The housing market continues to ebb and flow, but we’ve seen a time in most markets where each builder finds themselves in a similar situation. With sitting inventory, under-appraising homes, a rise in cancellations, and a force of hand to offer incentives left and right. It’s exhausting as a builder. As a buyer, it can be even more overwhelming to navigate market volatility.
Today’s homebuyers are hungry. They’re craving information and lack confidence.
When they do finally purchase, buyers are looking for confirmation and affirmation that – with a choice between resale and new construction – new was the BEST CHOICE. Of all the builders to choose from, they chose the BEST BUILDER. Among all of the available new construction homes, they chose the BEST HOME. Furthermore, they got the BEST PRICE on that available home. At the BEST POSSIBLE RATE.
They want to be assured that in every step of their individual buying journey, they’re making smart decisions. And whether we realize it or not, as emotional marketers it’s our job to provide that reassurance.
The Power of Affirmation
When is the last time you walked into your favorite clothing store and, as you were being rung up, you had a moment of hesitation? Did I choose the right color? Did I miss something better? Will this work with the skinny jeans I’m thinking of? Are skinny jeans still a thing? Am I too old for this?
Then, suddenly the woman behind the register stops your train of thought in its tracks.
“Oh, I love this color! It will look stunning with your complexion. It will make your blue eyes really pop. I just bought it in another color and wear mine all the time.”
Sold. This sweater was a great choice! In fact, I should really go find earrings to match too.
Having worked retail in another life, I can attest first-hand that it’s no coincidence those compliments fly over the counter. It’s engrained in corporate training. And while the sentiment may or may not be authentic, a really great salesperson, whether they’re selling a sweater or a home, knows the power of affirmation.
The most effective words of affirmation are both positive and personal. It’s easy to see how a salesperson can verbally give positive affirmations after a sale. But how can we take it a step further into our marketing and provide the reassurance today’s homebuyer is craving from where we sit, in most cases behind a screen?
Positive & Personal Affirmations Create Brand Champions
The goal of positive affirmation in this case is to make your buyer feel confident in their purchasing decision. Consider content that can be personalized and tailored to every homebuyer after purchase too. Creating personalized marketing is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. It’s something that buyers expect when they’re ordering a cup of coffee for $7, and it’s certainly something that we as marketers should be more than willing to give for a product that costs $700,000.
This feeling of positive affirmation can start with the tap of a camera at contract signing – capturing happy homeowners on the day they sign, championing your brand in a new hat or with fun props and signage. Sharing that content on social is a win-win for you with expanded reach, and for the homebuyer to savor this milestone moment.
What next? You already know which floorplan they chose, so provide them with interior design ideas or furniture layout recommendations specific to their home perhaps. Dining recommendations and gift cards to their soon-to-be local spots. Building in a master-planned community? Get the homeowner involved in upcoming events even prior to move-in.
Creating content “after contract” – about what they’ll love about the community, floorplan, or even the level of finish detail they’re getting – is not for nothing. Remind your buyers that their new maintenance-free home will give them more time with the family. Or how wonderful it will be to sip a glass of wine on the covered porch each night when their home is finally ready for move-in in a few short weeks. These can be done through marketing emails, postcards, gifts, and even digital ads.
Be clear on the steps of your process, from contract to close. Assure them when their home is on schedule, and be transparent when it’s not. Give them opportunities to create more positive emotional moments during that in-between period. Allow them to write quotes on their framing during a walk-thru, plant a tree with the kids out back, or surprise them with some extra design credits during selections.
Let’s also be clear that the price tag is all relative. You’re not just buying a $7 cup of coffee, a $70 sweater, or a $700,000 home. Bundled in that price is the experience buyers are paying for.
Aside from the obvious looming issue of fall-out rate increases due to uncertainty in the short term, promoting your brand after purchase and offering positive affirmation is something that will set you up for success in the long term. Don’t be afraid to get creative, too. This is a time to share in the emotional excitement for your homebuyers, and assure them that they made the BEST DECISION by choosing you, your homes, and your prices. Create a positive experience after contract, and you’ll create life-long brand champions.
Written By: Alexandra Quedenfeld