Edwin Fotheringham

During the boom, Sherman Webb was busy remodeling hotels. “Once everything went south, we reinvented ourselves,” says Webb, whose Dawg Construction,  in North Hollywood, Calif., began to focus on residential projects. To find good prospects, Webb turned to Homeowners Marketing Services, which specializes in new-homeowner lists.

“A new homeowner, especially of an older home, has immediate needs, is in remodeling and spending mode, and is loaded with credit. They’re a perfect audience,” says Homeowners Marketing Services vice president and sales manager Laura Friedman.

Set Parameters

HMS updates its lists daily and puts out a fresh list each week at the close of escrow. As a compiler, not a reseller, HMS does all the research. Clients determine their list parameters, e.g., selecting a whole county or several ZIP codes, or focusing on specific home types or the highest home value.

HMS covers 1,200 U.S. counties and 105 SIC codes. “We provide about 50,000 new homeowners [nationwide] a week,” Friedman says. “If someone subscribes to El Paso, for example, every week they get a list of new home­owners in that area. They don’t get the same names duplicated.”

First In

List buyers pay a monthly fee. An area serving up about 20 to 40 new home­owners a week costs $49 per month; 100 new homeowners a week costs $98; and for an area with 300 new names a week it’s $196 per month. HMS makes an effort not to allow more than two companies that offer the same services to buy the same lists.

Webb gets about 120 names each week. “I put the names on my mailer and send it out,” he says. “There’s no better audience than someone moving into a new area.” He gets three to six calls per week based on the leads and did three projects from them in 2011.

“The strategy here is reaching the right person at the right time; that’s the only time marketing really works,” says HMS president Barry Weiner. “It’s all about timing. You’ve got to get there first.”

—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.