The Buyer Journey: Reach, Engage, Accelerate

Sales & Marketing Power hour graphicReach, Engage, Accelerate was a conversation about areas of focus essential for homebuilders that want to strengthen their relationships with customers and the buyer’s journey. Also addressed was the importance of ensuring marketing and sales teams work together to expand the company’s overall reach and buyer engagement.

If you missed the first Sales & Marketing Power Hour Webinar: Reach, Engage, Accelerate, don’t worry! Here, we’ll give a recap of what was discussed, along with some important takeaways and tips.

On Reach, Accelerate, Engage, Carol Morgan and Kimberly Mackey were joined by Tammie Smoot, a Regional Sales Manager with the Builders Digital Experience (BDX) where she has helped New Home Builders and Developers sell more new homes and increase their margins for over 20 years.

In this webinar, this trio of industry leaders examined best practices to reach and engage with buyers in the current climate.

Primary topics discussed included:

Forming Personal Connections by Providing Personal Responses

To engage customers, it’s important to form a connection whenever customers take that first step to communicate (i.e., commenting on social media posts, sending a direct message) because this demonstrates their willingness to connect. Not only should their comments get a like, but they should also receive a response with a question or comment about what they said to increase future buyer engagement.

In terms of direct messages on social media or elsewhere, messages sent in response to potential buyers should always have a personal touch tailored to the recipient. Every buyer that reaches out to a homebuilder is doing so for a variety of reasons. Depending on where that buyer is in the process will help determine the response they receive. It should be a priority to understand where the buyer is in the process so that they are met where they are, which allows them to easily engage. When buyers reach out and are willing to provide personal information, a key question to ask them is, “What’s your timeframe?” By asking this, homebuilders can respond back with a personal touch that furthers engagement.

Always Focus on Filling the Pipeline

When selling homes, putting customers in the pipeline should be a constant priority, even if this means including customers who aren’t far in the buying process or just aren’t willing to provide personal information yet. When reaching out to potential buyers, it’s critical to remember that they may not immediately be a buyer, but they may be starting to think about buying a new home. Even if they aren’t an immediate buyer, it’s crucial not to forget them, because that would make for a missed opportunity. It’s vital to have a plan in place (think CRM system) to nurture these leads that aren’t immediate conversions, because, even if not instant payoffs, they’re important to the process of keeping the pipeline full.

On the other hand, in today’s market it’s more common for home builders to have more buyers than homes. This has left many with the issue of keeping these prospects engaged until move in ready homes are available or until their presale home can be built. Even if it isn’t possible to offer buyers a move-in ready home right away, this time can be used to ask what they’re looking for in a home and discover how their expectations can be met in the future when homes are available. By asking for more personal information, it’s possible to get more information that allows home builders to better connect with buyers on a personal level.

Timing is Everything

When buyers choose to reach out and provide personal information, they likely expect a prompt, thoughtful response. It should never be difficult for customers to receive responses in a timely manner to ensure they feel that they’re being heard. To aid in this task, Chat Bots and AI Bots should be considered as viable options for chat responses as they relieve the pressure to answer immediately, encourage customers to connect more quickly and help to set a company apart. Not only can Chat Bots save time, but they can also take care of a large part of the communication needed before a lead becomes more serious. Keep in mind that even if an automated tool is used, there should be someone on staff dedicated to answering customer messages quickly whose job allows them to make this a priority. This person is most likely an Online Sales Counselor (OSC).

Building a Cohesive Team to Increase Reach

Although it is the job of the marketing team to post content and messages on new homes, products or services, it should also be a priority for the sales team to contribute to expanding the reach of these social media messages. To support the marketing team’s efforts, the sales team can share posts with their friends and family which greatly grows the amount of potential buyers this content reaches and increases opportunities for buyer engagement. Incentivize the team to share marketing messages if need be, because chances are everyone has someone in their network looking for a home. If salespeople aren’t aware of all the online tools used by the marketing team, it can also be valuable to teach them so they understand how it works behind the scenes and how they can help to meet the buyer where they are.

Using Technology to Accelerate Engagement and Sales

Focusing efforts on accelerating buyer engagement increases the chances of making sales. There are several ways to do this including retargeting buyers who have visited the website on Facebook, Instagram, Google and other sites. This could also include following up with retargeted emails based on what buyers have shown interest in. Using tools to send home buyers more information on the homes and communities they are interested in can easily boost contact with customers and personalization within that communication.

After putting communication in place to reach potential buyers, it’s critical to manage leads through a CRM system. Tracking online traffic through Google Analytics helps to know how the customer journey is shaped through the marketing team’s messages and can be valuable information to show how buyer engagement efforts can be replicated for other potential buyers. When tracking leads, it’s essential to know what sources drive the most traffic, how many places customers look for information and what actually works for them. Utilizing technology to track success also means being able to find holes in the process. Make note of this feedback and use this information to cater to your target audience more closely.

Upcoming Webinars:

Feb 19, 2021 at noon E.T. Are Chatbots & Automation Taking Over the World? with Dave Betcher, Atlas RTX

Mar 12, 2021 at noon E.T. Panel discussion: Cut the Commission. Pros & Cons of paying co-op commission

Apr 16, 2021 at noon E.T. A Buy Now Button Coming to a Website Near You with Greg Bray of Blue Tangerine

May 21, 2021 at noon E.T. Is By Appointment Here to Stay? with Linda Hebert of Diversified Marketing & Communications and Keith McKinney

Jun 25, 2021 at noon E.T.

Jul 23, 2021 at noon E.T.

Aug 20, 2021 at noon E.T.

Sep 17, 2021 at noon E.T.

Oct 22, 2021 at noon E.T.

Nov 12, 2021 at noon E.T.

Dec 10, 2021 at noon E.T.

Join industry experts and head coaches Kimberly Mackey, New Homes Solutions Consulting founder and sales & marketing management consultant, and Carol Morgan, founder and president of Denim Marketing, for this free webinar series focused on your success. Look for updates on guest speakers and topics.

Whether you are a sales or marketing professional or a homebuilding President or CEO, this webinar series is for you. Register for the Sales & Marketing Power Hour webinar series by clicking here.

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