Survey Finds Sales Teams Weak on Follow-Ups

Despite a tough market, some home builders and their sales teams aren’t being nearly aggressive enough to reel in potential buyers, say the results from a Denver-area survey.
By Nick Bajzek, Products Editor | September 30, 2008

These days, some developers spend $500,000 and up on sales centers, says Bryon Ziegler, developer representative for Williams Marketing, which represents various residential projects in the greater Seattle area. Photo: Craftmark Homes

We're spending millions on our model homes, on landscaping and on the sales center. Yet a recent study from two Denver-area marketing services finds builders are attracting customers, only to essentially ignore them after they visit the sales center.

The study used secret shoppers to visit 50 model home communities in the greater Denver area in late 2007. The firms conducting the research — database marketing and lead generation firm Qgenisys and marketing company Red Tree Marketing — closely monitored how the builders in those communities reacted and followed through with the shoppers who perused their homes.

“What we learned shocked us,” said Qgenisys President Peter Kowalchuck. “With falling home sales and a nationwide decline in new home prices amidst high inventories, we thought home builders would become more aggressive marketers.” The result of the 18-page study: Colorado home builders are losing millions on advertising investments and in lost sales.

Take a look at a sample of the findings.

Only 14 percent of on-site agents followed up with potential buyers with relevant information. 64 percent didn't follow up at all.

57 percent of shoppers were asked to complete a registration card. Of those, only 46 percent of the shoppers reported follow-up of any kind.

Of those who did receive a follow-up, only 23 percent received information or pitches on the homes they discussed at length with the builders' representatives.

In several instances, the shoppers received postcard mailings that were blank except for the mailing label.