logostyle. They

synthesize in a few words the company's mission, philosophy or professional specialty" (Barr

1995). The use of the logo along with the tag line should be implemented in all printed materials.

The repetition of exposure in the tag line with the logo gives the symbol or name of the company

something to stand for in addition to just the name.

The advantages of a company logo are that one can

* Imprint the brand of the company in the clients' mind
* Create a common thread to be implanted within all aspects of the company's imaging
* Instill a sense of pride in employees

The disadvantages of logo creation are that it can

* Be detrimental to the sales of the community if it is completed poorly
* Become very time consuming, tedious, and stressful

Company package

The company package is a compilation of materials to be utilized by a company in day to

day business communications. Printed obj ects to be included in the package include folders, tabs,

envelopes, labels, letterhead, report papers, and marketing papers (Figure3-3). These items are

only a limited list of materials that could be included, but that should include at least these items.

The advantages of a company package are that it can

* Create a cohesive set of materials to continuously remind the recipient of the brand
* Enable the user to generate an organized packet of business materials
* Allow the user to be consistent in presentation

The disadvantages of a company package are that it can

* Have a high cost of design

* Have a high cost of printing and re-printing

* Disable the company from changing anything on the materials until the resources are
exhausted










Company brochure

The brochure made for the company "is a sales-supportive vehicle that communicates an

idea of [the company's] experience, [the] staff, [the] work quality, and briefly [the ]

organization's underlying philosophy" (Barr 1995). The company brochure is the centerpiece of

the General Company Tools. The brochure should not only have photos and descriptions of past

proj ect history, but it should convey the personality of the company and be personalized to the

target audience (Figure3-4).

The advantages of the brochure are that it can

* Provide and introduction to new clients
* Remind clients of total capabilities
* Become a cross-selling tool for existing clients
* Become a source of inspiration and renewed pride for employees


The disadvantages of the brochure are that it can

* Fail to compete with newer electronic formats
* Become to broad in nature to entice a potential client
* Prevent relationships from being made in just the exchange of a brochure.

Web designs

The emergence of the internet has created a form of marketing that has grown

tremendously in the past decade. "As a business investment, the establishment of a website is

one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available to a firm in terms of reach and exposure

to potential clients when compared to other traditional forms of advertising, communications,

and promotion" (Society for Marketing Professional Services 2000). Websites allow potential

clients to gain immediate access to information about a company.

The advantages of web designs are that they can

* Work for the company at all hours of the day and everyday of the year.
* Give the perception of a contemporary company in today's competitive marketplace










* Allow changes to proj ects and company details to be made quickly

The disadvantages of web designs are that

* Computer literacy is still on the rise and access is still limited to those who have computer
access

* Complicated graphics of the construction industry are displayed differently in different
systems

* Maintaining a website can be costly

Corporate advertising

Corporate advertising is "purchased space or time...it appears when you want it to and

exactly how you want it to" (Barr 1995). Advertising's most important factors are to build brand

recognition, familiarity, customer retention, while maintaining market share, and improving

employee morale (Ehrlich 2004). There are many media in which advertising can be distributed

such as television (cable and broadcast), radio magazines, newspapers and the internet. The

typical cost per thousand is the lowest for daytime broadcast television and the highest for daily

newspapers (Figure 3-5).

"The classic theory of advertising is that it is based on awareness, interest, desire, and

action (AIDA). First you have to get the target' s attention; then you have to provide a reason to

listen to your message; the message needs to stimulate the desire for the product; and finally, the

target needs to buy whatever it is you are selling" (Ehrlich 2004). The most commonly used form

of advertising in residential construction is in magazine subscriptions (Barr 1996).

The advantages of advertising are that it can

* Be tailored to audiences needs
* Placement is very intentional and deliberate

The dis advantages of advertising are that it can

* Not be very cost effective










* Become cluttered (in print) with other ads from competitors so that ads are over looked

* Trends such as TiVo are eliminating commercials on television all together.

Newsletters and bulletins

A newsletter is defined as a publication that is distributed at regular intervals. The can have

any format, focus, or frequency but they must be current and regular. (Floyd 1997). Client

newsletters are produced for several reasons some of which include providing valuable

information, enhancing the reputation of the company, promoting the services offered by the

company, providing continuous communications, demonstrating the capabilities of the firm,

rewarding clients by featuring their projects, showcasing staff and proj ect awards, to introduce

new services or proj ects, and most importantly to increase sales with current clients (Society for

Marketing Professional Services 2000). The information contained in the newsletter has to have

relevance for the perspective reader, must be valuable and timely (Figure 3-6). A good balance

of news and features is a good way to please a wide array of readers (Barr 1995).

The advantages of newsletters are that they can

* Update existing clients on company news
* Allow the company to break into new markets
* Showcase award and build client trust

The disadvantages of newsletters are that they can

* Rarely reach potential new customers
* Seem weak if the company does not have any relevant news at that time

Relationship marketing

According the theory of Customer Equity, "the customer is a financial asset that companies

and organizations should measure, manage, and maximize just like any other asset" (Blattenberg

et al. 2001). Historically, trends in all types of management have shown that the focus has been

on the management of costs or the growth of revenues. The management of customer equity









balances the two, carefully evaluating the profitability and return on investment of marketing

investment while creating market based growth (Davis 1999). Customer management, however,

can only occur if a company has customers who repeatedly come back to the company to build

their buildings. Companies must build relationships with clients through trust. Once a trust is

built, the customer can be identified as a loyal customer; and once a loyal customer is

determined, the profitability of that loyal customer can be assessed (Hedley 2006). Trust can

only begin to be built between two people over time and personal face-to-face interaction. The

more time which is invested into a relationship the more trust is to be built. When a customer

finds they can trust a contractor they will have a natural tendency to want to do business with

that contractor again and again.

The advantages of relationship marketing are that it can

* Be rewarding for employees building relationships as much as it is for the clients.
* Build client trust

The disadvantages of relationship marketing are that it can

* Be very costly
* Be time comsuming

Development Specific Tools

Development specific tools are designed to highlight the special characteristics and

qualities which set a particular residential development apart from other similar communities.

These tools are specific to a particular proj ect and entice the client to not only be interested in the

company but the product that is the development' s homes.

Development logo

The development logo is very important to the success of the sales of the units within the

community. The logo will not only be what people use to identify the development far into the









future, but it will also be used to initially entice the client to consider the community. The logo

should communicate graphically the core obj ectives that the development intends to achieve.

Creative Marketing Services Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, created a logo for a development which

wanted to promote a natural, rustic experience (Figure 3-7) and achieved the goal by

incorporating native specimen in a rustic toned logo.

The advantages of development logo creation are that it can

* Become the basis for all other marketing techniques implemented for the development.
* Creates a brand image for the development in the clients' eyes.

There really are no disadvantages to creating a development logo. It is believed to be the

best tool to be implemented in a development's marketing plan.

Development brochure

The development brochure is similar to the company brochure in that it is used to convey

not only visual representation of the product being produced, but it also has an underlying tone

which is delivered to the potential client (Figure3-8). The writing and content in the brochure is

extremely important. "The common wisdom is that a client will spend only a minute or two on

your brochure glance at the photographs, read the heads and subheads, scan the client list, or

proj ect list, and maybe read a paragraph or two. This may be true in many cases, so make the

best use of these elements to give a quick and accurate picture of your [proj ect] at a glance"

(Society for Marketing professional Services 2000).

The advantages of the development brochure are that one can

* Easily convey a brief message about the development
* Give potential clients a tangible medium to take away with them

The disadvantages of the development brochures are that one can:

* Discourage face to face initial interaction with the sales team
* Not be updated with new development proceedings at regular intervals









Sales centers

The sales center is a very significant portion of the marketing package in promoting the

development. Creative Marketing Services Inc. defines specific minimal requirements that a

sales center should encompass which give a potential buyer the best depiction of how the final

product will be built. The minimum requirement they desire in sales centers they produce is that

a near perfect replica of the structure and interior spaces that would be seen in a home in the

development be created. The client should get an authentic feel for the aesthetics of the buildings

(Figure 3-9). The furnishings should be pleasing to the touch and nothing should be too sparse or

overly decorated either. The level of sophistication should warrant the appropriate tone for the

development. Scale models of the development as a whole as well as models of the homes

should be displayed in a central location.

Other visual aids can be helpful as well, such as lifestyle pictures of potentially happy

residents indulging in all that the development has to offer (Smyth 1999). These should be clear

visual renderings or photographs which are accented by task lighting (Figure 3-10). A new trend

in audiovisual technology called Building Information Modeling (BIM) to give clients a three-

dimensional tour of a rendering of the models. "Through a combination of high-resolution

photography, video, technology and architectural and design treatments, the sales center will

give people a first-hand experience of what it will be like to call the development home"

(Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007)

The advantages of the sales center are that it can

* Give the potential client an accurate depiction of the new homes to be built
* Create space to conduct business for the development
* Act as a hub for all pre-construction / construction services.









Similar to the development logo the sales center does not have any substantial

disadvantages. The sales center is the heart of the promotional tools for the development.

Sign age

Similarly to the brochure, the signage for the development has very limited space for

content and has to be strategically planned. "The sign is meant to identify the property and the

key obj ectives of the development while still maintaining the aesthetic integrity proposed for the

overall look for the community" (Hedley 2006). The sign has to be particularly placed where it

has maximum exposure to potential clients (Figure 3-11).

