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Friday, September 25, 2020

Finding Your Midas Touch in the Era of Physical Distancing


What’s your Midas Touch with home shoppers?

In Greek mythology, King Midas was known for turning anything into gold with a simple touch. In modern times, businesses try to find their own Midas Touch by offering a service, product or experience so valuable that customers turn into gold. This gold can come in many forms: monetary transactions, referrals, brand loyalty, glowing reviews and more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced nearly every industry to find new ways of interacting with customers. Physical distancing is the new normal and online sales are skyrocketing. With such a drastic decrease in customer contact, how can you find your Midas Touch?

Finding your Midas Touch is simpler than you may think.

Many of our customers know us because of SalesTouch. Traditionally, we provide these touchscreen kiosks to homebuilders, developers and property managers in sales and leasing offices. Once installed, SalesTouch is a powerful sales & marketing solution with dynamic content. It helps home shoppers visually see and interact with details of their future home and community. They can look at floor plans, drag-and-drop furniture, “write” notes, print and e-mail their customized home information and beyond.

Home shoppers aren’t engaging in person as often now, especially in the beginning stages of the home search. They’re working from home and want to do as much groundwork as possible before entering an office to meet with a salesperson. You might think this would limit how often SalesTouch is used, but we’re here to tell you it doesn’t. We created SalesTouch to work online, as well!

We believe sales presentation solutions like SalesTouch will continue to gain momentum, particularly if they are available for online and remote use. Even when physical distancing measures are behind us, this technology is likely to maintain popularity.

Customers are tech-savvy, autonomous and attached to their digital devices. When in-person sales presentation tools can adapt for websites, tablets and smartphones, it becomes another avenue for sales leads.

Your Midas Touch could be going virtual. Your gold is a digital currency!


SalesTouch engages a home shopper online
We’re not just talking about online shopping. That trend has been booming for years and many industries have already adjusted. We’re beyond the phase of simply making products and services available for purchase online. What’s important in 2020 and beyond is considering how to further innovate your online sales presentations. How can you help customers experience
your brand online, rather than simply browse your website? What are you offering to immerse them in your business, from the safety of their own home and at their own convenience?

By making SalesTouch work in person and online, we’re helping our homebuilders, developers and property managers remain sustainable while opening them up to more potential sales and leases. Home shoppers are able to explore home options online with ease. They gain the same information and home exploration abilities without the burden of a physical visit. They can customize, learn and make decisions in a brand-new way!

When you embrace this Midas Touch and transform your in-person sales presentation into an online experience, you’ll find your gold!

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Home Shopping Shift: 4 Tips to Increase Online Sales Leads NOW


*lightning strikes and thunder roars* We’re in a shopocalypse!

In 2020, we’re watching many businesses close their doors indefinitely. Some remain open but with slashed operating hours. It’s not just a struggle to retain the same foot traffic we saw before the coronavirus pandemic – it’s literally impossible. With physical distancing measures, businesses simply can’t allow the same capacity.

Customers are more wary about in-person interactions. With unemployment rates alarmingly high, they’re cautious with money and expenses. According to a recent survey from McKinsey & Company, shopping behaviors are shifting, and spending is allocated for essentials and expenses that display clear value. For many, if purchases are being made, they’re happening online – and this trend is expected to stay in place even after COVID-19.

At the Jeff Shore Sales Leadership Summit last month we talked with many new home sales professionals from around the country. Many said that sales office traffic was down considerably, but they are still relatively meeting sales goals. The common theme: they all have a focus on online solutions that help drive sales!

While engaging customers online may seem like a challenge for retailers and businesses, it’s actually the key to continued success. It’s also why we love SiteViewer, our online solution that makes home shopping simpler for customers and their changing habits.

SiteViewer helps homebuilders, apartment developers and property managers deliver critical, on-demand pricing and availability information straight to the fingertips of prospective buyers and renters – in lieu of physical trips to a sales or leasing center. 

Using SiteViewer as our guide, we compiled four quick tips your business can implement right now to pick up online engagement and increase sales.

