With the Southern California housing market red-hot again, Irvine-based MBK Homes has created a customer management program to prevent the camp-outs and lotteries that home buyers dread. The builder's Insider's Club keeps prospects informed of phase releases and other MBK news. To register as an insider, prospects merely provide their contact information through the Priority Registry section at www.mbkhomes.com.
If prospects get serious about buying, they can join the VIB (Very Important Buyer) program by completing an application via the secure Web site and giving permission for MBK's lender to run a credit check. The system assigns a password and Priority Registry number. VIB members can log on to see where they stand on the priority list, which is arranged by date of membership.
VIBs also learn of new phase releases before the general public. And after they purchase, they can log on to see a colorful game board that shows how much of their home remains to be completed.
Jeanne Stott, director of sales and marketing for MBK, stresses that the VIB program is "high-touch" as well as high-tech. "Customers want to talk to a real person, so as soon as a prospect or customer has registered, he or she will receive a personal phone call within 24 hours."
Launched in the spring of 2003, the VIB program has 700 members.