How Can an Online Sales Counselor Help Nurture Leads During the Home Buying Process?

November 03, 2022

How Can an Online Sales Counselor Help Nurture Leads During the Home Buying Process?

Online Sales Counselors (OSC) are vital to the new home sales process. Online shoppers expect a quick response to their inquiries no matter what hour of the day or night they reach out. With potential buyers setting the bar high in terms of expectations over the past few years, home builders and real estate developers have increased hiring for the OSC position. It seems that everyone is now on board with Why Home Builders Need Online Sales Consultants in All Market Conditions. And boy, have the market conditions changed! We’ve gone from a homebuying frenzy during the Covid-19 pandemic to a much calmer market due to steep interest rate increases. The result is that home builders, and developers are receiving fewer leads. Yet there is an argument that these are much more qualified leads. Those potential home buyers willing to submit a contact form with their name, email and phone number are not kicking tires in today’s market.

What Can an OSC Expect?

Homebuyers are going to be a bit more cautious in this market. They may take longer to respond and are going to weigh all options before moving forward. Don’t expect as quick of a turnaround on sales as the pace might have been before market factors changed.

As an OSC, be ready to work all leads and understand that buyers won’t be quick to make a move.

Lead Nurturing for the Long Haul

Nurturing a lead takes time! The OSC must be prepared for the long haul on this one. While it might have been easy to set appointments in 2021, a bit of cultivation, nourishment and incubation is now the best approach. It is essential to not easily give up on a lead if they don’t schedule an appointment quickly. Understand that buyers are worried and need a little encouragement to take that next step. And it might take multiple touchpoints. Consider reaching out to home shoppers in a variety of ways.

Email

Emails to prospects are pretty tried and true. For those buyers who will engage with the OSC in an email conversation, this might be enough to get them to set an appointment. But what if email doesn’t work? How can your home building or real estate development company differentiate itself and get the conversation underway?

Video email

Including a video to your prospect in the email increases the chance of the new home shopper engaging. A savvy OSC mentions the prospect’s name in the video and personalizes it based on their questions and interests. Putting a face with a name builds a relationship and forms a commonality. People buy from people they like, so adding this personal touchpoint goes a long way. One of our favorite video services is BombBomb, which allows tailored messages to be sent to numerous people.

Drip Campaigns

Setting up a series of autoresponder emails on evergreen topics helps your home building or real estate development company to stay top of mind with the prospective home buyer. These emails should not replace one-to-one emails from an OSC. We discuss drip campaigns in Strategies to Implement When Selling Homes Online.

Text Messaging

Hopefully, your online form asks for permission to text because, according to CallHub.io, text messages have a 45% response rate versus only 8% for email. And the average person responds to a text message within 90 seconds, so this is a quick form of engagement for those interested in using it. Consider sending photos and videos over text, too, mainly if they help to illustrate the answer to a question.

Phone Call

Don’t forget the power of a phone call! In home builder follow-up mystery shops, less than 40% of builders reached out to prospects via phone. This is a huge untapped opportunity as it is the next best thing to talking face-to-face. The ability to ask and answer questions in a fluid conversation is priceless as a method of engaging potential buyers and moving them through the buyer’s journey to make an appointment.

Lead Revival: Setting Yourself Apart

The lead funnel was filling at a lightning pace over the past two years, but what happened to all the people who didn’t buy one of your homes? Now is a great time to revive those old, dead leads. Maybe they haven’t bought a home yet and this is the perfect time to reach out. Consider a text or email that asks if they are still in the market and if they can help you update their contact information.

Best OSC Practices

• Respond to leads in 5 minutes or less
• Use a variety of follow-up methods – text, phone, email, video
• Don’t forget to pick up the phone
• Don’t assume a lead is dead
• Nurture, nurture, nurture!

Whether the housing market is up or down, OSCs are essential in consistently providing excellent brand experiences for prospective home buyers.

At Milesbrand, we’re dedicated to delivering exceptional marketing strategies, creative design and branding campaigns to expand your home builder brand. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can support your online sales and lead nurturing strategies to elevate your customer experience.

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