FloorPop - Marketing Best Practices for Homebuilders, July 4, 2007
Vol. 8, Issue 4: Copyright 2007 Blair Kuhnen. All rights reserved.
|FloorPop||FloorPop (Flôr-pop) n. 1. The new home buyer who visits a homebuilder's community and writes a contract for sale the same day. 2. The sound made by a salesperson clicking their heels high in the air and returning to the floor after a prospect signs a contract to buy a new home the day they first meet.|
How to Get More Leads, How to Convert More Leads
Tulsa, Oklahoma is a small, but good, homebuilding market. Being a smaller market, with limited relocation and easy commutes, lead volume for builders tends to be low. Many home shoppers are reluctant to give up their contact information and prefer to just visit communities without ever becoming a lead. Many builders in these smaller markets are reluctant to add an Online Sales Counselor (OSC). They just don't feel they have enough leads.
Simmons Homes is the leading builder in Tulsa. They have no problem generating lots of leads and converting a great many of them into sales. Here's how they do it.
First a little background. Simmons created an OSC program in October of 2005. When Simmons started their OSC program they were generating well under 100 leads per month. Since that time, they have added NewHomeSource.com, Move.com, NewHomeguides.com, and pay-per-click campaigns to drive up their website leads and third party leads. They have improved their monthly lead volume by 491%, plenty for an effective OSC program.
Simmons sees 20-25% of their total sales coming from their Internet leads. I spent some time this month with Mike Lyon, OSC for Simmons Homes, about techniques for converting more of these leads into sales. Mike is a master of online sales. His strength is in setting appointments. You can order his book on the subject here. After reading it, I would consider buying it just for his phone scripts.
While, Lyon's most effective channel is his own website, he measures everything. According to Lyon, "I measure performance basically on the amount of leads, the conversion rate on those leads, and what we spend. Ultimately it comes down to the cost per contract. Ultimately, it is the contract that determines the value."
Lyon is pretty aggressive with all of his distribution channels, but he cautions, "See which ones works the best for you and gives you the most bang for the buck."
So, Simmons has several channels and great conversion rates. How do they do it? Their key is appointments with approximately 20% of leads converting to an appointment. Lyon's best friend is the phone. "Ultimately on the phone, because on the phone, you can talk with them, qualify them better, learn more about their needs and ultimately set an appointment."
He shared with me a few of the scripts he uses. Here's one: "I'd like to set up a time for you to come see our model home. What works best for you, the weekend or the weekday?" Lyon states, "Just by asking, your scheduling rate can go up immediately."
Did one or two of you out there cringe when I said scripts? Lyon is not scared of scripts, "It is all about the delivery. Learning a script is not about delivering a canned message to a buyer, because that is going to turn off anybody." Lyon sees scripts as somewhat liberating. "The benefit of the script it that you know the information so well that it comes off friendly and allows you to handle the objection." According to Lyon, getting the objection is half the battle. Here are a couple of Lyon's objection scripts:
Prospect: "I have to check with my husband or significant other.
Prospect: "We are just looking or just started looking..
There's a lot more in Lyon's book. You can get more leads by expanding your distribution. Once you get those leads, leverage these conversion tactics and see your Internet related sales volume rapidly improve.
P.S. As some of you may know, I am an avid runner and will be running in the Chicago Marathon on October 7th in support of the Chicago Police Department's Memorial Fund. Any support of this cause would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your support.
Blair Kuhnen is the publisher of FloorPop. He is VP of Marketing for Builder Homesite, the consortium of 38 major homebuilders that created the leading builder portal, NewHomesource.com (http://www.newhomesource.com).
This newsletter is brought to you by, Builder Homesite, Inc. and its family of Homebuilder products.
Builder Homesite is a consortium created by homebuilders for homebuilders dedicated to improving the financial performance of builders.
New Home Source is the leading new home shopping portal and trusted source of new home community for consumers across the U.S.
envision is a fully integrated options management solution for the entire building industry. It increases your option sales while improving customer satisfaction with the design center process.
New Home Lifestyles is America's most popular new home lifestyle television program. Combined with the New Home Lifestyles website, it drives highly qualified consumers to your new home communities.
Ex Squared brings enterprise class technology solutions to homebuilders .
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