The advantages of the signage are that one can

* Mark the boundary of the development

* Catch the attention of drivers passing by who might not have known about the
development

The disadvantages of signage are that one can

* Be vague and not enticing
* Show prices which may be a deterrent for potential buyers

Direct mail

"Direct mail allows you to target your marketing efforts to selected prospective clients"

(Society for Marketing Professional Services 2000).Not only can a company target exactly who

receives this information but it is extremely reliable. This is increasingly important to residential

developers who have received referrals from existing customers.

More than any other marketing communications medium, direct mail demands concise,
convincing words that communicate in a flash and sell in no uncertain terms...direct mail is
a complex blend of advertising, public relations and sales promotion showmanship. It
relies on advertising's one-two punch of art and copy to snare a reader' s attention. It draws
from public relations the advantage of conveying information at length and in detail. (Barr
1995)










Direct mail can come in many different formats including, but not limited to, flyers, post cards,

newsletters, multi-media, holiday cards, and posters (Figure 3-12)

The advantages of the direct mail are that it can

* Provide enormous options for effects which can be sent
* Be cost effective due to the relatively low postage costs
* Be very affordable because production costs are low

The disadvantages of direct mail are that it can

* Yield incorrect addresses
* Annoy older clients on the mailing list who do not have a need for new developments
* Be hard to come up with lists

Promotional events

Promotional events can range from open houses, ground breaking, dinners and meetings

to seminars, giveaways holidays, and ceremonies. "If executed correctly, special events can cast

a light on an organization' s human side, personalize the organization and pull off the printed

page and out of the office building, and reveal it' s character and vitality" (Society for Marketing

Professional Services 2000). Promotional events are a chance for the client to see that the

community they are joining is not only about the tangible structures but also has a pleasurable

face as well. The customer can see that not only are they buying a house but an experience.

The advantages of promotional events are that one can

* Provide a relaxing casual atmosphere for all involved
* Reward existing clients while giving potential clients perspective

The disadvantages of promotional events are that one can

* Be very time and labor intensive
* Require a space to hold events
* Require large production costs









A Complete Marketing Program

Deciding on a complete marketing package to use in promoting the sale of units inside the

residential development is the most vital part in reaching the target clients. The specialized

marketing firm analyzes all the options and the market to come up with the optimal combination

of services. Most companies utilize the same Development Specific Tools: logo creation,

brochure, sales center, and development signage. The use of other mediums, General Company

and Development Specific, is specifically tailored to each situation and profitability potential.

Defining Profitability of a Marketing Program

The profitability of the marketing program utilized is determined using a six step process:

* Determine the number of prospects contacted over a fixed time period from a completed
acquisition campaign

* Measure the marketing and servicing costs associated with contacting and selling to the
prospects

* Determine the number of prospects who became customers

* Compute the sales revenue and gross margin for the new customers' first set of purchases

* Compute the acquisition equity of the entire pool of customers by subtracting the costs
calculated in step 2 from the revenues calculated in step 4. Note that this equity number
can be negative.

* Divide the total acquisition equity by the number of customers to determine the average
equity per customer (Blattberg et al. 2001).

Some of the numbers used in the previous steps are approximations. According to

Blattberg et al. (2001), approximations are not desirable by accountants and financial analysts.

The argument is that profitability from customer acquisitions or marketing "cannot be measured

because highly precise accounting numbers do not exist." The authors claim that

Even when exact numbers are absent, it is better to be roughly right and to utilize the
concept of [profitability] than not to measure it and to operate an enterprise using
insufficient indicators....Such indicators may be more accurately measured, but they are
less relevant managerially and strategically. Thus it is often necessary to approximate









accounting and financial numbers when trying to measure profit levels and marketing
expenses for historical cohorts of customers. (Blattberg et al. 2001)










Thle Construction Businless Differentiation Trianglle


Superior Selrvice


Low Prices


High~ Qualityr


Figure 3-1 The Construction Business Differentiation Triangle. Source: George Hedley,
"Construction Business Best Practices Series, Step 8: Marketing and Sales Systems,"
2006, Construction Business Owner, August 2006, Birmingham, Alabama


d


Figure 3-2 Company Logo. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007
http://www. cre ativemarketi ng servi ce s.net

























..br do




you hav'E
time to
find it?










Figure 3-3 Company Package. Source: Promotion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms
(Barr; 1995)



TR Waltestro~~ntDelpent


Figure3-4 Company Brochure. Source: Promotion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms
(Barr; 1995)





Figure 3-5 Typical Cost per Thousand (CPM) of Maj or Media Buys. Source: Magazine
Publishers of America "Readership of Advertising by Unit Type, 2003"
http ://www. magiztin e.org/Adverti si ng_andPIB /Ad_Trend s_andMagazineHandb oo
k/2009.cfm


Typical Cost per Thousand (CPMI) of Mlajor Mledia
Buys


0


Daily Newspaper

Primetime Broadcast W/

Magazines

Daytime Broadcast W/


$5 $10 $15


$20 $25













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Figure 3-6 Company Newsletter Source: Promotion Strategies for Design and Construction
Firms (Barr; 1995)


PROCESS


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Image and Agendfa


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INDF**:,

ill.ilR1 ..-






























Figure 3-7 Company Logo. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007
http://www. cre ativemarketi ng servi ce s.net


Figure 3-8 Development Brochure. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007
http://www. cre ativemarketi ng servi ce s.net



































Figure 3-9 Sales Center. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007
http://www. cre ativemarketi ng servi ce s.net


Figure 3-10 Sales Center Wall Display. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007
http://www. cre ativemarketi ng servi ce s.net


















































1 LI t- r


Figure 3-11 Signage. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007
http://www. cre ativemarketi ng servi ce s.net


Figure 3-12 Direct Mail, Die Cut Card. Source: Promotion Strategies for Design and
Construction Firms (Barr; 1995)









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Introduction

The results of the interviews conducted with the two residential development builders is

presented in four sections: client profiles for each of the developments, information pertaining to

each proj ect, analysis of each marketing tool used, and finally an analysis of the entire marketing

systems in relation to each client profile.

Client Profile

The client profiles for each development under a particular builder were intended to be

similar. The two builders selected for the study chose two developments which mirrored each

other except for the marketing involved.

The first builder' s (Builder A) client profiles for the developments defined the clients to be

over 55 years of age, a married couple with older children who did not live with the couple

anymore, the clients were retired or near retirement, and had low mobility or likelihood of

moving (Table 4-1). These developments were targeted at elderly persons who were moving for

the last time. Community interactions were meant to be high with a focus on recreation. One of

the developments has a golf course specially designed for the senior golfer while the other was

built on a very large lake system with a concentration on boating and fishing.

The second builder' s (Builder B) client profile defined a young family or newly married

couple looking to start a family. The targeted age group was 25-35 years old, first time new

home owners, with at least one member of the family working full time. The mobility of these

clients is moderate (Table 4-2). These developments were marketed toward the working family

with a high level of community interaction also. The developments boasted extensive children's

facilities including playgrounds, clubhouses, pools and sports fields.









Project Information

The proj ects chosen by Builder A for this study have 944 and 956 total lots available for

Development 1 and Development 2, respectively. Development 1 was completed in 1999 and

construction began in 1995. The 18-month preconstruction sales period this study is focusing on

stretched from May 1993 to November 1995 during which 546 homes were sold. The average

price of a home sold during that time period was $179,995. Development 2 was completed in

2006 and construction began in 2001. The 18-month preconstruction sales period this study is

focusing on stretched from July 1999 to January 2001 during which 923 homes were sold. The

average price of a home sold during that time period was $400,009.

The proj ects chosen by Builder B for this study have 657 and 590 total lots available for

Development 1 and Development 2, respectively. Development 1 was completed in 1999 and

construction began in 1996. The 18-month preconstruction sales period this study is focusing on

stretched from March 1994 to September 1996during which 389 homes were sold. The average

price of a home sold during that time period was $153,637. Development 2 was completed in

2003 and construction began in 2001. The 18-month preconstruction sales period this study is

focusing on stretched from November 1999 to May 2001 during which 590 homes were sold.

The average price of a home sold during that time period was $227,895.

Analysis and Discussion by Marketing Tool

The analysis of the marketing tools produced three distinct sets of results: the marketing

tools which had similar profitability percentages in both client profies, the tools which were

more profitable for marketing to the younger profie, and the tools which were the most

profitable for the proj ect targeted at the older age group.










The profitability of each tool was calculated using the formula gathered from Blattsberg et

al. (2001). The formula gives the percentage that is earned on the initial investment for each tool

for example:




( oenil len xpsrefrParticular Tool X (Median Home Price -Cost of the Tool)
Number of Homes Sold
Total Number of Homes in the Development


An example of how this formula is used in this study is:


Corporate
3600 400009 1000
Logo =X
Development 923 = 16.31%
Profitability 956


The tools which produced roughly the same profitability on both sets of profiles include

the Company Logo Development (Figure 4-1), Company Package (Figure 4-2) and the

Development Logo (Figure 4-3).The tools which had higher profitability percentages for the

younger clientele include: Web Design (Figure 4-4), Newsletters (Figure 4-5), and Relationship

Marketing (Figure 4-6). The tools which produced higher profits for the older client base

include: Company Brochure (Figure 4-7), Corporate Advertising (Figure 4-8), Development

Brochure (Figure 4-9), Sales Center (Figure 4-10), Signage (Figure 4-11), and Promotional

Event (Figure 4-12).

