Then why lock up YOUR product, forcing customers to peer in the windows or ask an agent to escort them thru your spec homes? Here’s why this customer journey is flawed and why offering alternative customer journeys with technology-driven do-it-yourself strategies will help you create happy buyers and can sell more houses.
Offering Buyers to Peering in Windows?
More than 77% of internet shoppers independently drive by the homes which they are most interested in according to NAR. These “drive-buyers” are often early in their home shopping. While in this research phase they wish to explore product but avoid any sales friction—that is, anyone who smacks of sales. Thru do-it-yourself touring technology, these customers gain what they want — to learn more about the home beyond the exterior shell or what they could see thru the dining room window.
Sales Associates Have to Escort Homebuyers thru Your Locked Homes?
What message are you signaling to prospects? Besides being demeaning, the “we don’t trust you” message is loud and clear. Trust is a two-way street. Destroy trust and the buyer’s response will be to find a Realtor to represent them. Trust-building calls for giving customers DIY options and tools where they can play with options, dream about a new home and start making initial decisions.
Buyers have to Walk Thru the Sales Center?
This is the very worst strategy possible in your current customer journey. Routing customers thru a sales center in order for them to tour your models is worse than forcing a Mom thru the gift shop when leaving the zoo with three tired kids in tow. It’s instant resentment. For your homebuyers who are in the research phase, they see the trap and drive-thru the community with no engagement at all. Marketing dollars down the drain.
***Re-imagine Your Customer Journey***
Why not add second or third buying journey options to create happier customers? Create one that you yourself would enjoy being on!
Here are some new customer journeys you can provide–
1) Invite customers to explore virtual houses and floor plans onsite. By downloading a VR/AR app, they can see the plans that could be sited on the lot on which they’re standing. They could virtually “walk in” to the home, tour the kitchen and look out the virtual windows to see the view they’ll enjoy each morning. Have a DESIGN NOW button which brings them into the sales center or activates ENVISION which provides online options they have in fitting out that home. BDX can do this for you! (www.thebdx.com)
2) Invite customers to independently tour locked spec homes. Upon seeing the signs in front of your spec homes which say “Tour This Home Now”, Buyers only have to call or use the NterNow app to independently tour your locked specs. Once their ID is verified, they are given a one-time use code to unlock the front door of each spec and tour on their own, at their pace. All their identification information is downloaded to the sales associate who can reach out with resources. NterNow can do this for you! (www.nternow.com)
3) Invite customers to buy directly from your website. If you have a tight inventory market, a dynamite millennial product, investors who are buying new rental homes or lots of international buyers in your market, why not make it simple? Add a BUY NOW button to your website! Redfin, a West Coast real estate firm, revealed that 41% of their last year’s buyers said they had made at least one offer sight unseen! Your website designer can do this for you!