The world looks a lot different than it did just two weeks ago.
As coronavirus continues to spread and more people confine their lives to their homes in accordance with “social distancing” guidelines, homebuilders face a unique challenge:
How do I keep selling homes while also protecting the health and safety of customers and sales teams?
Short of a total shutdown of America’s economy, the reality is that you need to be able to answer that question. And while we’re all coming to grips with how social distancing is changing our lives, the fate of your company and the livelihoods of your team still rely on the success of your business. So, where do you go from here?
A Convergence of Consumer Expectations and Necessity
UTour was born out of a growing consumer desire (an expectation, really) to be able to shop for new homes on their terms — being able to tour homes at their leisure and not having to deal with salespeople until they’re ready. But today, our vision to deliver a truly exceptional home shopping experience is now converging with the reality of daily life.
The motivations of consumers to avoid salespeople and other people touring homes are no longer limited to personal preferences. Instead, consumers in every phase of the homebuying funnel will soon simply stop doing business with any builder that can’t provide a safe alternative to the traditional process of visiting a sales center, greeting a salesperson, and then walking around for a guided tour, at least until things go back to “normal.”
A Safer Option That Keeps the Door Open
Although the full effect of the coronavirus outbreak is having on sales pacing for many of the nation’s builders remains to be seen, early estimates indicate a sizable year-over-year sales decrease is coming.
But this, too, shall pass, and we firmly believe that this period of economic and personal insecurity will lead to a strong flow of new home sales on the other side (whenever that may be). In the meantime, there’s little to be done in the way of pushing consumers to get into the market if they aren’t already. Yet, there’s no reason why you should have to close your doors, literally or figuratively.
We think Kevin Oakley of Do You Convert said it best in a recent podcast about how builders should be approaching the current situation:
“We’re not trying to convince people that they should begin the process of building a home or buying a home. We’re here to make it as easy as possible to do business with us.”
That’s been our vision for UTour all along — to enable every builder to offer on-demand, interactive, self-guided tours, all for the benefit of the potential customer. We just never imagined this sort of event would be the reason why it would become so important.