Thursday, July 27, 2017

Yes! Boomers Are Buying Outside the "Smile States"

John McManus noted in a recent BuilderOnline Consumer Trends article that the US population is now 325.3 million and added a fact, that frequently goes unnoticed: the US population is getting older.
Millennials, Boomers .. and multigenerational, too!

There's been quite a bit of fanfare recently noting Millennials are finally entering the new homes market; yet, the median age across the board has gone up 7% since 2000.  More startling: the 65+ population has grown 40.5% in the same timeframe.

And, every state has experienced an increase -- or remained constant.  Maine has the highest median age (44.6) (compare that to Utah with the lowest at 30.8)!

What ideas might drawn from these numbers?

Certainly, there's demand for 55+ communities in what are thought of as "traditional 55+" areas (for example, Sumter, FL has a 67.1 age median).  McManus suggests that builders and developers consider every area has 55+ potential -- and that there's a significant demand for multigenerational product, as well.

In other words, communities are drawing buyers from a wider audience than ever before -- and the audience is more diverse.  What seems to be consistent, McManus notes, is the interest in carefree living.  Accessibility -- in terms of interior space as well as outside the community -- and lifestyle -- think both community and surrounding neighborhood amenities -- are drivers as folks think about how they want to live as they get older.

Take a look at recent Solutions Blogs regarding walkability, amenities, green living, even floorplan options -- and how an interactive presentation -- we're highlighting CPS' SalesTouch -- will help tell your story more effectively to the range of today's home shopper audiences.

Monday, July 24, 2017

When Thinking About Digital Walls: Bigger is Better!

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

That saying has been attributed to Will Rogers; however, Debbie Wilson-Dewitt, in a recent DigitalSignageToday article, suggests it makes sense to apply it to digital walls, as well.  These walls are intended, she says, 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!

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; several are located in new home information centers and they provide a terrific entrance focal point. 

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. Let us help you imagine how this dynamic communications tool can leverage your social media content and create conversations!  

Friday, July 21, 2017

Starting with Your Prospect in Mind!

Another short (he says "one minute" but...) and interesting Power Marketing/Brian Flook Tuesday Tip:

Every marketing effort MUST begin with the prospect in mind!
SalesTouch takes answers and gets interactive! 

In other words, take advantage of each marketing project to focus and ask questions such as:
  • Who are my prospects?
  • What are their interests?
  • What is impacting them today?
  • What are their dreams?
Asking these types of questions (and developing answers to them!) helps "get into the prospect's mind" so your content and messaging speaks directly to their wants!

What sorts of answers do you think helped create this CPS SalesTouch interactive touchscreen presentation?  How about 55+ demographic, relocating, family-oriented, looking for relaxation, love the outdoors!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Let Your Interactives Help Foster Sense of Community

Recently, Mary Cook, writing in Builder Developer, noted that Millennials are finally ready to move out of their parents' home and find their own. Her firm is known for creating innovative environments targeted to market demands and her article focused on 7 Ways to Design Residential Developments for Millennials. 

What was top of her list? Foster a sense of community!

What's behind that thought? Cook notes that many Millennials telecommute -- finding them with little interaction with co-workers and managers. The typical, work-related social interactions are missing. And, like many new home buyers, they're probably relocating (even if a relatively short distance). As a result, they're looking for their home (both specific and general) to provide relationships.  That's driving the popularity of amenity-rich communities as community pools, tech centers, fitness centers encourage residents to gather and engage.

Do you recall the Solutions Blog about walkable neighborhoods (or Walkups)? Consider using your location as a way to encourage thinking of the new neighborhood in terms of walkability and its benefits from a social interaction perspective:
  1. Offer Walk Abouts: One of walkable neighborhood's driving forces is access to convenient, interesting and unique shopping and dining venues.  Think of the possibilities -- run into or invite neighbors as everyone is learning the area! Why not create an "It's in the Neighborhood" map highlighting 15 close-by locations that are probably new to your home shoppers? Think: ethnic restaurants, unique bookshops, unusual hardware stores.  Let your potential buyers explore (virtually!) and see themselves living the experience! Drones are making aerial photos so much more affordable -- take a look at Richmond above and consider using this type of visual introduction to the neighborhood.
  2. Shine a Light on Educational Institutions: Here's another opportunity for introducing a new way of thinking about community! And, these opportunities don't need to be just traditional colleges and universities. Think outside the box and consider adult education and interest-focused centers, too. Look for places like innovative yarn shops, photography studios, art centers.  Let your home shoppers explore neighborhood learning opportunities and imagine the opportunities available.
Let an interactive touchscreen presentation tell your community story -- from amenities to neighborhood "hot spots" to all sorts of educational possibilities. Take a look at a CPS' SalesTouch  presentation's aerial photo detailing shopping, dining, recreation and community options in Richmond (above); can't you see your buyers virtually exploring and enjoying their new community?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Builders: Mobile, Proactive Customer Service & Referrals

Today, we're building on thoughts developed in a Solutions Blog How to Improve Your "Refer a Friend" Rate (read it here) and by Eliant's Bob Mirman regarding the referral impact associated with keeping customers informed.

Both articles focus on the value of what we call "proactive customer service" -- that is, not waiting for an event to offer specific, customer-focused attention.  
Mobile Enables Proactive Customer Service moments!

A recent Innovative Retail Technologies article sparked a new thought: the value of mobile relative to proactive

Have you heard of the "First Dibs Opportunity" study suggesting 46% of mobile usage sessions start with no real aim? Author Christine Kern also mentions 70% of respondents use their mobile devices to "kill time." 

The study concludes "if smart phones were smart, they'd do a better job of giving us something useful!"

On the other hand, software can help builders turn mobile time into proactive customer service moments! Your homebuyers can grab a minute or two, while waiting in line at the store, to check out stage of construction photos. And, can't you see your buyer getting excited to see a completed roof and turning to the next shopper and saying, "Check this out! My new home's roof was just finished!"

That's a refer a friend moment! Or, how about the impact of a homeowner browsing their service requests while getting a hair cut and seeing a completed service request complete with photo?  Wouldn't that be a "Wow! My builder is letting me know the bathroom repair is complete!" moment?

CPS' FieldCollaborate and WarrantyWatcher Portals can help you easily create these proactive customer service events --  and help your referral rate jump! We're happy to show you how!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Harness the Power of Images in Your Sales Center

An interesting 1-minute Tuesday Tip from Brian Flook showed up in the Inbox today: Did you know that the power of images is increasing?

SalesTouch: Powerful images provide a visual cue to explore
Flook asked that question and answered: 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 and encourage action

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 as to how to find out more? The next step isn't unknown: start touching to find out!

Flook suggests: powerful photography clinches the deal -- long before any copy, no matter how well written!

We'd be happy to talk with your about how a SalesTouch presentation can engage and motivate your home shoppers!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Builders: How to Improve Your "Refer a Friend" Rate

Did you see the recent Solutions Blog: Homebuilder #1 Referral Driver: Keeping Buyers Informed? You can read it here.
Keep in Touch & Watch Your Referrals Grow!

Not surprisingly, this Blog is one of our most read posts as it summarizes Bob Mirman's comments (he's Eliant's Founder/CEO), in a Builder and Developer article, that 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 -- and the stress can be mitigated by information.  No one, basically, likes to be in the dark.  And, with today's social media, bad experiences can be broadcast all too easily.

The same can be said for 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 a conversation -- just communication.  CPS' software Portals take information developed by Field Collaborate's construction users and WarrantyWatcher's customer service team 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 add additional information, 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's results communicate results within the organization -- and are easily viewable by your most important audience, your buyers.