Friday, May 31, 2019

7 Marketing Strategies Modular Home Builders Need to Know Right Now

If you want to get people to buy a new home from you, you need to understand how people make purchasing decisions.

New home purchases usually start with a Google search. Most people do online research and compare different builders in their area. What happens after can make or break your business.

Here are 7 things you should know about your prospective new home buyer’s purchasing decisions:

1. Peer Reviews Matter

Nearly 90 percent of new home buyers said they look for online reviews prior to beginning their house hunting.

Start gathering reviews on your site. Ask your past customers to give you one or two sentences that can be added to your website. Ask their permission if you can use their names otherwise either use their initials.

Don’t delete the negative reviews some may send you – they actually help sales if there are only a few of them. If there’s tons of negative reviews about your business on the Internet, most people are naturally turned off and look elsewhere. That is one hard thing to overcome.

2. Buyers Gather Information From Many Sources

Even though social media and internet rule, customers make purchase decisions using a combination of old media, new media, and old-fashioned conversations with friends and family, especially when it comes to building a new home.

59% of people consult friends and family for purchasing decisions. They want reassured that they are not alone in making the decision. Asking people around us for recommendations is still commonplace. This means the experience you provided your past customers matters a great deal.

3. People Don’t Often Know Why They Prefer One Product or Service Over Another There’s a famous study about jam tasting. Scientists once asked a big sample of
consumers to rank jams on taste, ordering them from top to bottom.
Then the scientists re-did the study with a different, but still statistically representative, group except this time they asked the sample to put the jams in order of taste and write down why. The result when they did that was that the order literally flipped, so the ones that the first group ranked as best tasting were judged to be the worst by the second group and vice versa.

The reason was that they were asking the conscious brain to suddenly get involved in something that it really doesn’t know, and suddenly there are all these sort of social pressures, e.g. what they “should” choose, leading the answers away from what the people actually liked.

People make instant decisions with their subconscious. When they have to explain the choice, the choice might change all together since the rational mind is then involved.

Takeaway: don’t trust people when they explain why they bought something or didn’t. They might not know themselves.

This is one of the missing pieces in the modular home sales process. When asked what they think of modular housing, the customer’s immediate response is negative based on what their subconscious is telling them. If you could see what is happening in there you would probably see double wide trailers being blown off their foundations in a tornado.

Now ask them to describe their thoughts about modular and you will find that what they don’t know could fill volumes.

4. Cognitive Fluency

Cognitive fluency is the human tendency to prefer things that are familiar and easy to understand. For home builders this means that the easier to understand what modular construction is, the more likely people are to buy it.

Suggestion: make your new home selections and pricing as easy to understand as possible.

Cognitive fluency also explains why you stick with brand and service providers you have used before, why you often order the same thing from the menu – it’s easy. You’ve tried it, it worked, and you don’t want to spend a bunch of time researching alternatives and risking a bad purchase.

I recently found a new restaurant that served a breakfast dish I hadn’t eaten in years. I ordered it, loved it and now I won’t try anything else on their menu. I’m simply afraid I won’t like the other food like I do my favorite.

As a modular home builder, this means it’s super important to make a great first impression. Show your homes are packed with value. Price only sells in mass produced consumer products, not new homes.

Once they have their first positive experience with you, it’s much easier to move toward building their home.

5. Hard to Read, Hard to Buy.

Make your website easy to read. When people read something in a difficult-to-read font, they transfer that sense of difficulty onto the topic they’re reading about.

The same goes for buying new modular homes. Easy to read fonts on your website will double the number of people willing to click on your contact info and seek more information and maybe even an appointment.

Bottom line: make everything as simple as possible.

6. Does Social Media Have an Impact on Purchasing Decisions?

A study from a couple of years ago found that consumers are 67% more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, and 51% more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Facebook.

Social media does impact home buying decisions, but it’s a slow relationship building process and just shouting “buy this” works on a very small number of people especially if you have few ‘likes’ and most of them are your friends and relatives.

The purpose of social media is to get the home buyer to visit your website. It is not to give opinions on social matters. Create a Facebook page strictly for your business.

Over the past year I’ve noticed a lot more modular factories and builders are using Facebook to reach out to prospective new home buyers. Beautiful finished modular homes with nice interior photos are everywhere. And the comments are great and numerous.

7. It’s the Subconscious that Drives Buying Decisions

For the last 50 or 60 years, market research as an industry has relied on an understanding that people make decisions based on rational conscious thought processes. What the science tells us now is turning that fundamental belief on its head – most decision making happens at the non-conscious level.

We have a tendency to focus on facts and numbers, but in many cases it’s the subliminal that makes people decide one way or the other.

People are complex and we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what they really want. Sometimes we make buying decisions even when we aren’t paying attention to the products.

The more you can get a home buyer to move from their subconscious to their conscious level, the better chance you have of helping them decide that you and modular housing is the best way to go.

Gary Fleisher (the Modcoach) is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker.

1 comment:

Bill Hart said...

Gary! The more I read of you, query in general thereof.. the more Im impressed with your grasp of complex problem solving and extremely thorough thought Coach, why arn't both you..and I rich? Bill