1. Enhance Your Visuals – When it comes to millennials, the most technologically advanced generation, your online presence is a necessity. If consumers can’t be in the physical presence of your product, it’s important to keep your online representation as visually appealing as possible. Millennials are the latest generation to have become highly involved with home shopping. When builders and developers incorporate SiteViewer into their community websites, they provide customers with a clear picture of their future home and community. It’s the perfect way to make the buying and renting process aesthetically pleasing online!

2. Keep It Updated – While the shopocalypse is a horror story for businesses, the words “sold out” are a horror story for home shoppers. If you’re promoting a product that’s no longer available, convey that information. If prices change, make sure they’re listed correctly. SiteViewer helps professionals update the information on their home and apartment listings in real-time, thus avoiding any confusion for the customer. Current, transparent information will help form a trusting relationship in an uncertain age of shopping.


3. Make It Interactive
– Just like kids prefer books with buttons and noises, adults like a little something to engage with as well. How can your online product listings go beyond the traditional format of an image and description? This doesn’t have to require an overhaul of your IT systems. SiteViewer is easily embed directly into a homebuilder or apartment community’s website! It works with touchscreen technology or traditional computer displays.

4. Track the Clicks – Your online metrics are a treasure trove of information, helping you better understand your customers and their digital behaviors. It’s important to constantly assess what’s happening – are they clicking on a product, but not purchasing? Are they navigating away from your website? Then, you can augment your approach to increasing online sales by making smarter decisions backed by your own data. We developed two versions of SiteViewer: the consumer facing namesake and SiteViewer Pro. The Pro version allows businesses to see valuable information on the backend about how consumers are interacting in the virtual shopping environment.

Brick and mortar operations can find savvy and simple online solutions that meet the needs of today’s consumers. SiteViewer is one such solution, aiding builders, developers and property managers nationwide to better reach, serve and sell to home shoppers.

 The world is evolving for businesses and consumers alike, but it doesn’t have to be such a scary reality. Instead, let it be your next big opportunity!

Contact us at info@cpsusa.com to learn more!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

CPS and COVID-19

All of us here at CPS want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, customers and colleagues very seriously. Like you, we're closely monitoring the quickly developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and follow the "shelter in place" directives mandated here in California, we are now manning and providing service from our office remotely. 

That means that, should you need it, we are still here for you in terms of customer support, design and SalesTouch assistance. We will continue to provide support and service, as usual, 7-days/week.  If you need assistance, please reach out to us via email at techsupport@cpsusa.com or design@salestouch.net.

We are all in this together. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, so we can contue to support our customers and communities, as needed.

Stay safe!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Builders: Adding Some Apple to Sales/Leasing Office Marketing!

Have You Heard About the Value of Laptop Tilt?


Did you see one of our earlier blogs talking about How the Apple Store Seduces You with the Tilt of Its Laptops? You can read it here!


Engage your home shoppers with new channels!
Carmine Gallo had written an article for Forbes suggesting that Apple had the tilt designed to encourage customers to adjust the screen to their ideal viewing angle.

In other words, Apple was encouraging consumers to touch!

Apple's Actions as a Differentiator Are Worth Investigating


There's a recent Builder article by John Rampton highlighting Apple's marketing tactics and ways Apple has been able to differentiate itself to become the strong competitor it is through their marketing efforts.

Are there takeaways for sales/leasing offices? Let's take a look at several of the ideas presented:


  • Create unique buying channels: Rampton suggests that companies can enhance their marketing efforts by finding new, unique channels that competitors aren't using. Consumers like to explore products, engage and find out information. Rampton suggests marketers should explore ways to make shopping more enjoyable and exciting.
  • Think about the user experience: Here, too, Apple goes beyond competitors as they've created unique, exploration-based shopping experiences. Rampton suggests an enhanced user experience creates more loyal customers.


