Stanley Martin Homes
While the homebuying journey is constantly evolving, one major thing remains the same: the customer experience must drive everything you do.
Stanley Martin, a 2021 Builder of the Year and team we are proud to partner with, has done a phenomenal job of putting their customers first and making sure potential homebuyers are getting all they need to find their dream home.
“We want to be as transparent as possible to make sure that people are understanding what it is they are going to buy.” – Amanda Gray, Vice President of Marketing, Stanley Martin Homes
Times, they are changing.
The homebuyer should always come first. As their customer journeys evolve, though, it’s key to stay on top of how buyers are actually shopping versus what the assumptions out there are.
While builder sites used to be more of a way to get in contact with a sales rep prior to visiting a model home, Stanley Martin is finding (like many of our other builder partners) that their customers are needing much, much more from their digital channels.
“I think that is where the sales process has changed so much. Everyone’s website used to be similar to a landing page with half of the information you see today. Now we strive to give homebuyers all the information they need in order to determine if a house and neighborhood is right for them.”
Forcing buyers into the traditional homebuying journey just won’t cut it anymore. These buyers want to research on their own time and don’t want to be pushed into meeting face-to-face to receive all the information they need. The industry is now leaning toward giving buyers everything they need earlier than ever to get pre-qualified, understand what they are buying, and then commit to the purchase.
The right content for the experience.
To offer this transparent homebuying journey takes the right digital content. While Stanley Martin has many types of marketing collateral in their arsenal, we’re lucky enough to partner with them on Exterior Renderings, Interactive Site Maps, and Virtual Tours. They also believe that “Virtual Tours are one of the most valuable tools”.
The imagery and tools that the team creates with us are prime examples of how to give homebuyers enough information to fall in love with a community. If they only had those traditional, minimalist landing pages we mentioned or even just a few floor plan and exterior shots to look at, how can they really get a feel for what it would be like to live there?
“We did some customer and user experience testing with our kiosk and the outcome was that the Virtual Tours are the main thing that people want to look at. The Floor Plans are nice, but it’s nothing compared to feeling like you are walking through the home.”
That right there, the feeling like they are standing right in your homes without even walking out their front door, is what the appropriate digital content can do.
THE FUTURE OF THE homebuying journey
It wasn’t long ago that people would look at you like you were crazy if you mentioned e-commerce and homebuying in the same sentence. Like we said, though, times are changing… big time!
Nowadays, you can buy a car online and have it shipped right to your home. A few years ago, that would have also seemed impossible. With things like that in mind, the idea of buying a home online (or simply starting the process online) doesn’t seem so farfetched.
“Even though some people aren’t going to feel comfortable doing that, there are going to be a lot of people who are – especially if there is such high demand. Being able to go online and secure a home that is in your price point and area you love is going to be very valuable.”
This conversation is happening frequently with our clients, and that is no coincidence. For this and many other reasons, it’s vital to give homebuyers a really good look at what all your communities and homes have to offer so they can pretty much make their decisions online.
It’s such a pleasure to partner with builders like Stanley Martin. We can’t say enough good things about their team and their forward-thinking, customer-centric approach. Here’s to partnering with them on many more initiatives to give homebuyers just what they need as their journeys continue to change!
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