Analysis of Marketing System by Client Profile

The profitability of the tools used by Builder A for the older clients are higher overall

(Table 4-5) then the tools used by Builder B to market to the younger customers. However the

tools had a generally better impact on the homes sales when compared to the sales of the homes

in the developments where no marketing tools were implemented by the marketing consultation









firm (Figures 4-13, 4-14). The sale of homes was much more consistent on a month to month

basis for the developments which had implemented a marketing program.
















Gender Mlale Femlell
Marital Status rid
Marriel C'ouple. C'hildlren out of
Household Type iis

Emloyment Retireess AbLout to restires
Income Reti redl. No Reqluir~ements




Table 4-2 Client Profile Information, Builder B


Gender Mlale Femlell
Marital Status Marr~lied nl
Household Type Yuefml
Employment At least one member of householdl
fullltimle
Income No reqauirementslt


c5+ Yeasd' O~ld


Table 4-3 Project Information, Builder A

Construction Start/Finish Date l (-1,c
Preconstruction Sales Period hlai 14,c)3~ Noi ember 1 Number of Units c4
Number of Homes Sold 51


Table 4-1 Client Profile Information, Builder A


Age





Company Package 650 1500 2.93%
Company Brochure 10000 2500 45.31%
Corporate Advertising 20000 18775 90.47%
Development Logo 4500 1000 20.39%
Developmnt Brochure 3000 2500 13.57%
Sales Center 3000 65925 12.91%
Signage 3500 4800 15.82%
Direct Mail 1000 10000 4.43%
Promotional Event 350 15000 1.43%


Compn Package 400 1750 2.72%
Company Brochure 750 3500 5.10%
Web Design 10000 5000 68.65%
Newsletter 300 750 2.05%
Relationship Marketing 150 20000 0.69%
Developmnt Logo 2000 1500 13.72%
Development Brochure 1000 3500 6.81%
Sales Center 1000 90000 5.35%
Signage 1200 7000 8.13%
Direct Mail 500 4300 3.36%


Table 4-5 Profitability Analysis per Tool: Retirement Client Profile


Marketing Tool
Corporate Logo
Development


Cost | Profitability


3600


1000


16.31%


Table 4-6 Profitability Analysis per Tool: Young Professional Client Profie


Marketing Tool
Corporate Logo
Development


Cost | Profitability


2500


1500


17.16%





Corporate Logo Development


18

17.5

Profit17
Percentage 16.5

16


15.5 P


Older Younger
Client Base type


Figure 4-1 Corporate Logo Development Profitability


Company Package


2.95
2.9
2.85
2.8
2.75
2.7
2.65


P rofit
Pe rce ntage


Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-2 Company Package Profitability





Web Design



70
60
50
Profit 40
Percentage 30
20
10

Older Younger
Client Base Type


Development Logo


25


Older


Younger


Client Base Type


Figure 4-3 Development Logo Development Profitability


Figure 4-4 Web Design Profitability





Relationship Mlarketing



0.7
0.6
0.5
Profit 0.4
Percentage 0.3
0.2
0.1

Older Younger
Client Base Type


Newsletter


Profit '"
Pe rce ntage 1

0.5


Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-5 Newsletter Profitability


Figure 4-6 Relationship Marketing Profitability





Company Brochure


50

40

Prft 30
Percentage 20

10

0


Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-7 Company Brochure Profitability


Corporate Advertising


100

80

Profit 6
Percentage 40


20


Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-8 Corporate Advertising Profitability





Sa les Ce nte r


Development Brochure


14
12
10
Profit 8
Pe rce ntage 6


Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-9 Development Brochure Profitability


14
12
10
Profit 8
Pe rce ntage 6


Older


Younger


Client Base Type


Figure 4-10 Sales Center Profitability





Sign age


16
14
12
10
P rofit
8
Pe rce ntage
6
4
2
0


Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-11 Signage Profitability


Promotional Event



1.6
1.4
1.2

P rofit
0.8
Pe rce ntage
0.6
0.4
0.2

Older Younger
Client Base Type


Figure 4-12 Promotional Event Profitability












































I


60

m50

E 40
o
I
o 30

E 20


10


;


-* Development 1
-=- Development 2


1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
Month


Figure 4-13 Monthly Hiome Sales tor B~uilder A


40
35
Q~30
-
S25 -
o 20 -
-
S10
2 5


-* Development 1
-.- Development i


1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17
Month


Figure 4-14 Monthly Home Sales for Builder B









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The assumption that clients will seek out and find the services and products they need is

naive and dated. The findings of this study not only reaffirmed the fact that marketing endeavors

for small residential development builders are profitable but it is just not practical to go on

competing for work without some promotional effort.

Conclusions

Upon completion of the analysis of the collected data, it has become evident that defining

and truly understanding the needs of the client base being targeted for the development are the

most important steps in the marketing plan. The client bases in this study impacted the selection

of tools that were used to best suit their characteristics.

The young professional or young family client base was much more suited for marketing

tools which incorporated a more modern aspect, for example web design. They also are more

stimulated by the marketing tools which instill their trust thus creating a loyal customer database

such as newsletters which keep them informed of future works of the company and relationship

marketing which builds rapport. This will prove to continue to be profitable for the company

when these customers plan to build again or upgrade to a new home.

The older client base is more stimulated by tangible products and visual aids which can

help them see the final picture such as brochures, advertising, sales centers, signs, and

promotional events. These marketing tools give the clients something to take with them to

ponder their decision and persuade them to make the decision to buy a home in the builder' s

development. These tools can also be helpful in referring other similar customers in the same

situation who might be in the market. These tools are easily transferrable from one client to the

next.









Recommendations

As it is shown from the graphs representing the monthly sales of homes during the pre-

construction sales period (Figures 4-13, 4-14), the sales of homes in the developments where

marketing tools were utilized have much more volume and an accelerated pace.

The future of this study I believe would entail research into the cost of inflation, the state

of the housing market at the time of the study periods, and the average cost per square foot of the

houses to be included in the comparison. These values would give more accurate conclusions

into the profitability of each tool compared to the present worth of each tool and its profitability.

The need for market research is ongoing. The needs and characteristics of new or changing

markets are evolving every day. A continued role in the development of new ways to reach these

existing and potential clients is essential in gaining a competitive advantage while maintaining

profits on marketing investments.









APPENDIX: BUILDER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS


SClient Profile
Age
Gender
Marital Status
Household Type
Employment
Income
Mobility (likelihood of moving)
General Information
Completion Date
Construction Start Date
Preconstruction Sales Period (18 month period)
Number of units in development or phase
Number of homes sold in 18 month pre-construction period
Average cost of home
Marketing Tools Used
Tool 1
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 2
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 3
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 4
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 5
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 6
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 7
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 8
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 9
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:
Tool 10
Potential Client Exposure: Cost:










Monthly Home Sales
Month 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Number
of
Homes
Sold










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Blattenberg, Robert C.; Getz, Gary; Thomas, Jacquelyn S.; Customer Equity: Building
and Managing Relationships as Valuable Assets, 2001, Harvard Business School
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Brockmann, Christian; "Modeling Customer Satisfaction for the AEC Industry," 2002,
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Bryde, David J.; Robinson, Lynne; "Client Versus Contractor Perspectives on Proj ect
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Butera, Karen; Desinninn Sales: The Builder/ Merchandiser Handbook, 1987, National
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Davis, Peter R.; "Relationship Marketing in the Construction Industry," 1999, AACE
International Transactions, Perth, Western Australia.

Egemen, Mehmedali; Mohamed, Abdulrezak; "Clients' Needs, Wants and Expectations
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Ehrlich, Evelyn, The Financial Services Marketinn Handbook: Tactics and Techniqlues
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Floyd, Elaine, Marketing with Newsletters: How to Boost Sales, Add Members & Raise
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Hedley, George, "Construction Business Best Practices Series, Step 8: Marketing and
Sales Systems," 2006, Construction Business Owner, August, Birmingham,
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Henning-Thurau, Thorsten; Hansen, Ursula; Relationship Marketing: Gaining
Competitive Advantage Through Customer Satisfaction and Customer Retention,
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Maloney, William F.; "Construction Product/Service and Customer Satisfaction," 2002,
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Opfer, Neil; "Cost Engineering Expertise in Marketing Construction Services," 1990,
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Proverbs, David G.; Soetanto, Robby; "Intelligent Models for Predicting Levels of Client
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Smyth, Hedley; Marketinn and Sellinn Construction Services, 1999, Blackwell Science,
Maiden, Massachsetts.

Sobel, Andrew; Makinn Rain: The Secrets of Buildinn Lifelonn Client Lovalty, 2003,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Construction Professional, 2000, BNi Publications, Inc., Los Angeles, California.

Walls, Simon; Zahay, Debra L.; Mananinn Customer Relationships, 2000, Report No. 00-
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Julia Williams was born in Santa Cruz, California, on August 13, 1982. After a short lived

stay in the bay area, Julia moved to the plains of Illinois, also for a short couple of years before

moving to the Gateway to the West, St. Louis. At the age of nine, Julia moved to the Sunshine

State and spent the rest of her childhood leading up to college in the small town of Niceville.

Julia received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in

management from the University of Florida in May 2005. Two years later Julia will receive her

Master of Science in Building Construction from the M.E. Rinker School of Building

Construction at the University of Florida to complete her academic achievements.




