Continuing with our Takeaways From the Zillow Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019 for New Construction
**You can read Part 1 of our Takeaways from the Zillow report here before continuing on below.
The current New Home Buyer Journey is in a state of flux. Gone are the days of Sales Center dominance. The evolution began with online interactions and the rise of the Online Sales Counselor. Now the flux is due to new technologies which provide innovative and wide-ranging means to meet today’s homebuyer’s needs for on-demand, informative, frictionless service.
When on the internet, buyers want an answer immediately no matter what the hour. Chatbots, speedy-reply OSCs, and “We’ll be right with you” texts leave a great impression. When the prospects are onsite, giving them the option of on-demand touring of your locked spec homes through a service like NterNow, shows you understand how time–strapped they are.
Selecting the right communication channels to inform your buyers about your properties is essential. The report shows interest in 3D tours and virtual (VR) technology is high among Millennials (44%). However, that also indicates 56% of Millennials desire in-person touring. Very few Boomers value VR tours (5%) but highly desire to tour available properties in person. What options do you offer for informative in-person tours? Offering both hands-on property tours led by your sales staff, as well as hands-off buyer self-service tours, raises buyer satisfaction. Chatbots, live chat and chatty OSCs are also strong communication channels!
In addition, the Zillow study says two-thirds of new home buyers purchase in the area they initially considered. If the buyers fail to show interest in the initial community they visit, how do you inform and entice them to visit your other nearby communities? The outdated practice of restricting leads to only the collection community hurts sales and your reputation as a reliable information source. Again, technology like NterNow’s NterMore feature and chat can help create community to community touring.
Offering multiple customer journey pathways is the key to today’s buyer satisfaction. For the buyer who wants to interface with a person, the sales center journey is the answer. However, most homebuyers want to interact with a salesperson only when they are two-thirds of the way thru their decision-making (Forrester Research 2017). Providing “frictionless” options can both increase your lead capture and at the same time provide those customers with an enjoyable, frictionless sales journey.
According to the Zillow research, the average customer journey is a long one.
Millennials spend an average of 4.3 months to DECIDE ON a new construction home to purchase, while Boomers take an average of 6.6 months—over a half a year! Since these buyers wish to invest an average of 3-5 months researching their options without any sales “interference”, what frictionless assistance can you offer until they are ready to interact? Again, allowing them to independently tour your locked spec homes on-demand, interact with 24/7 chatbots/live chat, and converse with helpful OSCs are three ways to insure buyers want to do business with you.
For more information about NterNow, chatbots or an emailed copy of the 2019 Zillow Report, contact Laura@NterNow.com.