Book More Sales Appointments Online
Consumers continue to flock online for all of their retail needs, so why not when shopping for a home? The digital transformation of the home building industry is well underway as the vast majority of home buyers are beginning the home buying process online. As customers explore resale homes, browse home designs and research different home builders, all businesses within the real estate industry need to elevate their presence online. For home builders, in particular, a superior website will facilitate more online conversions, arguably the most important being – booking sales appointments. As 90% of customers prefer to book online, home builders need to utilize all the tools available to ensure more leads are following through and continuing along the buyer journey.
At OpenHouse.ai, we are passionate about creating an optimized path to purchase for each home buyer. Customized for home builders, OpenHouse.ai is bringing a revolutionary digital shopping experience to home buying, ultimately accelerating the sales cycle by 12.5%. Our platform is just one of the many tools available to optimize the buying journey online and facilitate more online conversions, allowing you to sell more homes, faster. In this week’s blog, we are going to dive into more strategies and tactics to maximize the number of sales appointments booked on your website. Let’s get into it!
BE ACCESSIBLE ACROSS ALL CHANNELS
Accessibility is everything! In the age of the customer, builders must accommodate each individual and how they prefer to communicate; this means being available across all channels such as email, telephone or website forms. Providing an email link from your website is one of the simplest ways for prospects to schedule an appointment with a home builder’s sales agents. But it is critical to ensure that someone is available at all times to respond to each of those inquiries! The longer prospects wait, the likelihood of losing that sales appointment increases exponentially. You would never want to be beaten out by another builder simply because they managed to respond first!
Customized website forms offer buyers the ability to request an appointment with a sales office directly from the builder’s website. The creation of a simple and accessible form to fill out removes the friction of having to reach out to a salesperson in a more formal or time-consuming way such as an email or phone call. Beyond that, builders have leveraged software that links to the sales agent’s calendar for real-time appointment setting! This also accelerates the sales process by allowing prospects to book meetings at a time that works for both parties and saves time by eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth emails. More prospects will be booking more sales appointments because it is just that easy! Although the majority of millennial homebuyers would rather book online, some home buyers prefer to pick up the phone and call to set an appointment. Builders that don’t show a phone number throughout their website are missing huge opportunities for sales appointments, especially for mobile users! The integration of these different communication channels online will make booking sales appointments that much easier, leading to a higher number of appointments booked. The key is ease, simplicity and accessibility to ensure leads are ready to convert.
USE HIGH QUALITY CONTENT TO CONVERT
At our core, people are visual creatures. So, the ultimate way to guide prospects down the funnel towards booking a sales appointment is through dynamic content that best showcases your portfolio. The most affordable way to do so is through photo galleries. Although this tactic is simple, it is effective. High-quality images are excellent sales content with a high degree of influence over home buying decisions. However, an elevated form of this content is virtual tours of a home. Companies like Matterport allow users to virtually walk through a home, seamlessly navigate from room to room and see every nook and cranny. Virtual tours allow home buyers to immerse themselves in their new home and start building that emotional connection and a sense of ownership with their future home much earlier. Another tactic to provide high-quality content is by leveraging interactive floor plans. This technology gives users the ability to interact with a design, select options, configurations, lighting, furniture and more.
By providing high-quality content, home buyers can better determine if this home is the right fit for them. As modern home buyers have loads of information at their fingertips, home builders need to offer detailed and accurate information on their website to facilitate the decision-making process rather than hinder it. The access to high-quality image galleries, virtual tours and interactive floor plans empower home buyers to feel in control of their research and will increase their likelihood of wanting to learn more and follow through to booking a sales appointment.
INVEST IN AN ONLINE SALES COUNSELOR
This role has recently been a hot button topic; whether you know them as Online Sales Counselor, Online Concierge, New Home Specialist, or Internet Sales Specialist, they all hold the same basic function. An Online Sales Counselor (OSC) is a person that helps builders bridge the gap between website traffic and on-location sales center traffic. This individual holds the responsibility of reaching out to inbound leads and nurturing them to become onsite appointments when the lead is handed off to a salesperson. Now more than ever before, leads must be nurtured in the digital space. COVID-19 has made a home builder’s website the optimal, and oftentimes the only place buyers interact with your brand. As customer’s expectations continue to rise, leveraging an OSC is the ultimate way to foster a positive website experience by building trust from the very beginning and qualifying leads before they even enter your sales center.
To deliver the most qualified leads and increase appointments for the new home sales team, you need to leverage an OSC. Beyond simply having someone fill this role, the OSC must be a trusted guide for each home buyer they interact with. This means a shift in perspective; from an appointment centric approach to customer-centric. Yes, the goal is still booking an appointment that ends in a sale, as per the topic of this blog post, but the route in which you get there is by putting the customer’s needs first.
OFFER A PERSONALIZED WEBSITE EXPERIENCE
Every home buyer has unique needs and preferences; so, their digital shopping experience should also be individualized to best fit their specific needs. Website personalization is the practice of building a customized website experience for each visitor that comes to your page. Rather than displaying a single, one size fits all experience, a personalized website displays a unique view based on a visitor’s characteristics. When home buyers view content they deem valuable, bounce rates are lower and visitors are more likely to engage with your site- resulting in more sales appointments booked!
By using artificial intelligence, the OpenHouse.ai platform delivers a personalized website experience for each home buyer. When shoppers are browsing online for their new home, it feels as though a member of your team is there with them, every step of the way. This platform recommends floorplans and communities that are personalized to each individual, accelerating the entire sales cycle. The time is now for home builders to optimize their online presence by creating meaningful connections with each visitor, to ultimately convert more leads and boost online bookings for sales appointments.
This shift to a customer-centric business is the key to booking more sales appointments. By keeping the needs of the customer top of mind, there is a much greater likelihood of a home buyer making a connection with your brand, your floor plan or with your trusted OSC. So, by ensuring customers are well informed and nurtured in the online space, you will maximize the number of sales appointments booked on your website. As consumer expectations continue to climb, homebuilders must rise to the challenge to ensure each home buyer is a priority. At OpenHouse.ai, we understand this is no easy feat, but we are passionate about optimizing the home buying journey, while also empowering businesses in the real estate industry to use all the technological tools available to create more home buying success stories.
- The OpenHouse.ai Team