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March 10, 2020

Marketing Pro of the Month: Jennifer Walsh

Jennifer Walsh

Meredith Communications is proud to share our March Marketing Pro of the Month: Jennifer Walsh with Pacific Lifestyle Homes & Garrette Custom Homes! We are honored that Jennifer offered to share a few tips, tricks, and secrets with us—and our audience. Be sure to comment with something new you learned once you’ve had a chance to finish this blog. Without further ado—Jennifer Walsh!

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

I work for Pacific Lifestyle Homes & Garrette Custom Homes in the Pacific Northwest – Portland Metro and Seattle Metro markets. Pacific Lifestyle Homes builds single-family homes throughout communities, whereas Garrette Custom Homes builds on acreage properties and on your own land. In 2019 we sold over 350 homes and hoping for more in 2020.

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

I am currently the marketing manager – I’ve been in this role for 2 years and with the company for 4. This is my start in home builder marketing. I had no prior experience in either the industry or marketing.

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

One of my favorite parts of my job is that every day is so different. A lot of it comes down to analyzing what is working and do more of it, and analyzing what is not working and figuring out the why. Whether it is web traffic, social ads, print advertising, signage, etc., all that data needs to be analyzed and results determined. I hate wasting money on what is not working. I recently started managing our New Home Advisors (Online Sales Consultants) and so I am diving into the world a bit more.

What is your favorite social media platform to use?

Personally, I like Instagram. Professionally, I prefer Facebook.

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

Is coffee an okay answer?

I have a one-year old daughter, so mornings are always a bit chaotic. Get ready, get Brooklyn to daycare and head to the office. Professionally, the only thing different about Mondays than other days is reviewing community traffic and sales from the weekend. Identifying where we could be doing better or where we should focus a bit more of our advertising.

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

As everyone predicts, I think we will be seeing more and more of a digital prescense within the homebuilding industry. Homebuyers are going to have an increasing demands for virtual technology, and builders without that will begin to suffer as the other flourish. With all the digital content available, our buyers are going to begin interacting with us must later in their buying process, knowing exactly what they are wanting. They won’t tolerate inaccurate information or sales people who can’t conform to where they are in the process.

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

“When did this change?” Both the question I receive most frequently, as well the question I ask the most frequently. In new construction and marketing, something is always changing and someone is always the last to know.

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

Our web traffic in 2019 was up by 30% from 2018, while still maintaining an average of 2% registration rate – that is huge!  It allowed for our OSC’s to have more leads, more traffic into our model homes, and ultimately allowing us to end the year at exactly 100% to our sales goal.

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

I am going to share an embarrassing mistake from earlier on in my position (please tell me I am not the only one!) In my haste to get some social media ads done before the weekend, I had set a budget of $1,000. Little did I realize, I had set a daily budget of $1,000, not a lifetime budget…. Needless to say, our advertising was a bit light for the rest of that month.

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

I love seeing what a small change can do for a campaign. Is this campaign isn’t doing well? Let’s change the wording. Do you have a struggling community? Let’s try targeting IP addresses of past model traffic. It is just crazy the number of things you can constantly be experimenting with. On the flip side, experimenting can be somebody’s full-time job so you need to embrace that you can’t try everything. You could spend a lot of time and a lot of money chasing the next experiment. It is nice to be part of groups of like-minded individuals/industries sharing what is working for them so you have some tried and true practices to follow.

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

Oh man! I love to read and typically have 3-4 things in my lineup. In my rotation right now are How Woman Rise, Murky Seas, and The Coaching Habit.

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

By far, my favorite app/tool is ClickUp for project management. It has helped increase communication and project completion amongst my team/divisions. Another great one is Grammarly, so much of our communication with our customers is written that allows us to double-check our work even more easily.

My favorite personal app right now is Robinhood. It is for investing/stocks. I know very little about this and have enjoyed dabbling in investments and learning more. Plus, if you are referred to them, you start with getting one free stock! Nothing like free money!

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

Tacos. Always Tacos.

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

I’d spend a few extra hours with my daughter and husband. We work so much during the week, and I tend to bring work home with me, it is nice to be able to just spend some hours with them doing whatever, getting outside,  cooking a big dinner, watching a funny movie — also, laundry.

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