Saturday, February 18, 2017

Marketing Homes to Today's Millennial Buyers

There's a recent Builderonline article called How to Make a Home More Appealing to Millennial Buyers (you can read it here). 

Redfin's Whitney Bennett points out  the Millennial demographic makes up a large portion of the home buyer market and suggests several ways to be more Millennial-friendly in your marketing.
SalesTouch: Let buyers start creating their multi-functional living space!

We'll focus on Suggestion #1 and follow-up with others, soon: Create an Open Floor Plan.

Bennett (and the National Association of Realtors in 2014) says most younger buyers are interested in large, open spaces with fewer walls and partitions. Why? These buyers like entertaining in large spaces and are also interested in multi-functional rooms.

How to market that open floor plan? Let's look at a recent CPS SalesTouch installation at Cornerstone Homes' new Agave community in North County San Diego. You'll notice a great open first floor area -- along with the ability to interact with the floor plan and drag and drop furniture letting home shoppers dream and create their new living space!

Next on the Millennial wish list: walkability -- and according to Redfin.com's recent study, each point on the walkability score can increase home prices by an average of $3,250.  More to follow!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Homebuilder Vendor & Buyer Portals Improve Efficiency & Productivity

Are you familiar with the concept of a Portal -- sometimes referred to as a neutral platform in the cloud?

Portals provide users with the ability to view -- and sometimes update -- information developed by a variety of systems and managed by different organizations in a single location. Typically, they're accessible via the Internet and available, anytime/anywhere.

What can a construction Portal do for your organization, vendors and/or buyers? An effective Portal provides data access, governed by credentials, to all appropriate stakeholders.

Let's take a look at a real-world example: vendors log into CPS' FieldCollaborate Portal to view or print their construction schedulespunch items, and safety assessments.  In addition, they're able to view the latest builder documents and drawings.

Home buyers, on the other hand, log into the FieldCollaborate Portal and find their home's schedule as well as stage-of-construction photos.

If we consider just this set of participants, can you think of the reduced number of phone calls, faxes, emails and misunderstandings? Portals make the entire enterprise more efficient and productive!  Home buyers feel empowered and their satisfaction levels improve, as well.

Home builders use Portals to share information internally, as well.  What's more disruptive than having multiple sources for information?  A well-managed Portal provides the same information to everyone (governed by access credentials, of course) -- and it's all available anywhere, anytime via the cloud!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Might be Frightful Out but..Spring Selling Season is Just Around the Corner!

We have to admit: the weather outside -- whether you're on the East or West Coast -- doesn't exactly encourage getting out and doing home shopping this weekend.

Take this Dreary Weekend to Kick-off Spring!
But, that same weekend could be a great one for taking stock and kicking-off your Spring new home sales/marketing efforts.  Here are several ideas to start generating visits to your sales office and engaging home shoppers once they're there:

(1) Start Reaching Out to Realtors, Now -- We've talked about the value of co-op agents before (take a look at an earlier Solutions blog entry --  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 spread the word about your community.  How about putting together a "Get Ready for Spring" Open House -- offering a "spa event" raffle for attendees?  Or, a "Wine & Cheese" evening with a case of your favorite?  And, 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 that Realtors often focus on specific demographics -- relocations, ethnic or religious groups, 55+ buyers, etc.  Try reaching out to the demographic-centric agents, often.  They always will have a group of interested buyers available to visit your community -- provide them with a reason to stop by.
Get Interactive with Virtual Curb Appeal!

(2) A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words --- Mollie Elkman, a Philadelphia-based marketing expert, reminds us that pictures offer "virtual curb appeal."  Why not take one step further and Go Interactive with a touch screen system?

You'll start engaging 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.

Take your home shoppers "behind the walls" and visually talk about your location, amenities, and features.  Show them you're "in their location" and highlight what is available in the location or the great amenities provided by the HOA.

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!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Home Builders: Millennials Like to Use Mobile for Customer Service

A recent Retail Customer Experience article by Tom Goodmanson suggests successful brands are always evaluating plans for creating improved customer experiences and building customer loyalty. Today, many find home building to be more retail-oriented than ever.
WarrantyWatcher
Home Buyer Portal Goes Mobile!

