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July 9, 2020

July Marketing Pro of the Month Janice Glessner

Janice Glessner S&A Homes

It may not seem possible that it’s July, but here we are halfway through our Marketing Pro of the Month series! This month I am thrilled to introduce you to an industry pro who really harnesses the power of digital marketing to drive company sales. And she’s not afraid to gush about all things tech! Keep reading to learn more about July’s Marketing Pro of the Month, Janice Glessner of S&A Homes!

Tell us about your builder – market, product type, average units sold per year, average sales volume per year

S&A Homes is based in State College, PA and has been in business for over 40 years.  We build in communities and on buyer owned land throughout Central & South Central PA. We offer several product types including condos, townhomes, and single-family homes.  We average around 100 sales per year, and our goal this year is 150 as we plan to expand into new phases and new communities.

What is your exact title and how long have you been in the position? How did you get your start in home builder marketing?

My title is “Online Sales & Marketing Manager”. I’ve held this title for 3 years, but I’ve been in the industry for over 18 years.  I spent the first half of my career selling new homes for national and regional builders in the Philadelphia suburbs. In 2011, I joined S&A Homes as a full-time OSC and helped to launch our current online sales program.

Let’s talk responsibilities: what are yours on a day-to-day basis when it comes to marketing?

I handle all of the marketing for our company and manage our entire online presence. This includes all online marketing and advertising, website management, social media management, content creation, MLS listings, and more. In addition to marketing, I manage our online sales program, maintain reports, and manage various sales and marketing related systems including our CRM, call tracking, online chat, and customer review programs.  I also work as a team with our full time OSC a few hours per week to provide online coverage in the evenings and on his days off.

What is your favorite social media platform to use?

Facebook for sure!  We use several platforms including Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, but Facebook has proven to be the most effective marketing tool and the best way to get our message across to our desired audience.  It’s been a huge driver of quality traffic and leads to our website!

What does the average Monday look like for you personally and professionally?

Since I double as an OSC on Friday and Saturday, I’m off on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday is my Monday and it’s a usually crazy day both personally and professionally.  In addition to holding weekly meetings with our management team, this is the day I really dig in to review website traffic, results from marketing campaigns, online sales results, etc.  Reviewing all of this info on my first day back helps me better plan the rest of the week.  I cover online sales for a couple of hours in the evening, so my Tuesday usually starts at 10am and ends around 8 or 9pm.

How do you see your role evolving over the next few years?

Buyers will continue to expect on-demand service and will want access to more information than what many builders are currently providing online. As a marketer, I need to find creative ways to continually add new and repurposed content to our website and social media channels, effectively promote that content, and provide more interactive tools that help move a potential buyer toward a purchase.  As things evolve, our buyers may have the option to move through the entire purchase process online!  The online sales role will grow over time and will be key in helping potential buyers navigate these new online tools.

What is a question you’re frequently asked in your role? (Maybe it drives you crazy, maybe it doesn’t!)

Is online chat worth it?  I always say yes! We’ve had online chat since 2011 and it has always worked well for us.  About 35% of the chats we handle set and hold appointments with our sales team.

What is a big success you’ve had in your current role?

We finished 2019 with online sales leads contributing to 60% of company sales for the year!  This is a 25% increase from when I first transitioned into this role in 2017, and a 12% increase from 2018. So far in 2020, we continue to hover around 55-60%.

When it comes to marketing, we all learn from our mistakes. Care to share a time you learned from a marketing mistake?

I learned very quickly that marketing is a big role, and I can’t do everything myself.  Early on, I decided I’d handle all of our organic social media posts (all pages) and realized it was too much with all of my other responsibilities. If you don’t have an internal marketing team, it’s worth it to partner with an outside agency who can manage certain tasks for you!  I have a few partners I work with in different roles and it’s a lifesaver.

Marketing tends to be very experimental. What do you love about that and what do you hate about it?

I love marketing for that reason.  I’m fascinated with all of the new tools and technologies that are available to us, and I love to try out new ideas and monitor the performance.  With online marketing, we can easily turn things off and on, so there is little risk in trying out new ideas.  I can’t say I hate any of it – I love my job!

What are you currently reading or listening to? Work and personal.

I’ve been listening to as many industry webinars and podcasts as possible to help navigate new home marketing during this unprecedented time. Also, we just started using video email so I’m reading Steve Pacinelli’s book “Rehumanize Your Business”.  I hate to admit that I’m not reading anything non-work related at the moment, but I plan to soon!

What is your favorite app or tool to use for work related tasks? Personal tasks?

My iPhone – I can’t live without it!  It’s not just a personal lifeline but also a work lifeline.  I have all the apps I need on my phone to monitor our marketing campaigns when I can’t be in front of my laptop.

Are you team taco or team pizza? Or team other?

How about team both?  I guess Tacos would be my first choice, but Pizza is almost tied. It really depends on the day!

If you had a Friday off of work, what would you do with it?

Spend the day with my family at our camper, or out hiking in the woods.

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