“Go ahead, underestimate me. You won’t be the first… you won’t be the last… but you will be wrong.”
-Interactive Floor Plans

First, let me say, if you are a production or semi-custom home builder and you don’t have Interactive Floor Plans (IFP’s) on your website, you are very likely missing out on sales that could have been yours. Who’s getting those sales? Very likely builders with IFP’s and here’s why…

Emotional Motivators

Emotional motivators are psychological triggers that consumers connect with. There are over 300 documented emotional motivators, but the five that are most important to home buyers are:

• A sense of FREEDOM.
• A sense of THRILL.
• A feeling of OWNERSHIP.
• Feelings of SECURITY by erasing unknowns.
• A feeling of CONFIDENCE in the future.

The right IFP platform on your website will engage and nurture all five of the above emotional motivators. Take note that I said the right IFP. If the user experience of your IFP’s cause frustration you will end up doing more harm than good, but that’s easy to avoid:

FREEDOM and THRILL

Interactive Floor Plans allow buyers to design and visualize their home by selecting the floor plan and options they want. This nurtures the FREEDOM and THRILL emotional motivators.

OWNERSHIP

Providing the ability to save their custom plan strongly nurtures the OWNERSHIP motivator. Your buyer has spent all this time customizing their plan they don’t want to lose all their work. Allowing them to save their plan with the ability to come back and work on it at their leisure, or even share with friends on social media, will help create an emotional bond to that plan.

Another big advantage is now you have their contact information so your sales team can reach out to them.

SECURITY and CONFIDENCE

I strongly suggest finding an IFP platform that has a comprehensive space-planning tool allowing users to place a large array of furniture, fixtures and accessories. Even electrical components for special lighting, audio visual hookups and power outlets. This will also feed the FREEDOM and THRILL motivators but knowing exactly how a queen size bed will fit in a guest room, or that their Ford F-150 SuperCrew will fit in the garage will nurture the SECURITY (erasing the unknowns) and CONFIDENCE emotional motivators.

Buh-Bye Buyer – Builder Websites Without IFP’s

Let’s face it, people are driven by their feelings, and purchases even as big as a home are largely driven by emotions. If you want homebuyers to remember your product, they must be engaged and impassioned by their interaction with your website.
Do you know what homebuyers do when they come to your website and you DON’T have Interactive Floor Plans; or your IFP’s are frustrating and difficult to use? They go back to the builder where they had the most fun. The builder that engaged their emotions. Static floor plans with dashed in options, or options ‘on-the-side’ forcing them to mentally put the puzzle together are a huge turnoff, especially after the last website they were on gave them such a fun and positive user experience. Static plans have suddenly become an insult to them! Even if you have a floor plan that works just as well, and is in the right neighborhood, and is in the right price range (or maybe even better), if you don’t give them something to emotionally connect with… buh-bye buyer.
As if you need any more convincing to bring Interactive Floor Plans to your website, check out these statistics:

A Few More Tips on IFP’s

• Let your teen kids play with them, then let your parents play with them. If they think they’re cool, your homebuyers will too.
• No Exceptions:
o Make sure the tablet and mobile user experience is as strong as the desktop experience (most are not). Over 60% of your website visits are most likely on mobile devices.
o Make sure they work on Microsoft Edge touchscreens (most do not).
o Hot Spots – Add clickable icons to your floor plans to show photos, videos, animations, virtual reality or other engaging digital tools.
o Elevations – Allow buyers to select and visualize different elevation styles.
• Encouraged, but not required:
o Dynamic Pricing and Square Footage – Live price and square foot updates as people select options.
o Social Media Sharing – Allow buyers to share their custom plans on Facebook, Pinterest and others.
o Notes and Text – Allow buyers to draw lines or add notes to their custom plans.
o Allow buyers to print their custom plans at home.

Stuart Platt, Managing Partner, OUTHOUSE, LLC