To-Do List for Getting Started with Virtual Selling and Designing

Virtual home design

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UTOPIA spoke with several early adopters and industry experts about making the transition from in-person to virtual home sales and design consultation. They offered the following.

11 Tips to Ensure Success with Virtual Home Sales

• Don’t wait: Buyers, particularly younger generations, expect to be able to do more online and on their own.

• Get buy-in: The tools won’t work if your team isn’t using them. Make sure they have an understanding of the benefits and good training. And the earlier, the better.

• Sell it from the top down: Ensuring buy-in from the staff requires directive and enthusiasm from the executive level.

• Keep an open mind: Change is hard. Determine how to make the program fit into your current processes and how to maximize the benefits.

• Stay involved: Don’t just hand buyers a tablet and send them on their way. Leverage the benefits of the tool to sell when and where it makes sense, such as promoting different floor plans available for the model.

virtual home sales

• Engage immediately on the web: Use 3D tours to draw them into your website, keep them engaged, and help them realize the unique buying experience your company offers.

• Ensure walk-throughs are seamless: Some virtual walk-throughs can feel distorted or run slowly. Make sure you’re investing in technology that makes the process easy and realistic so as not to turn off buyers.

• Be prepared and streamline: To make the process go smoother, have your products and options narrowed down and ready to go. Understand that limiting house types and plans may make the process less overwhelming for buyers as they navigate selections more independently.

• Don’t neglect your website fundamentals: Ryan Murphy, president of MurphTech LLC, which handles IT services for the South Beach at Long Branch luxury development in New Jersey, notes that you can’t just add these features to your website and leave it without considering things like bounce rate. Make sure your website leads the visitor to the things you want them to see—using landing pages, calls to action, etc. If they can’t find it quickly, they’ll move on to another builder.

• Combine tools: Especially during times of social distancing, plan to go the extra mile to get buyers what they need and accommodate comfort levels, including blending video conference calls with in-person meetings. Epcon Communities, for example, will take a one-off video of a specific home site for a remote buyer in addition to showing 3-D tours of models.

• Get comfortable first: Make sure staff members using the tools, from Zoom chats to virtual design software, are comfortable with the programs and the nuances before using them with customers to ensure a confident buying experience.

Check out this related content: Virtual Sales Centers: What’s the Role of Home Sales and Design Professionals?