So you have a CRM (customer-relationship management) system in place, and your Website is fully optimized around all the key search terms. However, that doesn’t mean you have all the bases covered when it comes to serving your buyers—or would-be buyers. Today, homebuyers are looking for that customized service when it comes to selecting home plans, features, and options. Luckily more technology tools are emerging that can help builders better serve this demand.
For example, there is SalesTouch from Computer Presentation Systems, www.cpsusa.com, Rancho Cordova, Calif. Built to be a realtime sales tool for homebuilders this product can be placed within sales and leasing offices, offering an interactive touchscreen that can actively engage homebuyers. The key here is customization, and the SalesTouch software can be customized for each client and will often include many interactive media tools, including images and video about the community, floor plans, options/upgrades, structural options, interactive sitemaps, “behind-the-walls” information, and even local amenities. Such a tool can be ideal for buyers as it allows them to select and place furniture on a model, markup floor plans, and then email or print a customized color brochure.
While these systems are nice and can be a user-friendly option for buyers, builders often struggle with keeping track of such information on their backend. However, a tool like SalesTouch features a SQL-driven database that allows for realtime inventory/pricing display and prospect registration. In addition, the data can be integrated with backend accounting and sales systems.
The key for Computer Presentation Systems is that it aims to deliver a shopper-specific experience to the buyer. Through search and filters built into the technology, this can help enhance a builder’s brand by allowing them to offer the latest information that is specific to the buyer’s needs. In fact, builders can customize the information to be specific to their particular message, such as “green” options or perhaps some automated home technology.
When it comes to helping buyers rate a property in general, the brand Doorjam from AVID Ratings, www.avidratings.com/gotour, Madison, Wis., is aiming to provide a one-stop shop for buyers. Through a service called GoTour, those shopping for a home are provided with a three-part preview of a property online.
The first component is an HD, interactive, panographic tour of the property. The service runs a narrated walkthrough of the selected property for buyer, which can be viewed either by selected rooms or through a standard tour. Customers can then examine room features independently, viewing a full list of features available for that room. The third component draws on customer satisfaction surveys compiled by AVID Ratings for North America in order to get a third-party rating of the feature.
This is merely a sampling of the tools being made available for buyers these days. Builders are beginning to work with service providers to enhance their options to offer buyers in the homebuying process. For builders these days, closing a sale in residential goes well beyond just having a solid sales system.