In this episode we’re joined by Vice President of Marketing for M/I Homes, Will Duderstadt and we're going to be talking about content creation, social media standards, and the power of creating and utilizing systems and processes to support the marketing efforts of an organization and sales team.
Also, a shout out to congratulate Will on his recent award at the International Builder Show as he was the recipient of "The One To Watch" award!!
You won't want to miss this episode as we discuss current trends in the new home building industry, ideas on what type of content to create both at a corporate and community level, how to leverage what you already have, and more!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
Automated Transcription - Please Excuse Any Errors
Stephanie Lindamood: (01:07)
Hey guys, it's Stephanie. Thank you for joining me for another episode of the glam life of real estate podcast. Today we're going to be chatting with, we'll do to set the VP of corporate marketing at MI Homes and in this episode we're going to be talking about trends in the industry, content creation, social media standards, and the concept of creating and utilizing systems and processes to support the marketing efforts of an organization and sales team. So tune in for all the details and real quick, if you haven't already subscribed the show, pause this episode. Hit the subscribe button on your device so you have access to all the episodes. I do post a bonus episodes and the only way you are notified is if you are subscribed to the show. So let's get to Will.
Speaker 3: (01:50)
You're listening to the glam life of real estate podcast where we talk about everything from productivity tips, social media strategies, business hacks, and more to get ahead of the curve and crush it as a real estate sales professional. Whether you office out of a model home or your car where leopard print and high heels never go out of style. Here's your host, top producing real estate agent, social media strategist, and for baby mama Stephanie Lindamood. Hey guys.
Stephanie Lindamood: (02:22)
So we have the privilege of this special guest today. We are joined by Will Duderstadt. He is the VP of corporate marketing a MI homes out of Columbus, Ohio. He's got some awesome things that we're going to talk about today. And to get started, Will, let's just kick it off with you sharing a little bit about yourself and your current role at in my homes.
Will Duderstadt: (02:42)
Well, Hey there, I'm super excited to join you on your podcast. Thanks for the invite. Thanks for having me.
Stephanie Lindamood: (02:48)
Will Duderstadt: (02:49)
Yeah. As you mentioned, I'm the VP of corporate marketing over here at EMI Helms. I've, uh, I've been here for eight or nine years now and, uh, really I'm for generating awareness, consideration, and demand, uh, on behalf of our 15 divisions. And you know, that takes a lot of different, uh, looks a lot different, right? It could be a walk in traffic or leads as, as we traditionally think about, uh, but it's also earning a spot in potential customer's minds, right? Uh, as a little bit larger builder, we do balance brand building and the sentiment behind a brand with then the tactical of, you know, that walk in traffic and those leads that are very quantifiable and, and are very trackable through to sale. Um, so it's a, it's a really good time. I'm surrounded by a fantastic team. Uh, our 15 divisions are staffed with just brilliant, great people, some of which I think, you know, and uh, we're, you know, we're, we're doing quite well this past year.
Stephanie Lindamood: (03:53)
That's awesome. Yeah, we do get to work with the Dallas team quite a bit here. So lucky to have them and grateful that you're here. So one thing to shout out to will as he was at the international builders show this past week in Vegas and he was awarded the gold award for the one to watch. And so I just wanted to congratulate you here on the show and if you want to talk a little bit about that award and what that means and the international builder. So in general have at it.
Will Duderstadt: (04:19)
Yeah. Well thank you for the, for the kind words. It was a, I mean, award shows are always, uh, you know, uh, nail biting and, uh, this, this one was no different to some stiff competition. A good friend of mine, Matt Riley from, uh, for group two was, uh, also nominated for that award, which really, uh, is trying to highlight somebody that's a younger in the industry under 40, uh, that's up and coming, hence the, the one to watch. And, uh, I tell you, Matt, uh, put up some stiff competition because he has a lot going on. He's, uh, he, he's got his fingers in a lot of different things and he's just an absolutely brilliant guy. So no one, no one else I'd rather go up against. The show is a, as a whole though was absolutely fantastic. It's, it's amazing. Uh, how big the show is. Obviously it's beyond just sales and marketing. There's a lot of manufacturing and obviously construction, uh, that goes on there as well as its code located with the kitchen and bath show. So you get to see a lot of really awesome trends for 2020 in the future in terms of tiles and faucets and cabinetry. Uh, if you're in real estate, if you're specifically in home-building, it's like walking through a Canyon.
Stephanie Lindamood: (05:34)
It's like a candy store. I was just about to say,
Will Duderstadt: (05:37)
right? Yes. No, it doesn't hurt that I'm working on some, some home projects of my own. So, you know, I took a couple of detours on the show floor to checkout. I might be interested in buying for myself personally, but, uh, also an amazingly rewarding professional, uh, show to attend. There's just tremendous education and the networking that you can do there either either meeting the consultants or the agencies that operate in our business or your counterpart at other builders, larger or smaller is, is just so invaluable. And that network of people really become my, you know, my backdrop, my, my phone chain, my role at Dex to be able to call and bounce ideas off of or, or validate ideas. Uh, I'd much rather a friend telling me I have a terrible idea, then go and pitch it and see it fail. Right.
Stephanie Lindamood: (06:33)
I'm so going next year.
Will Duderstadt: (06:35)
Yeah, absolutely. You would enjoy it so much.
Stephanie Lindamood: (06:40)
So what do you like if you're thinking back, I know it was a crazy busy week, what was kind of maybe either one or a few big takeaways from the show?
Will Duderstadt: (06:49)
Great question. Because there are like so many, I always come back with a just a pile of notes and ideas, but I think the theme that I picked up on, and it wasn't an overt thing, uh, was really the important of process. And, uh, I think I'm fairly good at process. I think, uh, within our organization we have good processes in place, but as I hear from other builders that they are either working on implementing them for the first time or refining them now after having used them for a couple of years. I realized that I, I can't rest on my laurels. I can't, um, I can't make something, a process once and then trust that it's going to work for me for, for years. And you know, for, for your listeners that maybe aren't as keen on process or think that that's a bureaucratic kind of word, I really just treat process as as documented and learned behavior, right?
