Online home builder marketing has evolved dramatically in the past few years. Many builders have realized the potential in online marketing and allocating a higher percentage of new home marketing budgets to online marketing spend. As such, home builder marketing plans have been relatively successful in generating a high number of quality website traffic, registrations and leads. But most builders struggle having an efficient follow-up procedure that works to move a Web-generated lead further down the sales funnel, and transition from online inquiry to in-person meeting.
A large aspect of our business relies on the ability to not only capture website visitor’s contact information, but to qualify them as a valid sales opportunity (essentially purchasing within 3-6 months) and schedule in-person meetings with our client’s sales people. Sure this can be done by a series of follow-up phone calls and emails exchanged between the sales people and customers, but this usually takes several days, or even weeks to coordinate. There are more efficient ways to do this. Yes that’s right, your home builder marketing plan needs to include live real estate chat!
As you may or may not know, live chat has the ability to communicate with your online customers via real-time text-based conversations from your website. It’s like having a human concierge helping your online visitors find information easier and quicker than the traditional “do-it-yourself” model of traditional home builder websites. Further, and more importantly for sales, live chat can significantly shorten the sales cycle by eliminating the need for follow-up of web-leads. How? Well, consider having a conversation with an online prospect the second they visit your website. The prospect can have their question answered right away by a live chat agent and then an appointment to visit your sales center can be scheduled during the initial conversation. Consider the following comparison of between the traditional web lead follow up procedure and live chat interaction.
Traditional Phone & Email Follow-Up Time:
*Stats taken from a recent study by InsideSales.com of 700 companies
Step 1: Customer fills out online form (initial contact)
Step 2: Salesperson responds by email (approx. 19 hours, 31 minutes)
Step 3: Salesperson responds by phone (approx. 36 hours, 57 minutes)
Step 4: Meeting successfully scheduled with Customer (approx. 57 hours)
Total: 3 days
Initial Live Chat Interaction:
Step 1: Customer accepts invitation to chat
Step 2: Live Agent uncovers customer needs and provides information.
Step 3: Based on customer needs, live agent schedules meeting with salesperson.
Step 4: Live Agent sends warm lead to sales person for meeting confirmation.
Total: 15 minutes
There really is no comparison between minutes vs. days here, and it is quite obvious that live chat can play a major factor in simplifying the follow-up procedure by eliminating steps such as email and phone response times. However, as a best practice, we encourage follow-up by phone once the appointment has been set by live chat so to confirm the meeting time with the customer.
Make sure you use live chat as part of your home builder marketing plan to shorten your home buyers purchasing cycle.