Today, the majority of executives agree that their companies must focus on customer experience (CX) as a matter of competitive advantage and continued growth.
This is not a coincidence, since improvements in CX have been tied to revenue growth across numerous industries.
Despite this agreement, most leaders struggle with transforming their business to be customer centric. In this article, we will discuss one lever that managers in master planned communities and production homebuilding can pull in order to improve the experience for their customers – a focus on digitizing touchpoints.
While there are numerous touchpoints that a community developer or production homebuilder can create or digitize, we have chosen three that are the most critical.
1. Defining Lead Capture
Everything begins with lead capture, and today, both community developers and production homebuilders lag behind counterparts in retail and other industries in capturing prospect information. Most developers and homebuilders still rely on paper cards to capture contact information within welcome centers and model homes. This leads to manual data entry which leads to errors and data loss. Digitizing the process of capturing customer information whether through a tablet within the model home or an online reservation system should greatly improve both the customer experience and the accuracy of data.
2. Engaging within the Welcome Center
Welcome Centers continue to remain a central physical touchpoints within the customer journey for any master planned community. Yet, these physical places continue to lack digital tools that could encourage learning and boost engagement among all prospects. Imagine offering potential residents a virtual tour of the community including the amenities, events and features. Now imagine customizing that tour based on the interests and demographics of a particular prospect. This is possible today, if only welcome centers began to incorporate a mix of printed and digital touchpoints.
3. Digitizing the Model Home
For homebuilders, the primary physical touchpoint within a community remains the model home. And while model homes today are tech enabled with smart locks, learning thermostats and voice-enabled lights, the walk through experience for would be buyers has remained largely the same for the past decade. Homebuilders still rely on printed materials to point out the features of the home and provide few other tools to engage prospects during the process. Introducing digital tools within the model homes would allow the customer to discover the features of the home, learn about upgrades, and even indicate their interest in a particular floor plan and elevation. These digital tools will improve experience, increase dwell times, and help homebuilders collect more actionable data.
While the exact approach that each homebuilder and community developer takes to digitize the customer experience will vary on their goals, budget, and the demographics of the buyers. One thing has become quite clear, there are tremendous benefits that digital tools bring to lead capture, model home tours, and visits to the welcome center. And that is just the beginning.