Part 5: Understanding the Phases of the Home Buying Journey – Decision

Congratulations! Your home buyer has just completed the journey and has decided on your brand. Well, mostly anyway. While the majority of home buyers at this stage of the journey have typically made their decision, some may still need a bit of coaxing to help remove the last elements of friction and/or anxiety. So, revisiting or reintroducing content from an earlier phase (assessments, calculators, polls, warranty, builder process, loan application assistance, etc), or connecting with new content focused on these last-stage home-buyer concerns can help move them to decision.

These instances are also considered “Last Interactions” that act as the last point of contact prior to a purchase decision.

a. Reaffirm/Assure;
· Assessments, Configurators, Polls – Help create affinity with home buyers by giving them the tools they need to make their decisions.
· User-generated content – Leverage appropriate content created by users to help create brand evangelists and viral activity.

b. Content for calls-to-action (CTA);
· Create account.
· Newsletter sign-up.
· Online chat.
· Schedule appointment/On-site tour.
· Hand-off to sales.

a. Social media platforms
· Leveraging user-generated content
· Creating brand evangelists

b. Remarketing
· Assuring/affirming content in display.

c. PPC Brand-relative
· Assuring/affirming content in search.

d. Email
· Assuring/affirming content in email that points to user-generated content in blog and in social platforms.

e. Direct

· Including website URL in offline marketing (i.e, flyers, billboards, brochures, etc).
· Encouraging visitors to bookmark the website.

Often, we think of sales as a direct result of some advertising, marketing, social media or public relations function. A home buyer sees your search listing or display ad and then performs a conversion action on your website. While that certainly can be the case, many times, it isn’t.

In fact, we typically see a very circuitous route that home buyers take – sometimes visiting a website multiple times – prior to performing a conversion action (i.e., a form submission). Home buyers may first do generic paid search and then end up on your website, but not perform a conversion action. That same user may then visit another site and see/click on your display ad, go back to your site, but still not convert. Then, that same home buyer may do an organic search leading back to your site, but not convert. Finally, the same user may directly type your website address, then visit your Facebook page, then go back to your website and then perform a conversion action.

Look at line 12 above, as a real-life home builder example. This particular home buyer visited 39 times via multiple channels including organic, direct, social, paid search and referral, before converting.

Line 21, by comparison, shows a home buyer visiting twice via two channels, display ad and paid search, before performing a conversion action.

It is for these reasons that a multi-channel content strategy will enable you to sell more homes, more consistently and in a shorter amount of time. This is done by connecting with and engaging home buyers throughout their journey with content that is relevant, provides value and is created in a way that builds trust and instills a sense of genuine confidence. When your content proactively addresses home buyers’ needs, your brand will resonate with them and they will buy your homes. They could even become your brand evangelists.

You build homes. We build homebuilders.
ASTRALCOM offers marketing and customer experience solutions for home builder clients using proven tactics in web, search, social, mobile and print.

About Richard Bergér, CeM, CMC

Richard Bergér is the VP of E-Business for ASTRALCOM, an integrated media services company located near Los Angeles, California. Richard is a Certified Marketing Consultant, a Certified eMarketer, 2001 Presidential Business Advisory Commission appointee and recipient of the 2003 California Businessman of the Year award. He also holds certificates in Internet Industry Knowledge and Customer Requirements Analysis and draws on his military and psychology backgrounds to create pervasive content strategies, motivating conversion tactics and targeted audience acquisition for clients.