Will Duderstadt: (07:46)
Uh, repetitive things that you want to do really, really well. You could probably distill down to a couple bullet points, right? It's a way you think about things assistant Matic away way of approaching a problem so that you get consistent high quality results and marketing. Um, you know, we, we treat often as either very right brain or left brain, right? You're either creative and artistic or you're a scientist and you're analytical. Um, the realities right down the middle, you know, you have to have a little bit of both. And I think process really helps you continue to keep that balance and allow for those opportunities to go, you know, deeply creative or, or deeply analytical on different things. It becomes kind of a common thread or a standard for everything that you do. So that's what I kind of observed, uh, from a lot of the different education and presenters when they talked about things like paid search or uh, you know, online sales, it always came back to the person that was very proficient, had a, or a process that helped them become proficient.
Stephanie Lindamood: (08:58)
Yeah. And I think that's so important right now because with the internet and technology, and I say this a lot, there's so many shiny objects and it's easy to get excited about maybe one tool, but then like you said, how does it work back into your process or strategy? And I think maybe some companies, builders, even entrepreneurs in general, they may not have like a social slash marketing process. It may be, Hey, when we open a new neighborhood, we're going to have a realtor party and you know, put a Facebook posts out. But beyond that, they're not really sure what that strategy looks like anymore.
Will Duderstadt: (09:32)
Yeah, I see that way too often. Right. I think most people need to take a step back and pretend they're a five year old kid and literally just say why to everything. So you, in your example, you're opening a new community, we're going to have a, a real estate agent get together party. Why? What's your goal? Right? And out of that, why question will eventually come your strategy.
Stephanie Lindamood: (09:57)
Yeah. Yeah. I'm thinking because I feel like that's where I've worked with a lot of builders and sells counselors and marketing managers and they're always trying to figure out how did you know, get more buyers in the door, how to get realtor relationships going, how to get more visibility, and you've got all these tools technology-wise, but it's, there's not a lot out there. I don't feel like that they can follow to say, Hey, what's the system or strategy? So it's good to hear that that was a theme because maybe there's some tips and tools that are being implemented that then people can start learning and take it and distill it down in their local markets.
Will Duderstadt: (10:36)
Right, absolutely. I think an important factor on that really is making sure that you don't just adopt somebody else's strategy or process because it works for them. Uh, you can be inspired by it, right? And you could admire it, but you need to really take a step back and build something that is right for you as a person for you as a business. And that's going to work far better than just copycatting something else.
Stephanie Lindamood: (11:04)
Right. No, I totally agree. So you, you've been in this role for a little bit cause you've just recently got promoted, but you are still in digital marketing with them. I, like you said, for about what, eight years? Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. So that takes us back to like 2011. So how much has changed since then from the way you guys were looking at marketing from 2011 and, you know, branding in general and how to get leads in versus now. What would you say? Is that the biggest shift that you're seeing that you're needing to address with reaching that client or that potential buyer?
Will Duderstadt: (11:38)
Yeah, I, I, I think this is wild, right? Because, uh, real estate as a whole is probably not the most cutting edge, right.
Stephanie Lindamood: (11:48)
What do you mean?
Will Duderstadt: (11:50)
Uh, home builders as a of real estate, even slower to really adopt technology, right? They might test it, right, or they might sign up for a tech talk account, but it's really to embrace it and get something out of it. I would say, uh, we're just a little slow and that's okay. Right? So, uh, going all the way back to 2011, gosh, uh, I w I would say things we identified as opportunities in 2011 are now fully paying off. Right. And that means we've obviously identified, we'd fill a process. We've done it, we've revised it, we're measuring it, and we're growing. Um, there's a ton that has changed, right? But the core mission probably hasn't changed. Um, small tactical stuff, you know, within, within our organization. I tell my team here, when, uh, when I first started at EMI, uh, I was the only person in the company that uploaded photos to our website.
Will Duderstadt: (12:59)
And it's not because we were understaffed, it was because I only had to do it like every other Tuesday just because we weren't generating that much photography. And we knew then that photography was really important to selling homes to, to building a quality listing. Uh, but it really took from then till now for us to have robust, full, complete photography for every listing, every plan, every community, and naturally then, you know, the team grows along with that to be able to fulfill the needs of the business. Um, so sometimes it feels like the more things change, the more they stay the same. Right? Photography is still important. Just how we're getting it done and what we're getting out of it is really what's changed the most.
Stephanie Lindamood: (13:46)
So what do you think the buyers really want nowadays? Like do you think it's really changed or do you think that when they walk into that sales office they're expecting a different experience?
Will Duderstadt: (13:56)
Well, let me ask you, I mean, when was the last time you went to a grocery store and and didn't use self checkout?
Stephanie Lindamood: (14:04)
I hate, I hate self-checkout, but I do it because you have to. Otherwise you're in line for 25 minutes because they have one checker. But I hate, I absolutely hate it. Right? But I agree with you. Yes.
Will Duderstadt: (14:15)
W w w what's, what's worse then than standing in the checkout line is, you know, uh, hearing commentary from the cashier on the things that you're buying or,
Stephanie Lindamood: (14:25)
Oh my gosh,
Will Duderstadt: (14:28)
bananas as, as people our culture, we are really impatient and yeah, and we're really lazy, right? And I say that lovingly. Uh, but what that means is it's going to start to trickle over and it has trickled over into all these other aspects of our lives. So I don't know that yet. Anyone expects that they purchase a home online and in a click or two, right. Or that they could somehow, uh, complete the transaction without ever talking to another human being. Right. But people are looking for shortcuts. People are looking to make things easily easier and simpler from their perspective so that that means sitting in your pajamas on the couch at one in the morning browsing homeless things is more the norm now than driving around with your spouse on a Sunday afternoon on the hunt for open house signs and you and me, I, you know, we know that we've accepted that. I think there are a lot of people that still have some doubt in their mind that that is, that that's a reality. But skating towards, uh, you know, the people that are on their couch in providing them the information and the knowledge to answer the questions they have when they want to, to have those questions answered is, is required in 2020. You really don't have an option.
