Are you sitting down? I’m about to share an industry statistic that, as a new home builder, you have to acknowledge. No more pretending it doesn’t apply to you. Forget about thinking it’s an over-inflated number. And if you believe ignoring the significance of this statement doesn’t play into the bigger picture, you’re dead wrong. Are you ready?
95+% Of Every New Home Sale Originates Online
This is just the truth. No other tool in your arsenal is more important than your website. I can hear some of you now—”Brian, that’s just inaccurate! Our model homes sell our properties better than anything else!” Really? Well, how do you think those buyers initially found your beautiful models? That’s right… the website!
Your website is like Grand Central Station for most of your online activity. It is the place where they either choose or eliminate you. Sadly, prospects will judge the quality of your homes based on the design and intuitiveness of your website long before they consider the actual craftsmanship that goes into your homes. Your website is the most essential sales portal; you must get it right!
Based on 29 years of experience marketing new homes, I’ve assembled a checklist of mandatory items every builder must consider regarding their website.
Is Your Home Builder Website Guilty Of Any Of These Sins?
#1. Does Your Website Look Older Than You?
Remember, prospects are shopping online while eliminating builders from their list! A dated, inadequate website reflects an out-of-touch, antiquated home building company. Don’t be eliminated! Make sure your website behaves based on current user behaviors and practices!
#2. Is Your Photography Sub-Par?
Good photography, let alone poor photography, doesn’t sell anything. Only great photography sells homes. Invest in a great photographer for your website. You don’t need 50 images; 5 amazing photos will help. Here’s a bonus hint: Try to show people enjoying your homes whenever possible rather than just bland pictures of rooms.
#3. Can Users Find Everything They’re Looking For?
An excellent builder website has an intuitive user interface and navigation. Browsers tend to become impatient when they must go on a treasure hunt for the necessary information.
#4. Are You Getting Viewers To Your Home Plans Quickly?
Prospects are headed first and foremost to your plans. You must be sure your home plans are intuitive, getting viewers there within 1-2 clicks. Once there, they can see your plans without downloading them. Never, ever force your prospects to download plans to see them!
#5. Is Your Contact Information Easy To Find?
Ensure the means you choose for contacting you are evident on every page. You want them to reach out to you, so make it clear and simple.
#6. Is Your Website Mobile Responsive?
Significant online activity today takes place on phones, iPads, and tablets. Your website must automatically respond to these devices, displaying all your information clearly and appropriately. If it doesn’t, you can count on them seeking out a competitor!
#7. Don’t Make Building Your Database More Important Than Showcasing Your Product.
Gathering prospect information is crucial, but you should never lose sight of why your audience is there. Always allow your visitors to view floor plans and elevations in an HTML environment first, allowing them to download them. Gathering information for your database should be a secondary expectation.
#8. Are You Properly Utilizing Lead Magnets?
You never want your website visitors to leave without giving you some data (email, phone number, name, etc.) A well-named lead magnet will help you achieve that. Here are two examples: “5 Floor Plans That Conserve Energy” or “Our Top 7 Best Selling Home Plans”. Create a white paper or brochure they will receive in return for their valued contact information, or they will quietly bounce away!
#9. Is Your Website Utilizing Google’s Tracking Code?
“Tracking Code?” Relax; it’s a good thing! Every website needs Google’s tracking code—and maybe even Bing’s—for you to measure key performance metrics correctly. You can’t improve what you’re not aware of!
#10. Your Site Is Search Engine Optimized, Right?
I can’t stress the importance of SEO enough! Your audience must be able to find your website quickly. Your business will suffer if you appear anywhere other than the first page of search engine results.
#11. Are You Utilizing Engaging Content?
In today’s world, your website must contain relevant, well-crafted copy. No longer can you use cheesy copy or poorly written content. Did you know that redundant copy, which uses the exact wording on multiple pages, negatively affects your organic search results? Make sure you’re using original phrases when describing your homes!
#12. Are You Using A CRM And Marketing Automation Tool?
The typical closing ratio for a builder is 4-6%. That means, on average, 19 out of 20 leads vanish into thin air. A robust CRM coupled with Marketing Automation software like Easy LeadLocker ™ captures and nurtures leads toward greater closing ratios.
#13. Indeed, You’re Not Disregarding Your Target Audience
Too often, websites are built without the consumer in mind. Before creating any website, ensure you have discussed the target audience with your Webmaster so they understand who you intend to reach. This way, your site can always use the most compelling messaging to get your consumers’ attention and keep it!
Friends, simply put, there is no acceptable reason to have an inadequate website. Your building company’s success depends mainly on the design, navigation, ease of use, copywriting, and photography found on your website. It would be best if you also had a powerful CRM used in tandem with a robust marketing automation service.
To learn how your builder website can generate the best results, please get in touch with me directly at 615.257.0057.
Brian Flook, MIRM