Right now in the new construction world, we are not short of leads wanting to schedule appointments, which is great! However, we have to think about what truly constitutes an appointment.
More than ever, leads are willing to negotiate their wants/needs to get into a home. With that being said, we still have to be sure that we are determining that this person is a fit before you get them onsite.
Trust me when I say I understand the overwhelming demand for homes in this market where we feel like we are doing what we can to get through the volume that we are handling. However, I want to encourage you to shift your focus from the number of appointments you are making to the actual quality of the appointment. This is how you can add tremendous value to your organization!
As a reminder, here are the 5 qualifying areas that you should be gathering:
* Area (What area are they interested in and WHY? Is it work, schools, hobbies, etc.)
* Timeframe (When do they need to be in a new home?)
* Authority (Who is involved in the buying process?)
* Budget/Financial Resources (Are they pre-approved? Do they need assistance in this process?)
* Motivation/Want/Needs (What are their must-haves, their wish lists, and the deal breakers?)
One-On-One Time with the Community Specialist
I want to add an asterisk(*) here to state that right now an appointment can mean a number of things–an in-person appointment, virtual appointment, phone appointment, etc. No matter the type of appointment, the foundational pieces are still the same. We want a qualified lead scheduled for a dedicated one-on-one time with a community specialist on a predetermined day, time, place, and sales representative. The handoff process is still critical.
A successful appointment handoff (immediate action items) should include:
* Updating the CRM with full contact information
* Notes about the customer with qualifying information
* Appointment created in the customer profile
* Assignment over to onsite advisor in CRM
* Tour confirmation email sent (including the onsite)
* Creating a calendar invite to the onsite
All of these steps are necessary for a red carpet to be rolled out for the potential homebuyer.
What an appointment does not mean is “head out between 12:00-2:00. My sales executive will be there.” Or “Your realtor can use the lockbox to show you through the home at your convenience.”
One Lead = One Sale = One Appointment
It’s normal for customers to want to schedule an appointment at multiple communities. Remember, your job as a new home specialist is to narrow down as best as possible to one best fit. Creating multiple appointments can also create confusion for the customer. We recommend using a dialogue “based on what you’re telling me, Happy Acres seems to be the best fit. Let’s start there!”
If you end up scheduling more than one appointment for a customer, you will only count one appointment in your reporting. Why? Remember, one lead = one sale = one appointment. (If you schedule three appointments with the chance of one sale, your appointment to sale conversion will be inaccurate). Here is a quick reference to the 2021 Online Sales Benchmarks
where data integrity is mandatory!
Self-guided home tours ARE leads, but they don’t count as an appointment until they schedule a one-on-one community visit. The fundamentals are the same here. See, there's a trend happening…
This is a great opportunity for you to circle back and get feedback about the home they toured and engage in a qualifying conversion to move them forward to an appointment and go further in the process. We have to meet customers where they want to be met!
Appointments are imperative to the success of the online program, but that is not the only thing we want to focus on. Our jobs as new home specialists constantly change with the market. Right now, we have shifted towards lead nurturing, interest/priority lists, more qualifying and ultimately setting the appointment when it makes the most sense (following the steps above!) Let’s keep the buyer experience at the forefront and we will always win!