by MYERS BARNES, BUILDER Online
This article was originally published to the BUILDER Online blog on June 05, 2015.
In this day and age, builders have to put technology first, even above design and construction. I find that building firms are a bit unclear as to what they offer to their buyers. Think of it this way: Are you a builder who utilizes technology to reach your customers and maintain a relationship? Or are you a technology company that uses its expertise to build homes that your buyers want and find?
The vast array of high-tech tools available to our industry--website development, social media, virtual floor plans, mobile apps, GPS, QR codes, Google analytics--are those that differentiate you from other builders. When you leverage these power tools to communicate the part of your business that builds new homes, you can market and sell them. You can find your buyers more adeptly. You can locate and reach out to them and pull the right buyers out of a crowd. You can measure their response to your messaging, and alter it as needed.
Imagine if you work conventionally, showing elevations, floor plans, and site maps to potential home buyers. Now, step it up as you think like a technology company. You pull out your tablet and instantly customize a virtual floor plan to their changes. You add the exterior touches they want. And with one touch of your finger, you send a three-dimensional image to their mobile device.
You’re hosting an open house at your model home. You’re hoping the traffic will pick up. And you wait. Not exactly proactive, is it? Or you could shift to technology mode and post instant updates on Twitter and Facebook, with incentives that will prompt fast response. You text message prospects who should be there and send them photos. You don’t sit and wait. You rely on the power of technology to be a strong sales organization.
You finish a new home and post a “For Sale” sign. But a technology company knows to do more. The sign includes a QR code that a drive-by prospect can scan and then get all the information about the property, even contacting a sales agent right from the site.
The technology company that builds homes knows that most buyers browse on their mobile devices. And they recognize that a website needs to be adapted in order to be viewed on a smaller screen. They develop a mobile app and push out notifications to their prospects, so they can easily tap into this invaluable resource.
Ask yourself which kind of company you are – a builder, like many others, or a technology company with specific expertise in building homes?
Myers Barnes is a general contractor, realtor and eight-time industry author. He is the founder of N.C.-based Myers Barnes Associates and can be reach at 252-261-7611.