Engage Your Homeshoppers as Soon as They Enter Your Office


Interactive touchscreens engage consumers and provide the unique shopping experience Apple and Rampton suggest meet today's consumer's objectives. You're able to differentiate your business by not only adding technology but using it to enhance the buyer experience.  Interactive floorplans, drag 'n drop furniture, dynamic/real-time sitemaps -- they're all focused on creating a value-unique experience for your home shoppers.
Use technology to enhance the buyer experience

Your home shoppers not only gain the information they're searching for but recognize your brand as forward thinking and offering a unique home shopping experience.  That's the "hyper-focus" that Apple applies to their consumers!

Let's Talk About Adding Some Apple!


CPS' interactive touchscreen product, SalesTouch, is designed to engage home shoppers the minute they walk into the sales office with interesting, useful, emotional images and content. Whether exploring the neighborhood or trying out virtual options (where is the local elementary school? is there an optional den available?) they're finding solutions -- and creating an ownership experience!

Isn't building an ownership experience what home shopping is about? CPS is celebrating 35 years providing engaging, dynamic software solutions for the homebuilding industry. We'll be at IBS2020 in Las Vegas; you can visit us at Booth SU631 or ask us for a one-on-one demo here!


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Builders: Turn Warranty Data into Actionable Insights


Thinking About Turning Data into a Critical Asset


Data is in abundance and needs to be made sense of in order to realize its full benefits.

Aaron Tan | Executive Editor, APAC

Today, the value of data is well known as effective use can help businesses speed-up decision making and improve the customer experience.

Data...it's out there! Then, what?
But.. some might ask: How do I get useful data? and others might say, There's so much data! How can you maximize both data collection and use so there's a positive business value proposition? 

Taking a Discrete Look at Builder Warranty/Customer Service Data


Many builders provide their homeowners with warranty service after the home closes. Typically, this is a one-year period -- although two-years isn't unknown. During that time, builders manage homeowner requests for repair or replacement. There may also have been a builder/buyer walkthrough collecting issues for resolution prior to closing.

As a result, even the smallest builder has data! There are homeowner requests ranging from leaky faucets to squeaky floors to improperly installed appliances.

Yet, do you know how many faucet leaks your homes had over the last 6 months in the Happy Acres community? How about over the last 3 years? And, how many were due to poor workmanship vs. bad materials vs. design issues? 
Do you know how many leaky faucets happened this month?

If you knew these answers, what would you  do to address them going forward?

And, wouldn't your operations be more efficient and profitable, as a result?

Warranty Management Software Provides Analysis Tools


Warranty management software provides a very effective tool for a builder's operations because there's a large amount of data that evolves as a result of homeowner requests and repairs -- and software provides the tools to take large amounts of data and slice & dice & display for effective use.  There really isn't any additional work required to obtain the information; it's a question of how to make use of it! 

Take the leaky faucet issue above. That issue will be recorded as a homeowner request. Software provides the ability to easily review how many leaks occurred -- over a period of time, community-by-community.

The value proposition is significantly enhanced by adding a second step: why did this leak happen? Poor installation, bad faucets, bumped while doors were installed?

Over time, you'll have the data to know the most common issues as submitted by your homeowners. You'll know facts -- not squeaky wheel problems or the "big" ones! You'll also know why the problems happened.

If you're using an integrated software suite, you'll also know the vendor providing the work so you can address these workmanship or material quality issues. 

Take a look at the tablet above; your team could see what problem categories were most prevalent over the last 30 days (turns out drywall was highest, here); you' be able to drill down for the "why" and vendor, as well.

Warranty Software Breaks Down Data Silos


Effective use of warranty software provides a great resource for a builder to be able to examine their operations as well as providing a good opportunity for enhanced customer service. Interested in finding out how you can turn all those requests & repairs into actionable insights? CPS will be exhibiting at IBS2020 -- or you can request a personal WarrantyWatcher software demo here!






Saturday, November 30, 2019

Keeping Sales Process Momentum Positive Over the Holidays


2019 Market is Strong Heading into the Holidays

We're just about to arrive in a double whammy environment for new home sales: less than optimal weather and many competing activities.

