I typically avoid making excuses and kind of loathe the phrase “better late than never” so I’m just going to acknowledge the elephant in the room that this post is long overdue. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this reflection on the Do You Convert Online Sales and Marketing Summit in Dallas last month. I didn’t realize how much I needed a professional pick-me-up until I arrived at the Summit and it was the first in-person, building industry event I’ve participated in since IBS 2020. Per usual, the DYC team set the bar high. I’m a VERY recent Texas native (as in one month recent) so I came into this trip “up north” from Houston with a little extra pride.
Dennis, Molly, and I represented the ONeil team this year and we are always grateful for our invitation to be a part of this elite gathering of sales and marketing unicorns. Mike, Kevin and the entire organization have found the secret sauce to a truly engaging event.
If you’ve never been to a Gaylord property, check out the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX. They had their conference accommodations game down and the atrium was abuzz with people coming back to life. With most of my last 18 months consumed indoors in front of a screen, the natural light was a welcome office for a couple of days.
On the eve of the Summit, we hosted our first Homefiniti Customer Appreciation reception. We work with rockstar home builders across the country alongside our partners at Do You Convert and when the opportunity presented itself to get some of these top Homefiniti users in one space, we capitalized. 2020 was a year of growth for the entire building industry, ONeil Interactive included. While we designed and developed a score of delightful websites last year, we didn’t get to sit down with any of these builders face to face. So it was a pleasure to not have pixels in between us as we talked digital shop over cocktails and apps.
To start the first of the two-day event, keynote speaker, Jeff Shore, took the crowd on a tour of the overwhelmed mind of the home shopper in today’s typical customer journey. As the sages of sales and marketing, we need to keep our ears open when we ask questions and be excited to hear the answer. Jeff’s message was a perfect transition to the breakout sessions where we had conversations on best practices to reach audiences and give them what they are looking for.
Kevin dubbed this recent, unpredictable market “the ride,” as the last year and half has been akin to an amusement park roller coaster.Our time is best spent identifying where the true need lies and focusing on what we can control. From diagnosing where the problems lie in the funnel to tips on producing knockout video content, the day offered a noteworthy list of best practices. As Will Duderstadt of M/I Homes lamented, everything is a remix. We don’t need to invent new ideas as much as we need to tweak and perfect what already works.
The DYC Summit is an abundant source of passionate people who love what they do. So connecting us all over snacks, a cocktail, and conversation about how to make our businesses better, produced damn near gamma wave frequency at Thursday’s cocktail party. Not to mention the 360 photo booth for bonus fun.
On Day 2, it was time to look at what we could and should be doing as homebuilder marketers to prepare our organizations for market normalization and position ourselves for success. While we can’t always have an impact on the location or price, we can use marketing to reach a more qualified audience and deliver a delightful user experience to increase the likelihood of conversion. Take for instance content. Rachel Peters of Keystone Homes and Sarah Titus of Eastbrook Homes made us all jealous with the robust content portals they’ve perfected over the last year to engage virtual home shoppers. Producing amazing photos, videos, and home buyer resources is a must, but organizing and maintaining those assets is a labor of love.
The highlight of my trip was having the pleasure to banter about what makes a high performance home builder website with Dennis O’Neil and Will Duderstadt. I was drooling over everyone’s website wishlists. Sometimes I get so caught in the day-to-day details of homebuilder websites that I forget to take in the view from 30,000 feet. Ideas like buy online, pinch-to-zoom image experience, more accurate attribution, and natural language search, are the present and future of Homefiniti.
In my humble opinion, the DYC Summit is where successful, forward thinking, sales and marketing recipes are born. It is the energy that is shared, and equally produced, by some of the building industry’s brightest minds that makes this event unique. Job well done Do You Convert! Thanks for inviting us to enjoy the ride. Check out photos on the DYC Facebook page and stay tuned for the 2022 Online Sales and Marketing Summit in Phoenix, AZ.