Builder: Turning mistrust into conversions

The single biggest marketing problem for Sydney custom home builder Renovate8? Catastrophic lack of trust.

If you’ve not had a bad experience with a builder yourself, you probably know someone who has. So what’s a trustworthy builder to do when they’re in an industry with a reputation for being anything but trustworthy?

For a long time, Paul Metlege, director of Renovate8, had decided not to bother with a website at all. When the need for a site caught up with him, he knew he needed it to do one thing.

He needed the website to build enough trust with a potential client that they would bring Renovate8 into the quoting process. (No one is going to buy a house from the first website they like. The best a builder’s website can do is bring them into the decision mix for the homeowner.)

Copywriting sample for a home builder's website

How do you believably make a builder sound trustworthy with copywriting?

For copywriting to be believable, you have to understand the reader. You have to be able to get into their mind and write directly to them. Then you have to give the reader the information they need in the way they need it without them feeling manipulated.

Our process with Renovate8 was similar to how we approach all our websites:


The sit down

We sat down with Paul Metlege, owner of Renovate8, to understand his goals, his sales process and the sort of things prospective customers challenged him about.


Target market interviews

We picked up the phone and spoke to Renovate8’s customers about their buying process and their experiences. We cast the net wider, talking to home builders and renovators. What could they tell us about the typical experience with a builder?


Competitor research

There is no shortage of builders' websites, but we found critical aspects missing from 100% of them. This helped us to see a clear path for Paul and Renovate8.



We collated all the proof points that Renovate8 could offer to support its claims to be unlike other builders.

We took the objections we’d identified in our research — builders didn’t do what they said they were going to do, the result never matched the quote, they always wanted more money… We sequenced them in order of importance and matched each one to proof that this was not the way Renovate8 worked.

Most customers work with builders only infrequently. They’re not expert in sorting the wheat from the chaff when they’re looking for quotes. It’s why they often end up regretting the choice they made.

We used that knowledge to decide on an underlying approach of education. A potential customer reading Renovate8’s website won’t necessarily realise they’re being “educated”, but they will leave the site with some excellent questions to ask other builders. The questions will help them eliminate some builders while moving Renovate8 to the top of the list.

Renovate8’s website now produces a steady stream of leads. Some are prospects who’ve been referred to the company and need some convincing. Many leads, however, have come straight from Google. They’ve read the websites of a dozen builders and Renovate8 is one of the three builders they choose to call.

“My customers will always get quotes from other builders,” says director Paul Metlege. “And that’s right; they should. But our website gets us into the quoting stage, which is where we need to be. I’ve had compliments on the site from customers and architects. It’s now such an important part of our marketing.”

Do you need to build trust with your clients before they'll buy? We'd love to hear more.