Build Up is a homebuilder podcast where we interview homebuilders, industry insiders, and experts covering all things branding, marketing, sales, customer experience, and more. A week or so after each episode, we publish the show notes here on our blog. To listen to the episodes right when they're published, subscribe on your favourite listening platform here. To get these show notes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here.
Here are the top takeaways from the episode:
Digitization is not dehumanization
You won't lose the human connection that comes with purchasing a home by using more technology in your sales process. Using digital tools like a solid website, interactive floorplans, and virtual tours will just enhance the process for both your internal sales team and buyers.
In fact, utilizing digital tools can help create warmer leads. Using digital tools and resources will allow your sales managers to use their time more effectively. Not only that but by the time your buyers make contact, whether from local or out-of-market, they're likely already familiar with your product and more qualified to buy.
Thanks to the pandemic and the wonders of technology, people have been introduced to greater self-determination in their lives. The next wave of buyers are growing up in a world that is flexible to their schedule, a trend we see continuing for the future. Customers are going to have a higher expectation for customer service — they are going to want what they want when they want it.
This is especially true for out-of-market buyers. They're trying to negotiate a move while also dealing with a number of other facets that go into an out-of-market move. Factor in extra time and conveniences for them wherever possible.
Plan for, and accommodate, out of market buyers wherever you can
The remote life is here to stay, and what buyers want out of their home is changing to match that lifestyle. People want more space - they want bigger backyards, home offices, and they want their money to go further. They also might want a whole different city to get those things. Plan for this and ensure your website, and sales team, are knowledgeable in the local area as well as the product they're selling.
For example, your buyer might not know how many bugs are in Texas compared to California, so they might want a screened in porch versus an indoor-outdoor living space. Or maybe they're going to experience different natural disasters than they're used to in their current location. Your sales team should be armed with the knowledge to help your buyers make confident choices in their homes.
Yes, it is possible to sell a home through 100% digital efforts
There's a big level of trust that comes with selling a home 100% digitally. Does it sound scary to make a half-million-dollar investment over Zoom? Maybe! But it doesn't have to be if your sales team is armed with the proper technology and support. Your buyers can go paperless and do everything virtually, from walkthroughs to design selections to closing paperwork. Be transparent and build trust with your buyers. Buying a home involves a lot of meetings and decisions; adding more virtual touchpoints can help to reduce errand fatigue in your buyers.
Utilize social to be the first contact instead of a realtor
Being in front of your customers in the digital space is important for a number of reasons beyond just customer experience. Adding channels like Google or Facebook ads into your marketing plan can help you be seen in the online space by out-of-market buyers who might not even know you exist. Those ads can then lead potential buyers back to your website, where they can learn even more about your product. Your sales team can now become the educators rather than the realtor.
Putting the customer first will help build success for your company in the future
Stay true to your values as a company, and put the customer first. Homebuilding is a cyclical industry and even the biggest booms have downturns. Customers and partners will remember the way you behave when things were really busy.
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