Marketing through a Pandemic: Cost-Effective Solutions for Builders and Flippers

Written by Suzie Wilson. Check out more articles on her blog at

Image via Pexels

As a result of COVID-19 and the cancellation of networking events and trade shows that came with it, professional flippers and builders have had to turn to new marketing channels to build their business. Luckily, there are lots of cost-effective marketing outlets available to builders today. As you guide your business out of the COVID-19 pandemic, take advantage of these three marketing channels to connect with real estate professionals and buyers, courtesy of Realtor Mary Kelly of Kelly Property Expert, Inc.

3 low-cost marketing solutions for builders

1. A website

You have a basic landing page, but when’s the last time you looked at your business website, let alone updated it? With limited opportunities for word-of-mouth marketing during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to show up in search results. That means building a business website that’s attractive, easy to use, and search engine optimized.

Add an inquiry form or quote request feature to your business website to make it easy for new customers to reach out. The best business websites also include self-help features like a “frequently asked questions” page and prominent contact information.

Don’t neglect cybersecurity as you build your online presence. From ransomware and viruses to identity theft, there’s a lot to watch out for online.

2. Social media

There’s one more thing business websites need today: links to social media profiles. Image-heavy social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are powerful advertising platforms for home builders and flippers.

Don’t have a social media presence? Small businesses and contractors shouldn’t underestimate the impact of a strong social media presence. Not only is social media an inexpensive marketing tool, but it’s also a great way to showcase your work too. Sharing before-and-after photos, house inspiration, and realty content keeps your audience engaged.

Businesses can even employ social media ads for a small fee. Targeted social media ads ensure your advertising dollars go directly to the consumers most likely to patronize your business.

Finally, social media can be used to connect directly with local pros in the real estate business. Take advantage of Facebook and LinkedIn to reach out to real estate agents who can assist with scouting properties, timing sales, and planning your build.

3. Signage and direct mail

Classic marketing methods are still effective. For example, installing company signage at project sites is a great way to build brand awareness. Builders can also utilize direct mail campaigns to inform real estate professionals and potential buyers of upcoming projects.

A note about business basics

Creative marketing helps businesses navigate through the pandemic, but your marketing plan isn’t the only thing to revisit right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a reminder to review your small business’s insurance coverage. Many businesses discovered their insurance doesn’t cover losses related to pandemics after it was too late. By reading the fine print now, you can make sure you’re covered for future crises.

Business liabilities easily become personal liabilities if you operate as a sole proprietorship. Before purchasing business insurance, register your small business as a limited liability corporation. LLCs are easy and inexpensive to form, making them a good fit for owner-operators. In fact, many business owners file LLC paperwork themselves.

Lastly, you might want to consider an outside service for handling things like payroll. By taking this fundamental function off your plate, you free up your focus for tending other matters. Accounting tools like Quickbooks offer advantages like automated check generation, time tracking, and auto tax payments, so you don’t have to worry about your essentials going awry. On top of that, there is tax penalty protection up to $25,000. Business owners can find a lot of peace of mind in just one simple service these days.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced entrepreneurs from all industries to rethink how they do business. While your business may usually rely on word-of-mouth marketing and face-to-face networking, there are plenty of marketing options that let you get your business’s name out there while keeping everyone safe. Now is a great time to invest in marketing channels built for the times.

3 Smart Home Upgrades That Are Worth the Money

Written by Suzie Wilson. Check out more articles on her blog at

Some home improvements make your life more comfortable but don’t add much to the value of your home. Other home upgrades boast a strong return on investment but may not bring much to improve your everyday quality of life. For the best of both worlds, however, many homeowners are choosing to upgrade their homes with smart devices and systems.

The term “smart,” in reference to home electronics, generally refers to devices that can connect to the internet. Smart home upgrades typically offer a significant increase in convenience for homeowners and tend to add value to your home in the eyes of potential buyers. These three smart upgrades provide loads of user convenience for you and will likely also add dollars to your home’s sale price if you decide to sell.

