Selling new homes without model homes can be challenging. Prospective buyers desire to enter a home you have constructed to assess its quality, explore the available floorplans, and get a feel for the lifestyle your homes provide.
But there’s an important place potential buyers will head before they make the appointment to view your physical model home. It’s open 24/7, accessible from anywhere, and can be viewed by multiple people at once. That place is your website.
A Fresh Perspective
Our co-founder, Shari Morton, coined the term “the website is your most important sales office” two years ago during an episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. (Check out that episode here, it’s well worth a listen!) This idea offers us an enlightening analogy; your website is a model home that’s available to everyone, everywhere, at any time.
Much like your physical in-person model home, your digital representation of your homes and brand should be welcoming, clean, and an accurate depiction of the homes you build and customer experience you offer. An outdated, disorganized, or broken website is as ineffective as a model home with broken doors and outdated decor.
Your Most Trafficked Model Home
Your website transcends time zones, geographical restrictions, and working hours. It’s like a sales office that never sleeps. This constant accessibility makes it your most trafficked model home, and thus the most important.
Your website serves as your primary hub of information and the first impression for most potential buyers. Unfortunately, many home builders are not leveraging this incredible tool effectively, and many OSCs are not taking accountability and ownership of their role in making sure their own sales office (the website) provides the experience potential buyers are looking for.
OSCs and home builders need to understand that just as a sales leader has the power to request repairs to a physical model, an OSC should be able to make, request, and suggest changes to the website. This will ensure the website provides them with the tools to enhance the customer journey and reflects what buyers are looking for when first reaching out to your company through your OSC.
Transforming Your Digital Model Home
So, what happens when you treat your website like a model home? The user experience becomes more immersive and trust-building begins even before a potential buyer makes contact. The website transforms from a placeholder or online business card to a robust information hub, where visitors can take themselves along the early stages of the buyer journey.
The OSC also has a platform they are proud to showcase. They can more easily share information with leads, and the entire sales process becomes circular, with the OSC at its center. We’ve gone into great detail about this idea in our article on the circular sales process, so make sure you read that next if you are unfamiliar with how a circular sales process can benefit your organization.
5 Actionable Tips for Creating Your Best Model Home Online
So how do you put this idea into practice? Here are some of our best tips:
- Make it a comprehensive information hub: Make your website a comprehensive hub with plenty of information potential buyers can use to learn about the opportunities they have when buying a home from you. This will also provide your OSC and other team members with up-to-date resources (provided you keep them that way!) they can direct leads to when answering questions. This can be a major time saver. (You can learn more about how to turn your website into a central hub here.)
- Keep your website up-to-date: As we touched on above, it’s crucial that your website is up-to-date. Make sure you include current promotions and reference upcoming holidays, and don’t forget to take them down once the promotional period has passed. There’s nothing more frustrating for a potential buyer than seeing an offer they are attracted to, only to see it’s no longer valid.
- Ensure your website is aesthetically pleasing: You wouldn’t decorate a model home in a way that doesn’t have universal appeal, would you? You also wouldn’t make choices that were off-brand for your company. Make sure your website is modern, aesthetically pleasing, and on-brand.
- Empower your OSCs: Your OSC’s sales office is your website, so empower them by giving them the ability to make, request, and suggest changes based on their experiences and client feedback.
- Map out the journey: Your in-person sales team showing potential buyers your model home likely show the home in the same way each time. Perhaps they show the rooms that showcase the view or open-plan living before any other rooms. Think about the possible journey (or journeys) you want your potential buyers to take once they arrive on your website, and map it out so it’s clear for them to follow. Make sure your website is set up in a way that thoughtfully guides visitors to the information they are looking for. If you’re not sure how to go about this, make sure you read our article on storytelling through your website to ensure you connect with potential buyers.
Let’s Build Better Together
Audit your current website and see how well it currently does all the things we’ve discussed. If you find it’s not up to the task, we can help. We offer web design and revamp services to ensure you have a website that is your online model home and offers visitors an experience that accurately reflects the buyer journey you offer. To learn more about working with us, click here.