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Billboards Are Back! Tips for Billboard Marketing Success

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Sales + Marketing

Billboards Are Back! Tips for Billboard Marketing Success

A recent study shows the renewed power of outdoor advertising. But are home builders ready to go old-school with their sales and marketing efforts and embrace billboard marketing?

By Emily Zick February 14, 2024
Tri Pointe Homes home builder billboard advertising for Summerlin development
Billboards, both digital and static, are seeing some of the fastest growth of all outdoor advertising. Home builders in some markets are including billboard marketing in their marketing strategies and seeing success. | Photo: Mona Shield Payne Photography
This article first appeared in the January/February 2024 issue of Pro Builder.

After falling out of favor during the pandemic, outdoor advertising revenue from transit ads, street furniture, and billboards—both digital and static—is on the

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rise across a wide swath of business segments. Billboards are seeing some of the fastest growth of all outdoor media, and its growth is projected to continue. A recent report by Solomon Partners, a leading financial advisory firm, found that outdoor advertising produces higher levels of customer recall than online marketing. While no one’s suggesting home builders should drop their digital marketing programs and switch completely to old-school tactics, is it time for builders to consider (or reconsider) billboard marketing as part of their marketing strategy?

We asked three home builders from different markets across the country to get their perspective.

Which Home Builders Are Using Billboard Marketing?

The Las Vegas division of national builder Tri Pointe Homes currently devotes about 15% of its total advertising budget to digital billboards, according to division president Klif Andrews, and they’re not the only ones. “In our market, typically all the larger builders do,” he says. 

In Plano, Texas, Trophy Signature Homes (a subsidiary of Green Brick Partners) has billboard placements near many of its communities. Recently recognized as the seventh largest home builder in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, Trophy is aggressively opening new communities, says VP of marketing Yvette Rhea, and billboards are part of its strategy.

Meanwhile, Middletown Homes, a modular and manufactured home builder in West Virginia serving its home state and parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, uses one billboard close to its New Martinsville, W.Va., location to attract passersby, according to marketing coordinator Sydney Starkey.

Billboard advertising campaign by Middletown Homes in W. Va
Directional billboards can be helpful regardless of company size. Middletown Homes, in W.Va., uses them to help direct potential buyers to its the communities where the builder's homes are located. | Photo: courtesy Middletown Homes

How Is Billboard Marketing Being Used by Home Builders?

Last year during the first months of 2023, Tri Pointe wanted to highlight its promotions, starting with a “New Year, New Home” event that featured special pricing and financing. The builder deployed freeway billboards as part of its marketing push. “Las Vegas is a very compact market,” Andrews says. “It's easy to put outdoor media along the freeway corridors and hit your target audience.”

Those billboards generated more questions about the specific promotion from prospective homebuyers visiting the builder’s new-home galleries, says VP of marketing Traci Sexton-Hall. 

Andrews offers another use for billboards: communicating brand changes. Back in January of 2021, Tri Pointe was rebranding from its legacy brand name, TRI Pointe Group, to its new name, Tri Pointe Homes, in an effort to integrate its home building brands under one name. It wanted to let the public know that, despite the new name and branding, the company wasn’t new.

“We wanted to make sure that everyone out there shopping knew that this is a legacy brand that's been building for almost a hundred years, so you're still going to get that same premium quality,” Sexton-Hall says. The builder ran a campaign with print, digital, and billboard advertising to smooth the transition. “We needed to extensively expose our new brand, and outdoor media was definitely part of how we did it,” Andrews says.


Tri Pointe recently put a large LED billboard in a downtown shopping area of the Summerlin master plan (main photo, above) in Las Vegas and included a phone number—a no-no for drive-by advertising but perfect for pedestrian shoppers. “They can take a photo or just pick up their phone and call,” Sexton-Hall says. “We started to see an uptick in sales really early on.”

In Texas, Trophy Signature Homes places billboards as close as possible to those of its communities that may be a bit harder to find, Rhea says, to guide potential buyers. “We've found billboards to be the most helpful when they’re directional, which means they have to be very near the community,” Rhea says. When a community is too new to even show up on Google Maps, prospective buyers may not realize it’s an option, even if they’re driving by it every day. Trophy plans to add more billboards for its new communities opening this year, as availability allows.

Home builder billboard advertising by Trophy Signature Homes
In Texas, Trophy Signature Homes has billboard placements near many of its communities, and as the home builder opens new communities, billboards continue to be an important part of its marketing strategy. | Photo: courtesy Trophy Signature Homes

Starkey says she has definitely seen in-person traffic increase as a result of Middletown’s billboard, which supports the builder’s digital marketing: “We try to integrate all of our marketing so our digital and traditional media work together to accomplish the same goals.”

Should All Home Builders Use Billboard Advertising as Part of Their Marketing Strategy?

The answer is a resounding “it depends.” If you’re a larger builder in a compact market such as Las Vegas, billboards are an easy addition to your marketing efforts. But for a smaller builder in the same market, the answer isn’t quite so clear-cut.

“You have to have a large enough footprint as a builder to make it worthwhile,” Andrews says. The relatively limited market share of small-volume and custom builders make it difficult to make that kind of brand statement pay off. “It’s more community-focused,” he adds.

If you’re building in a sprawling market, like Trophy Signature Homes and Middletown Homes do, directional billboards can be helpful regardless of company size. Either way, you’re showing your target audience where you are. “We’ve found billboards to be effective for directional [marketing] … if we can find the availability at the right place, ideally at that intersection.”

Effective Billboard Marketing: Tips for Success

If you do decide to use billboards as part of your marketing strategy, consider these tips:

Keep it simple. One tagline, one main point. Make it easy to read and make sure the logo is prominent.

Plan ahead. If you know a year in advance that you’re going to want a particular billboard location, reach out to the owner and ask to be contacted when the current lease expires. 

Don’t discount the cross-reads. Drivers do look across a road to see a billboard. 

See for yourself. Drive the routes of your target market to see the billboard locations you’re considering and how effective they are at catching your attention. 

Emily Zick is a freelance writer and editor based in Ypsilanti, Mich., helping business owners reach their target audiences with custom content. Email her at hello@emilyzick.com or visit emilyzick.com


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Written By

Emily Zick is a freelance writer and editor based in Ypsilanti, Mich. You can email her at hello@emilyzick.com or visit emilyzick.com.

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