Consumers have been ready to shop, buy, design, contract, and even close on a new home online for some time now. Builders just need to catch up.
And despite an economic downturn, evidence suggests that new-home sales are primed to end 2020 strong:
- 28% more new-home shoppers than last year.
- Millennials are in prime home buying years, and many don’t need to sell a current home to buy new.
- Historically low mortgage interest rates.
- 25% to 50% lower competition from used homes.
In this month’s edition of Builder, BDX CEO, Tim Costello outlines 8 ways builders can harness this new wave of new-home demand. Here’s a sneak peek:
1. Let buyers reach out to you in the manner they prefer. For decades, our industry was built around the email lead. While email leads remain significant, most builders still haven’t responded to the adoption of smartphones. Texting is the new phone call, and most U.S. industries are staffed to respond quickly to text messages from buyers—but not builders.
Voice searches on mobile devices such as “model homes near me” bring intentful buyers to your door in normal times. In the pandemic, requests for a virtual tour or a private model home appointment are gold. Builders that reduce the friction of connection and respond quickly—and well—to all lead types will win.
2. Meet home buyers online. At BDX, we’ve partnered with a chat provider to launch a chatbot for home builders that pairs with a human online sales counselor and can answer builder-specific questions in multiple languages. We tested it on NewHomeSource.com, and now have partnered with builders to launch a private label version of BuilderBot on their websites.
The value is clear: Over 50% of chats occur outside of normal business hours, and builders using BuilderBot are generating up to three times more leads. Powered by machine learning and AI, each chatbot is customized for each builder. Many consumers, especially millennials, prefer to engage first with a chatbot before speaking with your sales team.
3. Bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. Whether a home is built or to-be-built, buyers expect immersive 360-degree tours. For homes and community centers that are complete, that’s a Matterport tour. For unbuilt plans, that’s a virtual tour, based on a 3D model powered by game engine technology.
Each tour can incorporate tags and callouts to highlight the features of the home, and interactive floor plans and site plans can be used for even more value. Each of these tools provides a sense of place and emotional connection to a home and a community.
Want to know more? Read steps 4-8 and the entire Builder article here.
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