Spring into Success: A Comprehensive Guide to Improving Profitability in Online Sales Programs for New Home Builders – Part 1

In the competitive world of real estate, having a strong online sales program is not just an option, it’s a necessity. With the rise of digitalization and changing consumer behaviors, home builders need to adapt their marketing strategies to stay ahead of the game.

Online sales programs are not just the online sales counselors behind the computer or the phone, it’s a systematic approach to creating a great customer experience and giving buyers the information, they need in order to engage buyers where they begin their search. Online. By implementing a robust digital sales strategy, home builders can effectively target their audience, generate leads, and drive conversions.

Here are some of the foundational areas that need attention when setting up your digital marketing to drive conversions.

1. Website Optimization: You’ve heard it before. Your website is your online model home. A builder’s website should be user-friendly, visually appealing, and optimized for search engines to ensure maximum visibility and engagement with potential buyers. We do website audits all the time, and builders are constantly surprised to see where people get hung up on their website and can’t find the vital information they need and want in order to make a decision. Not only does a website need to be optimized for search spiders, (And soon for AI) it needs to speak to your buyers and give them what they want in as few clicks as possible.

2. Conversion Rate Optimization: Home buyers found your website, now what? Which pages are getting the most traffic? Which parts of your website are getting the most clicks? How long are users staying on your website to play, and where to they “abandon ship?” By analyzing user behavior, optimizing website performance, and creating compelling calls-to-action, real estate professionals can enhance the chances of converting prospects into customers.

3. Visualization Tools: Buyers are shopping online and eliminating before they ever walk through a model door. It’s important to give prospects visualization tools. This can be anything from interactive floor plans, virtual tours, room planning tools, elevation and colorization tools and so much more. By offering potential buyers a realistic and immersive way to explore properties from the comfort of their own homes, builders can provide an interactive experience that sets them apart from the competition and moves them up the list for potential buyers. The bonus is also more ways to engage buyers and turn them from “lookers” into leads.

4. Lead Generation: We need actual inquiries to drive sales. Obvious, I know, but recently while judging marketing efforts in one of the many local awards programs across the country, I saw marketers quoting their impressions, clicks, and sessions – but none of them talked about their conversion to leads, and from lead to sales. Sessions and clicks are great, but the most important targets to track are lead form fills. Implementing strategies such as targeted advertising and engaging content can help builders attract qualified leads who are interested in their properties. Without calls to action – “Save you’re your favorite floor plans”, “download our look book”, “Ask our OSC a quick question,” “Sign up for a VIP appointment” – we won’t turn those impressions, sessions, and visitors into actual leads. When integrating calls to action into an entire marketing strategy, clicks will turn into inquiries.

5. CRM Integration: At this point, we’ve optimized the website, optimized our conversion rate, given our buyer the tools and toys they are looking for, and generated leads. Now where are we going to put them? Integrating a robust customer relationship management software is a must have from the operation standpoint of any successful home builder. When we have a lead repository, we can effectively track leads, channels, and engagement. Without a CRM we cannot effectively manage customer interactions, track progress, and conversions. This is a companywide tool that everyone should use and understand. Data needs to flow automatically into the CRM. Manual entry is the death of lead generation. The proper CRM platform, implementation, and use will ultimately help new home builders close more deals.

These key components may seem like no-brainers for your digital marketing strategy, but time and time again we see builders falling short in one or more of these areas. New home builders can set a strong foundation for a successful online sales program and lead generation that drives growth and profitability by digging into these 5 areas and doing audits from time-to-time. It all starts with examining your website and your digital marketing strategy.