How to Stay Top of Mind for Coming-Soon Communities
As more home builders get back on track with production and prepare to release new communities, phases, and homesites, it’s important to make sure online home sales counselors (OSCs) are communicating the right messages to the people who have signed up to receive information about — and sometimes are prepared to give a deposit immediately for — these new homes.
Prospects who may have tried to “wait out the market” may realize that pricing isn’t coming down anytime soon, and are now signing up for VIP lists to have their chance to buy new. There are also those who have been on these lists for the better part of a year, waiting their turn, and may be losing interest or focusing their attention on other, more active, communities and builders. How your OSCs manage these lists could mean the difference between a strong community opening or an immediate sell-out.
Here are some tips and thoughts from g2 Online Home Sales Coach, Alexis Udine, on how to stay top of mind and keep prospects engaged and interested in coming-soon new home communities:
1) Be Consistent
The information your OSCs share should be the same information prospects would receive if they visited a community sales office or model. The OSCs and onsite sales agents are part of the same team, and should operate from one source of information. Many teams develop a script or list of talking points specifically to help OSCs answer initial questions about communities. For quick and easy reference, coming-soon communities should be added to the OSCs’ information binder with talking points about the general area, points of interest, location relative to employers, schools, hospitals, amenities, etc, and specific lot and home information.
2) Qualify Prospective Home Buyers
Even when a community is coming soon, you should still gather as much information as possible about your prospects and qualify them. By asking the five categories of questions to qualify an online lead, your OSCs will be able to help them narrow down their search and guide them to the home or community that works best for them. This not only makes their search easier, but makes them more likely to purchase a home when the time comes.
3) Keep Your CRM Updated
As your OSCs gather information, be sure they populate the CRM system with as many details as possible, including notes about the prospect’s home search. Create segments within your database and be sure to tag each prospect who shows interest in a community. This will help your OSCs prioritize when you launch VIP sales.
Having complete prospect profiles in the CRM will also allow your OSCs to pick up where they left off when conducting long-term follow-up. They’ll be able to tailor their emails and conversation to the reason the prospect is moving or what he is looking for, creating a more personal customer experience and helping your organization stand out among the competition.
4) Be Transparent
Your OSCs should always be prepared with accurate information, or be able to get answers to questions quickly if they don’t know them off the top of their heads. One thing to NEVER do is give out false information. If timelines or floor plans haven’t been finalized yet, let the prospects know and flag them appropriately in the CRM so that the OSCs can reach back out when they have answers.
5) Make VIPs Feel Important
Make sure the “VIP List” lives up to its name! Give prospects on this list special treatment with just-released information, priority incentives, and first chances to reserve a home before you release to the general public or run any ads.
6) Keep Them Engaged
Even when you don’t have community-specific updates to share, keep your buyers engaged and excited with relevant content about the home buying process, home design trends, and the new home lifestyle. Organize the content you’ve published on your blog and include it in an email drip campaign to stay top of mind. By the time you send the “New homes now available!” email, they can already picture themselves living in your community. Content ideas for drip campaigns may include:
- Points of interest around the community
- Things to do in the neighborhood/city/region
- Team member feature
- Builder differentiator (what makes you unique?)
- Invitations to models or open houses in other communities to see first-hand the quality of construction and design selections
7) Plan Ahead
Before you promote your coming-soon communities, spend some time thinking about the categories of prospects who will register, what their needs are, and what type of communication may help them. Build out several sales processes in your CRM along with the corresponding email templates. Have these ready to go when the campaign launches to make sure you don’t skip a beat and your prospects don’t lose interest when it comes to coming-soon communities.
If you need help building out a coming-soon communications plan for your online sales team, read about g2 Online Home Sales Coaching and contact us for more info!