June 17, 2021
How Internet Sales Consultants Are Changing the Home Buying Process
Navigating the digital world while making real in-person connections with your buyers is a challenge in itself. Most buyers nowadays like a nice mix of online searching and in-person experiences before making such an expensive and important purchase as buying their home(s). So, if you're looking to bridge the gap between online website traffic and in-person sales, look no further than internet sales consultants.
In fact, these online sales consultants play a significant role in the success of your customer's experiences — something that TechJury reports is crucial to your brand's success. This research shows an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience, and 86% of customers say that they are ready to pay more if it means getting a better customer experience.
This is particularly true in real estate and home building. A sales-focused approach is more likely to make you fall behind the curve. In contrast, a customer-centric approach will not only get you the sale but create a bond that will encourage those buyers to refer and recommend your brand to friends, family, and whoever will listen.
Keep reading to learn more about the modern home buying environment, what buyers expect from you, and how online sales consultants make all the difference.
The Modern Home Buying Environment
First and foremost, the most significant change in home buying is the increase in online usage. It was once perfectly acceptable to let an agent tailor a customer's home buying experience through highlights on your properties and their personal knowledge on the market in an in-person fashion.
In fact, it was the only way to do it. Nowadays, however, buyers rely on the internet to do the research before even talking to real estate or home building brands about what they're looking for.
According to the 2021 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, these are some of the most important factors influencing the home buying environment today:
- Difficulties in the home buying process — nearly 53% of buyers consider finding the right property a major difficulty. However, other notable challenges include paperwork, understanding the process and steps, saving for a down payment, getting a mortgage, property appraisals, and inability to move forward in the process due to COVID-19.
- Internet home searches — according to the latest research and reports, 97% of all buyers use the internet to search for homes, broken down into 99% of 22-30 year-olds, 99% of 31-40 year-olds, 98% 41-55 year-olds, 97% of 56-65 year-olds, 95% of 66-74 year-olds, and 87% of 75-95 year-olds.
- Actions Taken As a Result of Online Home Searches: 56% of all buyers walked through home viewings online, with many buyers also:
- Seeing the exterior of homes/neighborhood — but not walking through them
- Finding their agent they used to search for or buy a home
- Becoming pre-qualified for a mortgage online
- Requesting more information
- Putting in a contract/offer on a home
- Applying for a mortgage online
- Looking for more information on how to get a mortgage and general home buyer tips
- Finding a mortgage lender online
- Contacting a builder/developer
With that being said, home buyer expectations have changed as well.
What Do Home Buyers Expect?
Expectations are a powerful source for sales, and meeting or exceeding them is crucial to increasing revenue in ALL industries. This is even more relevant in real estate and home building because you're selling a dream or a life to your buyers via your properties, homes, communities, etc. And the only way to truly convey the value of your offer is through great customer experiences.
Home builders should strive to provide the absolute best experience for home buyers to differentiate from the competition and highlight all the positive things they can expect not only from your company during the rest of their buyer journey — but from the property/homes they purchase from you down the road.
However, that's not always easy to do with such high reliance on the internet and your website. Of course, your website/design is crucial, but you need a dedicated team member to take those potential home buyers through the process, narrow down the best homes and communities to match their needs, and not make them feel like just another sale to meet a quota. Buyers are emotional and expect to be catered to in an authentic, personalized, and for lack of a better word — human way. Meaning they're not just sales numbers.
The truth is, customer experience is driving the digital real estate market today, and you can't afford to miss out on it.
Internet Sales Consultants
This is where internet sales consultants come into play to really bring you and your buyers together in a more holistic and valuable way. The real estate market is still becoming accustomed to the internet and its influence on the home buying process and decisions.
Online sales consultants (OSC) not only make that transition from an online search to an in-person viewing smoother, but they work directly with home building companies to close more deals by:
- Responding quickly to online inquiries about new homes and communities
- Informing interested home buyers about communities and homes being developed
- Understanding a home buyer’s key motivators in terms of price, location, home design, and move-in date
- Scheduling showings between home buyers and on-site agents
Most importantly, however, they also work closely with buyers to ensure home designs, interior features, and expectations are exactly what the buyer had in mind.
OSCs are without a doubt continuing to change the home buying process by becoming trusted confidants of home buyers — they know their biggest aspirations, pain points, struggles, etc., and are prioritizing their experience throughout the process. This in-depth knowledge and insight into your buyer's journey is exactly what you need to attract the right buyer and match them with their dream home.
The Key Takeaway
Customer experience is everything when it comes to selling homes and properties. Buyers no longer just appreciate the extra incentive but expect it in every touchpoint with your homebuilding brand.
Working with Milesbrand will ensure that your brand is positive and consistent with every buyer and their experiences. In the meantime, contact us directly or check out our blog for more on internet sales consultants and their growing importance in the home buying market today.