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Why Should Customers Trust Your Online Company? Marketing Tips from Owner Builder Loans

Aug 14, 2008
Owner builder construction loans are difficult to market successfully. Even though it's a specialized niche, the nature of the business dictates that an owner builder mortgage company will be structured as an online business, using online marketing to reach its clients.

Owner builder loans require that customers provide large amounts of personal, private information, which makes customers even more skeptical of any business that they can't see in person. How do you build trust when your company is essentially an online business?

There are a few vital things you can do when you design your web site to help demonstrate to your potential customers that you are who you say you are, and that your company really delivers the product or service that you claim to deliver. Take a look at some of these tips and examples from the owner builder construction loan world, and you can apply the same principles to any online business. In fact, if a mortgage company can build trust online in today's market, then you can be sure that these tips will work for you.

1. Owner Builder Testimonials.

If you are selling owner builder construction loans, then your must have as many testimonials as possible from actual owner builder customers who used your services. The same concept applies to any business. If you have a web site, then you need as many testimonials as you can get. In fact, even if your company markets offline, you will need as many testimonials as you can get, but that's a topic for another day.

There is a saying in the marketing world: once you think you have put together enough testimonials for your marketing, double the number. Then, double it again. Nobody speaks better about your business than your previous clients who worked with you or bought from you.

Don't just gather written words for your testimonial. Instead, use as many photographs as possible. Customers will see the photographs as further proof to go along with the words that you customers write. For example, in the case of owner builder loans, you would use as many photographs of the homes that your clients built through your program. Proof of legitimate service builds trust.

In addition, you may also want to consider using audio to go along with the written testimonials. If a customer can visit your web site and actually listen to other customers who liked your product, it will be much more effective for you.

2. Longevity and Consistency.

Customers, whether they are owner builder clients or any customer buying any service or product from any online company, all want to know that you have been in business for a long time. This builds a sense of consistent service, which in turn builds a sense of trust for your customers.

For an online business, the easiest way to establish this consistency is to simply tell the customer how long your company has actually been in business. The best way to do this is to post this information right on your "About Us" page on your web site.

But, another little tip that works well is to put a copyright date at the bottom of every page on the site. If the copyright is dated at the start date of your business, customers will infer automatically that your company has been doing business since that date.

3. Contact Information.

For the example of owner builder construction loans, customers want to know how they can contact your business. Many online companies in this industry tend to force customers to reach them by email only. From the company's point of view, it makes a lot of sense - owner builder loans require a lot of time to qualify potential clients. It is difficult to devote this precious time to answering an incoming phone call from a tire kicker customer.

However, if you have an online business that is service oriented like an owner builder mortgage company, then you need to post a phone number as part of your contact information. Without it, the sensitive nature of the industry will cause many potential clients to look elsewhere. If you prefer that your customers contact you by email, simply tell them that on the web site. Post the phone number, though, to help build trust.

And, just as important, make sure you give a physical address on your web site. By telling customers where your company is physically located, it will put them at ease about the fact that they themselves will never actually walk into your office. They will be comforted by the fact that they could walk into your office if the happened to be in your local area.

Furthermore, don't just list the address. Also include a quick description of the location by mentioning some nearby landmarks. Don't worry if the local landmark won't be known by your online customers. The fact that you mention these landmarks will provide extra evidence that your online business actually has a physical location.

4. Owner Builder Information Request Form.

If you collect information from your customers through an online form, then you will want to tell your customers exactly how this information will be used. In other words, tell them how the information will not be used or shared.

For example, an owner builder customer often has to fill out a lot of information about their finances online. Even though no social security numbers or birthdates are collected through these forms, there is still a lot of personal information that is needed to process the online form. Therefore, they want to know that their privacy will be protected.

All online businesses need to tell their customers that they respect their privacy. If you don't respect the privacy of your customers, you are not going to be in business very long.

In addition to addressing this issue within the web site's online form, you could also have a specific page devoted to your company's privacy policy. Then, you can link to that page from your online form. The privacy policy doesn't have to be a bunch of legalese. Simply spell out how you plan to use the information that you are collecting. And, spell out whether or not you will need to share the information with any other entity.

Overall, owner builder customers are no different from other customers in an online world. If you are an online business, you need to design your website to build trust with those customers. Remember, your web pages will be one of the first impressions that you make on your customer.
About the Author
Chris Esposito markets owner builder construction loans through the Owner Builder 101 program. To get more details about owner builder construction and financing, visit www.OwnerBuilder101.com, or call (877) 876-3688.
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