Many of you entered 2020 knowing that digital marketing solutions were the future in home building… you knew consumers were starting to expect a digital experience, but not everyone was in a rush to meet their needs.
But then the mother of all catalysts hit – COVID 19. And now overnight, the online experience is the experience.
Home shoppers have been ready for this for quite some time. Consumers want control. They want to buy when they’re ready and on their own time. They’re fed up with being forced to find their dream home during “banking” hours and in-person.
So even if you’re behind the curve, it’s not too late to embrace digital transformation. Below are seven quick tips that your team can adopt.
- Give homebuyers control when it comes to communication
The phone may still reign supreme but how consumers use it to communicate with homebuilders is ever-changing.
Some might want to email you from their phone. Others text. Some may still prefer the tried and true smile and dial. Can a homebuyer easily maneuver your website from their phone? Or immediately access an online calendar to set-up either an in-person or video appointment? Do your lead forms include a question about the preferred communication method?
Net/net – provide as many options as possible for homebuyers to contact you or you run the risk of losing leads and ultimately sales.
- Meet homebuyers where (and when) they are
Consumers today are reluctant to talk to humans early in the shopping journey. They want to control the process and engage only when they are ready.
BDX’s BuilderBot, i.e. chatbot powered by Atlas RTX, is an ideal solution for home shoppers and offers an efficient and proven option for homebuilders. More than 50% of chats occur outside of business hours, so by utilizing bots on your website you engage with customers at any time and produce up to 3x more leads.
- Bridge the gap between the physical and the digital world
You have two choices right now. Wait and hope that homebuyers can eventually visit models in-person. Or embrace online tours that immerse consumers in your homes virtually. You can do something as simple film a tour with your cell phone or take it to the next level with either a Matterport, Animated, or 3D Tour from BDX. Just be sure to add a lead form. Any of these accomplish the goal of connecting with consumers digitally and help you generate new leads.
- Provide remote access to model homes
For those homebuyers that insist on personally visiting a model home but want to do it on their schedule and without a salesperson present, there is an exciting new program – Utour. A potential home buyer simply goes to your website and finds a home that is Utour-enabled. After having their identity verified via either a driver’s license or credit card, a code is sent to a consumer which opens a smart lock and allows them to tour the home unaided.
Once in the home, agnostic voice assistance – Alexa or Google – is available to answer any questions they have about the home, amenities, or the community. Builders then receive a comprehensive report detailing the potential buyers’ questions and requested information. Utour is the ultimate way to provide a great experience for your home shoppers that is convenient and lessens sales pressure.
- Let homebuyers design on their own time
After the excitement of purchasing their dream home, too many homebuyers feel stressed and overwhelmed by the design process. This is sometimes only compounded by a home rep and the many in-person visits.
What homebuyers prefer instead by a majority – 85% – is to self-select options online at their own pace. It is less stressful, increases efficiency, and reduces appointment times.
BDX’s Envision is the industry’s leading online design center for homebuilders. Envision creates an interactive and dynamic retail experience for home buyers that allows them to browse and save options to their wish list. Builders who have deployed Envision increase option sales by up to 30% and customer satisfaction by 20%.
And Envision doesn’t just deliver after the sale – most Envision builders also use it in pre-sales mode to generate leads from their website. Letting shoppers ideate and visualize their future dream home online is proven to work with lead conversion at 3X other sources.
- Let homebuyers take action online, immediately
In a recent survey, one-third of millennials purchased their new home without ever seeing it. Today’s homebuyer wants the ability to do more than just see pictures or a video of a house. They want to complete the process from start to finish – request a proposal, apply for a mortgage, purchase, or even digitally close. So time to add that “Reserve My Lot” button and start driving shoppers further down the funnel.
- Don’t forget to reach out to agents
As the inventory of used homes continues to decline, real estate agents are looking to the new home market to meet customer needs. Build relationships with real estate agents to leverage their network of prospective homebuyers and expand your community’s brand. What’s the best way to connect? The combination of email and social media is a great way to connect with agents and make sure your homes are top of mind as they’re evaluating options for their buyers. NewHomeSourceProfessional.com is also a must for your communities – this is the leading destination for agents to learn about new homes.
So while many builders were thrust into digital transformation more quickly than they anticipated. Today’s technologies and resources, and experienced partners like BDX make it easy and turnkey to catch up to speed quickly. For more information or a personalized consultation with a Digital Marketing Consultant, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!