Full Text

PAGE 1

1 IMPACT OF MARKETING STRATEGIES ON THE SUCCESS OF SMALL RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPERS By JULIA WILLIAMS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 by Julia Williams

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3 To my family: Mom, Dad, and Lilly For their constant encouragement and s upport in all of my academic endeavors.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to thank a few important people that ha ve helped me directly and indirectly succeed in completing this thesis. Of course, this woul d not have been possible without the guidance and support of my committee. Many thanks go to Dr Raymond Issa, Dr. Ian Flood, and Dr. Douglas Lucas. Dr. Issa, has been my biggest sponsor since my first day in Grad School at Rinker. He is never one to let me go a couple of days without seeing him and making sure that everything is going okay. The concern never went unnoticed and I appreciate the fact that we have teachers who care as much as he does. Dr. Flood is alwa ys a calm and collected source of supervision, despite just welcoming a new member to his fam ily. Dr Lucas has been a great recent addition to the Rinker Family and I will miss the office visits and his great stories of a wise and experienced war veteran and business man. I want to thank Dottie Beaupied for putting up with my increasingly frequent trips to her office. Her assistance has been integral in the co mpletion of not only this thesis, but also for the entirety of my time in Rinker. I want to thank my roommate, confidant, a nd partner in crime, Courtney. I never would have gotten through this without her and her insatiable desire for coffee. And last but certainly not least, I want to thank the most loving family anyone could ever hope for. Their constant support has given me th e opportunity to become the person that I am today and no words could ever describe how mu ch I appreciate everything they have done for me. I love them: Mom, Daddy, and my little Lilly-Kins!

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........8 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ............10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................11 Statement of Problem........................................................................................................... ..11 Objectives of Study............................................................................................................ .....11 Overview....................................................................................................................... ..........11 2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY...........................................................................................13 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........13 Basis for Research............................................................................................................. .....13 Data Collection Medium.........................................................................................................13 Data Analysis.................................................................................................................. ........14 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........14 Conclusions.................................................................................................................... .........15 3 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................16 Promoting, Marketing, and Selling.........................................................................................16 Construction, Not a Business of Building: a Business of People...........................................16 Marketing for Residential Builders and Developers..............................................................17 Defining Specialization...................................................................................................17 Developing Client Base...................................................................................................18 Defining Profiles of Target Markets................................................................................18 Defining Best Practices in Reaching Target Clients.......................................................19 Marketing Consulting Firms Specializing in Construction....................................................19 Tools Used to Reach Potential Clients...................................................................................20 General Company Tools..................................................................................................20 Corporate logo development....................................................................................20 Company package....................................................................................................21 Company brochure...................................................................................................22 Web designs.............................................................................................................22 Corporate advertising...............................................................................................23 Newsletters and bulletins.........................................................................................24 Relationship marketing............................................................................................24

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6 Development Specific Tools...........................................................................................25 Development logo....................................................................................................25 Development brochure.............................................................................................26 Sales centers.............................................................................................................27 Signage.....................................................................................................................28 Direct mail................................................................................................................28 Promotional events...................................................................................................29 A Complete Marketing Program............................................................................................30 Defining Profitability of a Marketing Program......................................................................30 4 RESULTS........................................................................................................................ .......39 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........39 Client Profile................................................................................................................. ..........39 Project Information............................................................................................................ .....40 Analysis and Discussion by Marketing Tool..........................................................................40 Analysis of Marketing System by Client Profile....................................................................41 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................52 Conclusions.................................................................................................................... .........52 Recommendations................................................................................................................ ...53 APPENDIX: BUILDER IN TERVIEW QUESTIONS..................................................................54 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..56 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................58

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Client Profile Information, Builder A................................................................................43 4-2 Client Profile Information, Builder B................................................................................43 4-3 Project Information, Builder A..........................................................................................43 4-4 Project Information, Builder B..........................................................................................43 4-5 Profitability Analysis per T ool: Retirement Client Profile................................................44 4-6 Profitability Analysis per Tool: Young Professional Client Profile..................................44

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 The Construction Business Differentiation Triangle.........................................................32 3-2 Company Logo............................................................................................................... ....32 3-3 Company Package............................................................................................................ ..33 3-4 Company Brochure........................................................................................................... .33 3-5 Typical Cost per Thousand (CPM) of Major Media Buys................................................34 3-6 Company Newsletter......................................................................................................... .35 3-7 Company Logo............................................................................................................... ....36 3-8 Development Brochure......................................................................................................36 3-9 Sales Center............................................................................................................... ........37 3-10 Sales Center Wall Display.................................................................................................37 3-11 Signage................................................................................................................... ............38 3-12 Direct Mail, Die Cut Card................................................................................................. .38 4-1 Corporate Logo Deve lopment Profitability.......................................................................45 4-2 Company Package Profitability.........................................................................................45 4-3 Development Logo Development Profitability..................................................................46 4-4 Web Design Profitability...................................................................................................46 4-5 Newsletter Profitability................................................................................................... ...47 4-6 Relationship Marketing Profitability.................................................................................47 4-7 Company Brochure Profitability........................................................................................48 4-8 Corporate Advertising Profitability...................................................................................48 4-9 Development Brochure Profitability..................................................................................49 4-10 Sales Center Profitability................................................................................................ ...49 4-11 Signage Profitability..................................................................................................... .....50

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9 4-12 Promotional Event Profitability.........................................................................................50 4-13 Monthly Home Sales for Builder A...................................................................................51 4-14 Monthly Home Sales for Builder B...................................................................................51

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10 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Bu ilding Construction PROFIT POTENTIAL IN MARKETING MIXTURES FOR SMALL RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT BUILDERS By Julia Williams May 2007 Chair: Raymond Issa Cochair: Ian Flood Major: Building Construction The residential development industry is a profit able market if in fact the units in the development can be sold and in a timely fashi on. The large residential co nstruction firms of the twenty-first century have realized the importan ce of the promotion of services and defining a target market in which to advertise their serv ices. The smaller residential development builders in todays industry are slowly catching up to the marketing bandwagon. The emergence of these specialized marketing firms is the basis for my study. My study explored the profitability of mark eting mixes developed by marketing consulting firms for small residential builders. These mark eting firms specialize in customizing a set of marketing tools to reach the target market most effectively for each. The pr ofitability of the use of these firms services is i ndisputable, but the extent of ex actly how much profit is being obtained from the services utilized for a partic ular development is in question. The information collected during this study will help other builders to appreciate the profits that are realized from the services of the marketing firm. Interviews conducted with two builders comparing a pair of similar projects with the variab le of the marketing tools were conducted to determine the amount of the added profits and the expeditious retu rns on the initial marketing expenditure.

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11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Statement of Problem In todays construction industr y, there exists a fair amount of residential builders who believe that marketing and sales schemes are not necessary and the capital investment is spending on frivolous items. These are the builders who have to bid work to drive sales volume, who do not have a loyal client base, and who are more than likely to go out of business. Marketing a specialized product in the business world today is at the heart of every company. These nave builders need to realize that a small investment in sales and marketing will generate a big return over time toward [t heir] bottom line (Hedley 2006). Objectives of Study The objective of this study is to determine th e profitability of mark eting tools implemented by a marketing consulting firm for small residen tial development builders. A specific mixture of tools to be used for a particular project can be determined after a thorough assessment of a target market is completed. Only then can a client prof ile be created and analy zed. The profitability of the use of these firms customized tools is indi sputable, but the extent of exactly what profit percentage is being obtained from each tool for a particular development is in question. This information will help other builder s appreciate the profits that are realized from the services of the marketing firm. Overview In Chapter 2 the research met hodology used in this study is de scribed in detail. Chapter 3 contains a literature review pe rtaining to marketing in genera l, relation to the construction industry, client bases, the emer ging trend of specialized marketing consulting firms, marketing tools used in residential devel opment, applying the tools to a sp ecific target market, and profit

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12 potential analysis procedures. Chapter 4 contains an analysis and summary of the data obtained. Finally, Chapter 5 presents conclusions from th e analysis of data as well as makes some recommendations for future areas of study.

