Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Presenting Options Online Draws Customers
Mid-Atlantic Builders in Rockville, Md., a self-described portfolio builder, offers a roster of home designs that can be personalized and built with myriad options.
Mid-Atlantic Builders in Rockville, Md., a self-described portfolio builder, offers a roster of home designs that can be personalized and built with myriad options. Mid-Atlantic sought a way to communicate this strength through its Web site and expand its Web-based marketing.
"It was frustrating because that portfolio book, with all the partials and options, was on a shelf in our sales center, so it was hard for the customer to experience all the flexibility we can provide," says John Lavery, vice president and director of sales and marketing.
Eighteen months ago, the company introduced an interactive "Build Your Home Online" section to the Web site. Customers can see all the homes in Mid-Atlantic's portfolio book, and when they choose specific features, they automatically see how their choices change the look and dimensions of the floor plan (a message tells them if certain choices cannot work together).
Since "Build Your Home Online" debuted, Lavery says it has driven more qualified traffic to the sales centers. Customers have commented on the section’s ease of use and thoroughness - many even bring in printouts of the floor plans they create online.
Mid-Atlantic is in the process of making its entire portfolio book digital and online (only some options are online now).
"Our mission in building this page was to make it content-rich, with valuable information that would give visitors a reason to come into the sales center or really move the buyer along in the decision-making process," says Lavery. "When our sales counselors see or hear that our customers have used the Web site, they know they have a very interested, motivated and educated prospect."