By Chris Lynch
Today, buyers of new homes want more than just a real estate investment; they are looking to enhance their lifestyle. So, the design center isn’t just about finish options and upgrades anymore! The design center is now the influential catalyst in transforming a homebuilder into a new home retailer. Going beyond construction of the home, a builder who is a home retailer is able to meet a buyers’ personalization desires and deliver the ‘New American Dream’ of living a luxury lifestyle. It’s about understanding today’s ‘new homebuyer’ and delivering the world class customer experience they deserve when making the most important purchase of their life!
The difference between production builders and new home retailers is that production builders focus on process while new home retailers focus on the customer experience. If you focus first on a buyer’s luxury features and build backwards, this approach produces a more personalized experience that also keeps you on schedule.
Why is new home retailing so important? Many shoppers prefer to buy a new home, and statistics show that new home builders only capture around 10% of all homebuyer purchases. That means builders are missing out on most of the new home buyers. What is needed is to better align a sales strategy to how new home buyers want to purchase today.
Issue #1 Instead of acting like a production builder, position your company as a builder of personalized homes on a schedule.
Homebuilders everywhere just wish options and upgrades would go away. Owners, executives, purchasing, construction, customer service and accounting people in the homebuilding industry struggle with this attitude and will continue to until they realize personalization is a core function of their business. After they acknowledge this is true, they can embrace the changes that need to be made to their jobs as a vital part of the business, instead of a hassle they wish would go away.
Issue #2 Don’t think like a Used Homebuyer.
Personalization and the design center experience is the greatest value-added service a homebuilder can provide to sell more homes. New home salespeople who embrace and engage ‘new’ homebuyers with a respect and appreciation for the difference between ‘used’ homebuyers and ‘new’ homebuyers will be the big winners going forward. Over 80% of ‘new’ homebuyers don’t want to buy a new home fixer upper, and are willing to invest to make their new home their own personal living space. Engaging new homebuyers with this knowledge improves the communication, ensures realistic expectations and makes the experience of buying a new home more enjoyable.
Healthy, Fit, and Fabulous are the keys to new home retailing according to Mike Moore, a leading building industry expert.
Healthy—more energy efficient, healthier and cleaner, on the inside and out. A new home should be more energy efficient, quieter, and cleaner to live in. Here are some quick tips on how to improve the energy efficiency of the homes you sell!
Fit—a home that is a connected home, with all its technology functioning and its parts working together within a future-proof platform. A connected intelligent home has smart systems that are fully integrated and easily managed with a single app on the phone or a touchscreen. In other words, shades, lighting, climate, audio, video, music, access, security, surveillance, pool, and irrigation can all be connected to one controller and work together. Homeowners can choose to personalize their home with lifestyle enhancement packages that make their home experience more convenient and fun from the latest technologies they can only get with a new home.
Fabulous—the new home is personalized to reflect each homebuyer’s personal style and enhance their homeownership and lifestyle. For instance, Christian Brothers Interiors (CBI) Finished Home Design Program features Studio Chateau, a national award-winning online options selection and management program. This program helps the designer and homebuyer create a home tailored to their personal taste and lifestyle that goes a long way in enhancing the living experience of the new homeowner.
Read more about CBI’s Finished Home Design Program here.
Mike Moore is a leading builder industry veteran, featured keynote speaker, and author. Mike has been teaching, training and coaching new homebuilders and design centers professionals for many years. This experience led to his co-founding Options Online in 1996 with one of his clients. Options Online became a nationally recognized, award winning online design center operating system. In fact, it was the first of its kind and is still going strong today as Studio Chateau.