Oftentimes, the difference between confusion and clarity is one person, taking one moment, to offer a simple explanation. In Zillow’s New Construction Consumer Housing Trends Report 2020, we learned that 35% of new construction buyers were uncertain about the process to buy or build a new home. More than a third of home buyers also had concerns about understanding new home pricing, figuring out floor plans and customizations, running over budget, and learning about hidden costs and upgrades too late.
If so many home builder prospects are unsure, overwhelmed, or overly cautious about what we do and how we do it, it’s time to COMMUNICATE. Buying a home is an emotional (and expensive!) undertaking, so the best way to make prospects and buyers feel comfortable and excited to work with (and refer) you is to communicate — often, clearly, and with relevant information. Here are some suggestions for how to do it!
Communicating with Home Buyers
1. Get Personal
A phone call goes a long way — even if it’s just to check in. The home building and buying process is fraught with “what-ifs,” which are sometimes more anxiety-inducing than the process itself. Extending yourself personally (and often) will help to alleviate fears and build trust with your customers. Go a step further and make sure they have the direct contact information for someone in every department should they need it, and set the expectation with your team members that they should respond quickly and professionally at all times.
2. Say It On Video
Video has SO. MANY. USES. when it comes to new home sales and marketing. Explainer videos help to distill complicated processes into easy-to-understand imagery, short-form social video is an effective way to get messages out quickly, and video generally is an ideal medium to market real estate because people like to see homes, so that they can imagine themselves living in them. Remember, too, that a video can just be a team member talking about the next step in the building process, or it can replace a text-based email about a status update. Video can also be live or pre-recorded, depending on the message, urgency, goals, and audience. This is one area to get as creative as you’d like.
3. Drip It Out
Much confusion and frustration can be averted with a simple email drip campaign. Create a set of emails that aligns with the building process, and schedule them to go out automatically through your CRM system. Load them with information, links to resources, contact information, explainer videos, and more to set customers’ expectations and keep them informed throughout the process. Drip campaigns can be used for the mortgage process, building process, post-closing, warranty program, and more. Just be sure to audit drips campaigns on a regular basis to make sure the information going out is accurate.
4. Be a Resource
Blogging is a great way to position your company as an authority in home building and as an expert in your market. Write educational content about the building process, design process, local market conditions, and financing so that your customers will be in-the-know. Feature your blog posts in your regular newsletter and in one-to-one emails, and post and promote them on social media. You’ll quickly become your audience’s go-to resource on all things home building.
5. FAQ Check
Your OSC or sales agents can probably tick off the questions they get asked most often, like “How long does it take to build a home?” “How does a new home construction loan work?” and “What can I customize in my new home?” Be proactive in answering these questions by compiling them into a FAQ document, and publish them as a page on your website that’s linked to the main navigation. This way, you can link to your FAQs from emails, blog posts, and social media posts, and work toward creating a well-informed audience. This saves both you and your customer time during their search process.
You’ll need to evaluate face-to-face meetings on an individual basis, but if everyone is comfortable with it, in-person meetings go a long way toward making someone feel comfortable and confident in your process. This is the way to go to talk through difficult circumstances or decisions, like selections. Be prepared to make yourself available afterward for questions and follow-up.
7. Invest in Tech
Project management software like CoConstruct or Builder Signal, particularly when integrated with a CRM system like Lasso or Hubspot, allows you to have a seamless communication flow. Update customers weekly based on real-time progress, upload and send pictures, and store communication from all parties in one central place for record-keeping and future reference.
By proactively communicating, you give customers all the information they need without them ever having to ask. This makes you, as a company, seem well organized and efficient, and you, as a customer point-of-contact, seem caring and responsive. Effective communication creates a win-win situation, every time.
If you are interested in learning how Group Two can help you create video content, drip campaigns, blog content, or new home OSC sales processes, contact us. We’d love to help!