Stephanie Lindamood: (15:55)
Yeah, and I think that people, especially when you're talking about a home, it's the biggest purchase they're going to make usually in their life. Like you said, they want the shortcut online. They want to understand what the home includes. They want to understand where it's located, the neighborhood, maybe even payment, but to actually get them to convert, they're likely going to want to talk to a salesperson that's knowledgeable. And I think that's where I've seen the biggest shift is instead of just the salesperson being the greeter and you know, the marketing just being a rendering of a home and a price and go see the salesperson, it's gotta be more value based to where, okay, you got all this data that was online. The salesperson's gotta be able to be skilled enough to provide the insight and care enough versus just trying to make the sale. And that I think is what the customer experience is a combination of it's transparency online where they can get enough data, but then they still need the insights from the salesperson to help them make the best decision.
Will Duderstadt: (16:53)
Right? Right. So my, uh, my friend Dennis O'Neil, who would make an excellent guest on your podcast, by the way, uh, you wrote a fantastic book. It is specific to new home sales. It's called sales actualization, outselling the internet. And he has a line in there that I'm going to paraphrase, um, where basically he observed that salespeople were gatekeepers of information before the internet. Right? They hoarded it, they, uh, they stockpiled it and then they were acquired you the customer to talk to them before they would share it. Right. It was, it was come visit me and I'll tell you the price or give me your email address and I'll let you know if these things are available. And the internet, uh, obviously disruption as a, as a buzz word is out there. You know, it, it probably disrupted salespeople first and most because suddenly their lifeline, the thing they thought they were really good at was destroyed. Correct. Cause contents free, right? Knowledge is free. It's out there. Uh, Zillow publishes like the number of steps from your house to the local Starbucks as a data point. And it's, it's actually transitioned to be relatively overwhelming if done right. Which I think gives most sales people and opportunity to pivot and become like navigators of information, navigators of content rather than a gatekeeper.
Stephanie Lindamood: (18:23)
Will Duderstadt: (18:25)
So you know, to your point, you're not just going to be a a greeter at the door, you're going to say, mr customer, I know that this is overwhelming. I know there's so much out there, you're having a hard time comparing these options that are available to you or you don't quite understand what makes up this price. I can help you. And I love that because it returns to, to value added selling, which gatekeeping is clearly not value add.
Stephanie Lindamood: (18:54)
Yeah. I work with a lot of sellers and they are usually buying from a home builder and they'll ask me kind of like, Hey, you know, should we ask for more, can we get a better deal? And when I tell them is, look, we can always ask, but I say, look, the sales person is not the gatekeeper. They don't make a dollar until you close on their home. They're there to help you. They're there to get you to the process, make sure you're happy. And as soon as they explain it like that, it's like something shifts in their mind and they're like, Oh, they're actually here to help me. And they're my advocate, but they don't naturally think that they think it's them versus a salesperson.
Will Duderstadt: (19:26)
Right, right. You know, it's negotiation on, on new homes too. I think cracks me up a little bit. Right. Cause you know, as a culture are left to only negotiate two things anymore in life, real estate and, and cars, uh, new new home sales. Within that though, it's, it's probably the most highly understood moment of that home as to what it costs to build it and the value that it has in current market conditions. There's way more variables or once you're in a resale situation. But, uh, it is, it is tough to negotiate on, on a new home because of how much is known about, uh, every aspect of that home.
Stephanie Lindamood: (20:08)
Well, I had a conversation last night at a listing appointment where I was talking to the seller and they're like, Hey, what if we priced here versus where the market really is. They wanted to go a little higher. And I said, look, we can test separate limits. But the reality is the buyers have as much information now as the agents that are going to come show your home. They know what the house looks like before they walk in. They know what your neighbor sold for, they know how many days you've been on the market. They're going to know that we're trying to gain the system and overpriced the house. Like it's not, it's hard to figure out. So I said our best bet is to price for the market's going to see value, get a fair price, we'll negotiate as much as we can for you or if we get multiple offers, but that's going to be your best bet. And I think a lot of homebuilders if they go with that logic and price appropriately and you know, upgrades are in and incentives are, go ahead.
Will Duderstadt: (20:54)
Let me ask you this. What is, what is your stance as someone who's actively selling? What's your stance on, uh, the Zestimate?
Stephanie Lindamood: (21:02)
Oh my gosh. Okay. So what I always tell people when they ask me that is the first thing I'll tell them is, look, I'm and I, and the name's escaping me right now, but I want to say it was the CEO or one of the head guys of Zillow ended up selling his home for like 40% less than his estimate on his own home. So I'm kind of like, okay, if that doesn't tell you something, I look at it and tell him the same thing when the eye buyers where they give you a, uh, a quote on your house or an offer, my offer on my house is a $50,000 swing. It's crazy how, how big the numbers can be. Usually the Zestimates I've been seeing lately are still usually off quite a bit. Um, they're not usually looking at it saying, Oh, this house backs up to power lines or this house has upgraded or it's not because it's just, it's just a computer algorithm going off past sales.
