It’s no surprise that homebuyers start their search online. The past few months have shown us that they’ll take this journey much further because of current circumstances. The pandemic has limited contact but the desire for a new abode and the incredibly low interest rates are huge motivators to overcome that obstacle. If you haven’t been sprucing up your online presence to whet those new home appetites, get on it now. What are homebuyers looking for online? Here’s what you need to know.
An informative, easy to use website
A builder’s website is the most important marketing tool you have right now. It’s the first place buyers look. They want to see your inventory and get to know you.
- Make it easy to click around your site with smart navigation that makes sense to THEM (not you). Ask your sales team for feedback they receive about your website.
- Avoid pages where the user has to scroll too far, because they’re likely to give up.
- Prompt them with a call-to-action on every page (Contact Us, Get More Info, Click Here).
- Connect them with your lenders for pre-approval.
- Encourage prospective buyers to schedule a virtual or private appointment.
- Present a friendly, personal tone.
Tell these visitors the story about your wonderful homes, the opportunities to improve their lives, and how easy it is to buy a new home from you.
More video and virtual tours
Those homebuilders who already had virtual tours and informative videos on their site before the pandemic experienced the shortest blip on their sales radar. Buyers were able to instantly get a great view of the homes. Drone videos of neighborhoods allow these prospects to take a look at the area and envision themselves coming home to your community.
You can also have your sales professional video a walk-through of a model home, pointing out the special features. This type of personal differential demonstration gives the viewer an immediate connection with your on-site salesperson.
If you haven’t yet invested in creating video and virtual tours, start immediately. And I mean TODAY!
If you go back to a site and keep seeing exactly the same content, is there any point in returning? Imagine a store that isn’t restocking. That’s what your static website presents.
- Change the images on the homepage.
- Refresh the banner with a feature/benefit statement or an incentive.
- Post new blogs and link them to your homepage and social media.
- Add new photos of your homes, interiors, and new items in your design center.
- Change the homebuyer testimonials.
Don’t just randomly assign the task of keeping your site refreshed. This is too important to be overlooked. If you don’t have someone on your team with the skill and availability, there are plenty of professionals who will do it for you.
I can’t stress this enough. Your product is visual, so if your photos aren’t doing justice, then hire an experienced photographer to do the job. Poor lighting or staging, photos that are obviously from stock services, and empty rooms are not going to excite your online visitor.
Get photos of your homes at different times of the day, with a beautiful sunset in the background or natural light filling the interior. Zoom in on details that distinguish your homes, like a walk-in pantry, coffered ceiling, tile surrounds, and crown molding. Every photo contributes to the big picture, so make each one count.
A homebuyer story tells your lead what it’s like to work with you.They will relate more to the experiences of others than a sales message. Insert short blurbs throughout your website with brief buyer testimonials about the experience, and feature some of your homebuyers in your blog. As much as possible, let your past buyers influence the future ones.
Targeted social media
How are you using your social media to improve your online presence? Are you regularly posting photos of your homes on Facebook and Instagram? Does that really tell the whole story? Use your social media platforms to build your story, not just duplicate what’s on your site.
- Post about your community outreach efforts, either as a company or individuals who are out there volunteering.
- Link to homebuyer stories on your website.
- Use attention-getting photos; dogs, kids, and colorful images are great!
- Remind first-time homebuyers about the importance of mortgage pre-approval.
- Offer homebuying advice.
- Highlight your standard features, singling out one per post.
- Survey your followers to get their opinion on styles and options.
Remember the goal of social media is not to sell a home but to generate interest and increase your brand recognition.