Here at Shared Drive we believe wholeheartedly that your website is your virtual sales office. A home builder’s website plays a crucial role in the sales process, giving your potential customers the information they need to be ready to buy from you.
Since we know websites are critical in an age where sales are made mostly or completely virtually, we recently had a conversation with Greg Bray (the expert in all things home builder websites) to find out exactly what your website should be doing for you.
Greg Bray is the President of Blue Tangerine, a digital marketing and web development agency that’s dedicated to helping home builders grow their sales. Greg first started developing websites for home builders in 2000, and while the tools have certainly matured, the goal to grow sales has stayed the same.
Greg loves teaching others the knowledge he has gained and has presented at the International Builders’ Show, the Southeast Building Conference, the Best Home Building Practices Summit, and more. You can hear more from him on his podcast, the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast.
Your Website as a Central Touch Point
We know we talk a lot about the circular sales process here at Shared Drive, and its benefits are again highlighted when we consider the website as a touch point. As we chatted with Greg, he emphasized that today’s buyers will come back to the website throughout their journey, not just when they first consider buying a home from you.
Just as the OSC connects with the customer throughout the sales process, the website is also referenced throughout (and if it isn’t, it should be). It is crucial to ensure your website has all the information a buyer needs to feel informed, excited, and connected. Read on to learn why this is so beneficial to your business.
The Benefits of Looping All Communications Back to Your Website
The more information you have for customers to reference, the more trust you’ll build with them. It’s natural to feel mistrustful whenever we feel like information is being withheld from us, and of course, the more we have invested (in money, time, and emotion), the more likely we are to feel unnerved if we feel we don’t have all the information we need. You can ensure your homebuyers feel taken care of and fully connected to the process by supplying them with all the information they need on your website and referencing it in your communication with them.
Ensures All Buyers Get The Same (and Correct) Information
When the website is the foundation for all the information buyers need, you can ensure that all information is accurate and cohesive. The OSC doesn’t have to refer back to information kept in static documents and then redistribute it to buyers, they can simply send them the right links with information that has been carefully created for customers on their particular journey. This will avoid the danger of giving out the wrong information because the document hasn’t been updated.
Gives Buyers Time
Presenting information on your website means you can give people information upfront and they can review it at their leisure. This allows them to qualify themselves or think about the decisions they need to make without the pressure of needing to answer someone immediately.
When it comes to sales, data matters. You can use the links to the information you give leads with your CRM to track engagement and other analytics, giving you more data to fuel your decisions.
You Can Automate
CRMs often prompt your team members to take action, and you likely already automate some essential information in your sales process. When your website is your key touch point for information, you can automate even more of the sales process, ensuring leads get the information they need quickly and with less work from your team members.
Gives Your OSC and Team Members Back Time
When your leads and clients don’t have the information at their fingertips, they’re going to have to reach out to your OSC and other team members to get their questions answered; questions they’ve likely answered dozens of times before. The time they spend on calls and emails answering these repeatable questions could be better spent elsewhere.
Roadblocks Facing Home Builders
- Mindset Around the OSC Role: One of the biggest roadblocks for home builders is their mindset around what the OSC does. The OSC’s number one tool for giving buyers more information should be the website. This means the CRM must be up-to-date at all times and the OSC needs to be a part of sales conversations throughout the customer journey so they can fully utilize the website.
- Creating New Systems: Home builders sometimes get stuck in the way things are done – moving so heavily into digital processes isn’t always something they think of.
- Not Everyone is Willing to Trust the Website: Often team members that do more in-person face-to-face time with clients do not trust the website to do so much of the heavy lifting.
- Fear of Potential Pitfalls: If the website is not kept up to date and any information is incorrect, leads can become distrustful. You need to be on top of your updates so the entire team can be sure the information they’re giving out is as current as it can be. To overcome this, distribute some of the review processes to the OSC and Marketing Teams. Listen to the feedback they give you so you can make the process as efficient as possible.
3 Top Questions for Creating High-Value Pages
Now you understand why using your website as a source of valuable information is so beneficial, and what the pitfalls are, here are Greg’s top 3 questions you should ask to ensure you create pages that do as much of the heavy lifting as possible.
- How do you become helpful? Think about the questions you’re most being asked and create content around those questions. Make sure this information is easy to find if you want your leads and clients to be able to find it without the direct link.
- Do we have the technology to achieve this? Use your CRM effectively and if it’s not going to give you what you need, consider finding a new one. Make sure you can connect the conversation to their account in your CRM.
- Does the organization trust its own website? Make sure your sales and marketing teams (and other relevant teams) trust the website and use feedback from your teams to create content that would make their jobs easier. When they see the website as a tool, rather than a replacement for the things they do, they’ll trust it and want to utilize it fully.
Remember that the majority of your traffic does not come to you via your homepage, so ensure all pages are optimized to guide them through the information you want them to see, regardless of where they start. Make sure the information leads get first is the information they want to know so they can easily qualify themselves – things like where you build, what size homes you build, and the kind of budget they need to buy one of your homes.
Your website isn’t just an online business card, it should be the online equivalent of your on-site sales office. Your website isn’t just for early lead capture, it can be used throughout the buyer journey to ensure they feel informed and supported. When you use it in communications throughout the buying process, you create a buyer experience people will rave about.