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13 CHAPTER 2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction Todays small residential deve lopment builders are beginning to realize the importance of defining a target market and adapting a sales syst em to promote the differentiation of their firm in relation to the target markets specialized needs. In efforts to try and recruit potential customers, builders are learning the added bene fits of employing marketing companies which specialize in residential developm ent promotion to ensure that pre-construction sales of homes are realized in full and often in accelerated time periods. Basis for Research The goal for this research study is to determin e the profitability of marketing mixtures for small residential development builders. A ne w trend of firms specializing in marketing consultation for residential devel opment builders has emerged in re cent years. The profitability derived from the use of these firms services is indisputable, but the exte nt of exactly how much profit is being obtained from the services utilized for a particular deve lopment is in question. Data Collection Medium It was decided that the most effective way to determine the profita bility of marketing services was to interview companies who had employed a specialized marketing consulting firm on a development project to create sets of data which will be used in case studies produced for each project. The interviews were conducted over the phone with a builders representative. The two residential builders were chosen from a list acquired from one particul ar consulting firm who offered a wide array of services The questions asked were direct ed toward data for two of the builders projects of relatively the same size and target market, the variable being that one

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14 project (Project B) used the marketing firms se rvices with the project which did not employ the marketing services (Project A) actin g as the control for the research. Data Analysis Two separate sets of data were collected from the builders, one for each of the projects for each builder. After careful review of marketing tools used in the industry and offered by the consultation firm the interview questions were developed (Appendix). The questions were divided into two categories: Cl ient Profile and Development In formation. The objective of the Client Profile questions was to define the targ et market that the development is designed to attract in order to analyze the marketing t echniques planned by the consultation firm. The Development Information questions were intended to highlight the factors used in determining marketing profitability. Th ese factors are (Ba rr 1995)as follows: Marketing tools used The cost associated with each tool An approximation of the number of pr ospective buyers reached by each tool The number of homes sold, total and per month The average price of a home in the development during the specified period The data received from these questions we re constrained by a sp ecific time period, the 18 months of pre-construction. The data from the two sets were analyzed by comparison and also the profitability of each tool relative to the total profitability was determined. Microsoft Excel was used to process the data and to creat e a visual representa tion of the results. Limitations This research focused on builders in one region and does not re present the entire population of residential devel opment builders, but only the data from the participating companies. The other limitation of this study is rooted in the fact that some factors are approximations as the exact number of prospectiv e clients who were exposed to marketing tools

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15 cannot be known. The approximations are discussed in further detail in the literature review portion of this thesis. Conclusions This research was conducted to determine the profitability of marke ting tools customized for a small residential development builder by a specialized marketing consultation firm. This information will help other builders to appreciate th e profits that are realized from the services of the marketing firm. Interviews c onducted with two builders compari ng a pair of similar projects with marketing tools as a variab le were conducted to determine th e extent of the added profits and the expeditious returns on the initial marketing expenditure.

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16 CHAPTER 3 LITERATURE REVIEW Promoting, Marketing, and Selling The term marketing was first defined in 1937 by the American Marketing Association as those activities involved in the flow of goods and services from the point of production to the point of consumption. (American Marketing Asso ciation 2007). The definition was modified to read an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing cust omer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders (American Marketing Association 2007). The change in the original version is due to the fact that some believe that the point if production is far too late in a products life to start promoting it, marketi ng should influence the product being made. Conversely the point of consumption is definitely not the time to stop marketing the product in order to retain loyal clients. Developing a marketing scheme leads to using promotional mediums for a firm to elevate and accelerate sales. There is an old adage in sa les that says No sales...no company, in todays increasingly competitive construction industry, no thing sells itself (Smy th 1999). Therefore, a strong sales program, through market research and varied promotional mediums, is fundamental to the life, health and wealth of the company. Construction, Not a Business of Bu ilding: a Business of People The construction industry is driven by the pe ople who have a want for buildings to be erected and is then realized by the individuals who coordinate th e work of others to accomplish the assembly of those buildings. The product be ing marketed in building construction is the service of putting together the efforts of others to achieve a tangible final product, the building. The interactions between contract ors and clients are at the heart of every transaction made to

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17 complete the new building. Mastering the acqui sition and maintenance of the interactions between those two groups of people is what distinguishes a successful builder from an unsuccessful builder. Professional exchanges are only the beginning of co mmunications that are exchanged with the client. A bu ilder must understand that the only way to obtain and retain clients is to develop personal re lationships making this not a bus iness of building, but a business of people. Marketing for Residential Builders and Developers Home building is a specialized market in bu ilding construction. The challenge residential builders and developers face in selling homes is an intangible concept. The use of videos, renderings, and floor plans can help a client visualize the final pr oduct. Builders differ vastly in the size of the company ranging from single-pers on operations to companies with hundreds of employees all over the globe (Barr 1995). The larg er companies have caught on to the trend of market differentiation and have employed marketing professionals or in the best case scenario created an entire marketing department. The sma ller firms are beginning to adopt the new ideas to obtain new clients while maintaining existing clients. Defining Specialization In the residential construction industry, there exists a trilogy of attributes which can be found in most construction companies: superior service, low prices, and high quality (Figure 31). The most profitable companies in the current business world focus on reaching an edge of the triangle while most residential builders aim fo r the middle making themselves known as a jack of all trades and a master of none (Hedley 2006) Home builders are diffe rent than the average company in that all of the attributes are required by most clients and a push in just one direction would be quite detrimental to a company. In or der to create a degree of separation from the average, a builder one must chose a specialization. This can literally be an extra focus on one of

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18 the differentiating attributes, or it can be by selec ting a specific market niche such as waterfront homes with the highest attention to hurricane protection. A differentiation from the general industry allows a company to market themselves as an expert in whiche ver field they chose. Once the specialization of the company has been adopted, the company can focus on delivering the specialization to the best of their ability. A company can also be set apart from the rest of the competition by offering something more or something different. The main objectiv e in differentiation is to make the potential customers aware of why they should only use this particular company. More than one specialization is suitable, and sometimes desira ble, however, completely separate marketing schemes must be developed for each differentia ted business sector within a company (Sobel 2001). The clients for each of the specialized proj ect types are different and must be tended to differently. Developing Client Base To have a successful marketing and sales scheme it is essential to know your target market. The customer for the specialized market which ha s been created should have been the main focus for the differentiation from the rest of the comp etitors in the market. The intended market must be attainable to the company and the needs of the customer should also be familiar to the employees. Defining Profiles of Target Markets The target clients should have a clear pr ofile. In the residential building world, the demographics of the clients in a particular mark et will be similar enabling the marketing tactics to be focused in ways which the clients will intercept the promotional efforts. Demographic factors that should be analyzed are age, income, gender, marital status, family size, and terms of occupancy. These basic characteristics will inform rest of their personality, called their lifestyle

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19 preferences, such as the school system, infrastructure requireme nts, religious facilities, and development amenities for example (Sobel 2003). In residential construction, the client base is basically divi ded into two categories: first time buyers, such as young professionals or young families and move-up buyers, such as emptynesters or retirees (Butera, 1987). The needs and desires of the two groups differ in that the first time buyer is looking for relations to schools, work location, pl aygrounds, and shopping centers along with financing provided while the move -up buyers might be more concerned with proximity to clubhouses, waterfront health care centers, and a co mmunity where gatherings are fostered along with large lots and privacy. The first time buyers are more looking for economical homes and have a short but concise list of needs to be fulfilled. The move-up buyers have a longer list of wants that they are looking for in a home or development. Defining Best Practices in Reaching Target Clients Meeting the needs of a specified client base requires different techniques in marketing. Each individual builders techniqu es should vary in term of the cl ient base. For example, if the client base is retirees it might not be in the best interest of the company to have a strictly Internet-based marketing plan. However, if a company was trying to ta rget young professionals, technology-based promotional strate gies would be more accommodating. Marketing Consulting Firms Spe cializing in Construction With marketing being such an important factor in selling homes, resi dential builders have to stretch limited budgets to make the most profit per dollar spent. In order to achieve the highest profit potential for restricted resources, employ ment of marketing consultating firms specializing in new-home construction and neighborhood devel opments have become an increasing trend (Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007). The ex pertise of these firms can help eliminate less

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20 effective marketing tools and the use of inexperi enced staff members of the builders team in terms of marketing. Most of these specialized firms offer a wide range of products with the builder having the opportunity to utilize the perfect combination of services to meet the needs of their marketing endeavor (Creative Marketing Se rvices, Inc. 2007). The specialized marketing firms understand the demands of the target markets and the best way to promote the services and products the builder is trying to sell. Tools Used to Reach Potential Clients Within the world of marketing techniques, each medium has differing effects on the overall marketing plan. The diverse range of the common tools used to promote in the residential markets is broken into General Company Tool s and Project Specific Tools used to reach potential clients. Within these two narrowed cate gories each tool brings apparent advantages and disadvantages to the complete marketing program. General Company Tools General company tools are used by the company to help the client identify the company and to build a brand in the mind of the client and to emphasize th e specializations offered by the company (Butera 1987). These mediums should be made to be distributed in the short term (six months to a year) and the long te rm (three to five years). The General Company Tools are what sparks initial interest in the company from the potential client. Corporate logo development Design of a logo or logosytle is essential in catchi ng the attention of potential clients and appealing to existing clients. The logo should be a reflection of the indivi duals in the specified target market. For example if the company is trying to market themselves to a stylish, high-end user the logo should resemble that market (F igure 3-2). The use of a tag line should be

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21 incorporated with a logo. The tag line give[s] additional emphasis to a logo or logostyle. They synthesize in a few words the companys missi on, philosophy or professional specialty (Barr 1995). The use of the logo along with the tag line s hould be implemented in all printed materials. The repetition of exposure in the tag line with th e logo gives the symbol or name of the company something to stand for in addition to just the name. The advantages of a company logo are that one can Imprint the brand of the co mpany in the clients mind Create a common thread to be implanted with in all aspects of the companys imaging Instill a sense of pride in employees The disadvantages of logo creation are that it can Be detrimental to the sales of the community if it is completed poorly Become very time consuming, tedious, and stressful Company package The company package is a compilation of materi als to be utilized by a company in day to day business communications. Printed objects to be in cluded in the package include folders, tabs, envelopes, labels, letterhead, re port papers, and marketing papers (Figure3-3). These items are only a limited list of materials that could be includ ed, but that should include at least these items. The advantages of a company package are that it can Create a cohesive set of materials to con tinuously remind the recipient of the brand Enable the user to generate an organized packet of business materials Allow the user to be consistent in presentation The disadvantages of a comp any package are that it can Have a high cost of design Have a high cost of pr inting and re-printing Disable the company from changing anythi ng on the materials until the resources are exhausted

