How COVID19 Could Change Home Buying Forever

As the world continues to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the need for home builders to migrate to virtual experiences has never been stronger. While COVID19 creates much uncertainty in the economy, this shift to digital tools will only continue to grow. So how can homebuilders ride the outbreak of this pandemic while equipping themselves to respond to the future market? Here are three fundamentals to ensure that your business evolves with the times.

Effective Online Sales Counselors (OSCs)

A couple of weeks ago Bokka Group published an article breaking down the importance of having a strong OSC strategy. With the COVID19 outbreak builders are seeing their foot traffic diminish as home buyers turn to the internet more than ever before.

As over 90% of homebuyers begin their search online, OSCs have become a critical piece in the sales funnel. In an ideal situation a builder’s onsite salesperson will be busy talking face-to-face with potential buyers, leaving online inquiries and leads unattended to. As employers care for the safety and well being of their on-site employees during this pandemic the role of the OSC has become exponentially more critical. With online leads now representing the top of the sales funnel, an OSCs job is to guide those leads until they can hand them off to an onsite sales agent.

Building a sense of trust is critical for success here. This is why OSCs must excel in meaningful discovery processes, genuinely seeking to understand the needs of the prospective customer. The better this discovery process is, the better you can shape extended follow ups and marketing efforts a.k.a. drip campaigns.

Having a powerful website is an effective way to gain a better understanding of a lead’s needs and desires. Through interactive content your website will naturally draw more engagement. Meaning you will see the amount of time a lead spends on your site increase while simultaneously collecting valuable insights on the buyer’s new home preferences.

Rendering House’s My Home App allows for buyers to design their dream homes using interactive exteriors, interactive floor plans, and interactive site plans. Buyers can save their virtually designed homes to their profile. At the same time builders will receive the buyer lead and a copy of their virtually created home, giving OSCs a head start in creating meaningful conversations with the prospective client. 

Unassisted Home Tours

Even before social distancing became recommended practice, builders recently began looking for tools to help potential buyers view homes after business hours or when an agent could not be on site.

This not only increases traffic through a builder’s model homes but, leveraging apps, builders are capturing leads every time a viewing is requested. With contact information in hand, agents can follow up with potential buyers and drive more sales.

From Netflix to Prime Now, the consumer market is accustomed to instant services. As builders prioritize the health and safety of their employees real estate is using technology to meet the needs of an evolving consumer base.

Companies like Nter Now are leading this charge and with full integration with Rendering House, ensuring that builders have a seamless virtual experience with their buyers from designing homes virtually to being able to tour a model home on demand. 

Additionally, Rendering House also offers immersive virtual tour experiences through our My Tour App. This virtual tour allows for buyers to walk around and through a home, view the exterior of the home in day or night time, toggle furniture on and off, and even select colors, finishes, and features.

Reserving Lots Online

Within the past month we’ve been getting the question over and over again. “Does the My Home App have a “Reserve Lot” feature?” 

While in the past year we’ve heard growing murmurs of demand for this functionality, the ability to reserve lots has quickly become one of the most critical features for builders. So are we going to be able to answer the market?

Our answer is a resounding, “yes!”

We are also developing a ”Homesite Reservation” function that will empower OSCs more than ever. After prospective buyers have used the My Home App to find and design their home, our solution will then allow them to request that a lot be reserved by supplying their contact information and filling out a quick survey asking them where they are in the homebuying process. This equips OSCs with the buyer’s preferences and basic finance info before initial contact is even made.

Building out this functionality is foundational in allowing online home purchases in the near future.

As COVID19 continues to impact the real estate industry for the unforeseeable future, it will become absolutely necessary for builders to adapt and implement technology that allows for them to engage with buyers online. Rendering House’s My Home App empowers builders to provide home buyers with end to end interactive visualization and is now expanding to also allow buyers to reserve lots online. As builders of all sizes grapple with the changing times it is safe to say that the evolution to digital home buying tools is here to stay.

To learn more about how your business can provide engaging digital experiences contact andrew@renderinghouse.com.

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