Key to "Buy Online": Create Online Translator, Matchmaker, Collaborator and Closer
To enable “buy online” for New Homes, we must bring the sales agents’ costly, time-consuming, and complex functions as translator, matchmaker, collaborator and closer, online. Not every builder, or even shopper wants to completely buy new homes online. But like brick and mortar stores, having that option, or as close to it, may dictate where buyers shop.
Traditionally with New Homes, Marketing brings online Leads to Sales, who immediately directs them offline for sales conversions. These one-directional, cross-functional online-to-offline, builder-dictated, manual hand-offs are uncommon in e-commerce. Like Amazon, by enabling Marketing’s Lead Generation function to seamlessly pass to Sales’ Lead Conversion function online, without seller intervention, buyers can move as far down the sales funnel as they want online. Of course they can immediately request online or on-site sales assistance when, and if, needed.
Great customer experiences require a customer-centric approach. With more DIY shopping capabilities, buyers are more empowered and informed, and builders get more curated leads with less costs and effort.
This “translator” blog is the 1st of a 4-blog series. Without online translation, the New Homes industry cannot be disrupted.
Yesteryear's New Home Offline Shopping
Before online shopping, real estate agents were the personal translators between jargon-filled architectural/construction/real estate “Builder-speak” and visually-descriptive “Buyer-speak“.
Having an in-person agent was helpful, but it was often inconvenient and impractical, as Buyers and Builders were completely dependent on the availability and competency of the agent intermediary. Buyers had to find talented, unbiased, agents with New Construction interest and experience. This effectively became the dreaded New Home Agent search before the actual New Home search.
But even if they found a New Construction expert, the agent couldn’t “paint the dream house” picture with words. Buyers wanted to see renderings of their custom-designed homes. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Die-hard New Home buyers were simply forced to buy on “blind faith” that their builder, agent and family were all on the “same page”.
Basically, New Home buyers were faced with three tough choices:
- Find and repeatedly meet with expert New Home agents that walk them through the complex New Construction shopping process and yet, still buy sight unseen – and pay a premium for this experience.
- Painstakingly learn the New Construction process on their own – and risk making personally and financially disastrous decisions.
- Abandon buying “New” and take the easier, faster, less expensive, and less risky option of buying “Used” – using readily available Used Home agents.
With these inconvenient, risky, painful and expensive offline shopping options, no wonder 85% of New Home shoppers end-up buying Used.
Today's New Home Online Shopping
Fast-forward to today’s Millennials-dominated, tech-first world, where new home shopping often starts with smartphones, not real estate agents. Throw-in surges in relocations, foreign purchases, pandemic fears, and commissions; and we have the beginnings of a monumental shift to a new era of New Home Shopping Online.
But how do you replace the critical role of knowledgeable New Home agents?
Builders and Buyers still need a translator between the Text-centric Builder-speak (dominated by jargon, spec sheets, and contracts) and Visually-descriptive Buyer-speak (they don’t know how to describe the house, but know what they like when they see it). That’s tough enough. But today’s consumer demands much more!
In today’s literally “at your fingertips”, on-demand world, not only do shoppers require this translation. But it needs to happen instantly – anywhere, anytime and on any device. Even an army of 24/7 New Construction agents couldn’t meet this impossible standard. Moreover, in this DIY e-commerce world, shoppers prefer to explore, shop, design and purchase on their own.
We're finally speaking the same language!
This is where Anewgo’s real-time cloud rendering engine comes in.
Our Anewgo apps instantly translate Builder-speak to Buyer-speak online and then, as Buyer’s interactively design their custom homes, it immediately translates it back into Builder-Speak’s spec sheets and order forms. Because we speak-Tech, our sophisticated AI cloud translator “Sophie” converts text data into bits and bytes, and then into interactive visualizations and back again into data in milliseconds. Sophie is the virtual buyers’ agent that does this for thousands of shoppers across hundreds of builders and thousands of plans simultaneously, 24/7 – and she doesn’t even break a sweat!
But Sophie not only creates beautiful custom-homes for each online shopper, she is the personal concierge that has the brains to personally show each buyer available inventory homes, alternate elevations, self-guided tours homes, lot statuses and pricing. She can even let buyers save, compare, share, and collaboratively design new homes online. Now, we’re talking!