1. Smart Locks

Spoiler alert: Hiding a spare key under the doormat isn’t the safest idea. Today’s smart locks have two major benefits for homeowners. First, they can recognize your face or cell phone and unlock the door when you approach, so you’ll never have to stand in the rain fumbling for your keys. Second, you can program them to allow access to family members or guests, so you won’t have to tuck your spare key under the rug or worry about handing it to a contractor.

What’s more, smart locks generally have a sky-high ROI. Purchase and installation costs are relatively low and are increasingly becoming a must-have for homeowners and homebuyers alike.

2. Smart Thermostats

Adding a smart thermostat to your home is a no-brainer these days. These thermostats are simple to program and convenient to use. They can be controlled from your computer or smartphone, so you can change the temperature without getting up. Most can sense whether you’re at home or away and adjust accordingly.

For a minor initial investment, you’ll likely begin to see savings on your energy bill almost immediately. Furthermore, the money-saving potential of a smart thermostat will earn you big points with potential homebuyers.

3. Smart Cameras

If the idea of being on camera in your own home seems strange to you, you’re not alone. However, the benefits of a few strategically placed smart cameras in your home quickly outweigh any perceived stage fright. An exterior camera near the door lets you see when packages are dropped off and can alert you to suspicious activity. You can use a camera as a baby monitor, to keep an eye on your kids while they’re distance learning, or to check on your pet while you’re at work.

If you’re selling your home, smart cameras pack a double punch: Not only do they tend to have a strong ROI, but they can also give you an edge in filming and photographing your home for a virtual tour. A 2018 study showed that the vast majority of homebuyers appreciated virtual tour capabilities. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual showings are often the only option available to buyers. An experienced real estate agent like Mary Kelly can offer a variety of distanced options, such as live-feed video tours, virtual open houses, and 3D virtual walkthroughs to safely market to potential buyers.

Smart technology is here to stay. These smart devices are a great way to enhance your daily life while also increasing your home’s market value.

My new ad on WAYX-TV today

Who is Mary Kelly of Kelly Property Expert, Inc.?

I am looking for more sellers who want a REALTOR who will get their homes or land sold. My commission rates are currently as low as a total of 4% of the sales price of the properties I sell.

Mary Kelly, MBA, MEd, MAT
Kelly Property Expert, Inc.

How long will prices continue going up?

Home prices are rising.

This is good for sellers, but when going to buy – not so good.

How long prices will continue to rise – who knows – but right now, seems that there is not an immediate end to rising prizes in site. Prices right now are continuing upward is most places.

See US home prices rose 11.9% in February – fastest since 2014,
by Paul Wiseman @

What is the MLS & how is it used by REALTORS to market properties for sale?

How I use the Multiple Listing Service

My membership in the Multiple Listing Service puts your home in front of nearly every agent working with potential buyers. This network of relationships is how most homes get sold.

Information on recent comparable sales found within the Multiple Listing Service will guide us on pricing your home and evaluating offers.

When we place your home on the Multiple Listing Service, we ensure that your home is displayed on nearly every real estate company website in town and on top real estate search apps

See how it works at

Video for Sellers:

Video for Buyers:

Did you know? offers estimates of values of all properties a REALTOR lists?

To obtain a true home value (and one that a lender will require if you get a mortgage to buy a home), you need to pay a state licensed and certified appraiser that is selected by your lender to write a certified appraisal of the valuation. However, a good tool to use to determine value when you are shopping for a home is provided by For that reason and because I think the most valuable information about homes is listed on that site, I link properties I list on my website at directly to the listing as it is posted on Click here to find a description of the estimates provided by

If you are interested in how I value a home when I list one for sale, please ask. That is another topic.

Mary Kelly, Licensed Real Estate Broker
Owner & REALTOR, Kelly Property Expert, Inc.

Article: ‘Housing Demand Likely to Stay High for Years to Come’

Copyright © 2021 BridgeTower Media; and Copyright © 2021, The Mecklenburg Times (Charlotte, NC). All rights reserved.

“MECKLENBURG, Tenn. – Low rates of household formation since the Great Recession have caused 5.7 million “missing” households, a new Zillow analysis finds. These missing households represent people who historically would have moved into their own home but have been unable or unwilling to do so, and should keep housing demand high for many years to come as the market catches up.”