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Monday, August 31, 2015

Builders: How Focused Are Your Sales/Marketing Efforts on the 91%?

Back in April 2015, the Blog highlighted the statistic that 91% of home purchase decisions were made by women.  We mentioned women are more "connected," they're interested in relevant information and appreciate relatable content.

Recently, TecHomeBuilder featured an article titled The WOW Factor of Women-Centric Building and highlighted several key factors women look for in the home buying process:

(1) Make an emotional connection -- images can really help with this item.  Take a look at the interactive touchscreen system designed for Newland's Tehaleh master plan community displayed below.  At a glance, you're able to put together a set of thoughts about the community, imagine the energy taking place on a daily basis and want to investigate further.

CPS' SalesTouch Helps Imagine Living Here!
(2) Engage your buyer with a story -- let your shopper get to know you and use language that speak to her such as "build a better life."

Didn't we talk about relatable content back in April?  Let your buyer know your community is the place for her!  You're going to need to do some discovery to determine not only the demographic of your audience but their drivers.  Sometimes, it's schools; other times, recreation, easy access to employment locations or health care facilities.  Take some time getting to know your buyer profile's back story in order to tell appropriate stories to your buyer!

Understanding the Back Story Helps You Tell Relatable Stories!
(3) Focus on a Quality Presentation -- here's where interactive presentations help you engage the shopper! Walk into an office (any office!) with what is called "passive signage" and then walk into another with interactive presentations -- whether in a kiosk, on the wall or presented via tablet.  You can feel the energy, will definitely get engaged and want to explore!

There's more to the WOW factor -- keep an eye on the Blog!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Are Store Suggestion Boxes Past Their Prime?

It's true: the old, wooden suggestion box with a slot on top is no doubt past its prime.  Also no longer relevant to today's shopper is the passive comment board -- that tired-looking cork board with messages, faded and tattered flyers and weary, crumpled suggestion forms.

However, just because those items aren't relevant  doesn't mean retailers aren't interested in getting in touch with their shopper, soliciting opinions and providing information.

Today, many of those objectives are being met with digital solutions -- and they're not just passively collecting  but expanding to become customer experience zones displaying store specials, video and, even, websites.

CPS' touchscreen-based Customer Comment Board 
And...  are you listening to your customers?

CPS' touchscreen-based Customer Comment Board acts as a proactive customer service process.  Customers are  asked to submit comments, suggestions, ideas.  They're empowered, given a platform and might even provide ideas for new products, initiatives and improvements.

Take a closer look at the Board on the left -- there's all sorts of cstomer engagement initiatives combined into a single board designed to enhance the shopping experience:

   (1) The actual Leave a Comment section
   (2) A store events calendar with pop-up details available at a touch
   (3) Streaming video content
   (4) Weekly Specials display
   (5) Connections with social media

If you entered this store, wouldn't you want to walk up and see what's happening on this board? Digital signage has moved from a simple, one-way dialogue with either the shopper filling out a form or the retailer broadcasting to the customer to a two-way conversation. It's engaging, more personal and expanding the brand experience.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Builders: Are You on Track for Profit?

ProBuilder, in August 2015, had a great article entitled The 12 Processes for Sustainable Profit with the subtitle: How to establish sound business systems that ensure a healthy bottom line.

The processes range from land/lot selection to product design to sales & marketing processes.

ProBuilder suggests builders shouldn't focus on traditional questions or their answers.  For example, the article suggests virtually all sales training focuses on getting the deal.  That's great but..there needs to be a focus on determining the true total cost of the deal to determine it is a "good deal."

We're going to focus on Process #9: Building Schedules. The article says:

The best builders are the best schedulers -- and the best schedulers are the best builders. 

CPS FieldCollaborate; getting to a healthy bottom line!
What are you doing to be the best scheduler?

While it is true that it doesn't make sense to automate a bad process, we'll suggest that it doesn't make sense to schedule with a cell phone or pen & paper.  Take a look at CPS' FieldCollaborate -- an automated scheduling software application designed for homebuilders.  You're able to create your own standard templates and schedule from either a desired start or completion date. Your vendors  are assigned work dates and field managers track, record and monitor progress. 

Of course, there are all sorts of bells and whistles, too: a Vendor Portal to share schedules and drawings, Safety Assessments, Ratings, Punch Lists.

Key is the ability to create consistent schedules and measure results -- anywhere/anytime and accessible by all of your stakeholders (corporate staff, schedulers, field managers and your vendors).  

Yes; there are trade and material shortages, options/upgrades, all sorts of weather -- the list is endless. But, nothing beats an accurate and predictable schedule to enhance your operations and profits.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What Does 89% Mean for New Home Sales?

There are all sorts of percentages floating around in the new home sales world but this one is striking: 89% of home sales have a Realtor involved according to new home sales marketing consultant, Myers Barnes.

New home sales and resale.. combined.  89% of first time buyers; 87% of move-up; 89% of 55+ buyers.
Effective CRM use helps build this pipeline!

What does that mean for you as a new home sales or marketing professional? It suggests getting in better touch with this critical part of the sales process will help you sell more homes!

"Wait!" you might say, "Most of my buyers are finding me on the internet! How important can these agents be?  My shoppers are browsing the web, shopping on their mobile, checking Zillow."

To paraphrase that well known car ad: today's Realtor isn't your father's Realtor!  Agents aren't necessarily driving buyers around town...their value has transitioned to being seen as assisting in the negotiation process, helping narrow down alternatives and providing the "latest" information.

What can you do to build this pipeline of sales prospects?  Build and nurture the relationships. Agents say they want to be recognized and appreciated when bringing prospects into the sales office.  They'd like programs oriented towards their needs; think community tours on "off days", targeted follow-up with new information, collateral they can distribute.  What about a community-specific app?

CPS' CRM provides all sorts of co-op agent tools so you're able to designate agents, find out who are your best performers, setup and manage events and faciliate consistent, effective followup.  We'll help you grab a bigger part of that 89%!