Who else is excited about this shifting market! Some online sales specialists are starting to feel the pressure as leads are softening from last year. While things aren’t exactly the same as they used to be, I’m here to say that a dynamic market is a great time to be in online sales!
I like the term dynamic to refer to this market because the definition is “characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.” No matter what is changing in our industry, the home builders that have been focusing on building a great online sales team are going to be able to take on this next market the right way! Yes, we’ll have to adapt, but online sales specialists will still have opportunities in front of them to get excited about. This is your chance to shine.
As the buyer’s digital journey transforms, it’s going to require great people to manage that journey and provides us an opportunity to build and create systems that support the shifting market. To do this, we need to continue to grow and stay the course.
Serve the Market
As we enter into this new market, some online sales specialists are feeling a burden to create a market for their builder. While I’m all for maximizing every opportunity, this isn’t the responsibility of the online sales specialist. Your job is to serve the market. Shifting your mindset to what can you do to serve this market in front of you can make a huge impact.
Whether it’s rising interest rates and home prices, supply issues, or home delays, here are some of the dynamic market headwinds we’re facing and how you can deal with them:
1. Increased Prices and Interest Rates
What do we say to someone uncertain about pricing? One option is to focus on price vs. cost. New homes provide more certainty on cost than rising rent prices or used homes. Customers are looking for certainty, and we can give them that.
For interest-rate concerns, use a mortgage calculator to educate yourself on how interest rates will actually affect payments. Historically, rates are still low, but we don’t want to try to convince someone that rates aren’t higher. Sometimes looking at the numbers can show that the impact on the monthly payments can be lower than a home buyer might expect. Solutions such as rate lock programs can also be helpful if your builder has them available.
Dig deeper than a home shopper’s initial concerns over prices and rates. Discover why the person is looking to move. Do they want to move or do they need to move? This information can help you have the right conversation to help establish the certainty they desire.
Most importantly, the first step is helping them find the right home. Focus on this as much as possible and give them assurance that all their questions and concerns will be answered further into the process.
2. Changing Priority Lists
Even in a shifting market, priority lists play an important role. These lists can help us understand demand, keep customers engaged, create social proof, and are a predictive indicator of the market. However, the priority lists in this market will be different from last year and maybe different month to month. Interest levels will fluctuate, but it’s our responsibility to serve the market.
Online sales should rapidly move through the priority list process as you prepare the release. Focus on creating buzz and interest around it. Going through the process might feel different. It may seem like harder work, but it’s also good work because you’ll get the opportunity to really work with the customer and find out what they need. You may spend your time differently, but it will illustrate the value of what you do.
3. Different Kinds of Leads
We may see fewer leads that are higher quality. Or as marketing needs to bring in more leads, these additional leads may not be as responsive as quickly as we’re used to. No matter what the situation, conversion rates should stay about the same.
Work with the marketing team to create smart lists of the communities and areas that need help. Prospecting from an old list won’t be the same, but don’t sweat the “no.” More duds will be in the database than we’ve seen in a long time. Keep follow-up short and sweet to get through the lists faster, verify interest, and move them to the next step.
When lead quantity and quality changes, we need to start adjusting our follow-up. Email-only follow-up won’t be enough. Go back to using calls, email, text, and video and add more personalization in your follow-up. Make sure you’re also reaching the people who aren’t getting your emails.
A dynamic market requires us to be dynamic at our jobs. We can be dynamic by being full of energy, having new ideas, and keeping a positive attitude. Home shoppers need positivity and certainty, and online sales specialists can deliver that.
So I welcome this dynamic market because great online sales programs and great online sales specialists will shine in the challenge!