I’m writing this while drinking my coffee and wearing joggers and a sweatshirt, knowing that this evening we’re hosting a giant bonfire where I will provide to our guests one of my famous cheese boards, some yummy in the tummy gumbo served with a side of my homemade whole wheat sourdough (from a starter that I revived after a nearly 6 month dormancy), and festive September Sangria. It’s really finally Fall Y’All!
Plus, the news this week is exciting. Exciting in a super nerdy way, but exciting nonetheless. It’s got my mind moving a mile a minute and swirling with ideas and possibility. I love that feeling. I had so many good housing articles that I had to write down the theme of each and make a list so as to narrow it down and prevent news overload. Then there’s news in Facebookland, plus a thoughtful opinion piece on the future of GMB, and a intro to BIMI.
Looks like Facebook is releasing some updates to it’s ads and to Business Manager. On that note, I’m squeezing in a little plug because I’ll be presenting “7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Facebook Business Manager” as a Tech Byte at IBS 2022! But back to the Facebook news, most of what’s listed as ad updates in this article aren’t really pertinent to home builders. They’re updating things like ads that allow people to chat via messenger instead of going to your website, requesting quotes in the same way and expanding in-platform lead ads to Instagram (We find in-platform lead ads to return lower quality leads). The exciting stuff is what’s coming to Business Manager.
Emails: Facebook is testing the ability for businesses to manage emails through the Inbox app, and send remarketing emails from Facebook Business Suite.
File Manager: Facebook Business Suite is introducing File Manager, a new feature that allows businesses to create, manage and post content.
Post Testing: Facebook is making post testing available in Business Suite to let businesses test and compare multiple versions of a post to see which one people are more likely to engage with.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS NICHE VERTICALS
This article is less announcement and more opinion piece, but it is extremely pertinent to home builders because it could completely change the Google game for home builders. Essentially, there are currently 4 main verticals in which Google My Business morphed considerably to make life easier for the Googlers. Those are retail, hotels, restaurants, and services, specifically local services.
This is where it gets interesting for home builders. Local services currently include real estate and essentially all the subs needed for construction but not yet full construction or home building services. But imagine if home building became a local service and all of a sudden your GMB listings would surface in a whole new interface that would increase lead opportunities. So needless to say I perk up when this person posits that Google will be focusing on more niche verticals in the future.
UPSIDE DOWN, YOU TURN ME INSIDE OUT AND ROUND AND ROUND
Picture Diana Ross singing that as the soundtrack to housing these days. We’re up, we’re down, we’re backwards and forwards. Single family home starts are down, while authorizations to start are up. Builder confidence is up from August, and still up from the prepandemic highpoint but significantly lower than it was at the start of 2021. Custom home building share is on the decline, encompassing less than 18% of all new homes started in 2020; the lowest it’s been in since 2005. But in good news, the number of women in construction is at its highest point since 2002.
What’s the take away from the roller coaster? There are still plenty of homes to be built and bought, but builders will have to continue to weather the storms created and exacerbated by the pandemic for a bit longer.
BIMI BIMI COCO BOP
Nope that’s not how the song goes but it was the best I could do. BIMI isn’t just a fun word, it’s a functionality that helps provide validity and increase trust in your email marketing efforts. It stands for Brand Identifiers for Message Identification and it essentially means that if you go through the BIMI process and are approved, the emails your business sends will come with your logo as an identifier (like how your photo comes through with your work email on certain email clients like gmail).
There you have it, a couple of exciting moves on the digital landscape and the unending roller coaster of home building. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make my gumbo.