Stephanie Lindamood: (21:53)
So like when I go to a listing, like last night for example, it took me about an hour to look at all the homes before I went out to prep for that appointment because they were all over the map. I had builders to compete with. I had homes that were on bigger lots, I had homes that backed up to power lines and then I had homes that were, had water views and then they were all levels of upgrade. So you have to be in that home to say, Hey, you have four Mica countertops versus courts or you have totally updated your kitchen. But because you were built in Oh nine nobody knows that. And so that's part of the problem is it's a good range. Like it's just, it's kinda like when you go to the doctor and they have that thing on the wall that says, Hey, your BMI should be here based on your height and weight. But it's really going to be the doctor looking at your bone structure and your genetics and all that to say, Hey, yeah, you're in line or you're not.
Will Duderstadt: (22:40)
So I'm going to take a slightly contrarian point of view. I agree with all of your points, right? But I am a fan of, uh, does estimate it as a whole, right? Not any individual estimate that they've made because I believe it has brought more attention to the price and the value of homes than anything else the technology has done. Traditionally people are aware of the price or the value of their home only when they transact it. So the conversation to your point about trying to price a home with a buyer, um, in, in the old world would have been, I think more difficult to talk somebody through that idea of, you know, I'm sorry mr customer, your home's worth $100,000 less than you think, right. As estimate that they can look at 24, seven on a website that they can look at their neighbor homes for no matter how right or wrong at least has, has really circulated or made commonplace the idea of talking about home value and home
Stephanie Lindamood: (23:46)
price. Right. No, I totally, so I totally hear what you're saying. So the awareness that it's bringing I think is great. I think that if people try to, the step I was, I guess looking at was taking that Zestimate and then trying to phizzbo your house for sale by owner or think that that's the end all be all, because a lot of sellers are kind of misunderstanding that it is and we're seeing a lot of that in the field. I do think it's commoditize the whole, Hey, meet with me to get the value of your home. And that's where I feel like with real estate, just like in new home sales realtors have to get better because the, Hey, I'm on, get on my website, send me your address so I can give you value of your home. That's totally not applicable anymore because they can go to Zillow. So instead of the agent that's trying to get leads saying, Hey, I'll give you the value of your home buyers and sellers. Like, Hey, that's a commodity. I can figure that out on my own. I needed another layer of skill from you before I'm going to hire you.
Will Duderstadt: (24:44)
Yeah. That goes right back to the value of a home as a piece of information. And that method of lead generation is gatekeeping, right. Withholding a piece of information that now is out there and free. Granted it could be right or it could be wrong and there's a lot of elements to it. But our job now as salespeople is to navigate something like the Zestimate or to navigate how to price a home more than ever before. We get that opportunity to provide value around a pricing conversation because people are more comfortable looking at those numbers.
Stephanie Lindamood: (25:19)
Sure. Versus it being like, Hey, you're not going to have a clue until you have an agent's than two hours with you in your home. Right. Exactly. No, that makes sense. So to segue a little bit, I know you're a Gary V fan, and if for anyone that doesn't know the Gary Amanda trucks, huge and content creation and social media marketing, and he's just got a lot of stuff out there, how are you guys, or how are you looking at content as a brand and then on a local level with your different divisions and communities?
Will Duderstadt: (25:50)
Yeah. Um, I, uh, I have a love hate relationship. I think with Gary V. I think he swears way too much on stage if in his videos. Uh, but that's his brand, so he's gonna own it. Uh, he has transitioned recently I think to really embracing empathy as a, uh, a core kind of value that more people should have. And uh, he's very honest and I think very real. That's probably why he does swear so much.
Stephanie Lindamood: (26:20)
That's why, that's the only way I could still listen to him to be honest. Because at first I was, I mean I'm okay with some cuss words, but I was a little turned off like you said, but then you will hear him have the empathy and you're kind of like, it's like, it's like the dog that has a really big bark, but no bite. That's how I look at Gary V. like, it's like you hear him on, I had my husband listened to a podcast and he was looking at me like, what heck are you listening to? But I'm like, wait, wait. It gets really good here where you now he's a human being. Like he's not just swearing it, everybody. You know what I mean?
Will Duderstadt: (26:50)
Yeah. I, uh, I also have tremendous respect for the businesses that he's built and the scale that he has reached. A lot of people forget that he was selling wine on, on, you know, on a website or on video, uh, email not that long ago. So mad props to Gary. Um, you know, from a content standpoint, I think there's a couple of different tiers, right? The, you could look at content in a lot of different ways, but, uh, listings are an incredibly valuable marketing asset, uh, both to new homebuilders and obviously to, to resale agents and to, to focus content, generate content generation efforts anywhere other than a listing. First, I think as a huge mistake. Uh, you can, you can go out and build a giant brand, right? And that's going to take significant time and significant energy. Or you could walk into a house that physically exists and make observations about it and take photographs of it and you've generated content for that particular product or thing that you're selling. I see a lot of people jumping to some more advanced tiers before they really build a good process to go full circle on that core listing content. So we do a lot of that. Um, I would say we're fanatical about trying to do that and do it right and uh, the bar is, the bar is ever moving, increasing typically. Um, we had a really nice, uh, experience a couple of years ago where we tried to figure out what is the right number of photos to have on a home. And I'm curious what you think that might be. [inaudible]
Stephanie Lindamood: (28:44)
I would say prob can I give you a range or don't give you a number? I would say between like 23 to 26.
Will Duderstadt: (28:52)
23 to 26. Okay. That was a very specific range and a bit of a politician's answer.
Stephanie Lindamood: (28:59)
So MLS lets you list 35. I feel like 35 is a little much, but I feel like to get a good feel for the home you need. I don't, I, okay. 23.
Will Duderstadt: (29:10)
Okay. So we did a lot of research, right? We talked to a couple different local MLS to understand do they have minimums, do they have maximums? We talked to new home source, realtor.com Zillow to understand what listings, uh, perform at different levels of photos. And one of the most interesting things that came out some of those conversations is really all of the real estate aggregate sites we're testing and probably still are testing a default sort order that shows listings with more content, higher in the ratings or in the listing, which is, you know, raises raises my years a little bit. And uh, my spidey senses tingling, right? They would do that for a reason. They probably want their customers there visitors to reach a listing or a piece of content that's stickier, that has more to look at. They probably correlate as we pour a light stickiness or time looking at a particular thing to their ability to convert or express interest in that thing.
