Builders can implement technology to help create a strong connection with buyers
By Lisa Meylor
Most people know the tale. In Greek mythology, King Midas could turn anything into gold with one simple touch. As children, this was a superpower we all wanted. As professionals, it’s no different. Businesses try to find their own Midas Touch by offering a service, product or experience so valuable that customers turn into gold.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing nearly every industry, but especially homebuilding, to uncover new ways of creating gold with customers. These industries, which traditionally rely on face-to-face connections, are now forced to get creative amid physical distancing.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing nearly every industry, but especially homebuilding, to uncover new ways of creating gold with customers.
Your technology is hidden treasure
Builders and developers have had access to incredible technology in recent years. Some have installed touchscreen kiosks to give customers an immersive viewing experience of their homes and communities. Others have implemented augmented reality (AR) displays that allow home shoppers to walk through various floor plans and customize features.
Across all age groups, the search for a new home is happening online — particularly at the beginning stages. It’s no longer practical to walk in and out of sales and leasing offices to peruse the options and interact with technologies. Home shoppers are narrowing down their preferences and making prospect lists virtually before considering in-person meetings. If you can translate your physical technologies into an online experience, you have a better chance at capturing the attention and interest of today’s buyers.
Talk to your technology partners. Some of them are already prepared to integrate these technologies online, allowing home shoppers to get a similar touchscreen or augmented reality experience on their own devices at home. With quarantine restrictions and remote work keeping many people homebound, the convenience and necessity of shopping online has become more prevalent than ever before.
There’s no true replacement for the authenticity and natural dynamic that a face-to-face conversation can provide, but it does little good to ignore or be reluctant towards the prevalence of online shopping.
‘X’ marks the spot, but how do customers get there?
Achieving home sales in 2021 and beyond means more than just establishing an online presence. It’s not enough to create a website loaded with pictures of your homes for shoppers to scroll through.
You’re selling more than a home – you’re selling a long-term lifestyle. That means you have to move your entire brand online. Your overall digital footprint has to effortlessly lead shoppers to your website and then enable them to imagine what it would be like to live in one of your homes.
What is your holistic online presence? How are you driving shoppers to your site? Are you running ads? Is your SEO optimized? Are you using social media? Which platforms? Are you aware that nearly 30% of Pinterest users have a six-figure income, and that 88% of Pinterest users purchase something they’ve pinned? The questions to ask yourself in this era of extensive online marketing are endless, but these are the thoughts that can catapult you to a top-performing year if creatively deployed.
Moreover, the information must be up to date. If a shopper lands on your webpage and falls in love with one of your properties, that’s a golden opportunity. ‘X’ marks the spot, and they found it. But if the shopper finds out later that the home has already been sold, it’s like sending them on a treasure hunt only to dig up a sign that says, “wrong place, try again.”
Real-time communications and digital updates are one of the key factors hindering some builders and developers from selling at higher rates. Your website should be programmed to automatically update home availability as well as specific features and benefits. Social media announcements, email newsletters and online advertisements can supplement your website’s real-time updates to reinforce the current offerings and specs. Invest in software that automates the home availability process for you, then make sure your other digital channels reflect those real-time updates.
Your gold is a digital currency!
No matter which way you cut it, gold is valuable. Recent studies show that home shoppers aren’t only searching for homes online – they’re willing to carry out the financial transactions online, too. During this pandemic, apps like Venmo and Cashapp have revolutionized charity donations due to the ease of sending money.
Call it whatever you want, but there’s a gold rush happening. Now the only question is: Are you chasing down the gold yourself? Refine your Midas Touch to create the golden opportunities that millions of homebuyers currently want.
Lisa Meylor is the Marketing Manager for Computer Presentation Systems (CPS, Inc), a Sacramento-area software development company that has provided solutions to new home builders for over 35 years. She may be reached at cpsusa.com