53% of consumers prefer new homes over used homes. But we know that ½ of buyers who prefer “new” end up buying used. Most of this dropoff can be attributed to the friction points that buyers experience as they move through the home shopping journey. In fact, 87% of shoppers encounter 1 or more friction point as they buy a home.

BDX recently conducted the 5th wave of our Home Shopper Study to better understand these friction points and how builders can overcome them to sell more homes. Let’s start by understanding the top 10 friction points that we discovered.

TOP 10 FRICTION POINTS THAT NEW HOME SHOPPERS ENCOUNTER

  • Pricing for options and upgrades was more than I expected
  • Onsite quality was not the same as online images
  • Couldn’t find a house that I liked
  • The process to select options and upgrades was more complicated than I expected
  • No new homes were available in my price range/preferred area
  • Important details were not disclosed early enough
  • Details about the complete cost of the home were not readily available
  • Builder sales reps were pushy/not knowledgeable
  • Could not envision an unbuilt home
  • The market moved too fast

Buyers react to these friction points in the new home shopping process very differently. Some move forward and buy a new home despite the friction while others switch builders, find a real estate agent, or postpone their home purchase. The worst case scenario ends with the frustrated buyer purchasing a used home even though that’s not what they initially wanted.

So what can builders do to ease these friction points and recapture lost margin? Here are five ideas to put in place today.

5 WAYS TO REDUCE FRICTION AND SELL MORE NEW HOMES

Help buyers visualize your homes and communities. Today’s online tours, renderings, and other visual content tools can truly bring homes and communities to life for buyers. It’s important to go beyond the exterior rendering and black and white floor plan. Consider a Real Time Tour, virtual walkthrough, interior renderings and more to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward online.

Make sure your pricing is transparent early in the shopping experience. This includes your options selections process. Many builders are choosing to use an online design center like Envision to allow buyers to see all of the upgrades and optional elements earlier in the buying journey — sometimes in presales mode before a contract is signed.

Set expectations, educate buyers and make it easy to buy from you. The more information you can provide about the new home process, the more comfortable prospective buyers will feel about the service they will receive from you. For many buyers this is a new experience and putting them at ease by fully explaining things can create loyalty and confidence.

Reduce the fear and limit a buyers risk. Buyers want to trust that their builder will not only deliver a quality home but also support them every step of the way. Consider participating in a review program like TrustBuilder to capture honest stories from real homeowners. This kind of validation will help your prospects feel comfortable with you and move forward with a purchase.

For more information about how BDX can reduce home shopper friction and help you sell more homes, please contact info@thebdx.com.

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