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22 Company brochure The brochure made for the company is a sa les-supportive vehicle th at communicates an idea of [the companys] experience, [the] st aff, [the] work quality, and briefly [the ] organizations underlying philosophy (Barr 1995) The company brochure is the centerpiece of the General Company Tools. The brochure should not only have photos and descriptions of past project history, but it should convey the personali ty of the company and be personalized to the target audience (Figure3-4). The advantages of the brochure are that it can Provide and introduction to new clients Remind clients of total capabilities Become a cross-selling t ool for existing clients Become a source of inspiration and renewed pride for employees The disadvantages of the brochure are that it can Fail to compete with newer electronic formats Become to broad in nature to entice a potential client Prevent relationships from being made in just the exchange of a brochure. Web designs The emergence of the internet has created a form of marke ting that has grown tremendously in the past decade. As a business investment, the establishment of a website is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools ava ilable to a firm in terms of reach and exposure to potential clients when compared to other tr aditional forms of adve rtising, communications, and promotion (Society for Marketing Profe ssional Services 2000). We bsites allow potential clients to gain immediate access to information about a company. The advantages of web designs are that they can Work for the company at all hours of the day and everyday of the year. Give the perception of a contemporary company in todays competitive marketplace

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23 Allow changes to projects and company details to be made quickly The disadvantages of web designs are that Computer literacy is still on th e rise and access is still limited to those who have computer access Complicated graphics of the construction industry are displa yed differently in different systems Maintaining a website can be costly Corporate advertising Corporate advertising is pur chased space or time...it appears when you want it to and exactly how you want it to (Barr 1995). Advertisings most importa nt factors are to build brand recognition, familiarity, customer retention, wh ile maintaining market share, and improving employee morale (Ehrlich 2004). There are many me dia in which advertising can be distributed such as television (cable and broadcast), radi o magazines, newspapers and the internet. The typical cost per thousand is the lowest for daytime broadcast tele vision and the highest for daily newspapers (Figure 3-5). The classic theory of advertis ing is that it is based on aw areness, interest, desire, and action (AIDA). First you have to get the targets atten tion; then you have to provide a reason to listen to your message; the message needs to stimula te the desire for the product; and finally, the target needs to buy whatever it is you are selling (Ehrlich 2004) The most commonly used form of advertising in residential construction is in magazine subscriptions (Barr 1996). The advantages of adver tising are that it can Be tailored to audiences needs Placement is very intentional and deliberate The dis advantages of advertising are that it can Not be very cost effective

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24 Become cluttered (in print) with other ads from competitors so that ads are over looked Trends such as TiVo are eliminating co mmercials on television all together. Newsletters and bulletins A newsletter is defined as a publi cation that is distributed at re gular intervals. The can have any format, focus, or frequency but they must be current and regular. (Floyd 1997). Client newsletters are produced for several reasons some of which include providing valuable information, enhancing the reputation of the co mpany, promoting the services offered by the company, providing continuous communications, de monstrating the capabilities of the firm, rewarding clients by featuring th eir projects, showcasing staff and project awards, to introduce new services or projects, and most importantly to increase sales w ith current clients (Society for Marketing Professional Services 2000). The informa tion contained in the ne wsletter has to have relevance for the perspective reader, must be valuable and timely (Figure 3-6). A good balance of news and features is a good way to pl ease a wide array of readers (Barr 1995). The advantages of newsletters are that they can Update existing clients on company news Allow the company to break into new markets Showcase award and build client trust The disadvantages of newsle tters are that they can Rarely reach potential new customers Seem weak if the company does not have any relevant news at that time Relationship marketing According the theory of Customer Equity, the customer is a financial asset that companies and organizations should measure, manage, and ma ximize just like any othe r asset (Blattenberg et al. 2001). Historically trends in all types of management have shown that the focus has been on the management of costs or the growth of revenues. The management of customer equity

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25 balances the two, carefully evaluating the profit ability and return on investment of marketing investment while creating market based growth (Davis 1999). Customer management, however, can only occur if a company has customers who re peatedly come back to the company to build their buildings. Companies must build relationshi ps with clients through trust. Once a trust is built, the customer can be identified as a loyal customer; and once a loyal customer is determined, the profitability of that loyal cu stomer can be assessed (Hedley 2006). Trust can only begin to be built between two people over time and personal face-to-face interaction. The more time which is invested into a relationship th e more trust is to be built. When a customer finds they can trust a contractor they will have a natural tendency to want to do business with that contractor again and again. The advantages of relationshi p marketing are that it can Be rewarding for employees building relations hips as much as it is for the clients. Build client trust The disadvantages of relations hip marketing are that it can Be very costly Be time comsuming Development Specific Tools Development specific tools are designed to highlight the special characteristics and qualities which set a particular residential development apart from other similar communities. These tools are specific to a partic ular project and entice the client to not only be interested in the company but the product that is the developments homes. Development logo The development logo is very important to the success of the sales of the units within the community. The logo will not only be what people use to identify the development far into the

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26 future, but it will also be used to initially entic e the client to consider the community. The logo should communicate graphically the core objectives th at the development intends to achieve. Creative Marketing Servi ces Inc., in Atlanta, Georgia, cr eated a logo for a development which wanted to promote a natural, rustic expe rience (Figure 3-7) and achieved the goal by incorporating native specimen in a rustic toned logo. The advantages of development logo creation are that it can Become the basis for all other marketing t echniques implemented for the development. Creates a brand image for the development in the clients eyes. There really are no disadvantage s to creating a development logo. It is believed to be the best tool to be implemented in a developments marketing plan. Development brochure The development brochure is similar to the company brochure in that it is used to convey not only visual representation of the product be ing produced, but it also has an underlying tone which is delivered to the potenti al client (Figure3-8). The writi ng and content in the brochure is extremely important. The common wisdom is that a client will spend only a minute or two on your brochure glance at the phot ographs, read the heads and subhead s, scan the client list, or project list, and maybe read a paragraph or two. This may be true in many cases, so make the best use of these elements to give a quick a nd accurate picture of your [project] at a glance (Society for Marketing prof essional Services 2000). The advantages of the developm ent brochure are that one can Easily convey a brief message about the development Give potential clients a tangible medium to take away with them The disadvantages of the developm ent brochures are that one can: Discourage face to face initial in teraction with the sales team Not be updated with new development proceedings at regular intervals

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27 Sales centers The sales center is a very significant portion of the marketing package in promoting the development. Creative Marketing Services Inc. defines specific minimal requirements that a sales center should encompass which give a poten tial buyer the best depiction of how the final product will be built. The minimum re quirement they desire in sale s centers they produce is that a near perfect replica of the st ructure and interior spaces that would be seen in a home in the development be created. The client should get an au thentic feel for the aesth etics of the buildings (Figure 3-9). The furnishings shoul d be pleasing to the touch and nothing should be too sparse or overly decorated either. The leve l of sophistication should warrant the appropriate tone for the development. Scale models of the development as a whole as well as models of the homes should be displayed in a central location. Other visual aids can be helpful as well, su ch as lifestyle pictures of potentially happy residents indulging in all that the development has to offer (Smyth 1999). These should be clear visual renderings or photographs which are accen ted by task lighting (Figure 3-10). A new trend in audiovisual technology called Building Inform ation Modeling (BIM) to give clients a threedimensional tour of a rendering of the mode ls. Through a combination of high-resolution photography, video, technology and ar chitectural and design treatme nts, the sales center will give people a first-hand experience of what it will be like to call the development home (Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007) The advantages of the sa les center are that it can Give the potential client an accurate de piction of the new homes to be built Create space to conduct busin ess for the development Act as a hub for all pre-constr uction / construction services.

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28 Similar to the development logo the sales center does not have any substantial disadvantages. The sales center is the heart of the promotional tools for the development. Signage Similarly to the brochure, the signage for the development has very limited space for content and has to be strategically planned. The sign is meant to identify the property and the key objectives of the development while still maintaining the aesthetic integrity proposed for the overall look for the community (Hedley 2006). The sign has to be particularly placed where it has maximum exposure to potential clients (Figure 3-11). The advantages of the signage are that one can Mark the boundary of the development Catch the attention of drivers passin g by who might not have known about the development The disadvantages of signage are that one can Be vague and not enticing Show prices which may be a deterrent for potential buyers Direct mail Direct mail allows you to target your marketing efforts to se lected prospective clients (Society for Marketing Professional Services 20 00).Not only can a company target exactly who receives this information but it is extremely reliabl e. This is increasingly important to residential developers who have received refe rrals from existing customers. More than any other marketing communicati ons medium, direct mail demands concise, convincing words that communicate in a flash an d sell in no uncertain terms...direct mail is a complex blend of advertising, public rela tions and sales promotion showmanship. It relies on advertisings one-two punch of art and copy to snare a readers attention. It draws from public relations the advantage of conveying information at length and in detail. (Barr 1995)

