When I started working as an online sales counselor, we though only 70% of people began their search for a new home online.

Back then, in the ancient times of the early 2000’s it was almost as if your website was just a billboard on this new-fangled internet. (do you even know what a billboard is… I mean now they display the current jackpot amounts for Mega Millions and Powerball…) But before we honestly used to use them to market new home communities!! Seriously. I kid you not.

We also really thought most leads came through drive by traffic, and the main source of traffic was usually noted on a paper sign-up form saying “signs”. I know. I know. I’ll stop talking this ridiculousness and get to the point.

Now the truth of the matter is, 100% of people start looking for a home online before they ever get out to a model home. It’s just a fact!!  As an online sales counselor each interaction starts with some kind of an inquiry. Someone is asking for more information about something. They may even be asking about that sign they drove by… because yeah.

Here’s another fun fact: when I started as an OSC we thought following up within 24 hours was FAST… stop laughing. It’s true! Then as I continued in the position we said, oh, make sure to follow up in 4 hours or less. But now… well now we know that with the onslaught of social media and the fact that we have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, a minute or less really needs to be the gold standard for personalized rapport building replies.

The good news is, this makes the OSC’s position more important than ever before, and it only gets more intense and more needed. The bad news is, so many new home builders are adopting the position now, it’s no longer, hey you are ahead of your competition by having an OSC so any old OSC will do. Now they need to be highly trained, highly motivated. And hint hint managers. Highly valued.

In the building industry we used to put tons of money into our model homes because that’s where we believed our customers began their journey. Now. More so than ever before we HAVE to put our money where our website is, and our online sales counselor is the first point of contact on our buyers’ journey. She or he better be fast, and they better be good, because it sets the tone for the rest of your buyers’ interaction.