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.
Technology has become a prevalent force in our everyday lives. With more than 85% of households owning at least one computer and 70% with high-speed connections, it should be no surprise that home-buying transactions are starting to take place on the Internet. According to the National Association of Home Builders' HomeBuilder.
Technology has become a prevalent force in our everyday lives. With more than 85% of households owning at least one computer and 70% with high-speed connections, it should be no surprise that home-buying transactions are starting to take place on the Internet.
According to the National Association of Home Builders' HomeBuilder.com, 71% of home purchases begin in cyberspace in comparison to 41% that begin with a traditional newspaper search. To remain competitive and reach potential buyers, homebuilders are going to have to catch the wave and get online.
One of the major advantages of having an online presence is there are no limitations to the days and times that you are open for business. There is no need for customers to wait for your models to open, you can sell your homes 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
There are at least two avenues available for builders to take to develop a web presence: have a website built to feature the various home products you offer or buy the services of an internet portal, which will feature and host a website for you.
Whether you recruit the services of a web designer or avail yourself of the Internet marketing services of a web host, there are several key points to remember to have an effective Internet presence.
- Key Point 1. Perhaps the most important thing to remember when establishing your web presence is to display realistic and vibrant visuals. Be sure to include pertinent, inclusive information as well.
Potential homebuyers are eager to see what their future home will look like. If you build homes on spec — or are pre-selling new construction — you will need to rely on renderings and floor plans to paint a picture of your finished product.
Another effective visual for builders with finished models is virtual tours. Visual tours give potential homebuyers a video-streamed tour of home models without having to step foot outside.
- Key Point 2. Another important factor to having an effective web presence is to provide relevant and comprehensive information in an easily navigated format. Most people in the market for a new home are concerned about price, amenities and location and/or community.
Creating a website that includes the base price of the home as well as the pricing structure for optional amenities will save you and the consumer a lot of time. The consumer will be able to assess if your offering of homes and community is a good fit for them economically and socially. You will save time by having qualified leads that are well informed.
- Key Point 3. One last factor to remember when building a web presence is to include features on the site that support follow-up activity. Encourage interaction between your company and potential clients by providing the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of your sales people.
- While every person who visits your site may not turn into an actual prospect, by asking for information about visitors to the website, you are building up a database of potential clients.