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29 Direct mail can come in many different formats including, but not limited to, flyers, post cards, newsletters, multi-media, holiday cards, and posters (Figure 3-12) The advantages of the direct mail are that it can Provide enormous options for effects which can be sent Be cost effective due to the relatively low postage costs Be very affordable because production costs are low The disadvantages of dir ect mail are that it can Yield incorrect addresses Annoy older clients on the mailing list who do not have a need for new developments Be hard to come up with lists Promotional events Promotional events can range from open houses, ground breakings, dinners and meetings to seminars, giveaways holidays, and ceremonies. If executed correctly, special events can cast a light on an organizations human side, persona lize the organization and pull off the printed page and out of the office building, and reveal it s character and vitality (Society for Marketing Professional Services 2000). Promotional events are a chance for the client to see that the community they are joining is not only about th e tangible structures but also has a pleasurable face as well. The customer can see that not on ly are they buying a house but an experience. The advantages of promotiona l events are that one can Provide a relaxing casual atmosphere for all involved Reward existing clients while givi ng potential clients perspective The disadvantages of promotional events are that one can Be very time and labor intensive Require a space to hold events Require large production costs

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30 A Complete Marketing Program Deciding on a complete marketing package to us e in promoting the sale of units inside the residential development is the most vital part in reaching the target clients. The specialized marketing firm analyzes all the options and the market to come up with the optimal combination of services. Most companies utilize the sa me Development Specific Tools: logo creation, brochure, sales center, and development signage The use of other mediums, General Company and Development Specific, is specifically tailored to each situation and profitability potential. Defining Profitability of a Marketing Program The profitability of the marketing program utili zed is determined using a six step process: Determine the number of prospects contacted over a fixed time period from a completed acquisition campaign Measure the marketing and servicing costs asso ciated with contacti ng and selling to the prospects Determine the number of prospects who became customers Compute the sales revenue and gross margin fo r the new customers first set of purchases Compute the acquisition equity of the entire pool of customers by subtracting the costs calculated in step 2 from the revenues calculate d in step 4. Note that this equity number can be negative. Divide the total acquisition equity by the num ber of customers to determine the average equity per customer (Blattberg et al. 2001). Some of the numbers used in the previ ous steps are approximations. According to Blattberg et al. (2001), approximations are not desirable by ac countants and financial analysts. The argument is that profitability from customer acquisitions or marketing cannot be measured because highly precise accounting numbers do not exist. The authors claim that Even when exact numbers are absent, it is be tter to be roughly right and to utilize the concept of [profitability] than not to meas ure it and to operate an enterprise using insufficient indicators....Such indicators may be more accurately measured, but they are less relevant managerially a nd strategically. Thus it is of ten necessary to approximate

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31 accounting and financial number s when trying to measure profit levels and marketing expenses for historical cohorts of customers. (Blattberg et al. 2001)

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32 Figure 3-1 The Construction Business Differe ntiation Triangle. Source: George Hedley, Construction Business Best Pr actices Series, Step 8: Ma rketing and Sales Systems, 2006, Construction Business Owner, August 2006, Birmingham, Alabama Figure 3-2 Company Logo. Source: Creat ive Marketing Services, Inc. 2007 http://www.creativemarketingservices.net

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33 Figure 3-3 Company Package. Source: Promotion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms (Barr; 1995) Figure3-4 Company Brochure. Source: Promotion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms (Barr; 1995)

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34 $0$5$10$15$20$25 Daytime Broadcast TV Magazines Primetime Broadcast TV Daily NewspaperTypical Cost per Thousand (CPM) of Major Media Buys Figure 3-5 Typical Cost per Thousand (CPM) of Major Media Buys. Source: Magazine Publishers of America Readership of Advertising by Unit Type, 2003 http://www.magizine.org/Advertisin g_and_PIB/Ad_Trends_and_Magazine_Handboo k/2009.cfm

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35 Figure 3-6 Company Newsletter Source: Promot ion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms (Barr; 1995)

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36 Figure 3-7 Company Logo. Source: Creat ive Marketing Services, Inc. 2007 http://www.creativemarketingservices.net Figure 3-8 Development Broc hure. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007 http://www.creativemarketingservices.net

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37 Figure 3-9 Sales Center. Source: Cr eative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007 http://www.creativemarketingservices.net Figure 3-10 Sales Center Wall Display. Source: Creative Marketing Services, Inc. 2007 http://www.creativemarketingservices.net

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38 Figure 3-11 Signage. Source: Creativ e Marketing Services, Inc. 2007 http://www.creativemarketingservices.net Figure 3-12 Direct Mail Die Cut Card. Source: Promo tion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms (Barr; 1995)

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39 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction The results of the interviews conducted with the two reside ntial development builders is presented in four sections: client profiles for e ach of the developments, information pertaining to each project, analysis of each marketing tool used, and finally an analysis of the entire marketing systems in relation to each client profile. Client Profile The client profiles for each development under a particular builder were intended to be similar. The two builders selected for the st udy chose two developments which mirrored each other except for the marketing involved. The first builders (Builder A) client profiles for the developments defined the clients to be over 55 years of age, a married couple with ol der children who did not live with the couple anymore, the clients were retired or near re tirement, and had low mobility or likelihood of moving (Table 4-1). These developments were ta rgeted at elderly persons who were moving for the last time. Community interactions were mean t to be high with a fo cus on recreation. One of the developments has a golf course specially desi gned for the senior golfer while the other was built on a very large lake system with a concentration on boating and fishing. The second builders (Builder B) client prof ile defined a young family or newly married couple looking to start a family. The target ed age group was 25-35 years old, first time new home owners, with at least one member of the family working full time. The mobility of these clients is moderate (Table 4-2). These developm ents were marketed toward the working family with a high level of community interaction also. The developmen ts boasted extensive childrens facilities including playgrounds, club houses, pools and sports fields.

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40 Project Information The projects chosen by Builder A for this study have 944 and 956 total lots available for Development 1 and Development 2, respectivel y. Development 1 was completed in 1999 and construction began in 1995. The 18-month precons truction sales period this study is focusing on stretched from May 1993 to November 1995 duri ng which 546 homes were sold. The average price of a home sold during that time peri od was $179,995. Development 2 was completed in 2006 and construction began in 2001. The 18-mont h preconstruction sales period this study is focusing on stretched from July 1999 to Janua ry 2001 during which 923 homes were sold. The average price of a home sold during that time period was $400,009. The projects chosen by Builder B for this study have 657 and 590 total lots available for Development 1 and Development 2, respectivel y. Development 1 was completed in 1999 and construction began in 1996. The 18-month precons truction sales period this study is focusing on stretched from March 1994 to September 1996duri ng which 389 homes were sold. The average price of a home sold during that time peri od was $153,637. Development 2 was completed in 2003 and construction began in 2001. The 18-mont h preconstruction sales period this study is focusing on stretched from November 1999 to May 2001 during which 590 homes were sold. The average price of a home sold during that time period was $227,895. Analysis and Discussion by Marketing Tool The analysis of the marketing tools produced th ree distinct sets of results: the marketing tools which had similar profitabili ty percentages in both client profiles, the tools which were more profitable for marketing to the younger pr ofile, and the tools which were the most profitable for the project targ eted at the older age group.

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41 The profitability of each tool was calculated using the formula gathered from Blattsberg et al. (2001). The formula gives the pe rcentage that is earned on the in itial investment for each tool for example: Potential Client Exposure for a Particular Tool (Median Home Price Cost of the Tool) ( Number of Homes Sold )X Total Number of Homes in the Development An example of how this formul a is used in this study is: 3600 400009 1000 ( 923 )X = 16.31% Corporate Logo Development Profitability = 956 The tools which produced roughly the same prof itability on both sets of profiles include the Company Logo Development (Figure 4-1) Company Package (Figure 4-2) and the Development Logo (Figure 4-3).The tools which had higher profitability percentages for the younger clientele include: Web Design (Figure 4-4) Newsletters (Figure 4-5), and Relationship Marketing (Figure 4-6). The tools which produced higher profits for the older client base include: Company Brochure (Figure 4-7), Corpor ate Advertising (Figure 4-8), Development Brochure (Figure 4-9), Sales Center (Figure 410), Signage (Figure 4-11), and Promotional Event (Figure 4-12). Analysis of Marketing Sy stem by Client Profile The profitability of the tool s used by Builder A for the older clients are higher overall (Table 4-5) then the tools used by Builder B to market to the younger customers. However the tools had a generally better impact on the homes sales when compared to the sales of the homes in the developments where no marketing tools were implemented by the marketing consultation

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42 firm (Figures 4-13, 4-14). The sale of homes wa s much more consistent on a month to month basis for the developments which had implemented a marketing program.

