The ONeil Edit – February 25, 2022

And we’re writing… (or so the little voice in my head says as I begin to formulate the content of this week’s Edit.) I have a system for this endeavor.

  1. File all unread newsletters during the week into a folder in my inbox
  2. Friday morning open and read each newsletter, clicking open any articles that might provide value.
  3. Begin Writing the opening paragraph
  4. Scan over the little sawtooth tabs to remind myself what the headlines say
  5. Group tabs into like topics
  6. Scan and or read each article, closing tabs of articles that don’t make the cut
  7. Make sense of what’s left
  8. Edit it down once more
  9. Write the summary sentence
  10. Add subheads
  11. Reread each article as I write the summary of the topic 
  12. Close tabs as I write about them

All in it takes about 2-3 hours depending on how much content is out there. Today there was a hiccup in the plan because the kids’ school was two hours late due to ice. I am so over winter. Hence the voice in my head prompting me back into focus. Excuse me while I go select the news you can use for the week. OK I’m back, there is some really good stuff out there this week so I’m stuffing it all in here. From Disney to Tiktok with some Google in between, this will be a fun one to write (and hopefully for you to read).

HOUSING

December turned out to be a stellar month for new home sales and January didn’t quite live up those numbers but the decline was relatively small at 4.5%. The article also pointed out the whole lumber, supply chain, interest rate issue that will plague us in 2022. That’s alright, that’s ok we’ve got spirit anyway

More interesting than that to me was the news that investors bought 14% of the homes on the market in 2021. I find this interesting for several reasons but mostly because we are in the midst of building out portals for at least 2 of our builders in which the focus is either solely on investors or in large part centered around the investor experience. I suspect it will become a growing trend and one I will keep you in the loop on.

The other tidbit that intrigued me this week was that townhouse construction grew 28% in 2021. I like this news because hopefully that will have an impact on affordable housing. And once again it’s of particular interest because I’ve noticed several of our builders who previously only built single family homes are branching out into towns. Look you all being on trend! I like it.

The final piece of housing news is one that sends shivers down my spine and makes me fully cringe. Disney is building residential communities. If you ever want to torture me, send me to one of them. Evidence that this is some kind of dystopian experiment → “The company said that at each location, Disney cast members would operate the community association.” Can you even imagine freaking Minnie Mouse running your neighborhood association? Or worse, Belle or some other princess. Living nightmare. 

GOOGLE

Ah, the Google, oddly, safer, warmer and far more palatable than a Disney neighborhood. The Google is being it’s Googliest and rolling out new features left and right whilst waging a huge PR campaign to thwart the government from initiating any form of oversight. 

First up, the question and answer section of Google Business Profiles now seems to be appearing on Google maps. Oh la la! Me likey. This could be super useful for our builders. But only if you’re doing a good job answering those questions and making sure you’re putting on your best customer service while doing so. 

Google is also making offline conversion tracking easier which has me thinking a mile a minute about what we could do with that data and chatting Dennis to ask him how fast we can make it happen (it involves Tag Manager which I don’t like to touch). This is the kind of stuff that really gets me excited.

As for Google’s PR efforts, it all revolves around a bipartisan bill that was introduced in an effort to help local businesses get noticed on the big sites. I’m not sure where I come down on this just yet but I do think Google’s efforts make me think that perhaps what the Government is trying to do might not be so bad.

TIKTOK

Ok look, I can’t get into it. I feel too old. Apparently though when I make statements like that I sound like a “pick me” old person according to my suddenly extremely bold 13 year old daughter. Oh you don’t have teenagers and are therefore uncertain what a pick me girl is, well lets just say you don’t want to be one. But whatever, I really am too old for it. I’ve tried on one too many social media apps in my time and as yet I’m not fully convinced of the value of the Tok for builders. But anyway, if you do see the value and want to give it a try, here’s a little article with 10 tips for marketing on TikTok

AD OPTIMIZATION

This one came from a newsletter that targeted me via a Facebook ad called, The Clikk. It’s new to me and I’m still on the fence but I will give them kudos for the use of an emoji in their UTM code for the article. Said article is about how conversions and lift get conflated sometimes when marketers try to measure an ads impact. (I left the UTM code in that link so check out the little 🤨 in the code when you click) What I found most interesting was the conclusion that the author drew in how advertising giants have been able to cut budget and increase performance using smart audiences. It’s an ongoing conversation that we have around the office that basically centers on the idea that clicks and conversions aren’t the only important pieces of data to be analyzed. 

That was a lot to cover and I finished just in the nick of time because I am just about the head out the door and into the office to film today’s edition of Homefiniti & Beyond which is all about dynamic personalization on websites and in marketing. Click on over and watch at 1pm Eastern.


Molly White

Molly White

Digital Marketing Manager

I am a passionate early adopter. At ONeil Interactive I help clients put their best technological foot forward while generating high quality leads with digital campaigns that consistently beat industry averages.