Will Duderstadt: (30:17)
We looked at our own behavior, right? How do we shop? And we looked at things outside the industry. Zappos is one of my most favorite examples. Yeah, I love shoes, right? So I've got a good number of nice shoes and Zappos generates dozens of photos for one pair of shoes. They, they generate three or four videos of like, you know, a guy walking side to side and front to back and the shoes and talking about what they feel like and what they look like with different pants. And I realized, you know, 23 photos probably isn't enough. 26 photos probably isn't enough. We ended up setting a bar and our bar is 30 that we believe every home should have to accurately represent what's for sale. And I'll be honest, sometimes I don't think thirty's enough because once somebody starts to think that that home might be right for them, remember they're in their pajamas on the couch at one in the morning. They think it's right for them. There's probably not enough photos in existence to satisfy that moment where they want to see everything. Right. Let's see the, the, the corner of the basement, right? They want to see how deep is the garage, does, will it fit all my junk? Will it fit my extended pickup truck?
Stephanie Lindamood: (31:40)
How big is the pantry?
Will Duderstadt: (31:43)
And these aren't things that that resale or new homebuilders typically photograph yet our customers are sitting there saying, I want to see that. Um, so the point, you know, on, on the content front you can check the box and you can say, you know, I, I talk a a dozen photos for my listing, but is it the absolute best representation of that thing that you're trying to sell? And you know, in order to say yes or no to that, you got to kind of scope out what perfect looks like. Our version of perfect is constantly evolving.
Stephanie Lindamood: (32:20)
Yeah. And I think it's, I think it's could be difficult with all the inventory, but I think one way to do it cause a lot of the inventory homes and obviously there's not a lot of furniture if any in there, right? If you're not staging them. So I think one way you could do it would be if your division or if you guys build the same floor plans across the country, depending on what your product looks like. If you have different models and you've got your collection, if you did a deep dive like you said, okay, yeah we normally do the video tour and then some pictures of every model. But if like you said you went in and you drove that pickup truck, I get the offices usually in the garage, but if you had the ability to show the same size garage and for that model and do some of those things and attach that, then you could use that content elsewhere versus just, Oh, okay, every neighborhood has 10 inventory homes.
Stephanie Lindamood: (33:10)
But they're not stage. And that's really hard I think for clients and perspective buyers to get a sense of furniture. And room size. Right, right. And that's where it gets tricky with like do we take four pictures of the secondary bedroom that, I mean it's, it's just walls and carpet, you know, um, to where that might help if you've got different products out there and different models is an easy way to go deep but then also show the content text with room sizes and how to use things and I think a lot of times people walk through the model homes and that's when they get emotional because they're visualizing their life because they can see where the kids are going to sit for breakfast in the kitchen and they can see where they're going to sit as a family watching TV because they have those, those hooks with the furniture and the different memory points with an empty home, it's a little bit harder to create that emotion.
Will Duderstadt: (33:59)
It is now, which I think is where you are to a lot of the content that you described plus now some of your, your branding, right? Your builder's story, your best of real, right. Your little portfolio of what you are capable of starts to come into play.
Stephanie Lindamood: (34:16)
So how important do you think video is, and maybe switching it to a local level, where do you guys allow yourselves, counselors or your marketing teams at a local level do video so that it reaches the buyer that's coming in that you know, no, it was about the pothole on main street, that kind of thing where it's really granular or gee, are you guys trying to keep it higher level?
Will Duderstadt: (34:39)
Well, there's a lot of different buckets of content of video content, right? Just like just like normal content. You, you got listings and branding and builder story and you know, all these different aspects. I think video is, is just as as complex. There is a time and a place for a really well produced brand video and I certainly wouldn't want, you know, someone with an iPhone and a, a, a dinky Mike to think that they could create that. Um, likewise with community videos or things of substance that really need to live for long periods of time. Those, those need to be of certain standards, right? Probably not going to run a YouTube ad or a television commercial that was shot in one take from an iPhone. However, there are a lot of personal connections that are still built in real estate. This is a local business.
Will Duderstadt: (35:32)
Things do change quickly in new construction communities. So being true to the thing that you're trying to communicate, there's a time and a place to go ahead and pull that iPhone out and say, Hey, prospects, check it out. You know, the, the, the equipment's here, putting in a road today and let's take a look. And that becomes a really timely piece of content. You know, that that's fresh. It feels very authentic, right? And, and some people would probably, uh, feel like it's made just for them, that it's almost one-on-one communication where a savvy salesperson would probably reuse it, you know, uh, a couple of times with a couple different people. So, um, we have a couple of our online sales people in our organization that do a tremendous job, uh, making videos and communicating effectively via video. It's daunting. I think it's really intimidating for a lot of people to do. And I tried to encourage people that, uh, version two will always be better than version one. So, uh, don't fuss with your hair and don't listen to your own voice. It's uh, it's only going to drive you nuts. Some of those little nuance pieces, but put yourself out there, uh, be as good as you can be and just get better over time.
Stephanie Lindamood: (36:53)
Yeah, no, it's with video is totally true. And, and going back to the homes, I will tell you from doing my own videos and model homes and inventory, this sound is a lot better than the models because of the furniture. And that's one thing. It's hard sometimes the inventory is getting the sound right because of all that.
Will Duderstadt: (37:09)
Yeah. There's a line I do use frequently as I talked to a lot of different groups, which I think is important when sales or people in a sales function start to take on the role of content creation, which is typically a marketing function, which is simply that if there's a mistake in your content, in your video, in your social posts, consumers might assume that there are mistakes in your home as well. Correct. So the production quality can come down a little bit. Right? We all know what a, an iPhone looks like. Uh, but the tolerance for mistakes never goes away.