The weather might be frightful but ...
Yet, the overall market is positive: website visits are up, sales traffic is up, 2019 sales results are good.

How to keep the momentum going through the next several months?

Home Shoppers are in Your Office Because They're Interested!


A good first step is embracing the idea that home shoppers are visiting your community because they're interested in buying one of your homes... in many cases, today!

It's true: the weather might very well be frightful (while that is probably true in Minnesota, there are other locations where the weather is much better than July!).

And, recognize the power of inviting; take advantage of the holidays and your locale for inspiration. Hot apple cider makes any location seem like home! Add some fresh smelling citrus to up the scent if you're in a warmer climate! A fresh, new look and feel is contagious... and inviting!

Work Your CRM to Drive Traffic


Did you have a chance to read our Top Performer Blog? Our most effective CPS CRM sales manager's tip for success was persistence with follow-up. 

This Top Performer kept in touch with "his team" using his CPS CRM database -- and there's no better time to reach out than today. Invite "your team" over for holiday treats, coordinate a wine tasting, support a fundraiser for a local food bank. You're working to be "top of mind" for your team and any of their friends and family considering a new home.


After All, You're Prospecting for the Long Haul!


That's a Jeff Shore theme: top performers work the small things over and over. Ryan Taft is one of Jeff's sales trainers; he produced a great Blog reinforcing the small and consistent message:
  1. Do it! (that is: start now!)
  2. Personalize the Heck Out of It! (and the holidays make this pretty easy!)
  3. Be Consistent! (get started, now; keep at it after January 1!)

Consider New Tools in 2020!


Take a look at the IBS2020 Buyer Guide: CPS is listed as a member of the 25 Year Exhibitors Club

We're persistent: we're actually celebrating 35 Years as a software vendor to the homebuilding industry! Join us in Booth SU631 and see how our persistence can help you sell more homes, build more profitably and provide more responsive customer care!


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Builders: Automated Construction Software Helps Gain Efficiencies

Good News: Homebuilder Order Growth Continues to Accelerate

Have the details at your fingertips!
One of our most recent blogs Homebuilder Construction Rates Accelerating; Let's Talk Efficiency  was developed as a result of two recent Zelman & Associates comments,
"Builder order growth has continued to accelerate; excess speculative inventory has been absorbed and housing starts are picking up to satisfy demand."
"Increasing construction activity always presents the risk of cost inflation and labor tightness."  

Are Your Operations Optimized to Meet the Challenges?

There's nothing quite like throwing ice water on good news, is there?  How are builders addressing cost inflation and labor tightness? Possible to make adjustments and see results relatively quickly?

We'd like to suggest the answer is: YES!

Let's take a look at one of CPS' builder clients currently using our automated construction scheduling software,  FieldCollaborate. When asked how they previously managed their construction process, the CEO replied:
"Email and phone. We were really disjointed. There were disputes among FieldManagers about trades because they didn't know who was working on what, when."

Costs and Labor Can Be Better Managed! 

Sound familiar?  What has changed with the implementation of a scheduling system?
"Because you can plan out jobs far in advance (we schedule out 6 months), builders and vendors can forecast materials, allocate labor toward our jobs, etc. The purchasing team can negotiate better prices with vendors as they're able to pinpoint quantities and timing."

Using a Portal to Helps Get Everyone on the Same Page!

We've also talked about the value of SST (self-service technology; take a look at uses throughout a builder's organization in this Blog). FieldCollaborate offers SST with its Vendor Portal. Vendors, using authorized credentials, are able to view their schedules (as well as drawings, photos, notes and the like) up to 6 months in advance.  Builder staff access the same Portal. Everyone's looking at the same schedule, same calendar, same workload.

Critical is the short-term view regarding efficiency:
"The Portal eliminated a lot of phone calls, texts, etc. That extra time allows us to continue to move homes."
Want to find out more about the efficiency and profitability advantages provided by automated scheduling software? Contact us; we can provide a full-featured FieldCollaborate demo!