As 2021 wraps up, builders and buyers are still in the thick of pandemic-related disruptions. During our decades as real estate sales and marketing consultants for California and Nevada builders, we have never seen a change this profound in such a short time.
However, opportunity always accompanies adversity. Here’s what we have learned.
1. Become more flexible
As every builder knows, a structure is only as strong as its ability to withstand external forces. This principle applies to builders—and everyone who touches the residential construction and sales process.
For example, due to the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we adjusted our process for document flow. To avoid the mad dash to get signed closing documents in hand, the team at The Advantage Group worked with our lender partners to ensure all loan documents are now in the hands of the title company a week before closing. Adjusting this process alleviates some of the pressure on homeowners and the title company at the close of sale.
This required rethinking the way “things have always been done.” In the coming years, builders must be willing to revamp cumbersome processes that impede efficiency.
2. Have compassion for buyers
Builders always keep buyers top-of-mind, but this consideration has taken on added importance over the last year. Eager homebuyers are also grappling with the realities of construction delays, putting even more pressure on an already stressful process.
Our most important piece of advice: communicate, communicate, communicate. Buyers get nervous when they can’t see obvious progress on their new home. From automated email blasts detailing completion milestones to video updates featuring drone footage of the community’s progress, builders are implementing new methods of ensuring buyers are educated and informed.
Experienced real estate sales and marketing consultants can help homebuilders develop innovative strategies to keep buyers in the loop.
3. Rethink new home designs
As remote work etched itself into permanence for many homeowners during 2021, builders are recognizing the opportunity to design and construct houses that reflect a new definition of “work/life” balance. Paying attention to lifestyle trends enables builders to gain an advantage by designing homes that reflect the realities of domestic life today.
In the coming years, we expect to see more new homes designed with flexible work-from-home spaces, kids’ areas for remote learning, and the increased popularity of at-home leisure spaces.
4. Under-promise and over-deliver
This has always been a good rule of thumb for builders, but as pandemic-related supply chain disruptions have resulted in unavoidable delays, it is increasingly important to manage homeowner expectations. Instead of hard delivery dates, many builders are communicating a window for delivery.
Gone are the days of tight turnaround. 2021 taught builders to include more breathing room in construction timelines to alleviate some schedule-related pressures and avoid criticism from disappointed buyers.
5. Seek advice from real estate marketing experts
Seek advice from real estate marketing experts
Materials shortages, delivery delays, and state and federal changes to employment law meant builders’ hands were full in 2021. Simply being able to fulfill new home orders has been a challenge. In the rush to achieve delivery timelines, homebuilders are focused on the here-and-now, not necessarily what’s ahead.
Working with experienced real estate marketing consultants enables builders to get a head start on the future, which will be especially helpful when the market relaxes and competition increases.
Proven sales and marketing partners help builders anticipate buyer trends, appropriately price new homes to achieve maximum profit, and implement creative sales strategies that attract buyer interest.
6. Empower sales agents
Calming nervous buyers can be a massive time drain if done reactively. Instead, builders should provide sales agents with the appropriate materials and resources to reinforce strong relationships with buyers. We recommend encouraging agents to reach out to buyers proactively to check in, share updates, and answer questions. Homebuilders should also increase real estate sales and marketing consultants’ visibility into the construction process so they can pass key information along to buyers.
When it comes to home sales, the human connection can’t be underestimated. The sales team is a construction company’s face to the buyer. Builders must make sure sales agents are well equipped to represent the community—and by extension, the builder—in a positive light.
7. Nothing lasts forever
Both 2020 and 2021 have shown us that even dramatic change contains ebbs and flows. People adapt to a new normal. Businesses seek balance. Taking advantage of market trends can be great for builders, but it is only possible if a solid foundation already exists. Otherwise, homebuilders waste too much time and energy chasing fleeting opportunities.
As real estate marketing consultants with decades of experience across California and Nevada, we have seen how global events result in highs and lows for builders. Record high sales one year can be replaced by slowdowns the next, and weak buyer interest can be overturned quickly by implementing a powerful marketing strategy. Never take the good times for granted and keep in mind that there is a solution for every challenge.
As the calendar page turns to 2022, one thing remains constant: housing still represents so much for us all. “Home” is a place for family, tradition, and memories. No matter what happens in the year ahead, the strength of stability of home will never change
Take your real estate sales and marketing strategy to the next level. Contact the sales and marketing experts at The Advantage Group to find out how.