This quarter is shaping up to resemble Q1 with the exception of lead counts being lower and overall online sales contribution increasing.
Leads are lower than they have been in previous quarters this year, which is to be expected as we head into the end of the year. Even with fewer overall leads the ones builders are receiving seem to be of good quality. There is no doubt that lead counts have decreased and they may continue in that direction for the remainder of the year. Compared to last quarter, leads dropped a little bit over 15%.
Lead to appointment conversion did see a slight decrease this quarter, but overall it remains steady. There is a bit of hesitancy in the market for our prospects. Our online sales specialists are doing a good job overcoming the objections they are encountering. With prospects having their guard up, not as many leads are converting to an appointment. Even still online sales specialists are working hard to add to their appointment counts by ramping up their prospecting efforts.
We did unfortunately see a 2% decrease in appointment-to-sale conversion. Many market conditions are causing the buying cycle to extend, and we believe that is reflected in this number. This added friction is dropping that conversion rate.
The increase in online sales contribution has moved up this quarter, and we believe there are a few factors that resulted in this increase:
- Online sales specialists are holding strong on getting appointments out to their onsite agents by ramping up prospecting efforts. Staying diligent with outbound prospecting calls and getting creative with engaging prospecting mass mailings is paying off. Online Sales Specialists know that to win in this market they will have to work their CRM and really focus on the leads they already have with great prospecting efforts.
- Online Sales Specialists are increasing their Realtor follow-up processes and outreach efforts. We have seen many online sales specialists implement Realtor follow-up processes in their CRMs to help stay in front of Realtors inquiring about homes for their clients. This is making a big difference in building the relationship between the Online Sales Specialist and the realtor market by positioning themselves as a resource for their Realtors. When leads are down, oftentimes Realtors have clients who are looking for homes and Online Sales Specialists are there to help when they need it.
- Online Sales specialists are qualifying leads who make it to an appointment more deeply by working hard to make sure they build rapport with their leads and fully qualify them in all areas of qualification. Online Sales Specialists are really leaning into getting to know the lead’s situation by asking open-ended questions to get their prospects to open up to them.
When compared to a normal market such as 2019, we see that online sales contribution and lead to appt conversion is still significantly higher which means one thing remains the same and continues to hold true: In a fluctuating market, our online sales programs are a constant. The Online Sales contribution to a builder's overall sales continues to hold strong and remain steady.