What better time to evaluate and solidify customer strategies than the start of 2017? Goodmanson makes several 2017 predictions including: mobile customer service will close the gap between consumer expectations and reality.

Combine those thoughts regarding customer service (Go Mobile!!) with the anticipated tsunami of entry level buyers, highly driven by millennials who are already mobile-oriented, and it suggests that adding mobile to the new home experience makes sense for 2017.

Today's home buyer has high expectations regarding their home and the post-sale warranty process in terms of timeliness, quality and reliability.  Make sure your warranty/customer service organization is capable of responding to those requirements -- as well as the goals of improved customer experiences through mobile access.

Let your home owners submit warranty requests using CPS' WarrantyWatcher software from your website -- and provide the same access to review request status and overall problem resolution history. The Home Buyer Portal is available across platforms and browsers -- from desktop to devices.

We'll be in Orlando January 9-11 for IBS 2017; drop by Booth W5583 and let us show you how WarrantyWatcher can improve your customer's experiences!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Home Construction Data: Helping You Design For Long-Term Profitability

Did you have a chance to check out Pain Points: Win or Learn by John McManus?  He focused on 3 things that matter most for builders -- today!

And, those 3 things are within every builder's control (vs. those you can't control such as weather, the economy, etc). Not just large builders, or public builders, or small mom-and-pop builders. All builders.

FieldCollaborate: Moving Beyond Scheduling to Meaningful Data!
The first was sales The second is taking those sales to completions

That is, the construction cycle. You are able to evaluate how your construction process is delivering by reviewing specific information: cycle time and, in turn, profitability.  

McManus suggests: work with greater velocity or... learn the pain.

Greater velocity can't be measured in the abstract, however.  Other factors -- and they're measurable, too -- have to come into the equation or profitability is a one-time gain with a short life.

What are you doing to understand those other variables?

Do you know which vendors show up on time, or have the highest level of rework, consistently have safety issues, always fail field inspections? That information helps shape a long range vision of your construction cycle and helps deliver consistently better results.

We suggest FieldCollaborate -- including the available web Portal for vendors and home buyers -- will help.  It's not just about scheduling, any longer.  You have to consider reporting on quality items, delivery times, subcontractor consistency, safety assessments and punch items.  It all helps highlight factors impacting your construction cycle and allows you to be proactive about the next lot, phase and community -- and design for long-term profitability.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Stats Show Digital Signage Engages Customers

People always ask, "Does Digital Signage really offer anything different than a home builder's website?"

SalesTouch engages and captures more attention!
Websites engage users and drive them towards an onsite sales office visit; digital signage at the sales office has different objectives.  There are potential buyers in your sales office; what should this sales tool do to turn them into actual buyers?

Following is a statistic to evaluate when considering including digital signage in your sales/marketing program -- whether an interactive touchscreen system (in a kiosk, mounted on the wall or a tablet) or a social media wall:  compare the consumer effectiveness of a digital signage display to typical "static" signage such as floorplan displays on the wall or a floor topo table.



Here, at CPS, we can help you develop dynamic digital signage that will engage, gain views, build your brand and increase sales!

Let's kick start 2017!






Thursday, December 29, 2016

Adding Happiness to Your Customer Experience

Great article by Simon Fraser in a recent Retail Customer Experience blog entitled, 7 Keys to Customer Experience Happiness suggesting business customer experience efforts should never just be an initiative or a fad. They're never a one-off!

CPS' Social Media Wall: encouraging storytelling!
Customer experience efforts, in other words, need to be communicated as part of the overall business vision -- and delivered consistently.

Business goals, Fraser offers, are enhanced when there's a focus on creating great stories. Members of your organization -- and your clients -- get a positive experience as a result of building memories.  Who doesn't remember experiencing "that feeling" when hearing a great customer experience story?

Why not think about how you are telling your stories?  Are they static stories on the wall or in a brochure -- or are you encouraging your customers to take information, add their experiences and start creating their own narrative around your brand?

Take a look at CPS Social Media Wall: it starts with your vision -- copy and images -- and adds in stories using social media content.  Stories emerge from your vision, yet are dynamic and ever-changing as customers start adding their own through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Every business and person has stories to tell -- and all of us get pleasure from hearing and seeing them!