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UTour Digital Media Team

UTour Digital Media Team

Recent posts by UTour Digital Media Team

2 min read

Model Home Short-Staffed? Self-Touring Technology Can Be Your Solution.

By UTour Digital Media Team on Apr 13, 2022 11:38:10 AM

Most (if not all) homebuilder sales teams have struggled with staffing model home or community sales centers at some point. From sudden departures to unexpected sick days, keeping your model home staffed and ready for home shoppers 7 days a week is no small feat — especially during the unprecedented “Great Resignation” experienced over the past year.

Luckily, model homes no longer have to be staffed daily to cater to modern home shoppers. By enabling self-guided tour technology in your model home, visitors can independently explore without a sales representative present — even before or after normal sales center hours. 

A Positive Experience for Your Shoppers 

One of the key elements of traditional guided model home tours is having the sales representative share details about the home and community while leading the home shopper through the model. This important experience is also included in self-guided tours, although reimagined to utilize technology instead. 

During self-guided tours, your visitors can get more information in a number of ways. You can set up and integrate a virtual assistant using smart home devices in different rooms. This will allow home shoppers to interact during the tour and receive audible answers to their questions. 

Another option is utilizing the self-tour text assistant, which can conduct the same automated, builder-approved Q&A via SMS text on the visitor’s smartphone. This platform also allows home shoppers to continue engaging via text even after the self-guided tour ends. 

The A.I. voice and text technologies are able to connect the home shopper to the builder’s team as requested. And, you can personalize these messages — and see all self-tour data — directly in your UTour dashboard.

A Positive Experience for Your Sales Team

Once self-guided touring is activated in the models and inventory homes, you will also start seeing the benefits it brings to your sales team as well. And being able to utilize self-guided tours in your model home when your sales associates have the day off is only the start of what’s possible with this technology. 

You can also implement self-guided touring before and after standard model sales center hours. The reality is that 10am to 6pm doesn’t work for a lot of modern home shoppers. Increasing your hours of availability can help you cast a wider net and reach a new segment of home shoppers who otherwise may have never visited on site. 

UTour’s fully-integrated platform will also make life easier for your sales managers. They’ll have access to all of your visitor data, which can also be seamlessly connected to your CRM. Even home security will be handled through our integrations with leading security platforms such as, ADT and Resideo. The added peace of mind will be priceless for everyone on your team. 

Because of self-guided tours, your sales representatives will have more time to dedicate to top prospects looking to transact. UTour will take care of new leads entering the sales funnel by allowing them to explore the early stages of the new home sales process independently on their own schedule. When they reach your sales team, home shoppers will have already completed their initial discovery and ready to take next steps. 

Want to hear more and see how UTour can help in your communities? Schedule a private demo with our team today or download our complimentary white paper: “The Guide to Self-Guided Model Home Tours.”

Topics: self-guided tours proptech new home marketing osc smart homes
2 min read

A 3-Step Tech Framework for Today’s New Home Buyer

By UTour Digital Media Team on Mar 11, 2022 10:23:13 AM

Pre-Covid, home shopping — as was the case with essentially all consumer shopping activities — was shifting towards an on-demand, self-service experience. Roughly two-thirds of new home buyers agreed at least somewhat that it would be easier to unlock properties with their phone and tour them in-person on their own time*, 60% of online chats on homebuilder websites occurred after business hours** and home shopping activity was significant throughout all hours of the day. 

Then the pandemic happened, and this shift went into hyper-speed. 

An immersive, digital experience when shopping for a home and the ability to gather information on-demand (day or night) is no longer merely wanted; it is expected amongst today’s home buyers. They demand the freedom and flexibility to be in control of their new home shopping experience and want: 

  1. On-demand home information via multiple devices and communication methods
  2. Self-direction/self-service convenience on their schedule in a no pressure environment 
  3. A no-contact experience due to social distancing constraints, but also for reduced pressure and the ability to more fully self-evaluate new home choices
  4. A variety of ways to interact with sales staff on their terms, whether it’s in-person, virtually or via AI automation (chatbots and voice)

Not only do home buyers want this, but so do sales teams. New home sales representatives are fed up with spending countless hours in repetitive “show and tell” interactions in a limited storefront (10am-6pm) and are overwhelmed with the time required to sort out unqualified or truly unmotivated shoppers to focus on real prospects. These customer service minded professionals want to serve the buyer’s needs but can’t work around the clock or be in multiple locations at the same time. They need help with follow-up and nurture activities that can be very time-consuming and inefficient.

This is why The Real-Time New Home Sales Experience Framework is needed. This new marketing and sales framework is designed to reduce friction and address the on-demand expectations of today’s home buyers while supporting the needs of new home sale professionals. 

If you missed our presentation on this Framework at the 2022 International Builders’ Show (IBS), you can now watch the presentation virtually via IBS on-demand, watch our Framework explainer video here and be sure to request your copy of our presentation via our website.

