Why your builder should love the internet

Services for Real Estate Pros

Hopefully, you do not need convincing as to why you need to implement or improve your online sales program. However, it is always good to look at the facts and forecast the future to adapt your program for things to come.

Let’s take a look at a few of these facts directly related to the homebuilding industry:

  • Over 80% of homebuyers start their home search online That is a large percentage of your exact market. Shoppers are also frequenting the website more often to research a potential purchase and to look for additional information over their entire sales cycle.
  • Over 27% of American adults use the internet to research real estateThis is a large portion of the adult population. This number has doubled since 2000 and is only increasing as the use of the internet increases.
  • Homebuilders determined that the highest quality leads come from their websiteOnline customers are more informed, serious shoppers who can make a quicker decision than walk in traffic. Specifically, online customers who have been qualified and well taken care of tend to write a contract 30% of the time.
  • The faster you follow up with a customer, the more likely they are to purchaseWhen a customer receives a fast and courteous response to an online request, the conversion ratio increases dramatically. This is not easily accomplished by the traditional onsite sales agent.
  • Builders are not allocating enough marketing dollars to online sources to keep up with the demandStudies show the lack of marketing dollars allocated to online marketing. Similar studies also show that the amount spent for online marketing will almost double by 2010.
  • Less than 10% of builders have a dedicated person to handle leads from online sourcesLeads are coming in over the web with little to no conversions because builders are not handling them quickly or effectively. A large segment of the market is undervalued.

Builders must anticipate the increase of online shoppers and the growing expectations for these potential homebuyers.

A recent survey conducted for the National Association of Home Builders Institute of Residential Marketing by Harris Interactive suggests that builders need to boost their online-marketing dollar allocations and improve their Internet presence. This study also revealed alarming trends in the lack of online contact from the builder to the consumer. Builders are missing an easy opportunity to connect with the target audience and would benefit by having a staff person dedicated to handling Internet leads and only 8 percent of participating builders claimed having a dedicated Internet salesperson to handle leads.

This revealing study is screaming one thing loud and clear – most homebuilders are not taking advantage of the large amount of people searching online for their new home. The exciting news is that there is an immense amount of opportunity for builders who are willing to channel their marketing efforts where the buyers are. Not only that, but builders put a program in place to effectively manage online customers will be well ahead of their competition.

A second study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project conducted in 2006 shows the increasing numbers of internet users who are using the web to research their next residence. The study shows that 39% of internet users have looked online for information about a place to live – double the overall number of Americans who had done so in 2000. This number has steadily increased over the past six years and is poised to increase at a higher rate.

Not only that, more than half of internet users ages 19-29 use the web to research housing. This is a forecast of things to come. Those who have grown up in the information age will be more likely to start their search online. Are you ready for those customers? The real question is, will you evolve to deliver on this new buyer’s expectations. The same old song and dance will not work anymore.

More tips and articles at www.DoYouConvert.com

Comments (10)

Abe Loper
Nobility Partners, LLC - Lynchburg, VA
Good blog.  I'm pretty sure that those bullet points are pertinent not only to builders but to mortgage professionals, marketing teams, etc.  We all need to be more invested in our internet visibility.
Jun 07, 2007 04:14 AM
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
It is evident to me, from the phone calls, that online is becoming more of a factor in business every day.
Jun 07, 2007 04:15 AM
David A. Podgursky PA
THE PODGURSKY GROUP @ Re/Max Direct - Boynton Beach, FL
THE PODGURSKY GROUP - Make the Right Move!
the internet is a great way for a builder to show as built models, plans etc... it should be a no brainer!
Jun 07, 2007 04:17 AM
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Online marketing is where its at today.  Every house nowadays had computers and access to everything. One would be remis if they didn't put their business online.....


Patricia Aulson/REALTOR/NH/ME/MA    www.patricia4realestate.com

Jun 07, 2007 05:24 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hi there, Just stopping by to welcome you to ActiveRain. You are going to love this place. There a link below that will help you use AR to it's fullest. See you around the Rain!! Broker Bryant


Jun 07, 2007 12:23 PM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Hi Mike, Great first post! Welcome to Active Rain!
Jun 07, 2007 03:44 PM
Peter M . Christopher
Fairfield County Home Inspection LLC - Fairfield, CT
Residential & Commercial Inspections in
Hi there, Welcome to A/R. I look forward to reading your post.
Jun 07, 2007 05:10 PM
Mike Lyon
Edmond, OK
Thanks for the feedback guys! I'm excited to get involved on Active Rain! More posts to come.
Jun 08, 2007 02:33 AM
Lance Sonka
281-818-2727 - Houston, TX


Welcome to AR Mike! (Be Careful this place is addictive...)


Jun 08, 2007 07:49 AM
David Lawyer

This is a great post and a very important issue. It's been an uphill battle just to convince real estate agents to increase their online marketing efforts and many of them are relatively tech savvy (many coming from a tech background in a previous life). Builders are behind the ball and it will still take some convincing (and educating) to get them to spend some money to increase marketing impact in different mediums like the Web.

David Lawyer - http://www.clicktowne.com/



Aug 21, 2007 06:00 PM