Make this your mantra, your motto, your life refrain, and you will sell more homes; and, maybe, if you have a wife or girlfriend, be happier at home too.
Repeat after Melissa Morman, Linda Hebert, and Mark Patterson: “It’s all about her. It’s all about her. It’s all about her.” And then repeat again until you believe it and decide to work to make your “her” customers happy.
Then listen to what Morman, vice president and general manager of Builder Homesite; Hebert, of Diversified Marketing and Communications; and Patterson, a successful Maine home builder, suggested about how to make women home buyers happy. They presented "Wow, Woo, and Win: Capture and Keep the Female Home Buyer" at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas this week.
You’ve probably already heard the statistics about why appealing to women home buyers is important. Some 91% of home buying decisions are made by women. Some 20% of home buyers are unmarried women. Plus, if you convince the woman in a partnership to buy, the man will usually follow.
“If you are effectively meeting her expectations, you exceed his,” Morman told the audience.
Here are some tips:
- Make all your imagery, messaging, and advertising appealing to women by using softer lines, brighter colors, and more lifestyle images. Dogs and kids are also good. “Engage her with a story, help her imagine building a better life,” said Hebert
- Make sure your website and all your marketing materials offer beautiful photos of your products as well as easy-to-read floor plans that allow website visitors to play with the design and place furniture. Make sure you make use of videos and virtual tours on your website. “There are better videos of shoes (to buy) than homes,” said Morman. “If the online experience is not compelling, you may not make the short list,” said Morman.
- Sell her on benefits of your homes rather than features. Tell how the features can save time and money, and (this is very important) reduce stress. Instead of just saying you offer granite countertops, talk about how they can make life better because they are easier to clean, durable, beautiful. Instead of just mentioning that you have closet organizers, talk about how they will make getting ready in the morning quicker.
- Engage her in a conversation about what she would like. Use social media to poll for favorite kitchen designs or what to call a cabinet color, for example. “We love to talk and give our opinions,” said Morman.
- Since the home buying process is taking some nine to 12 months, find ways to keep your product in front of her through newsletters about events or promotions. “What can you do to stay in the hunt?” Morman asked.
- Little gifts buy favor. Women love coupons for goodies, such as massages. One builder advertised free maid service for a year and sold 30 homes that weekend.
- In the end, though, one of the most important ways to nab a woman buyer is to gain her trust, inspire confidence in your business, and differentiate your product from others.
Again, “It’s what you can do for her,” said Hebert.
Teresa Burney is a senior editor at Builder magazine.