Reach and Sell to Tech-Savvy Gen Y Buyers on Their Terms
In order to sell homes to tech-savvy Generation Y prospects, the newest wave of first-time home buyers now coming of age, you first must be able to communicate with them on their terms. That means effectively using interactive technology.
Generation Y — born between 1978 and 1994 — is the first generation to grow up with the Internet. They use iPods, log on to social networking sites and use technology and the Internet to multi-task, connect with their friends and stay informed.
Members of this generation are accustomed to and expect to receive the information they need and want at the click of a mouse — and their expectations are no different when it comes to home buying and selecting options.
As the second-largest generation in the housing market — second only to baby boomers — this generation cannot be overlooked. According to a Century 21 survey conducted last year, Generation Y buyers are purchasing homes at a younger age than previous generations.
Generation Y will “determine your fortunes for the next 20 years,” according to Elizabeth Gillespie, vice president of marketing for Atlanta-based Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.
To draw these young home buyers into the market — and to strengthen their connection to the home throughout the home building process — builders should look to the latest interactive software that can give Generation Y buyers the instant gratification they demand. The right technology will keep them interested and give them access to quick, easy-to-digest information when they want it, essentially, 24/7.
When considering interactive software to reach these prospective home buyers, make sure the software enables them to:
- View photos, read detailed product descriptions and make selections online
- See scheduled cutoff dates and receive automatic updates prior to the cutoffs
- Request wish list items
- Explore pricing with a mortgage calculator so they can see how little an upgrade will affect monthly payments
- View regularly updated construction photos of their home
- Submit service requests
“In the age of information, it is imperative that we provide our buyers an interactive tool to pick and choose their selections,” says Ashley Christofferson-Cunningham, the author of “Marketing and Selling to Generation X.” “It’s a great way to keep them excited about their purchase.”
Libby Moon, construction coordinator for Pinnacle Properties based in Charlotte, N.C., concurs. “We use interactive software to prepare our home buyers for their design center appointments. It’s a time-saver because customers know what they like and what they can afford before they come in to meet with us.”
“Using a program like this also makes accountability efficient because everyone can sign off on a report with pictures of their selections. This drastically reduces errors during installation,” Moon adds.
When builders and design centers use software that allows buyers to review their options at their convenience, buyers tend to up-sell themselves and feel a greater sense of satisfaction about their choices. This step allows the consumer to see how different combinations will impact their monthly payment.
“When used properly, a state-of-the-art interactive sales tool….can dramatically increase sales,” says John Rymer, founder of New Home Knowledge, which offers sales training for new home builders.
In a down market, builders can rely on cutting-edge technology to heat up Generation Y’s enthusiasm and close the deal.
Holly Youmans is the marketing director for OnSite Connex, which provides easy-to-use, Web-based interconnected and interactive software specifically for new home builders to manage the full builder lifecycle, including sales, options, service and project management. For more information, e-mail Youmans, call her at 800-706-2904 or visit www.onsiteconnex.com or call 800-706-2904.
Tax Credit Web Site Looks at Opportunity of a Lifetime
Builders and other industry professionals can help spur home sales by referring prospective first-time home buyers to www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com. The NAHB Web site provides detailed information on the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers included in the economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Obama.
Consumers can use the Web site to find information on the tax credit — including a detailed question and answer section. It also includes information about other housing-related and small business measures in the legislation and a number of home-buying resources for consumers.
Spanish Version Also Online
A Spanish version of this increasingly popular Web site is also available to provide detailed information on the tax credit to Spanish-speaking first-time home buyers.
Industry professionals are encouraged to highlight either tax credit Web site when marketing to their potential first-time home buyer market.
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