Building a home takes about the same amount of time as growing a human baby, and the two events carry with them a remarkably similar amount of anxiety. The difference, however, is that if a mother went months without hearing from her doctor about the condition and progress of the baby, there would be outrage and a very fired doctor. For some reason, though, builders operate under the false idea that buyers don’t need to hear about the progress and condition of their new home’s construction. That’s not only absurd, it signals a troubling disconnect between the sales team and your buyers; that disconnect will cost you referrals.
On the other hand, overhauling your sales team’s approach to proactive communication requires minimal effort with satisfyingly profound results. It’s literally as easy as picking up a phone and dialing a number. So, if you’re ready to make your buyers happy and start raking in more referrals, here’s the recipe:
- Under promise and over deliver: It’s a controversial adage, but in this case, it rings true for psychological reasons. If a homebuyer is never told that a sales representative will be providing regular construction updates, the updates become a perk. If the homebuyer is told about the regular updates, the updates become an expectation. The subtle change alters the perception of the builder in the buyer’s mind from simply meeting the necessary requirements to providing exceptional customer service. So, when proceeding with the rest of the checklist, don’t actually tell your customers to expect regular communication: just do it. This also allows your sales team to have wiggle room in case someone forgets to call the buyer on a particular week; make the call happen the next week and your team will still be over delivering.
- Proactive communication of construction status: Communication is vital, and it’s one of the top behaviors that drive referrals. Your sales team needs to be making regular communication about the buyer’s construction status: it doesn’t matter if that update is weekly or happens twice a month, so long as it happens consistently. If your sales team moans about the possibility of having to talk to an actual human, use Slydial and leave a voicemail for the buyer. Or, if you’d prefer a more concrete trail, opt for regular emails. Want to be absolutely stellar? Attach photos of the construction status to the emails so the buyer has a visual to go with the update. Some companies have developed customer portals that allow buyers to log in and check for updates and we’re looking forward to the day when builders have their own customer apps, but if you are without either portal or app, then voicemails and emails work just as well.
- Be honest: Even if there are delays in construction or other issues with the build, be committed to transparent communication. Builders often report that buyers are understanding when updates are either neutral or negative; the important thing is that they were included in the progress. It’s one thing to experience a construction delay and an entirely different thing to never be informed of the delay in the first place. Train your sales team to be open when they’re contacting the buyers. If there’s nothing much to report, tell the buyer there’s nothing very exciting happening—this sets up a foundation of openness that quells the anxiety of making a very large purchase. If you’re open and proactive about communicating in the beginning, the buyer is more trusting and infinitely more understanding throughout the entire process.
These three benchmarks make infinite difference in the buyer’s perception of you as a builder. It leads to their overall satisfaction with their home purchase and negates the possibility of buyer’s remorse. And yet, they’re not exceptionally difficult behaviors. Train your sales team how to communicate freely and regularly with buyers and you’ll find your reputation improves just as easily.