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Sold Out!
13 Jul 15 General 0

Sold Out!

SOLD OUT! Cedar Village East Brunswick, NJ – 

“We are very excited to hear the news this morning” said Joe Puma from Ronique NJ, A construction firm known for constructing multi-family and custom homes projects for over thirty years. A few weeks ago we reported we still had three homes remaining. Sales have been brisk, steady and were provided by Robert DeFalco Realty’s team of talented and trusted agents. CV-MH-15-6183-72PPI

This project has been had its challenges. “Last fall when we opened, we had to create urgency which is extremely difficult for an active adult 55+ community. We launched a “muddy boot” event which brought prospects from the clubhouse and sales office into the condominiums”, Joe Puma recalls. “This was the turning point because the event was so well attended and people were able to walk the homes under construction, meet the builder, and also meet some of their future neighbors”.

The community gained some momentum in sales and the project saw many prospects returning 4, 5 and 6 times before purchasing. “The fully furnished and decorated model was also another key ingredient which allowed the home buyers to see how the home would live.” Joe continued, “We wanted to create a a unique product and let each home buyer come into the design studio and select from a wide variety and endless choices of hardwood flooring, appliances and upgrade cabinets.”

 Joe Puma also recalled, “We hired an expert real estate consultant, John Rod and his firm J Creative Group, LLC. “From the beginning John came into the project and set us onto the right path. We are great at developing and building new homes but marketing is not our strongest suite.” It is a truly rewarding experience Joe admits,  “The most rewarding part for me, was getting to know the happy homeowners and, how thrilled they are to have purchased a new home from us at Cedar Village at East Brunswick.


28 Jan 15 General 0

Grand Opening – Home Builder Edition

Grand Opening – Home Builder Edition

So you are bringing a new community to market. How do you ensure it is going to be a success? It starts at the very beginning and in hiring the right team to oversee and ensure your success. There are many things that need to be done and if you are an expert in home building, you might not be an expert in marketing your community to the right audience, the right price and with the right designs.

NOTE: Before we formally begin, I feel like when I post a blog about a subject like Grand Opening strategies, for instance, it is because I am having similar conversations on a daily/weekly/monthly basis with my clients. There is so much to discuss and write about so I have tried to touch on a few of the major subjects. I hope this information starts to lead you toward creating a great neighborhood and successful grand opening!

  1. Market Studies-

Do your homework and your market research. There is no crying in baseball and there is no guessing in real estate. Is a professional gathering the information about surrounding communities, pricing, features, and square footage? Doing this market study will ensure a home builder’s success. If you have confidence in your grand opening prices you will never have to worry about “dropping the price” because you will have done the leg work to create value for your customers from the beginning. Update the information just prior to your Grand Opening.


  1. Picking your target market & creating personas

Knowing your audience affects everything. From the name of the project, the logo design, the lifestyle photos and the architectural details, speaking to your audience tastes is paramount. Create personas to insure success and creating common brand & theme throughout your selling campaign, which is specifically targeted to your audience.

  1. Setting up a winning team

You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. In the most successful and high profile neighborhoods, it all starts with a team meeting. The developer lays out his vision; your marketing team will then review all community details, including the architectural plans, site plan, landscaping, community name, target marketing, project timing and sales goals. Plan to plan.

  1. Trends in Advertising & The Web

This is a game changer. The internet is the most profound, dynamic and increasingly important marketing tools any company can invest in. A well designed and proper website design can be a company’s best and most effective ways to capture leads and gain new customers.

  Newspapers now mix internet and print media in their proposals. Hire an expert to manage your web marketing to insure customer find you!


  1. On -site marketing


People still want to touch and feel. It makes for a much easier sell when you have model homes, a design studio, a sales center and an emotional and interactive on-site presentation. The on-site presentation needs to be well thought out from the entry to the front door of the sales center. The right sales person and a hint of helpful hospitality will warm your prospects in no time. Your goal is to train your sales team to bond emotionally with your prospects to gain trust – Then follow up, follow up, follow up!

