Why Your Home Buyers Aren't Converting

Let’s face it: home builder marketers put in a lot of work to build, launch and maintain their website. In an increasingly competitive digital space, it can be difficult to create an online experience that captures the attention of your buyers, and beyond that- gets them to engage and convert.

Many websites only have a conversion rate ranging from 0.1 to 0.2%, which means that it takes 1000 visitors to get one customer-- or at the very least a lead. That leaves 999 website visitors who didn’t convert. When trying to understand the customer journey, marketers often focus on the path of the few buyers that did convert, but in reality, there is so much more to learn from those who didn’t. In this week’s blog, we are diving into everything you need to learn from the customers who didn’t convert and what you can do to ensure you capture their attention, and contact information, next time.

SO, THEY DIDN’T CONVERT… WHY?

To say purchasing a home is a significant milestone would be a serious understatement. So, it’s safe to assume that the consideration stage of the home buying journey is quite long compared to the purchase decision for a new pair of jeans. Home builders need to understand the research phase of a home buyers’ journey is quite lengthy and involves visiting countless other builders' websites, and even exploring resale options. Although it may appear that you “lost” a conversion, it may not be lost at all. It very well could be a future conversion from a customer who just hasn’t finished researching their options and are still in the awareness or consideration stage of their buying journey.

Also, if the only point of conversion on your website is a contact form, that means the only opportunity for conversion is extremely late in the buying journey. So, you may be losing out on a lot of potential leads by asking for too much, too soon. By asking a potential lead to fill out an entire contact form is merely filling the bottom of your marketing funnel. Many home buyers are searching online for weeks or even months, and only reach out to a few select home builders to get estimates or request pricing information. To combat this, builders need to create points of engagement much earlier in the buying journey. A great way to do that is through the creation of premium downloads like eBooks or checklists; ultimately offering a conversion point for people at the beginning of their buying journey. At that point, you can begin nurturing them through your marketing initiatives by offering value and content that’s important to them.

EASY WAYS TO TURN TRAFFIC INTO ENGAGEMENT

Many home builders are seeing great traffic on their website already, but the question remains- how do we get more customers with the traffic you already have? The key to turning traffic into engagement is by making it as frictionless as possible. Here are a few tips to make conversion easy and inviting for your website visitors by simply adjusting some of the tactics you already have in place. As we mentioned above, contact forms can often be a large ask for home buyers that are still in the early phases of the buying journey- especially if the online form has way too many required fields. One of the fastest conversion killers is having a form be too long. So, where you can remove some of those fields, you should!

Another tip- remove any distractions. The online space is already flooded with options, buyers don’t need to be pulled in more than one direction when they arrive on your website! Your page should be clear, concise, and easy to navigate. So, if it's’ not essential- remove it. Keep it simple. You want your home buyers to focus on your offering, and nothing else. One of the keys to simple navigation is clear, concise, and intriguing CTAs. Arguably one of the most important components of a conversion point is the few words you have to entice a customer to click that button. By strengthening the copy of your CTAs and testing different versions of that copy to determine which one gets the most clicks, you’ll be able to improve the CTA and the increase in conversions will follow.

THE TOP 3 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR CONVERSION RATE

Now, we’ve gotten to the good stuff. We are going to share some of the top technological tools and strategies that will exponentially increase the conversion rate of your website. As technology leaders in the home building space, we want to unlock the potential for builders everywhere to make revolutionary technology--accessible. So, let’s dive in!

1. PERSONALIZED WEBSITE EXPERIENCE

The way we as consumers shop has changed drastically in the last few years, and our expectations are at an all-time high. Consumers are increasingly seeking out personalized experiences in the digital space. By leveraging AI technology, businesses are equipped to unlock the power of personalization technology in a scalable way.

The OpenHouse.ai Builder Intelligence Platform is built specifically for home builders who want more conversions on their website while delivering each of their customers a premium, personalized shopping experience. 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 floor plans and communities that are personalized to each individual, accelerating the entire sales cycle. I mean, wouldn’t you want to see the homes most relevant to you, quicker? Well so do your home buyers.

2. IMPLEMENTING AN ONLINE SALES COUNSELLOR

With so many options online, and countless questions circling a home buyer’s head, getting them to convert online is far from easy. Buyers will have lingering doubts that stop them from taking that initial step to fill out a form. Live chats, specifically in the form of an online sales counselor are the perfect tool to help address any questions or concerns that arise.

Implementing this technology and designating a staff member to be your team’s OSC is now considered standard in the industry. 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. So, to deliver the most qualified leads and increase appointments for the new home sales team, you need to leverage an OSC. As customer’s expectations continue to rise, using an OSC is the ultimate way to foster a positive website experience by building trust from the very beginning, to ultimately increase the likelihood of online conversion rates.  

3. TIMELY CTAS

Timing is everything- especially when nurturing an online lead and hoping for a conversion. It’s safe to say a universal experience all consumers have shared is the annoyance of being asked to provide some contact information or fill out a form too early, and as a result, you bounce off the site. That’s why, we think the third way to boost conversion is through timely CTAs, facilitated through AI technology. By leveraging data and behavioral science to understand a buyer’s journey as they navigate through a home builder’s website, the AI technology understands the motivations of the home buyer and provides a CTA only when the buyer is ready.

This technology takes things one step further beyond offering a CTA that is set on a predetermined timer. Although that’s a step in the right direction, predetermined timers aren’t able to offer a personalized experience. By using scalable technology like the OpenHouse.ai platform, each home buyer will be nurtured down their unique path to purchase and asked to convert when their behavior indicates they are ready to take that next step.

SUMMARY

Home builders face the challenge of a complicated buying cycle. Compared to other e-commerce websites where the likelihood of conversion or purchase happening within the same online visit is much more likely- home builders have very different conversion metrics. Because conversion is so unlikely upon the first visit, we know there is a lot to learn from those who didn’t convert. As we discussed in this post, although it may appear as a lost conversion, it may just be a future customer! Of course, not everyone is going to convert the first time around, but we wanted to highlight the importance of conversion optimization and a few tips and tricks you can implement on your website.

From tweaks to existing practices, to new technologies to implement- the options for creating a superior digital shopping experience for your customers are numerous. With OpenHouse.ai, we make conversion optimization even easier. Our catalog personalization platform offers buyers a shopping experience that is all their own, naturally guiding them down their unique path to purchase, and offering a conversion point, only when they’re ready.

A home builder’s online presence has become the center of how business relationships are nurtured or lost, and builders must create a website experience that prioritizes the customer experience, across every touchpoint of the buying journey. Now is the time for home builders to take a step back, understand the buying journey for their customers, and how to best serve the needs of each buyer to boost those conversions.

- The OpenHouse.ai Team

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