We were just about finished with a record-breaking quarter for new home sales—riding high in Q1 and feeling powerful. Then, with Q2 in our sights, the world stopped. People were ordered to stay home and away from others, creating “social distancing” as the new standard. Many businesses were deemed “non-essential” by the government and ordered to shut down.
In most states, residential construction falls under “essential business”, so this is not a stoppage. It’s a shift in how we do business. And shift happens. The real issue here is, what are you going to do about it?
You can panic, which somehow triggered a demand for toilet paper. Panic only causes reaction, usually not well thought through. You can’t afford to simply react. You need a strategy.
Instead of hunkering down and waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass, you should hunker forward. We haven’t stopped doing business. We just need to change the process for doing so. Buyers who were venturing along the path to homeownership are still headed in that direction. If you don’t navigate their journey, you’re creating an opportunity for a savvier builder to grab your buyer.
Evaluate what you have in place. How can you connect with your buyers?
- Virtual tours. Show prospective buyers your homes via Matterport or 3-D renderings to give them an inside look.
- Video walk-throughs. Using FaceTime with your buyer, walk through a home and present a differential demonstration.
- Instant access. NterNow enables your buyers to have on-demand access to your model. After they provide the necessary information, they receive a code that is valid for the length of the visit. You sanitize before and after each visit. You can even call the buyer who is touring the home and do your presentation from your own location.
With platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, and even Facebook Messenger, you can engage with your buyer at their convenience. Make it as easy as possible for them to buy a home during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of the constraints we’re currently navigating. With DocuSign, the paperwork can be handled remotely, and you can even arrange for a private appointment for the closing.
Today’s consumers have become adept at maneuvering technology to get what they want. They’re attending school or working remotely with the help of online resources. They’re getting their groceries and essentials without stepping foot into a store—and doing it quite adeptly from their phones.
The reality is that once the health threat is contained, we will not return to the life we had before. People are adapting as needed. We’re evolving. Are you going to be moving ahead or staying behind?
Well, shift happens.