  1. Customization Trends

People want what they want. The trend of All inclusive (Everything’s included) features or selling in packages has remained because it is easy for the customer. Savvy home builders are back in their design studios as we speak and re-organizing them to maximize each potential home sale and to give their buyers an authentic “experience”. They will also use this experience as a marketing tool to attract and engage new customers. Please remember sometimes “too many choices” can potentially confuse and turn off buyers when they are left on their own..

  1. Analytics

Measure Everything. Everything is measurable! Do more of what works and less of what does not. It amazes me how many much information you can decipher while reading an analytics report. Think of your website as a living/breathing thing. Think of Google as a monster who eats NEW information… feed the monster and track everything you do. Be socially engaged and surround yourself with your 6 best friends: Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, You Tube and inbound marketing. A Well rounded and well connected social website is paramount to climbing Google’s ranking ladder to page 1.

  1. Previewing Opening vs. Grand Opening

I am seeing a clear trend on holding back. You only get one chance at a first impression so grand opening when you are ready is the only way I recommend opening. When your models are properly merchandised, the landscape is complete and the brochures are ready, then it is time to preview. The strategy is to allow your most interested buyers preview, select and buy for a one-two week period before the public grand opening. This will also create urgency. When you have your public Grand Opening, you will also have had time to work out and address any bugs you might have found during the preview opening period.

For more information on preparing your community for a grand opening and strategy, visit  or call today for a consultation about your project.

08 Oct 14 General 0

Be A Marketing Hero

Be A Marketing Hero

I was in a meeting yesterday with a new potential client. I did my usual “hero marketing” homework the night before and I knew many of his problems before we sat down. During the course of the meeting it was quick to understand he knew everything there was to know about his business (Insurance) but little about marketing and the web, he was struggling. It was hard to watch. So I decide to help.


“You have an Identity crisis”

During my research before the meeting, I did some simple Google searches and could not find him. I typed in his name, town and occupation and came up with 147 people with the same name and none of them were particular stands outs in his industry. He was invisible.

“It looks like you have a “paper” company”

I researched his website and found myself on the home page. The website has all stock images and they look like “free” stock images. The website had too many words, no graphs, no charts, no testimonials, boring template, no employee profiles and no photos of the outside of the corporate headquarters. Customers like to see sticks, brick, mortar, people, and profiles to get the sense you are a real company with real employees inside of a real building – No just a “paper” company.

“Your Meta Data is not correct”

I showed him his coding….These codes will tell you everything you need to know your website, about specific page titles (What you are calling each page) and page descriptions (Describes the content on each page) and keywords (how you want to be found). Once I looked at a few of his pages I can see none of the information was set up correctly. This can directly affect your ability to properly measure and read you analytics.

“Your competition really has their act together”

We look at the competitor’s website and I see it is filled with valuable content, white papers, lead generation, custom forms, social engagement and they did a great job setting up there site to “Inform and offer expert advice”.  Our websites goal is to inform, educate, problem solve and be an authoritative voice of your subject specific matter. To set realistic goals for qualified traffic….whom upon their visits and return visits, fill out the forms, download your content or call for a meeting or for a quote!

Enter Marketing Hero!

One company created a website for you, a second company is doing your SEO and a third person is creating content. You may need a marketing hero to step in and bring it altogether. To avoid high bounce rates, no conversions and no engagement…oversight is critical. Someone who speaks web-geek and can easily translate it so the client can be informed and the team players can be held accountable. It’s a wonder programmers hate me…but I’d rather be a marketing hero!


John Rod is Owner of J Creative Group, LLC, a local marketing firm in Freehold, NJ and a local marketing hero, father, blogger who is also obsessed with Google…. For more information about creating dynamic website and content strategies visit

08 Apr 14 General 0

2014 Sales Center Trends for Home Builders | Top 5

2014 Sales Center Trends for Home Builders | Top 5

Wall mural on curved wall, full color 3M product.

