By Robert Cowes III, President & CEO, SmartTouch® Interactive
New home marketing and sales teams know all too well that capturing and keeping a new home buyer interested takes persistence, much like casting your line with just the right bait, again and again, to catch an elusive fish. Home buyers aren’t always easily converted, which can make the buying cycle much longer. Add to that a CRM solution that’s not integrated with marketing automation and other third-party real estate apps and you have chaos when it comes to lead management. Managing the new home sales relationship efficiently and effectively requires a tackle box with all the right lures and hooks, a CRM that operates as a “Fish Finder” and can automate tasks and alerts, centrally aggregate key data, and empower the salesperson to engage the buyer at the right time with the exact right lure.
So, How Does a New Home Sales CRM Help Land the Home Buyer?
Given today’s market and inventory challenges, the new home buying cycle can take as long as a year or more, which means the sales representative will need to have regular touch points, including emails, Zoom calls, and to set and manage appointments to bring new home buyers back in throughout the process. Automating these tasks and reminders via a CRM solution allows sales team members to manage the relationship and provides additional important functions like alerts when buyers have clicked on an email or viewed pages on the website.
Automating reminders, alerts and follow up tasks are just some of the beneficial aspects of lead management. Another significant benefit is the ability to do lead scoring, which ensures sales teams are alerted to key prospects based on lead activity. For example, a new home sales CRM tool designed specifically for home builder sales teams, SmartTouch®, offers a unique feature called Hot List management, which exposes the hottest prospects based on lead activity such as website visits, email and social engagement, content downloads and more, over specific time ranges. Access to this type of data creates a competitive advantage as it allows the new home sales teams to spend their time on the most engaged leads vs. casting a line out to every single buyer regardless of their engagement level.
Today’s new home buyers also expect to view the property and book time with a sales representative at their convenience. Online appointment setting that lets buyers book meetings natively in the real estate CRM is critical to seamless relationship management throughout the buyer lifecycle.
One of the most significant benefits for new home sales and marketing teams is integrating their CRM and other marketing tools and third-party apps or websites. It is critical to choose a platform that focuses on interoperability between all the critical data points and engagement methods required sell new homes. Integrating these solutions allows new home sales teams to gain visibility into a buyer’s engagement with email marketing, social channels, and listing sites, aggregating all lead data into one central place. Features like list building and filtering by contacts and communities, text messaging and email marketing coupled with access to comprehensive data throughout the new home buyer lifecycle affords an essential competitive advantage in a relationship sale. And with pipeline and sales reporting tools, new home sales management teams gain the insights they need to understand their overall business better.
What Essential Workflows Should a Robust New Home Sales CRM Solution Offer?
While CRMs are sometimes thought of as simply database warehouses or contact management systems, an effective new homes sales CRM will include built-in workflows designed for the way you operate your business and tailored to how your buyers flow through the lifecycle. When looking for the right CRM for your home builder business, there are several key workflows you’ll want to ensure the tool includes.
- Lead management workflows that automate digital lead capture across all sources, including your website, home listing websites, digital ads, and social media platforms
- Automated lead distribution to corresponding assignments, sales agents, communities, and product types.
- Lead scoring alerts, including hot leads and buyer visits to specific Web pages.
- Auto-replies that deliver relevant information that increases the lead score and triggers for sales actions based on activity and scores.
- Online calendar tools that provide appointment management workflows and allow sales representatives to share availability to book a tour or meet directly.
Having all these workflows in place and buyer transaction data available in a single location gives sales representatives the valuable insights they need to better craft communications and ensure they use the right lures at the right time.
The Key to Success: Embracing New Home Sales CRM as Standard Operating Procedure
Home builders and real estate developers who want to get the most from their investment must make using the CRM a requirement and fully integrate workflows into the daily routines of their teams. Sales and marketing teams that commit to using the CRM optimally will enable management teams with greater visibility into the sales pipeline as well as access to critical insights like sales conversion data. Armed with important data, builder management teams make better data-driven decisions for sales and marketing investments and can build a more predictable business model. Ultimately, if used to its full potential, a well-designed new homes marketing and sales CRM solution enables consistent, timely communication, provides a better client experience to reel in more buyers and achieves the big payoff, landing more new home sales.
What CRM Solutions Are Best Suited to New Home Sales?
SmartTouch® NexGen is the only CRM 100% dedicated to new home sales and the only real estate CRM solution with a mobile app. SmartTouch® offers comprehensive service and flexible interoperability with third party platforms for a complete buying cycle, from lead capture to the moment of final transaction and through integrations with sales contracting platforms, even the final contract phase is available via NexGen. SmartTouch provides 90% of what new home marketing and sales teams need out of the box, and the other 10% is customized during the onboarding process to deliver a CRM that helps reel in the big second home fish every time.