Sunday, March 11, 2018

Yes! Interactive Technology & the 55+ Home Shopper are a Great Fit!

People are always asking: My new project is a 55+ community -- do you think interactive technology would be useful?
Technology helps answer your home shopper's questions!

The answer is a resounding yes!

First, a few thoughts about 55+ and technology: today's 55+ home shopper is more tech savvy than you might think.

The largest growing Facebook user group is the 55+ audience. The 2017 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report reports that 89% of home shopping Boomers search online -- which is consistent with any of the other age groups -- including Millennials.

We've found every generation of home shoppers expects some sort of digital engagement and builders need to consider providing tools to meet those consumer expectations.

By the time a Millennial, Gen Xer, or Boomer home shopper walks into your sales or leasing office, they’re already well into their journey for a new dwelling.

One key take away: technology acts as an assistant to sales and leasing agents as it encourages home shoppers to ask questions and find solutions.  Whether the process includes creating a dream home with a hobby room in lieu of the standard 3rd bedroom or determining how Plan 2158 fits on the selected lot, interactive technology helps the home shopper visualize and embrace their new home.

And, your 55+ audience seeks information! They're considering a life-changing purchase and want to make sure they've checked all the possible boxes. Take a look at CPS' interactive touchscreen system, SalesTouch, engaging home shoppers at Latitude Hilton Head -- the latest Margaritaville 55+ community. The sales agents address questions and provide understandable answers at a touch!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

It's President's Weekend -- Spring Selling Season is Around the Corner!

It's true: we're just about to wrap-up February -- and that means the Spring Selling Season is kicking off! This week offers a great time to take stock and develop plans to kick-off new Spring new home sales/marketing efforts.

How do you create a great Buying Experience?
We'd like to suggest several ideas to help generate visits to your sales office and better engage home shoppers when they're there:

(1) Start Reaching Out to Realtors, Now -- We've blogged about the value of co-op agents before (here's an earlier Solutions blog -- Builders, Co-Op Agents: Reaching the Asian Community.)

BuilderOnLine reports Spring is the busiest season for Realtors and suggests offering incentives to make sure they are up on the latest about your community.  How about putting together a Get Ready for Spring Open House -- maybe offering a "spa event" raffle for attendees?  Or, a Wine & Cheese evening with a several bottles of your favorite?

Keep the buzz going: don't stop with one event!  If you start now (in dreary February), you'll be ahead of 90% of your competition!

Don't forget Realtors often focus on specific demographics -- relocations, ethnic or religious groups, 55+ buyers, etc.  Try reaching out to the demographic-centric agents, oftenThey always will have a group of interested buyers available to visit your community -- provide them with a reason to stop by.

(2) Work to Create a Great Buying Experience --- You want to be your customer's #1 choice; what can you do to make that happen? First, embrace the idea that home shoppers visit your office because they're interested in buying one of your homes.. in many cases, today!

Next, we'll suggest that it makes sense to start looking at your sales office as a customer does. What will help you stand apart so the home shopper rates your community #1?

Think about: what are you doing to create a great buying experience! From the minute a prospect drives (or walks) up to your office, they're using all of their senses to evaluate the experience...from smell to sight to touch!

Mollie Elkman, a Philadelphia-based marketing expert, reminds us that pictures offer "virtual curb appeal."  Why not build on standard imagery and Go Interactive to make your office stand apart and grab home shoppers' attention?

An interactive touch presentation actively engages prospects from the minute they step into your sales office and can continue the conversation with interactive floor plans, the ability to select and place furniture inside your homes and e-brochures.

CPS offers software to help you zero in on the co-op agent community (that's CPS CRM) as well as SalesTouch, our interactive touchscreen system for both the large and small (think tablets) screen. We're here to help -- even when it's snowing and raining!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Add Something Apple to Your New Home Sales/Leasing Office!

Great article by Carmine Gallo in Forbes, recently, How the Apple Store Seduces You with the Tilt of Its Laptops.

CPS SalesTouch Brings Multisensory to Home Shopping!
Yes, you read that correctly!  Laptop tilt!

Actually, the tilt is designed to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their ideal viewing angle.

In other words, the tilt is encouraging touch! And, not just with the monitor angle but throughout the store.  Apple wants customers to see what is available and to experiment with hardware, apps and websites as a way to learn about their devices.

Gallo suggests interactivity -- what he calls multisensory experience is built into every component of an Apple Store.  Store employees don't demonstrate items; rather, they encourage shoppers to find solutions themselves.  Gallo suggests Apple discovered customers would be more interested in buying, more loyal to the brand by creating an ownership experience!

Our brains, Gallo writes, love multisensory experiences.  The more engaged a customer is, the more likely it is they will engage with your product on an emotional level.

CPS'  interactive touchscreen system, SalesTouchis all about interactivity.  It is designed to engage home shoppers the minute they walk in the sales office with interesting, useful, emotional images and content.  Whether exploring the neighborhood or trying on structural options, they're finding solutions (where is the local elementary school? where is the optional den located?).

And, just like the Apple store, they're creating an ownership experience!

Isn't that what home shopping is about?  Take a look at some of the interactive presentations we've created for builders and developers in the Case Studies section of our website and ask us how we can help you add interactivity to your offices!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Kick-up the Customer Experience in Your New Homes Sales Offices!

Over the last quarter, this Blog has focused on several consistent new homes-related themes: the emergence of Millennials as homebuyers, the impact of 55+ buyers on new home design, features and marketing, and the role of customer service as a referral driver.

SalesTouch lets 55+ shoppers dream and make it their own!
Have you been considering these topics and wondering how can my organization take these themes to boost our customer experience in a meaningful way in 2018?