Oversized will murals will brighten any shopping experience. Especially shopping for new homes.


Coming off the recession with great enthusiasm, home builders are looking forward to opening up new projects in 2014. Here are some of the leading trends you might be seeing in their sales centers!

  1. Colors – Bright and vibrant colors are making a comeback for sales centers. We are starting to see our branding trends change from 50 shades of gray to colors with POP! The colors start on the website and carry forward into your signage and display graphics.

TIP: To be remembered over the competition, you should start with the community name, logo and colors….keep this theme running throughout all your overall marketing.

  1. Memory points – Give customers a “Wow” around each corner. Remember to captivate as soon as they walk into the door of your sales center. The trends are toward more impactful oversized 3-D graphics, wall murals, textured walls and reclaimed/recycled materials all make for impactful memory points.
  2. Technology – The trend is for larger sales center touch screens (especially contained with-in the site table) and personalized one-on-one virtual tours where the sales team can “show off” the lifestyle, homes, options and amenities in a casual “bar like” atmosphere.
  3. Hospitality – Think warm and fuzzy Starbucks! We are social creatures and when someone takes the time to come and visit your community to tour your models, make them feel at home with plenty of food, snacks, cookies, water and coffee.  The goal is to extend the visitors stay as long as possible, break down some walls, and explore where they are in the buying cycle. Your sales center should have hospitality built into the design.
  4. Mosaics – We are not just seeing mosaics in tiled backsplashes or wall art. Some of the best graphics (creating memory points) are walls with squares that contain photos of people, site photos, notes of thanks, testimonials, where your buyers are from, or reasons your buyers have purchased. The possibilities are endless and “living mosaics” can grow as the community grows.

For more sales tips and the latest trends in marketing your community, visit us a and be sure to follow us on Facebook


30 Jan 14 General 0

Website tips: Can I create my own for $1?


Website  creation: seems like a daunting task. Creating a new website should be fun, rewarding and challenging. Over the past few years I am repeatedly asked the same questions and decided to put those questions here along with a few of the answers.


1.       Where do I start?

Hire a great website developer/designer. Make sure they have in-depth knowledge of keywords, web marketing and they have the ability to show you some of their past web creations and the functionality you are looking for. Ask them about hosting, e-mail connections and if they plan on training your staff to use the “back end”.

2.       Can people really create their own website for $1?

Yes – If they are already a web developer, and understand thousands of ins and outs and all the connection points of websites. The companies that offer websites for free are also trying to sell you other services monthly. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The last two websites I have contracted were for people who “tried” to do it on their own and found the process frustrating and time consuming.

3.       How do I know my new website will not become obsolete?

Typically, if your current website is over two years old it is obsolete because the technology is much faster and easier. If you use WordPress as your base, it will be constantly updated along with any plug-ins you may choose to use. WordPress also allows you to “change themes” in a few months or years for a fresh look with the ability for new fresh plug-ins.

4.       How do I insure people will visit my site?

If you do a good job establishing your competitive keywords, and write all the metadata, content and social media around those specific keywords, you will be found….be sure to be “social media” friendly and to have a blog!

5.       Once they find my site, how do I make sure they interact and engage?

Great question! Getting people to view, navigate and engage is a challenge. Mix offers, coupons, invitations, call-to-action, response areas and RFP’s in areas most likely to create engagement. Have a strategy and do more of what is working. Check you reports to see how you’re doing at least once per month. Google analytics is free!

6.       What about social media?

You need it! When hiring a web developer, make sure they are proficient in guiding you as to what will work for your type of business along with a strategy for posting on social media. Social media is the new S.E.O.

7.       How do I know if it is working?

Analytics is king! Has your web developer created a Google Analytics account (free) and make sure they set it up to send you a report each week. And, most importantly, make sure they are willing to teach you what to read on the report to interpret your next steps.