Stephanie Lindamood: (37:48)
Well, you're judged by that perception. So I, I was on Anya, Chris Santens podcasts last year and she was asking me about personal branding and I said, look, you know, there's some days I may not post because I don't have a photo that I feel great about because I feel like if I post something that's not to my standard that someone may see me for the first time that day and now they're judging my whole business and the way I do everything based on that one grainy photo. And so to your point, there is a time and a place I think, you know, on Instagram stories and there's some platforms that are more forgiving and frankly they want more of that just raw content. Like, look, it's fine if the lighting's not the best. It's if you were to production it would be a turnoff. But I think from a business standpoint, when you are trying to share the brand and the videos that are going to live and be more evergreen, it does. There does need to have more thought and strategy in it,
Will Duderstadt: (38:44)
right? Which is, which is why you need two sets of eyes on everything. It's, it's why I believe content creation should be, you know, firmly within marketing's realm first. And then, you know, some aspects, uh, are collaborated with sales. Um, everyone should set standards right for their organization or even if it's a personal brand, what do you deem a, your bar, right? Are you okay with blurry photos? Probably not. So that becomes some of your standards. Um, and again, over time, you know, you're only going to become more, uh, more and more critical of those things. And you're going to get better and better. Uh, ultimately you're, you're going to continue to use the same tools, but your hands will be more skilled with those tools and the end result is going to look a lot better.
Stephanie Lindamood: (39:34)
Yeah. So you've mentioned listings. Is your kind of your primary focus on content as far as if you're starting out or just continuing on, what would be other pieces of content do you think that could be focused on in real estate in general, whether it's real estate agents, whether it's home builders or just entrepreneurs in general to kind of figure out, cause I think a lot of us have that initial thought of, well, if I give too much w they won't call me. They won't come see me.
Will Duderstadt: (40:02)
See that. But that's the gatekeeper mindset. Publish, put a lot out there and then help navigate, help explain. Help kind of distill that back into what's meaningful. Um, I think for home builders we have a tremendous leg up that we can talk about communities. Whereas in, in the case of resale, we often don't have community as a marketable asset. So what does that typically mean? Right? It means the painting, a picture of the overall vision of what the completed project is going to look like, because early buyers probably aren't going to see that yet. They see dirt, right? Yep,
Stephanie Lindamood: (40:38)
sure. If the vision and the dream,
Will Duderstadt: (40:40)
yeah. That includes amenities that are going to exist or that do exist. Um, there's, there's a lot of excitement around what can be right, what will be, what will be there in the future. And I think that's incredibly easy to capture into content and use to convey some sense of, uh, enthusiasm, some urgency, uh, but ultimately, you know, excitement, uh, for, for resale. I think in a similar vein is really creating content around the suburb or the neighborhood, right? Not the community per se, but the, uh, you know, the new Albany or the Gahanna to use Columbus suburbs, um, each have in any major city, each have unique attributes and there's a certain type of person or persona that chooses to live these different places and you can start to really paint a very nice picture of the lifestyle. Someone will lead if they choose to go to one suburb versus another. A lot of that content is not consolidated into a single place. So you could be the owner of it, right? You could be the authority on that. And uh, I think a jives with what most agents do, which is specialize in, uh, a few parts of town. They like to become very ingrained and knowledgeable for, you know, two or three suburbs. Um, so just own it online as well. Let that follow your business.
Stephanie Lindamood: (42:12)
And I think, you know, a lot of builders and business owners in general, take the mindset [inaudible] take the mindset, build it, they will come. And I think if you're building in a really hot location, that's one thing. But I think what we're talking about is the communication of why they should come. Because [inaudible] Elissa and Dallas and you can let us know if it's like this. In Columbus, we have a lot of competition. There's a lot of builders, which is awesome. It's a great healthy market. But the [inaudible] there has to be a differentiator where the builders are talking about their unique value value proposition and Hey, why should you come here? Or, Hey, we're all, all five builders are in the same neighborhood. Why should you come to our model home within the same neighborhood because the amenities are the same and the schools are the same and blah, blah, blah. Versus just having the stance of kind of what I would think is more old school mentality of, Hey, build it. They'll come, we're going to get ours. It's all going to be good.
Will Duderstadt: (43:05)
Right? Well, um, yes, there's competition here. I, I, I, we'd love to know what market has no competition so we could go there. Uh, so I think that's a common thread that everybody's always going to feel right. And it, it obviously in Texas is going to be more intense than it is in Ohio, but, uh, everyone is faced with that challenge that there is somebody else who does something very similar that's probably chasing the same customer. And, uh, Matt Riley, who I referenced earlier and his business partner, Molly Elfman on their podcast, uh, a couple weeks ago, discussed this concept, right? Which is what makes you uniquely you. And if you, if you decide that, that, that thing, your niche is you sell new construction or you have homes at 300,000, that is not unique and that is not a, that is not a niche. You really need to do some soul searching as a business or as an individual and understand what, what makes you special and that that is hard, right?
Will Duderstadt: (44:17)
I mean that's like, that's like going through your teenage years all over again. But it is a really important exercise from both the sales and marketing perspective so that you, you know, how you want to put yourself out there, you want others to observe you or see you and then what you want to invest in to become that much better at those, the raise their hand. Again, I'm speaking to new home builders and say that the price point is the thing that's uniquely them. Um, I'm sorry to inform them that it's likely going to be a race to the bottom. Right. And that's not a place I think a lot of people want to play. No,
Stephanie Lindamood: (44:56)
totally. Great. Well, and I'll always tell people like, I mean most of us don't sit around and drive the cheapest car out there just because of price. I mean, we want a good value, but that was the case. Luxury cars wouldn't be in business. Right,
Will Duderstadt: (45:09)
right. Absolutely. We want a great deal on that luxury car, but we want the luxury car.
