TRENDING: 10 FAQs About Home Builder & Developer Strategies Under COVID-19

How to Apply Retargeting (to Your Home Builder or Developer Marketing Strategy)

retargeting - Concept Of Retargeting On Dartboard
4 min 30 sec read
Learn about the old and new retargeting strategies to advance your business.

It’s important for all home builder businesses to integrate retargeting strategies because of the very diverse market. When you think about it, everyone at some point or another will need a place to call home and you want it to be one of your products. Whether that be one of your listings, properties, or communities, targeting to the right home buyer can bring big business for you.

There is an old process of conducting a retargeting campaign and there is a new process. In the older retargeting model, many marketing firms relied on two opportunities: on-site retargeting and contextual/behavioral retargeting. The new form of retargeting offers two different mechanisms: prospecting and engagement.

Old Retargeting Methods:


On-Site Retargeting:

This is when someone visits your website and a cookie is dropped in their browser. This cookie then follows the user around the Internet. If the user returns back to your website to view your portfolio, then you can generate a reminder to them about your homes, property, or any other home building product you are trying to promote.


Contextual/Behavioral Retargeting:

This type of older retargeting technique is when people are casually searching the web and participating in other online activities. For example, people might be searching for homes in a particular location, similar properties like your listings, or performing alike behavior. Rather than the user visiting your website, your marketing efforts can tag them directly.

You can target these individuals with similar behavior by dropping a cookie which then follows the user around the Internet. This approach is commonly categorized as a “wait and see” approach due to the uncertainty of the market’s behavior. You have to “wait and see” if the user interacts with your website or advertisement.

Although the older retargeting methods have worked well in the past, the new strategy is a much more active form of retargeting. Prospecting and engagement are the two different types of mechanisms to use with the updated model.


New Retargeting Approach:



Prospecting is when you, the home builder, gives key demographic information to your marketing agency such as your target market’s age, gender, and income. Then the marketing agency will develop a series of banner ads to push out in the designated market place. The marketing firm can then find out which people are actually engaging with those ads and those who follow the call to action to your website.

Then a second form is picked up where another cookie is dropped on them. This cookie, like the ones before, continually follows the potential client around the Internet. So, now you know they have actively engaged with your ad and you are keeping track of their next steps.

The advantage to the newer approach is that this can be performed in-app, such as a phone or tablet. Whereas the traditional ways of retargeting would have predominately targeted desktop users as opposed to mobile users. This is a huge advantage as mobile-usage is increasing more and more by generation.



The second component of the new retargeting program allows for engagement. If an active home buyer comes to your website, you can change your message to the user depending on how often they visit your site. For example, if the first message they see is an offer for new homes, the second message can be a follow up for one of your listings or a coupon related to another one of your products.

This is a more multi-tier approach as opposed to the more traditional format. Another ability of the new model is impeccable timing. You can push ads to your target market in milliseconds. This works by pushing an ad based on the user’s location, past search history, or if they are pre-determined as a potential audience member.


The Difference Between Models:



You can target individuals far more precisely than you could with the traditional retargeting model. Such that you can identify every specific device within the household. Each device: smartphone, tablet, desktop, or computer, have a unique IP address. The new retargeting method of today is able to follow these devices and process the search history from them to determine if any cross-over.

For example, if a husband and wife are searching for a home with a set of specific criteria, you can target both individuals as potential clients. While traditional retargeting methods would basically have to wait for prospects to come to your website, the new methods, on the other hand, can target new audiences much more actively.



Traditional means can geo-target such as based off of zip codes. However, as we all know, a zip code can have a wide range of consumers. In fact, they can be many different income levels, education, and lifestyles all within the same zip code.

The new retargeting can go even more precise such as targeting a specific neighborhood or even an individual building. For example, it can target a high-rise office building in New York where you know all people have similar income levels. Or even in a rural area, where you can map out a zip code of 20-40 square miles because all of those individuals are similar in economic status.



A marketing firm can run multiple campaigns under this new form of retargeting to test which strategies work best. Although it can dilute the overall focus of a particular message, the feedback allows for adjusting which can be significantly useful in advancing in today’s competitive market place.

The new retargeting methods also allow you to measure the success of past ads to see what works and what doesn’t. Giving your firm insight into what your target market wants. So, there is a lot of different potential within this new retargeting strategy.

Even in my personal experience, I have found the new method extremely successful. In fact, I have seen an increase of more than double traffic to a particular website from using the new strategy. If you are in the market for a new form of online strategy, we highly recommend this.


For related articles, check out the following on my blog:

Comments are closed.

Share this

Terry Zelen

About Terry Zelen

Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications

Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.

He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.


Fill out the form below to subscribe for the The Punch List Newsletter. We'll send our latest news & industry insights, directly to your inbox.