Improving the perception of your home buyer’s experience with your brand will not only increase brand trust and customer satisfaction but have a remarkable impact on your bottom line. To be able to deliver a great customer experience one has to observe and understand the interaction through the customer’s eyes along the entire journey. Once you have an understanding of their behaviour and needs, you can adapt your marketing strategies to match them at each stage of their journey.
Watch this short video in which our Chief Experience Officer explains how to afford a great customer experience for new home buyers.
Customer Experience (CX) is the new brand
Customer Experience is your buyer’s holistic perception of their interactions with your product or service. This interaction is made up of three parts:
- the customer journey,
- the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with,
- and the environments the customer experiences during their relationship. (Wikipedia)
To be able to deliver a great CX you have to observe and understand the interactions with your brand, like with the sales staff and marketing collaterals. Look at these interactions as a whole. Instead of focusing on segments of the customer’s journey, aim to consider the customer’s end-to-end experience along the entire journey.
“Customers accustomed to the personalisation and ease of dealing with digital natives such as Google and Amazon now expect the same kind of service from established players. Research shows that 25% of customers will defect after just one bad experience.”McKinsey
A great CX, however, has clear benefits:
- it increases brand trust
- it creates better customer satisfaction
- and results in better word-of-mouth marketing.
The New Home Buyer’s Journey
An average home buyer’s journey consists of four major stages:
The journey starts with the stage of awareness when potential buyers first contemplate the idea of buying. Then it continues with active research in the consideration stage. Followed by the acquisition stage when they connect with a real estate agent. If the home buyer’s experiences are positive, they complete the purchase at the final, transaction stage.
Brand touchpoints to look at
It is essential for property developers to adapt their marketing strategies to match the buyer’s needs at each stage of their journey. Buyers at the awareness and consideration stages are not yet ready to talk to agents or developers. Most of them begin their active research online, using digital tools such as search engines, real estate listing sites, social media platforms, YouTube, mobile apps etc.
A recent NAR report showed that “online searching maximizes the ability to compare and contrast homes on the market by selected features. Most of this is done before a potential home buyer connects with a real estate agent.” This means that “home buyers are entering the process more educated about the market before they speak to an agent” at the acquisition stage.
Even though the initial process starts online, home buyers still turn to advice from a trusted real estate agent in 87% of the time.NAR: Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report
The same study shows that online leads that turn into appointments are two to three times more likely to convert than walk-ins. So a strong digital marketing experience can accelerate the sales cycle.
When you are looking at the customer journey as a whole, you can realise that strong digital marketing creates awareness and generates leads in the first half which then can turn into appointments and with the help of a trustworthy real estate agent lead to conversion at the end. Thus all necessary information has to be provided for prospects to make their decision and eventually to complete their purchase in the last two stages.
What information do buyers look for?
Location maps, area information, floor plans and still render images are typically available for home buyers. However, what they are truly looking for is a home to spend their lives in the future. To be able to shift a customer’s perception of a property from a flat to a real home some sort of emotional stimulus has to be added. Digitalisation has reshaped the information available, as well as the way it is presented. When it comes to blueprints and floor plans two-dimensional information is harder to understand than a three-dimensional space which has the potential to provide an accurate representation of the size of the space. A still image itself simply does not support the full understanding of the space.
As accuracy is a key element here to build trust, a hyper-realistic 3D space allows buyers to explore and experience every aspect of their future homes beyond imagination.
Once you have the 3D model of the project created in a real-time 3D space, it can be viewed from every angle and can be turned into an interactive user interface highlighting the available units within the development. This allows buyers to search and filter units in a three-dimensional space based on any criteria.
What is more, virtual tours have the potential to make the intangible tangible by providing the interior look and feel of the apartment and the future view from the balcony at any time of the day. For new builds, virtual reality is especially useful in helping buyers to understand and experience the property – even before construction begins.
By introducing these new technologies such as real-time rendering and virtual reality, the whole home buying experience can be made more enjoyable and accessible.
Where does the interaction happen?
The environments the customer experiences during their relationship can vary depending on which stage they are at within their journey and other circumstances. They are most likely to start their journey in a digital environment and continue in a physical environment (if possible). At the same time, a virtual property tour does not require to meet in person, yet it can add a more emotionally-charged experience to their journey.
With interactive 3D experiences, the interactions between the sales representative and the prospects can be multiplied without compromising the quality. Virtual experiences can be shared both in-person and remotely making buyers and markets more accessible for property developers. Furthermore, helping buyers in their decision-making process can minimise the financial risk as the number of pre-sales is secured.
Consistency becomes a key factor when it comes to affording a seamless journey for customers in all these environments. Using multi-platform tools can help to create consistency and to enable a great CX in every environment.
Beyond Visual’s interactive 3D sales tool addresses both, as it allows home buyers to search available units and to explore every aspect of their future home in an interactive 3D space. Due to database connection, all information shared about units is up-to-date.
➔ Look at the home buyer’s end-to-end experience along the entire journey. Instead of focusing on individual interactions, understand the whole process, because only one bad experience can defect the customers. In return, you will beneﬁt from the increased brand trust, increased customer satisfaction, and better word-of-mouth marketing.
➔ Adapt your marketing strategies to match the buyer’s needs at each stage of their journey. Keep in mind that digitalisation has changed the way of finding new homes and the way information is presented.
➔ Use immersive technologies to make the home buying experience more exciting and accessible. Virtual reality helps buyers better understand and experience the property without having to go on-site. They can also create an emotional bond and make new markets and customers accessible to you.
➔ Create consistency to provide a seamless journey for your buyers. Use one tool across various platforms which supports database integration.
If you are interested to learn more, contact us today.