Think of your website as a living/breathing thing. Think of Google as a monster who eats NEW information… feed the monster!!!

For more information on website development do’s and Don’ts, visit today.



21 Nov 13 General 0

The 911 website test… Fix it or nix it!

websiteWhen it comes to your company’s website, how do you know when it’s time to pull the plug? Take this simple website test and you will find out if you should fix it or nix it!

Website Test – Fix it or nix it?

  1. How old is your website?

If your website is more than 2 years old, it may be time for a re-boot. Technology has come far and fast. There are plug-ins and special tools now available to help you with your postings to social media, blog posts, SEO and keywords. If your current website does not have these capabilities it may be time to pick up the phone and dial 911.

        2.  Is your website easy to find?

Primary keywords, secondary keywords, long tail keywords all play a role in helping your website grow organically. If you have NOT gone through the process of finding your keyword “sweet spot”, and properly coding each page title & page description, then it may be time to “fix it.”

        3.  Is your website easy to navigate?

Good websites are designed so the content is “just one click away”. If your content is buried or your website had 2 or more sets of navigation, it may be time to “nix it.”

        4.  Is your website easy to update?

Has your web developer given you or your staff training to make simple updates and changes and blog posts? If you are reliant on a second or third party programmer and web site changes/updates take days/weeks/months, it is clearly time to “nix it.”

        5.  Is your website connected to social media?

Ut oh! If you holding off on connecting to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and do not understand the importance of social media posting or the impact on your business than I suggest we “fix it.”

 See, that wasn’t so bad. Know what may be wrong with your web site and how to fix it can make all the difference in “getting found” on the web or having to call 911!

If you want to explore more options for your current web site and whether you should ‘nix it” or “fix it”, visit

26 Oct 13 General 0

Taking control of your website, top 10 tips to “Getting Found”

These 10  strategies will insure success and help increase your website traffic.

Marketing used to be easier. Gone are the days when a company could simply run a few ads, attend a trade show and have a listing in the yellow pages and watch the leads pour in.

Companies need robust websites which connect to social media and have strategies for lead nurturing and information gathering which help us convert website traffic to customers….sounds simple!

Here is a list of the top ten ways to use your website and social media to convert your traffic to paying customers!

1. Keywords: Build your website, meta data, social media and blog with specific keywords (primary and secondary) for maximum penetration to your target audience. Knowing your sweet spot of competitive keywords is key.

2. Facebook: Create a business Facebook page with a strategy to grow your audience. Also a great place to advertise.

3. Twitter: A great way to connect with customers and stay engaged.

4. YouTube: Create videos describing who you are, your geographical areas of business and post them across all social media channels. Videos rise of importance is due to keyword selection, tagging and script (talking points). You should have a strategy for videos in your quest to “getting found”.

5. SEO: Make sure each of your web pages are correctly indexed, and that you have unique titles, tags and descriptions for each page….always ask a professional for help as this is one of the most common errors made with websites.

6. Blogging: Turn your 10 page website into a 20 page website with simple blog posts. Make sure you have social media icons, calls-to-action, landing pages and forms on all blog posts.

7. Google Maps & Google+ : Make sure your business is appearing in Google’s map directories for higher rankings in search.  Google+ is now the second largest social media site!

8. Analytics: Sign up for Google analytics ( free) and track how many hits your getting per month, what words are being  using to find you and which pages are the stickiest. Do MORE of what works!

9. Take Control: Make sure your website has a CMS (content management system) and that you do not have to rely on someone else to make changes to your website. Make sure the company you hire to develop your website will give your marketing team the proper support they deserve.

10. Google Ad Words: Create a budget and a strategy to increase your web traffic. Hire a professional that has a great track record for success. This specialized section of Google is often mismanaged. Hire a pro!

10 Website tips for increasing your traffic

10 Website tips for increasing your traffic

For more info about websites, web development and managing your web program, visit