Making Waitlists Less Painful for Everyone

Making Waitlists Less Painful for Everyone

May 18, 2021 | By Kevin Oakley

Builder Waitlist

Nobody likes to wait, but waitlists and priority lists have recently become a common reality in the new home industry. It has added new complexities and questions to the online sales position as well.

Kevin Oakley wrote a great article about how builders could approach priority lists, and here in this article, we’re going to specifically look at how online sales specialists can deal with the new challenges that come with priority lists.

Ranking Your List by Temperature

The first thing to consider is determining the temperature of the priority list you’re working with. You can rate a list as either mild, warm, or white-hot.

  • Mild – You will be releasing homes or lots soon. They may be capped and your interest is normal temperature with less than 100 on the list.
  • Warm – Homes are coming soon and might be limited. The interest list may exceed 100+. Sales could be capped or limited.
  • White Hot – Homes may be delayed more than a few months. The interest list could be 150+. Sales could be capped or limited.

Follow-Up Process for Priority Lists

After you determine the temperature, you can begin focusing on the process, but lists aren’t one size fits all. Not every community and priority list should be treated the same. Online sales, sales, and marketing should work together to develop a unique process for each one, deciding exactly how to execute the plan and creating dialogues around it.

This won’t be the same process you use for a new lead for an active community that’s selling now. ** We repeat, this is not the same process that you use for new leads for active communities. We often recommend people look at priority lists as a mini version of a Pre-Sale Without Fail campaign. Working with our teams, we’ve been able to establish a follow-up framework for priority lists.

The process starts even before the homebuyer becomes a lead. Because the first step is:

Set expectations first on your website with the messaging.

While actually making these changes probably isn’t within the role of the online sales specialist, it is important for online sales to communicate with sales and marketing about the volume of leads coming in and working together to make sure messaging and calls to action are appropriate. Example: Don’t have For Fast Answers Click Here or Call on the website if the online sales team can’t accommodate this. Make sure everyone on the site understands what they are signing up for before they hit submit.

Set up an auto-response and/or call flow with a voice message that explains that a priority list is forming and what the next steps will be.

The online sales specialist will process the lead, rate, and determine the dynamic list and next steps.

Then, the online sales specialist will move to a predetermined process based on the temperature of the priority list.

Constantly needing to educate buyers one-by-one will burn out the online sales specialists. The goal is to continue to provide information while keeping in mind that things could change at any time.

  • Mild – Connect with the prospect and set expectations. Get them ready for the next step, qualify, help with pre-approval, etc.
  • Warm – Send communication via email. Send a video email about the demand and let them know what will be coming next. Set expectations. The online sales specialist will reach out as the release of homes or homesites gets closer. The goal is to have a good list of engaged users without a lot of proactive outreach.
  • White Hot – Send communication via email. Send a video email letting prospects know that there is a tremendous amount of demand and while the homes are not sold out, there are over 100+ others on the waitlist before them.

Challenges and the Need for Communication

Even with the best process in place, things shift quickly in this market, which is difficult for leadership to navigate and communicate. Online sales, sales, and marketing must communicate almost daily as things change.

Marketing should be able to assist with the volume of leads coming into the CRM based on what the online team and sales team can accommodate. Digital advertising and calls to action on the website are the first things to consider.

Another challenge we’ve seen is managing multiple lists. Onsite sales may have their own separate priority list. It’s important to come together to communicate how the different lists will be merged or worked.

Sales Moratoriums

Finally, we’ve seen some builders put a complete pause on sales and sometimes appointments as well. The dialogues for this are a whole new challenge. In this instance, continue to communicate with leadership and other departments to stay up-to-date and develop the best plan possible. Online sales specialists should focus on continuing to provide what information they can and on nurturing leads to the best of their ability. We don’t want to mislead customers or waste their time, but things could change in an instant.

So many builders will be shifting gears for the near future, but online sales specialists should continue to focus on educating customers on the new process, adjusting your processes and follow-up for different temperatures of priority lists, and nurturing more than ever.

Learn more about how online sales teams are dealing with Priority Lists and Waitlists in Episode 145 of the Market Proof Marketing Podcast.

The post Making Waitlists Less Painful for Everyone appeared first on Online Sales and Marketing for Home Builders - DYC.

Kevin Oakley
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