In the 2nd Annual Homebuyer Mystery Shop Blue Gypsy, Inc. got together with Melinda Brody & Company and Denim Marketing to shop 50 new home builders across the country. We looked at national, regional, and local builders and spent 30 days tracking the follow-up a customer would receive if they submitted an inquiry with their name, phone number, and a question. As usual, we looked at speed of follow-up, frequency, and diversity of touch points.
Our first surprising discovery from this year’s shops was the percentage of builders WITHOUT OSCs. In 2021, 40% of builder still did not have a dedicated individual managing their influx of leads. Only a 2% improvement from last year. The pandemic definitely uncovered the need for an online sales nurturing program, yet the numbers do not show a drastic rise in online sales adaptation. We would have expected to see a higher numbers OSCs dedicated to creating a positive impact on the buyer’s journey.
Our next discovery based on our findings was that follow-up is down and might not be THAT important to builders.
Only 8% of builders emailed within 5 minutes or less of the initial contact (100% of those were OSCs). 16% of builders who made these initial calls NEVER attempted another call; 26% of builders never used any channel for follow-up. And the most startling, ZERO builders called the prospect within 30 minutes or less.
Year over year from 2020 to 2021, marketing emails were down by 32%, personalized emails were down by 10%, and builders who didn’t send a single email was up by 4%. It was incredible to see that 65% of builders without OSC never sent a single email up from 43% in 2020.
What is causing this rise in OSC yet fall in follow-up? Could it be burnout, overwork or overloading of the system, lack of guidance in dealing with supply chain issues, shortages of inventory? This is why coaching, and training is so important when setting up and maintaining an online sales program for success. What we are doing now can affect the builder’s reputation later.
It’s important to remember why we do what we do for digital leads. People who inquire online are doing their research. They want a response, and they want it quickly. How you respond is going to set the tone for the entire buyer’s journey with or without your company.
When we look at national data from a study performed by Convolo (formerly Lead Connect), we know that there is a whopping 391% increase in sales conversions by responding within 1 minute! We are also told that 78% of consumers purchase from the FIRST company to respond. Lastly, it takes 8-12 touchpoints to make that appointment. Based on our study, one shopper waited 21 days to receive an initial email from the builder. Another shopper waited 26 days for an initial phone call.
Some other areas to consider when thinking of follow-up is the use of diverse touchpoints, video emailing, autoresponders, and texting. Based on our study, 10% of builder sent one video email during; only 14% of builders sent one text message during the shop. In a society where we are constantly on our phones, it seems obvious that the best way to communicate with potential customers would be through text message and/or video emailing. However, based on the above numbers, builders are not utilizing these means to their fullest capacity.
The stats listed above are just a few of the many findings we gathered during this 30-day mystery shop. Want to see the full report? You can download it here. You can also access the full report by filling out the form below.
Lastly, if you’d like to discuss the possibilities of shopping your own team, just reach out! Blue Gypsy Inc. is happy to offer a free 30-minute consultation to talk with you more about your follow-up and your online sales programs.