Closing a new home sale can be a lengthy process with lots of ups and downs for buyers. Today’s labor shortages and supply chain interruptions mean builders must balance high buyer demand against the realities of product completion. Every homebuilder is accustomed to managing a few hiccups during construction, but new unknowns extend construction timelines and stretch buyers’ patience.
A successful real estate sales and marketing strategy is about more than closing the sale. It’s about making buyers feel engaged, inspired, and confident about their decisions during every stage of the process. But buyers get stressed when they see their completion timelines edging further into the future—even if those delays are beyond anyone’s control.
Here are some proven tactics to keep buyers happy while they’re waiting for their keys.
Keep homebuyers informed
Buyers get antsy when they haven’t heard from their sales agent recently. Be proactive about providing comprehensive status reports, detailing specifics like which stage of construction you’re in, what has been already completed, and what’s coming next. Be as specific as possible about expected timelines and transparent about reasons behind any delays. Buyers who understand what’s happening accept delays with more understanding.
Use multiple means of communication
Buyers may think they are being deprioritized when they may have simply overlooked communications from your sales office. Best practices for real estate sales and marketing today include multiple methods of outreach. Phone calls, voice messages, text messages, email blasts, buyer portals, and company newsletters are all great ways to reach busy or distracted buyers who may not receive communications issued via a single method. For particularly important communications, request that buyers reply with a message acknowledging receipt.
Share various types of media
Don’t limit your company’s newsletter or other communications to verbal or written descriptions only. Including pictures and video enables buyers to see firsthand what’s happening. Buyers who don’t live nearby (or those who can’t stop by the construction site) will appreciate the ability to lay eyes on the status of their new home’s completion.
Even if a buyer has purchased a home in the past, unless they are a builder themselves, they likely lack a detailed understanding of what goes into the building process. Explain how systems in the home are connected and how delays in one area can slow progress elsewhere. Feel free to extend your education efforts beyond the building process, too. Provide a range of information, such as what to expect during closing, how their new home’s solar panels work, what types of insurance they may require, and information about their new neighborhood. The more knowledge buyers have, the more empowered they feel.
Create and share inspiring content
Every successful real estate marketing strategy involves helping buyers envision themselves in their new homes. Keep buyers excited about what’s to come by creating original content or sharing quality content in your company’s new buyer newsletter or through email blasts. Some suggestions include decorating tips, landscaping suggestions, recipes, and interviews with new homeowners.
Reach out first
It goes without saying that sales agents should respond promptly to emails, phone calls, and texts from buyers. But taking the time to check in—without a specific reason—strengthens the personal connection with the sales agent, and by extension, their relationship with your company. Proactively contacting buyers with good news or just to check in also reassures buyers that they’re not only hearing from sales agents when things go wrong.
Send a small gift
Though it’s impossible to make up for every delay that may arise during construction, a thoughtful gesture goes a long way with impatient buyers. Gift cards to local coffee shops or restaurants, tickets to movies, and small boxes of chocolates or other consumables are economical investments that let buyers know you’re thinking of them. If possible, include a short, hand-written note from the sales agent to add a personal touch.
Create an online portal
Buyers feel empowered when they’re able to access their own information without needing to await a call back from their sales agent. If your company doesn’t have one already, work with a web developer or real estate sales and marketing partner to create an online portal where buyers can review updates, access documents, and see the progress of their community’s construction.
Keep sales partners in the loop
Present a unified front by keeping the lender and title company well informed on the status of completion. Loop their representatives into all communications with buyers and ask that they do the same with your sales agents. Frequent notifications and status updates reduce time-consuming back-and-forth and avoid communication mix-ups that make buyers nervous.
Genuine empathy always wins
The key to keeping buyers happy while they wait is to build a strong relationship during what can be a difficult time. For many builders, working with experienced real estate sales and marketing partners is a way to instantly upgrade the sales process and provide more attention to anxious buyers.
Whether you handle sales internally or partner with experts, remember to keep the buyer’s perspective top-of-mind, treating them with care and respect as they endure what may feel like a long road toward closing on their new home.
Contact the experts at The Advantage Group today to take your sales experience to the next level.