Issues including, overextended backlogs, supply chain interruptions, and construction delays are throwing a cherry bomb in the proverbial dumpster fire of customers’ experiences. We can’t control things outside of our department’s control, but we are perfectly suited to do a few practical things to reduce the need for damage control.
Educate, Set Expectations, and Engage Buyers!
Buyers, even those who have purchased before, have not bought with you. Make the process more engaging and more streamlined for the buyer by sharing your wealth of knowledge of your building process as they journey through each milestone. Try educating your buyers, with emails or videos that explain the current milestone. Plan fun ways that make it easy for the sales agent to send the buyer good news at each milestone.
One example would be sending cupcakes to their jobs when they make it through permitting. Another could be to create a golden shovel they can take selfies with on their homesite before it gets scraped, or a quick couple of photos or a video to send when their home gets to framing.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, have an educational video to prepare the homeowner for their final walk-through/orientation. Introduce them to your warranty team and show them what to look for and how to do it “your way.” Otherwise, they will make up their own process.
These things may seem silly to us, but they are meaningful to home buyers. They educate, build trust, and help the buyer feel as though we are all working together to get through today’s tough building challenges. After all, they are trusting you to build their home with no definite timeframe, or in some cases no definite pricing, in an environment of rising interest rates. It has never been more important to make everyone feel like a VIP buyer. Give them some certainty about your process and engagement in their home’s journey!
Survey! But differently.
Wouldn’t it be nice to collect data in real-time, as educated, engaged, buyers finish each milestone? By splitting up your survey into short (fewer than five questions) bursts after each milestone, you should get a more accurate representation of each milestone’s process. The information gathered gives the company real-time data to show which bottlenecks are affecting customers the most. You can show leadership what areas need investments in processes, equipment, and/or people.
Make the process fun and engaging for everyone. Building record numbers of homes is tough on everyone. Celebrate each win with your buyers and your team. Marketing is perfectly suited to solve problems by setting expectations, engaging buyers, and quantifying the buyer experience.