Making that sale is all about repetition and keeping your name in front of the client. For today’s builder, it may be more about taking that extra step to put your company in front of a prospect that could ultimately get them off the fence and make a decision.

Unfortunately, market conditions for new homes aren’t changing much. Recent data suggests sales of newly built, single-family homes remain virtually unchanged. Sales in July recorded a 0.7% dip from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000 units, according data from the U.S. Commerce Dept., www.commerce.gov, Washington, D.C.

“The fact that new-home sales fell by less than 1% in July is an indication of how little conditions have changed in the housing market,” says Bob Nielsen, chairman of National Assn. of Home Builders, www.nahb.org, Washington, D.C. “With large numbers of foreclosed and distressed homes on the market and a climate of uncertainty in which consumers are reluctant to go forward with a major purchase for fear of what economic news tomorrow might bring.”

These days CRM (customer-relationship management) and sales software are being touted as the must-have item for builders in their quest to manage customer relationships more efficiently. But the question of how to turn prospects into customers is an ongoing debate, as is the true role technology can play in helping with such efforts.

Dave Knowles of TopBuilder Solutions, www.topbuildersolutions.com, Houston, Texas, says one option that seems to be receiving a lot of attention from his customers these days is the development of a custom newsletter. Knowles’ company provides sales and marketing software for homebuilders and remodeling companies, and one of the primary focuses that he suggests to builders is combining sales with email marketing efforts. This, says Knowles, can help manage prospects and aid in the follow-through process, making it an integrated experience.

But the custom newsletter, which TopBuilder Solutions provides as part of its package, is a component that seems to be piquing the interest of more and more customers. “It helps to keep builders out in front of prospects, and even past customers, to help them when it comes time to making decisions (about their next home purchase),” says Knowles.

A custom newsletter containing some of the latest projects and services could become a subtle selling tool for your business. Perhaps you are doing more remodeling work; if a prospect is in the market to find such services, then this message could hit them at the correct moment. Or, perhaps a past customer has a friend in the market for a new home; they can simply pass along your newsletter.

Leads are the name of the game in homebuilding. But before you can reach a point where you need to manage those leads, capture the history of interactions, and perform follow-up work, you first need to capture the attention of those leads. A little bit of repetition can go a long way and pay off, months or even years from now.