In the old economy, prospects shopped by the process of elimination. They would drive around, build their short list and eventually settle on their new neighborhood and home.
In today’s economy, new homebuyers shop by the process of exclusion on the Internet. They build their short list and then visit only the neighborhoods they are seriously considering. In building a list of places of interest, they will have many encounters.
Each time they log on to your website, it’s an encounter. So they could easily have had 10 encounters with your new homes/homesites before you ever get the first opportunity to meet and greet them.
Without understanding that reality, however, prospects will usually say, "I’m not ready to buy today. It’s my first visit to your community."
Your job is to demonstrate that, while this may be their first face-to-face visit, it is actually not their first encounter with the community because they have been to your website and viewed it online.
Super Achiever: "Mr. & Mrs. Prospect, modern research indicates that almost everyone begins the shopping process for a new home on the Internet before visiting model homes. How about you? Did you visit our website?"
Prospect: "Yes, actually, I did."
Super Achiever: "Wonderful! Then I guess you could say you are familiar with us, so this would be like your second visit, right?"
Prospect: "Well, I guess you could say that."
Super Achiever: "Did you see any floor plans or housing designs or homes/homesites you especially liked on our website?"
Prospect: "Yes, I did."
Super Achiever: "Did you use our mortgage calculator?"
Prospect: "Yeah, I played around with it some."
Understand this line of questioning. Today, most people use their computers to begin the process of shopping for a new home. If they have already checked out your website and they are now showing up on your doorstep, then your community has made it to their short list of "homes to go see in person." That’s a good thing because it allows you to close the sale the first time you meet them.
Why? Because, in reality, it may be their first personal visit, but it’s not their first encounter with your new homes or homesites. Their first visit was virtual; the second was actual. They have even admitted that this is their second visit. They were so interested that they selected a floor plan they liked and prequalified themselves with the mortgage calculator on the website. This is a highly qualified prospect.