Stephanie Lindamood: (45:14)
Right. Exactly. So what's your, um, what's your social media platform of choice from a professional standpoint or for your company and your organization?
Will Duderstadt: (45:23)
Um, for our company, uh, currently it's Facebook. Um, uh, I'll separate personal feelings for just a moment. Our, our customers are on Facebook. Facebook is the world's most advanced ad platform that we have. So the ability to tailor messages to the people that we want to speak to, to show them the product that is best for them is absolutely unrivaled. Um, so that, that, that one's right. That one's easy. That's Facebook. Hands down.
Stephanie Lindamood: (45:54)
Do you guys do? So you do do pages, do you do groups?
Will Duderstadt: (45:58)
So we have a, we have one, a one brand page. We have a, right now we have about 260 communities. So each of our communities is a location in this book world, which allows people to check in, uh, to generate a little bit of content on their own, both on the Facebook and Instagram platform. Uh, and we, we really do empower our sales team to be out there as people, uh, broadcasting BMI message that is unique from their perspective, which is always going to be, uh, local, right? A flare of the community that they're in and then a fair dose of their personality and the unique skill set that they bring to it.
Stephanie Lindamood: (46:42)
So are they allowed to have their own Facebook page for their community or do they then just share to the face the corporate Facebook page and it gets approved by marketing?
Will Duderstadt: (46:51)
So, you know, depending on how much your listeners know about Facebook and the constructs of Facebook, um, you know, again, they're the world's most advanced advertising. A platform at this point and pages more than anything else. And 2020 exists simply to run ads. The organic reach of content generated from a Facebook page is nothing small enough that I'll say it's nonexistent.
Stephanie Lindamood: (47:18)
I totally agree.
Will Duderstadt: (47:20)
Yeah. If you set up and manage a page thinking that a, you're not going to spend any money and you're going to feel tremendous
Stephanie Lindamood: (47:26)
build it, they will come. Does not work on pages, Facebook pages if you're not running ads.
Will Duderstadt: (47:30)
No. You know, our stance is marketing, uh, is very good at running highly optimized ads that occurs from pages. Everything else should occur, you know, as the people that we are from our, from our profiles, um, we don't separate our personality in a selling conversation, right? A customer buy come into our sales office and we bond over our shared love of, of tacos or kitty cats. And that's OK that, that coexists on my Facebook profile as well. So one page, you know, for the brand. And then everything else is, uh, a location or a profile.
Stephanie Lindamood: (48:08)
Cool. No, that makes sense. [inaudible]
Will Duderstadt: (48:10)
I think, I think that does change a little bit for, uh, for realtors, for licensed real estate agents. Uh, they, they will likely have to manage both halves, uh, from the same location. Right. Which means a page that unfortunately is going to have smaller or shorter reach as well as a, a pretty darn aggressive paid.
Stephanie Lindamood: (48:32)
Yeah. And I think the formation of groups is really interesting. I don't think it's something from an employer company standpoint with clients, it gets really tricky because it's a community, which is awesome. But I, I almost think it'd be cooler to do like an internal group as a company, right. And have that be the culture bucket and that be the way that you can have community and connection. I don't know if that's the way you'd want to do it if I was a salesperson running a community or if I was an agent with clients because it can get tricky on navigating customers and expectations and all that good stuff. But I definitely, there's a place for it. But yeah, I think you do have to be thoughtful about when you're showing up as a salesperson, entrepreneur, all of that, because even the sales people that are working for a builder and they're an employee, let's be real. They're, they're entrepreneurs. Like they, they've got to put that entrepreneur hat on and manage that community as if it was their own business. So I definitely think there's gotta be some strategy behind it, but to your point pages, it's, it's kind of like we all need to have one to a degree or have one as a company, but the [inaudible] expectations setting, understanding that the reach isn't really going to be there is, yeah. With the way the algorithms things work.
Will Duderstadt: (49:45)
If we want to put our speculation hat on for just a minute here, you know, Facebook is not a nonprofit organization, right? They are in business to make money and they make a ton of money, $5 at a time, right. In these ads. Right? Uh, my gut tells me that although groups are free and have this reach today, ages worked like that not long ago, how much they've changed. So there's a balance between exploiting a tool that exists in the short term. But, uh, I would encourage people to think about the long term plan that Facebook might have for something like groups and, and realize that, uh, as adoption or usage, they probably have a monetization plan for them.
Stephanie Lindamood: (50:31)
Agreed. No, that totally makes sense. So to wrap up, because we are at time here and I know you've got to run, I know I've got five questions that I asked each guests just to kind of get today a little bit better. So first question is, what's one thing that most people don't know about you?
Will Duderstadt: (50:48)
Well, um, I don't know what people know about mace. I uh, I love cats. I'll throw that out there. That's probably pretty well known cause I uh, I put a lot of cat photos on my Instagram, but I would say I would say one that I don't broadcast, although most people know that I'm involved with, uh, uh, with the boy Scouts. I sit on the local board here and believe in that program, especially as it has evolved to be more inclusive and offer the program for people. Uh, I have spent over one cumulative year of my life in a tent.
Stephanie Lindamood: (51:21)
Well, you're an Eagle scout, so that's really hard to get right. Or to accomplish, to have that as a,
Will Duderstadt: (51:29)
yeah. And you had to do it when you were, you know, 17, 18 years old, which there's a lot vying for your attention at that age.
Stephanie Lindamood: (51:38)
You're like a MacGyver. So we could go and be dropped off like on a deserted Island and you'd be able to totally, totally fend for yourself. I would do. Okay. That's awesome. So a question too, it's two part. The first part is what's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?