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43 Table 4-1 Client Profile Information, Builder A Development 1 Development 2 Age 55+ Years Old 55+ Years Old Gender Male / Female Male / Female Marital Status Married Married Household Type Married Couple, Children out of home Married Couple, Kids grown Employment Retirees / About to retire Retirees / About to retire Income Retired, No Requirements Retired, No Requirements Mobility Low Low Table 4-2 Client Profile Information, Builder B Development 1 Development 2 Age 25-35 Years Old 25-35 Years Old Gender Male / Female Male / Female Marital Status Married / Single Married Household Type Young family Newlyweds / Young family Employment At least one member of household fulltime At least one member of household fulltime Income No requirements Combined income over $75,000 Mobility Moderate Moderate Table 4-3 Project Information, Builder A Development 1 Development 2 Construction Start/Finish Date 1995-1999 2001-2006 Preconstruction Sales Period May 1993 November 1995 July 1999 January 2001 Number of Units 944 956 Number of Homes Sold 546 923 Median Cost of Home $179,995 $400,009 Table 4-4 Project Information, Builder B Development 1 Development 2 Construction Start/Finish Date 1996-1999 2001-2003 Preconstruction Sales Period March 1994 September 1996 November 1999 May 2001 Number of Units 657 590 Number of Homes Sold 389 562 Median Cost of Home $153,637 $227,895

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44 Table 4-5 Profitability Analysis pe r Tool: Retirement Client Profile Marketing Tool Potential Client Exposure Cost Profitability Corporate Logo Development 3600 1000 16.31% Company Package 650 1500 2.93% Company Brochure 10000 2500 45.31% Corporate Advertising 20000 18775 90.47% Development Logo 4500 1000 20.39% Development Brochure 3000 2500 13.57% Sales Center 3000 65925 12.91% Signage 3500 4800 15.82% Direct Mail 1000 10000 4.43% Promotional Event 350 15000 1.43% Table 4-6 Profitability Analysis per Tool: Young Professional Client Profile Marketing Tool Potential Client Exposure Cost Profitability Corporate Logo Development 2500 1500 17.16% Company Package 400 1750 2.72% Company Brochure 750 3500 5.10% Web Design 10000 5000 68.65% Newsletter 300 750 2.05% Relationship Marketing 150 20000 0.69% Development Logo 2000 1500 13.72% Development Brochure 1000 3500 6.81% Sales Center 1000 90000 5.35% Signage 1200 7000 8.13% Direct Mail 500 4300 3.36%

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45 15.5 16 16.5 17 17.5 18 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base typeCorporate Logo Development Figure 4-1 Corporate Logo Development Profitability 2.6 2.65 2.7 2.75 2.8 2.85 2.9 2.95 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeCompany Package Figure 4-2 Company Package Profitability

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46 0 5 10 15 20 25 OlderYounger Client Base TypeDevelopment Logo Figure 4-3 Development Logo Development Profitability 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeWeb Design Figure 4-4 Web Design Profitability

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47 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeNewsletter Figure 4-5 Newsletter Profitability 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeRelationship Marketing Figure 4-6 Relationship Marketing Profitability

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48 0 10 20 30 40 50 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeCompany Brochure Figure 4-7 Company Brochure Profitability 0 20 40 60 80 100 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeCorporate Advertising Figure 4-8 Corporate Advertising Profitability

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49 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeDevelopment Brochure Figure 4-9 Development Brochure Profitability 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base Type Sales Center Figure 4-10 Sales Ce nter Profitability

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50 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypeSignage Figure 4-11 Signage Profitability 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 Profit Percentage OlderYounger Client Base TypePromotional Event Figure 4-12 Promotional Event Profitability

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51 Monthly Home Sales for Builder A0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1357911131517 MonthNumber of Homes Development 1 Development 2 Figure 4-13 Monthly Home Sales for Builder A Monthly Home Sales for Builder B0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 1357911131517 MonthNumber of Homes Development 1 Development 2 Figure 4-14 Monthly Home Sales for Builder B

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52 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The assumption that clients will seek out and fi nd the services and products they need is nave and dated. The findings of this study not only reaffirmed the fact that marketing endeavors for small residential development builders are pr ofitable but it is just not practical to go on competing for work without some promotional effort. Conclusions Upon completion of the analysis of the collected data, it has become evident that defining and truly understanding the needs of the client base being targeted for the development are the most important steps in the marketing plan. The c lient bases in this study impacted the selection of tools that were used to best suit their characteristics. The young professional or young family client ba se was much more suited for marketing tools which incorporated a more modern aspect, for example web design. They also are more stimulated by the marketing tools which instill th eir trust thus creating a loyal customer database such as newsletters which keep them informed of future works of the company and relationship marketing which builds rapport. This will prove to continue to be profitable for the company when these customers plan to build again or upgrade to a new home. The older client base is more stimulated by tangible products and visual aids which can help them see the final picture such as br ochures, advertising, sale s centers, signs, and promotional events. These marketing tools give the clients something to take with them to ponder their decision and persuade them to make the decision to buy a home in the builders development. These tools can also be helpful in referring other similar customers in the same situation who might be in the market. These tools are easily transferrable from one client to the next.

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53 Recommendations As it is shown from the graphs representi ng the monthly sales of homes during the preconstruction sales period (Figures 4-13, 4-14), th e sales of homes in the developments where marketing tools were utilized have much more volume and an accelerated pace. The future of this study I believe would entail re search into the cost of inflation, the state of the housing market at the time of the study peri ods, and the average cost per square foot of the houses to be included in the comparison. These values would give more accurate conclusions into the profitability of each tool compared to the present worth of each tool and its profitability. The need for market research is ongoing. The needs and characteristics of new or changing markets are evolving every day. A continued role in the development of new ways to reach these existing and potential clients is essential in gaining a competitive advantage while maintaining profits on marketing investments.

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54 APPENDIX: BUILDER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Client Profile Age Gender Marital Status Household Type Employment Income Mobility (likelihood of moving) General Information Completion Date Construction Start Date Preconstruction Sales Period (18 month period) Number of units in development or phase Number of homes sold in 18 month pre-construction period Average cost of home Marketing Tools Used Tool 1 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 2 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 3 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 4 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 5 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 6 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 7 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 8 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 9 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost: Tool 10 : Potential Client Exposure: Cost:

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55 Monthly Home Sales Month 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Number of Homes Sold

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56 LIST OF REFERENCES American Marketing Association; n.d. http ://www.marketingpower .com/mg-dictionaryview1862.php accessed March 5, 2007. Barr, Vilma; Promotion Strategies for Design and Construction Firms 1995, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Ne w York, New York. Birgonul, M. Talat; Dikmen, Irem; Ozce nk, Ismail; Marketing Orientation in Construction Firms: Evidence from Tu rkish Contractors, 2004, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Blattenberg, Robert C.; Getz Gary; Thomas, Jacquelyn S.; Customer Equity: Building and Managing Relationships as Valuable Assets 2001, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Massachusetts. Brockmann, Christian; Modeling Customer Sa tisfaction for the AEC Industry, 2002, AACE International Transactions, Breman, Germany. Bryde, David J.; Robinson, Lynne; Client Vers us Contractor Perspectives on Project Success Criteria, 2005, International Jour nal of Project Management, 23, 8, 622629. Butera, Karen; Designing Sales: The Builder/ Merchandiser Handbook 1987, National Association of Home Builders of the United States, Washington, D.C. Chinyio, Ezekiel A.; Corbett, Pauline; Ol omoiaiye, Paul O.; Quantification of Construction Clients Needs Through Paired Comparisons, 1998, Journal of Management in Engineering, January/February, 87-92. Creative Marketing Services, Inc; n.d. http://www.creativem arketingservices.net accessed March 5, 2007 Davis, Peter R.; Relationship Marketi ng in the Constructi on Industry, 1999, AACE International Transactions, Perth, Western Australia. Egemen, Mehmedali; Mohamed, Abdulrezak; C lients Needs, Wants and Expectations from Contractors and Approach to th e Concept of Repetitive Works in the Northern Cypress Construction Market , 2005, Building and Environment, 41, 5, 602-614. Ehrlich, Evelyn, The Financial Services Marketing Handbook: Tact ics and Techniques That Produce Results 2004, Bloomberg Press, Princeton, New Jersey Floyd, Elaine, Marketing with Newsletters: How to Boost Sales, Add Members & Raise Funds with a Printed, Faxed or Web Site Newsletter 1997, Newsletter Resources, St. Louis, Missouri.

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57 Hedley, George, Construction Business Best Practices Series, Step 8: Marketing and Sales Systems, 2006, Construction Bu siness Owner, August, Birmingham, Alabama. Henning-Thurau, Thorsten; Hansen, Ursu la; Relationship Marketing: Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Customer Satisfaction and Customer Retention 2000, Springer, Heidelberg, Germany. Maloney, William F.; Construction Product/S ervice and Customer Satisfaction, 2002, Journal of Construction Engi neering and Management, 522-529. Opfer, Neil; Cost Engineering Expertise in Marketing Construction Services, 1990, American Association of Cost Engineers, Las Vegas, NV. Proverbs, David G.; Soetanto, Robby; Intellig ent Models for Predicting Levels of Client Satisfaction, 2004, Journal of C onstruction Research, 5, 2, 233-253. Smyth, Hedley; Marketing and Se lling Construction Services, 1999, Blackwell Science, Malden, Massachsetts. Sobel, Andrew; Making Rain: The Secret s of Building Lifelong Client Loyalty 2003, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Society for Marketing Professional Serv ices; Marketing Handbook for the Design & Construction Professional 2000, BNi Publications, Inc., Los Angeles, California. Walls, Simon; Zahay, Debra L.; Managing Customer Relationships 2000, Report No. 00107, Marketing Science Institut e, Cambridge Massachusetts.

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58 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Julia Williams was born in Santa Cruz, Calif ornia, on August 13, 1982. After a short lived stay in the bay area, Julia moved to the plains of Illinois, also for a shor t couple of years before moving to the Gateway to the West, St. Louis. At the age of nine, Julia moved to the Sunshine State and spent the rest of her childhood leading up to college in the small town of Niceville. Julia received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in management from the University of Florida in May 2005. Two years later Julia will receive her Master of Science in Building Constructi on from the M.E. Rinker School of Building Construction at the University of Florid a to complete her academic achievements.