*New Construction Consumer Housing Trends Report 2021

**AtlasRTX National Client Average

Topics: self-guided tours proptech new home marketing osc smart homes
4 min read

The 2022 International Builders’ Show: Where We’ll Be & What You Can Expect to See

By UTour Digital Media Team on Feb 3, 2022 12:47:06 PM

All the movers and shakers of the new home industry are headed to Orlando, Florida in early February for this year’s International Builders’ Show. The event is back to being held in person after a successful virtual show in 2021.
There will be countless booths and sessions to choose from over the three-day event, so attendees are sure to leave with plenty of new knowledge and connections. With so many to choose from, we want to make sure UTour is as easy to find as possible each day.
That's why we’re sharing all of our details ahead of time, to allow you to pre-plan and add UTour to your itinerary. You can find us in a few different places over the course of the event, including at our booth and presenting at select information sessions. Here’s everything we know — we hope to see you there!
Topics: self-guided tours new home marketing IBS2022
2 min read

Why Stop at One? What You Need to Know About Multi-Home Tours

By UTour Digital Media Team on Oct 11, 2021 11:52:42 AM

If you’ve been utilizing our self-guided home tours at your communities for a while now, you know that UTour is constantly working to innovate and improve the experience for both homebuilders and home shoppers. Our newest feature continues to do just that. Now, visitors can schedule a self-guided tour reservation that lets them explore multiple homes while using a single entry access code. Here are some of the biggest benefits you’ll see when you launch this feature in your communities:

Topics: self-guided tours proptech
2 min read

Tour Times Matter: How New Self-Tour Duration Options Can Make an Difference

By UTour Digital Media Team on Aug 17, 2021 12:17:33 PM

UTour’s builder partners know that the 60-minute self-guided tour has been our standard offering since launching. But just because something is tried and true doesn’t mean we’re going to stop innovating. 

Recently, we’ve been seeing more and more builders supplementing their model home staffing with self-guided tours — enabling UTour for safe, self-guided tour availability after normal sales center hours. While going fully self-service is not for everyone, it’s been a successful evolution for many homebuilders in a variety of markets. So successful in fact, that builders want to offer a greater number of tour availability each day in order to reach more home shoppers. 

So we’re introducing a new, shorter tour time that will let you maximize every minute. We just launched our 30-minute self-tour duration option. Here’s what you need to know about the new feature: 

Topics: self-guided tours proptech
1 min read

Industry Problems, Solved: Trying to Get More Foot Traffic?

By UTour Digital Media Team on Jul 20, 2021 9:54:49 AM

Home shoppers seek an immersive experience, and builders must provide more active involvement than any other industry requires. This translates to consistent outreach and deliberate, meaningful touchpoints with the home shopper every step of the way. Even still, there are some friction points throughout the process. It’s the responsibility of the builder to overcome these for a seamless sales experience.

Topics: self-guided tours proptech new home marketing
1 min read

Industry Problems, Solved: Still Catering to COVID-Conscious Shoppers?

By UTour Digital Media Team on Jul 14, 2021 9:25:04 AM

New homes already have a lengthy sales funnel. Couple this with the unique expectations of each home shopper and you get a dynamic where potential issues can easily arise if not careful. While hurdles in the sales process are common, they are also avoidable. By implementing additional protocol ahead of time, you can ensure a more positive overall experience — both for your home shoppers and your sales team.

Topics: self-guided tours proptech new home marketing
2 min read

Industry Problems, Solved: Struggling to Staff Your Model Home?

By UTour Digital Media Team on Jul 9, 2021 12:46:52 PM

From start to finish, selling a new home is a very involved process. Home shoppers expect guidance and reassurance, but most importantly they want it to be on their terms. This can be difficult to navigate and there are several common pitfalls over the course of a new home journey. But if you know the problem ahead of time and implement a scalable, repeatable solution then you can avoid these potential conflicts.

Topics: self-guided tours proptech new home marketing
1 min read

Industry Problems, Solved: Feeling Overwhelmed by Today’s Hot Market?

By UTour Digital Media Team on Jul 7, 2021 9:39:38 AM

There are few sales cycles more arduous than that of new homes. Due to the nature of such a large-scale investment, purchasing a new home requires an extensive courting process. Over the course of this journey, there are inevitably bumps along the road. Luckily, there are tools at your disposal to help overcome these obstacles and give your home shoppers the experience they crave.

Topics: self-guided tours proptech new home marketing
1 min read

Smart Homes & Self-Guided Tours: Are They the Best Investment for Builders?

By UTour Digital Media Team on Jun 17, 2021 1:42:15 PM

Technological innovations are always on the rise, and they continue to grow in popularity through the years. What once were features used exclusively on the most advanced homes are becoming more accessible to the masses today. This shift indicates that while these features were historically considered luxury upgrades, they are now becoming expectations for modern home shoppers. But is it worth it for you to build smart homes? Yes — and not just to keep your homebuyers happy — the technology can help you manage the historic lead volumes during the sales process. Here’s how.

Topics: self-guided tours proptech smart homes