Will Duderstadt: (51:56)
This one's pretty darn easy. Uh, I think is everybody evolves in their career. They, uh, you know, come into leadership roles and management roles, uh, likely because they were good at their job, right? They were excelling at the tasks that they had. Now how do you infect others with that same work ethic or work style? And that can be a tough point in a lot of people's careers because they want to keep doing what they're good at doing. And early on, and even today, I still struggle to delegate. And, uh, someone that I respect quite a bit gave me a piece of advice, which was simply that delegating as somebody else's opportunity to get really good at that thing or to own that thing, it's okay that they do it differently than you, but if you built a good team and picked good people, they're gonna do a good job and they will accept that task and they will, they will give it their all. So, you know, delegating, being someone else's opportunity rings in my head, uh, almost every day.
Stephanie Lindamood: (53:00)
It's almost like transitioning from being a good player to a good coach because you're like, wait, I can catch the ball way better. And it's like, well, we're not on the field anymore. Like we're on this side of the field.
Will Duderstadt: (53:10)
Stephanie Lindamood: (53:13)
So to go with that, what's the best piece of advice that you want to give based on where you're at in your career and with the audience?
Will Duderstadt: (53:19)
Um, I, I encourage everyone that I, that I work with or that I, that I see to always be a sponge. Uh, always. So just soak it in, soak knowledge and ask questions. If you ever think that you are full, uh, it's probably time to go home, right? Uh, we all can get better at everything. So learn from everyone around you, read books, uh, re listen to podcasts, do and learn however you are. But don't stop.
Stephanie Lindamood: (53:50)
Yup. When you start growing, you start dying. Right? That's right. That's right. So that's a great segue into the next question, which is, what's one of your favorite books or the one that's had the biggest impact on your life?
Will Duderstadt: (54:02)
Well, I thoroughly enjoy a Walden, Paul by Henry David Thoreau. Uh, only because it helps, uh, it helps kinda disengage and put me out back into my element. But from a, a real motivational standpoint, a great book that I read recently was the power of habit. Why we do what we do in life, in business. And, um, I think it's just a really awesome breakdown on daily tasks or habits, muscle memory sometimes that we have that we either want to change or we want to improve. And, uh, just the psychology kind of around why we work that way was really fascinating and allowed me to be more introspective than I think I could've been otherwise.
Stephanie Lindamood: (54:46)
I love that. But is that, that's the book that it's yellow with like red bicycles on it or something? Yes. That book. Like that'll change your life because you start to understand the things that you do and you're more aware of every, I haven't read it in a couple of years, but that's like a great reread every few years because you're going to be in a different place.
Will Duderstadt: (55:06)
It's one that can be re-read for sure.
Stephanie Lindamood: (55:09)
That's awesome. And we'll link that guys in the show notes. Um, so what's your, the fourth question? What's your current morning routine?
Will Duderstadt: (55:16)
Well, my morning routine is a little strange. I'm not sure I could advocate for anyone to mimic this, but, uh, I do hit the snooze button. I'm okay with that. Uh, and then I eat pretty much the same breakfast, uh, and it is the breakfast of like a five-year-old. It's three Graham crackers and a glass of Apple juice. Uh, without that routine, I just, I don't feel like myself.
Stephanie Lindamood: (55:41)
So you get your sugar and your carbs and for the day and you're all good to go. Are they like honey Graham or regular? They had a cinnamon on it.
Will Duderstadt: (55:49)
No, they, they are regular Graham crackers. They're the brand. Uh, that dude does not have high fructose corn syrup. I believe that's a terrible, terrible thing for you. And I, I think if I were ever to go to rehab in my life, it would probably be for my age, addiction to Graham crackers. I could eat three boxes in the morning, but I limit myself to just three crackers.
Stephanie Lindamood: (56:13)
And the last question is, how do you unplug and unwind?
Will Duderstadt: (56:16)
Um, I turned my device off and I go home. I'm lucky enough to live on a little over 12 acres. I have a pond. I have a garden. I'd love to be outside. Um, so you know, that's at least the phone inside and go get my hands dirty in the garden.
Stephanie Lindamood: (56:34)
What are you growing?
Will Duderstadt: (56:36)
Uh, right now, nothing because it's still January in Ohio, but uh, come, come spring. I will grow a lot of tomatoes. Uh, last fall for the first time I planted a wildflower garden with my wife. Uh, it's about 1500 square feet of just wild flowers, which is, uh, I cannot wait to see it. If everyone follows me on Instagram and it looks good, I'm sure I'll post a photo. Um, but I'm really excited for what the spring holds.
Stephanie Lindamood: (57:06)
That's awesome. Okay, cool. So you've got a green thumb
Will Duderstadt: (57:10)
a little bit, a little bit.
Stephanie Lindamood: (57:12)
Well, thank you so much for being with us today. Would you care to share your social media links and I can link them in the show notes if people want to connect with you online,
Will Duderstadt: (57:21)
that'd be awesome. Yeah. Um, I'm on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, uh, probably tech talk, you yak. Uh, it's always will. Deuter that's the easiest way to find me. My parents blessed me with a very searchable and unique name. So, uh, if you get that far into my last name, you're gonna find me and I, I'd love to engage with anyone in the industry.
Stephanie Lindamood: (57:43)
Awesome. Well, we appreciate you being here and sharing, you know, what you're seeing in the world of marketing and digital content branding for builders and real estate professionals. And so we got a lot out of this episode and we appreciate your time.
Will Duderstadt: (57:56)
You bet. I had a blast. Thanks for having me.
Stephanie Lindamood: (57:58)
Okay guys, that's a wrap. I hope you enjoyed this episode with will Duderstadt and my homes, so many awesome value bombs he shared today. You can find the links mentioned in the show notes at the glam girl, boss.com forward slash podcast. Again, that's the glam girl, boss.com forward slash podcast. Don't forget to follow will online and I would love it if you would head over to iTunes, submit a quick online reviewed, let us know what you love most about this episode and we'll talk soon.