A recent RetailCustomerExperience article by FullStory's co-founder, Scott Voigt, suggests, "You can win (sales) on customer experience." and summarizes, "Excellent customer experience can largely be distilled in two words, speed and convenience."

Voigt goes on to say, "The easier and quicker customers can find what they're looking for and get their questions resolved, the higher the conversion and the more loyalty you'll likely engender. And, loyalty means return customers" (as well as referrals!).
SalesTouch meets the Millennial shopper with focused and relatable content!

Here at CPS, we often say that home shoppers are no different than shoppers in other locations: they want information, quickly, and they're comfortable shopping via touch.

Take a look at the images presented from SalesTouch interactive touchscreen presentations. The 55+ buyer is actively engaged, trying out floorplans, dragging and dropping furniture into her dream home! The Millennial home buyer is presented with focused content and relatable images describing offered energy savings -- an item Millennials frequently cite as important to their buying process.

Voigt finishes, "The customer experience you offer is the single biggest way to compete."

We'd be thrilled to discuss how you can make 2018 the Year of Customer Experience -- contact us via our Info link!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Builders: Referrals Can Be Your Least Expensive Source of Traffic!

Have you been asked to increase your referral rate -- and not quite sure where to start?

Any chance you saw our Solutions BlogHomebuilder #1 Referral Driver: Keeping Buyers Informed? You can read it here.
You Don't Need Conversation -- Just Communication!

Not surprisingly, that Blog is one of our most read posts as it kicks-off with Eliant CEO Bob Mirman's Builder and Developer article comments:  the single largest referral driver for homebuilders is how well the builder keeps buyers informed regarding the status of construction. 

Mirman suggests: think of the homebuying process as similar to a hospital stay.  Both are stressful -- yet, the stress can be mitigated by information.  No one, in other words, likes to be in the dark.  And, in today's social media connected world, bad experiences can be broadcast all too easily.

The same applies to good experiences, suggests Mirman in the June 2017 Builder and Developer. He notes the #1 driver of buyers' Willingess to Refer a Friend is the ability to keep them informed of their status.

Importantly, Mirman notes, you don't need conversation -- just communication.  CPS' software Portals take information developed by Field Collaborate's construction users and WarrantyWatcher's customer service teams and make it available to buyers and home owners via the Internet.  No additional work required: the construction schedule is available for buyers to view. Warranty requests, status and appointments can be seen, as well, via mobile or desktop. In both cases, 24/7, anywhere/anytime!

Want to take things up a notch, become more user friendly? Go the extra step and take stage-of-construction photos and attach them to construction milestones. Add post-repair photos so your homeowner knows how things look before getting home after work.  After all, your buyers have Portal access 24/7 so they're up-to-speed as the work is completed!

Referrals can be your least expensive source of traffic -- and the most rewarding.  Communication is a win-win as your team communicates results within the organization -- and  easily viewable by your most important audience, your buyers.

Attending IBS2018 in Orlando?  CPS will be in Booth 5583 and we'd love to show you how FieldCollaborate and WarrantyWatcher can help your organization not only have more efficient processes but generate referrals based on your improved communication!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Harness the Power of Images in Your Sales and Leasing Centers

Do you receive those 1-minute Tuesday Tips from Brian Flook? Saw an interesting one recently: Did you know that the power of images is increasing?

SalesTouch: Powerful images provide a visual cue to explore
Flook asked that question and replied: Yes; images matter!  He goes on to note that real estate listings with 25+ images sell faster than those with only 10 photos.

Here at CPS we've long believed engaging home shoppers starts the moment they enter the sales office with SalesTouch, our interactive touchscreen system.  It doesn't just happen, of course! There needs to be a visual cue to invite the prospect to explore.

Visual cues not only invite attention, they encourage the visitor to engage and obtain more information! Whatever their reason for considering a purchase -- larger home, neighborhood, on-site amenities -- powerful imagery motivates movement.
Dynamic images engage home shoppers, encourage exploration

Take a look at Bella Collina:  elegant, Italian, scenic images along with copy about The Club, Golf Course and the Spirit of Tuscany.  You can imagine luxuriating in the Spa. What's the next step? Start touching to find out!

Compare Ramblewood Forest's imagery: luxury, large homes for family, a new neighborhood. Equally inviting, the same question arises, "how to find out more?" The next step isn't unknown: start touching to find out!

Flook suggests: storytelling via images clinches the deal -- long before any copy, no matter how well written!

Attending #IBSOrlando? CPS will be storytelling at Booth W5583 with SalesTouch, our interactive touchscreen system, and Social Media Wall!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

When Thinking About Digital Walls: Go BIG!

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

That's a well-known Will Rogers saying and in a recent DigitalSignageToday article Debbie Wilson-Dewitt suggests it makes sense to apply it to digital walls, as well.  She says these walls are intended to create a strong impression.

Since the walls are typically placed in an entry area they're designed to make that first impression as lasting as possible and, for that, you need to go BIG or go home!

Social Media Wall at Wendell Falls
Social Media Wall at Wendell Falls
CPS offers Social Media Wall-- a unique, ever-changing combination of social media content and traditional marketing copy. Many of these walls have gone big and provide a terrific entrance focal point at new home information centers. 

Apart from size, what else needs to be considered when thinking about an effective wall?
  • Size matters, initially; content keeps people looking. 
  • Walls can greet as well as provide information.
  • Use walls to communicate and reinforce branding. 
  • Answer questions through wall content and images; it keeps people engaged, longer.
  • Be sure the wall is designed for your audience.
Walls, says Wilson-Dewitt, are an incredible value-add and any kind of organization can benefit from them.

Heading to Orlando for IBS 2018? Visit CPS in Booth W5583 and let us help you imagine how this dynamic communications tool can leverage your social media content and create conversations!