Using new technology with a new attitude toward revitalization can help homebuilders become “New Home Retailers.” Photo courtesy of URC
The way people live is changing rapidly—and new homes need to keep up. Technology has changed our communication, entertainment and how we receive our news and information. New opportunities to improve our safety and connect our homes to the world are available. Our shopping and buying behaviors, habits and experiences are changing just as rapidly. And there is more change coming.
Unfortunately, the new homes we are building and the sales engagement processes of too many homebuilders are not keeping up. A homebuilder’s greatest challenge in making a successful transition to this “New Economy” comes from its “economic normalcy bias.” If builders hold on to their past successes and attempt to add technology to past processes, they won’t really be able to create the new products and services required to meet homebuyers’ needs, and they will fall further behind.
It is time for homebuilders to become New Home Retailers. This requires new thinking, attitudes, skills and the effective use of technology both in new homes and the engagement of people shopping for new homes.
This requires new thinking, attitudes, skills and the effective use of technology both in new homes and the engagement of people shopping for new homes.
The first obstacle to overcome in using technology effectively in sales engagements is an understanding that adding technology to the traditional sales process is a poor choice. This applies to selling homes and the design center experience, because to the homebuyer they are one in the same.
New home retailers are asking themselves, “What do the homes we build today do to enhance the homeowner’s life that the homes we built seven years ago didn’t?” The answers have real impact on how people live.
Technology, or lifestyle options, are often treated as a nuisance. They’re presented as products and are not positioned as integral parts of the home-buying experience. New homebuyers want a finished home; they don’t want a fixer-upper. They want lifestyle and design options to make a new home just that: a new home. They want homes that reflect their personal tastes and enhance their lives.
It takes three distinct areas to become a “New Home Retailer” and use technology to convert shoppers to customers:
1. New Intentions: All the people in the community sales team—the new home salespeople, purchasing, construction, customer service, designers and loan officers—need new intentions. People, therefore, still need to make the big difference. Without new intentions, homebuyer engagement will not evolve enough to differentiate a traditional builder from a New Home Retailer.
2. New Sales Environments: New places to meet and engage customers shopping for new homes allows for the use of technology to inform and entertain buyers throughout the process. Sales environments should lead, guide and attract interaction between homebuyers and salespeople. The sales environment must be designed to enhance the use of technology and serve people.
3. New Technology: As we enter the age of the “Internet Of Things,” homebuilders need to provide the latest technologies to enhance homeowners’ lives. Think about how the home can provide better communication, entertainment, information and security. How connected is the home? How mobile is the home, in terms of things they can control remotely? Adding these lifestyle choices along with the latest design options will make a homebuilder a New Home Retailer. This will increase home sales, profit margins and homebuyer satisfaction.
Technology is the greatest advantage any homebuilder can use to make their homes more desirable today. It will be most effective in a new sales environment, but not fully effective until homebuyers are engaged by salespeople with aligned intentions. When all three are combined, the ROI of technology is multiplied exponentially and home sales will increase.
Homebuilders have the opportunity to make People’s intentions, the sales Environment and the use of Technology a P.E.T. Project. Combining these three elements in the engagement of people shopping for new homes is the best way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. It will enable your salespeople to connect with buyers to help them take the next steps in owning your homes.
Keep checking here for more in-depth tips on how to start shifting intentions, designing new sales environments and using technology to become a New Home Retailer.
Mike Moore is a renowned homebuilding industry veteran and thought leader. He is also a motivational speaker, leadership and peak performance coach with Moore Leadership & Peak Performance. For more information, go to www.makingcustomers.com.