Technology is changing the way people shop for everything, including new homes. This makes it challenging for builders to keep pace with what potential customers expect, but it also creates new opportunities to serve customers in ways that benefit the bottom line.
Here are three ways that new advances in large format touch screen technology can provide a return on investment for new home builders who embrace the change.
Give customers a unified experience
The newest generation of homebuyers grew up with the Internet. According to this U.S. research, more than 50 per cent of millennials search for homes on their phones. And this early 2016 report revealed that 61 per cent of baby boomers in Canada now own smart phones, and 51 per cent own a tablet.
Yet, in many new developments, sales centres feature detailed scale models that show prospective buyers what their new community and their new home will look like. As intricate as the models can be, customers recognize them as a facsimile of something that isn’t real yet, and that doesn’t always resonate with how they absorb information today.
In tech savvy sales centres, these models — which can cost upwards of $40,000 each — are being replaced with elaborate touch panel tables. The touch panels give customers a virtual look inside their new community in a way that matches the rest of their research and buying experience, which happens online on a touch screen. Giving customers a more interactive, unified experience is more likely to keep them inside your sales centre, because you’re meeting their needs right out of the gate.
Shorten the sales cycle
In the traditional sales model for new homes, a sales agent needs to spend a significant amount of time with each prospective buyer to review the available options, typically by using glossy brochures and complex price lists. But reports like this one show that new homebuyers are doing their research on the Internet before they even walk into a sales office. And even then, they’re still in the information-gathering phase.
Large format touch screens have become an extension of the research phase for prospective homebuyers, where they can navigate the process themselves, and take their time comparing different models and floor plans. As we discussed in this post, customers appreciate being able browse in a pressure-free environment.
So while sales agents need to be on hand to answer questions, touch screen technology allows them to spend less time per prospect explaining the basic options, which frees them up to speak to more prospects in a given day. It also allows them to focus on aspects of the sales process that most benefit from building a personalized customer relationship.
Monitor real-time analytics
Information is the new currency. The content management systems that underpin new large format touch screens allow companies to gather real-time data about which models and layouts customers are looking at most frequently, and more importantly, which ones they’re not as interested in.
These systems can also be tailored to offer special pricing at key times that you choose — for example, limited time offers for special pricing on opening day, on-the-fly price adjustments to features that are selling exceptionally well, or discounts on elements that aren’t moving at all. In a paper-based system, it would take hours, if not days, to compile the data and make appropriate adjustments. But with real-time analytics, sellers have more tools at their fingertips to make smart business decisions.
With this information, builders can also tailor their overall offerings to focus on the designs and features that are in highest demand. In an industry where every design modification has financial implications, this can generate significant long-term savings.
Raise the bar
As creativity and technology converge, the sales process for homebuyers and homebuilders continues to evolve in exciting ways. Next time, we’ll look at how these tools and features can work together throughout the sales cycle.
Buying a home is often a long, confusing, and paper-driven process. Our touchscreen solutions make the prospective homebuyer experience exciting for visitors, while simplifying the administration process for home builders. If you are a home builder or real estate developer and you are interested in finding out what large format touch screens can do for your buyers, contact us to set up a demo or for more information today.