Saturday, February 28, 2015

Convert More Prospects to Modular Home Purchasers

Four Winning Strategies for an Automated Marketing Campaign

By Charles Bevier, Bevier Creative

You’ve invested in a draw-droppingly gorgeous new website. Visitors are captivated with your story and they’re filling out a friendly “Tell Me More” contact form on your site. Think of that email arriving in your inbox as the starter pistol in a race. Bang! The race is on!

Meet Today’s Home Buyer 

Call it a reflection of the age of the selfie, but from the buyer’s perspective it’s all about them. Today’s new home buyers are super busy, super connected, and savvy about real estate, thanks to all those home improvement shows.

Downside? They have the attention span of a two-year-old. They don’t return calls and they ignore traditional sales pitches.

Plus, they send mixed messages. They view phone calls as an interruption and they distrust sales people. But they have money to spend and they want a new dream home with a cool design. They aren’t loyal to a specific brand, but they crave a relationship with someone they trust. They don’t respond to your follow up, yet they expect an immediate response from you, no matter what time of day or night they ask a question.

Can you win over these fickle buyers? You can, provided you invest in a smart automated marketing campaign.

Follow Up Disconnect

Recently a company that offers a CRM software (customer relationship management) for home builders mystery shopped 425 new home communities. Here’s what happened:

  • 53% of home builders did not follow-up with the prospect—at all 
  • 23% followed up in 72 hours 
  • 18% followed up in 24 hours 

Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors Strategy #1

Respond quickly. As in seconds, with an automated response using a CRM, a simple “thanks for reaching out to us, we will be in touch shortly.” Then within the hour, respond with a personalized email. Thank them again for reaching out to you, provide links back to home designs or floor plans, ask if they have any specific questions you can answer for them?

If they’ve provided a phone number, call them within the hour. The right tone here is crucial. You do not want to come off as pushy. Be friendly. Let them do most of the talking. Try to qualify them by discovering what stage of life they are in (first time, move up, retiree), do they have land, how soon would they like to build, do they have a design they like, have they obtained financing? Keep it light and brief, take notes, ask for their mailing address to send brochures and ask if it’s OK to keep sending them information via email.

Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors Strategy #2

The race has only just begun. All leads are fed into your CRM and your automated drip campaign. (What CRM is best? There’s a boat load of them out there. But it comes down to whatever one you use.)

I have built a number of websites in conjunction with automated marketing campaigns. Here’s an automated drip campaign schedule that’s worked for other builders/manufacturers.

  • Day 1: Immediate response, with automated response, personalized email and phone call 
  • Day 2 : Email 
  • Day 3: Call 
  • Day 7: Email 
  • Day 14: Email/Call 
  • Day 21: Email 
  • Day 28: Email 

Keep them in monthly email newsletter, until they opt out

Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors Strategy #3

Too many builders/manufacturers have email campaigns that are passive and boring. “We just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing blah, blah, blah.” Stop checking in, please. That’s no way to win them over. Instead offer knowledge that they will value.

You are a home builder, which means you solve problems. Show examples of your solutions. Give them tips on how get their finances in order, how to find land, how to save money when buying and building. Put your knowledge on display. The more knowledge you share, the more trust you will earn.

Set Yourself Apart From Your Competitors Strategy #4

Add a Chat Live capability to your website. This can be a purchased service (24-7!) or it can be a service you or your employees can provide during business hours. And while you’re probably rolling your eyes, thinking that’s all you need is to have to answer chats all day. But the reality is it will likely be less than 30 chat requests a month—a couple of minutes each day. Plus, it’s a great way to interact with visitors to your site in real time; helps build trust and will set you dramatically apart from your competition.

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