High performance homes save energy, conserve water, are more durable, cost less to maintain, are healthier for the occupants and are less stressful on the environment. Simply put, they are better homes! However, how do you explain “better” to your customers to help them make the decision to buy your green-built homes?
Here are some tips to help you market and sell more homes.
1. Educate your customers on the value provided by your high-performance homes. Take the time to explain the features and benefits of your homes. Use simple and easy-to-understand language when you speak with your customers about the features.
For example, describe why you use a higher-performance insulation, such as blown-in cellulose insulation or sprayed foam insulation, versus fiberglass insulation. Prospects will take a more favorable position to embrace the value offered by this feature when they understand the connection between how the type of insulation used makes the home airtight, and saves them money on their energy bills.
Inform the customers on energy and water-conserving features used in your homes, such as ENERGY STAR appliances, low-flow faucets, water-conserving toilets, tankless water heaters. Express how these features help reduce operating costs.
Communicate to your customers the green building program you use to build and certify your homes. Show how this provides homeowners peace of mind through a third-party home verification process.
Focus your customers’ attention on the value of the features. A consumer survey conducted by DoubleClick Performics states that “Consumers, when choosing between two similar products, prefer environmentally friendly products; 83 percent indicated they are extremely or very likely to choose the environmentally friendly option.”
If you have not selected a green building program, contact your local homebuilders association to learn about the options available, or check out NAHB’s Green Building Program and Environments for Living.
When you have a model home, it is much easier to point out these features so that customers can see, touch and feel. If you do not have a showroom or model home, you can employ other creative strategies for illustrating your homes’ features, which leads us to the next tip.
2. Market your difference in the types of homes you build, the green building programs you use, and your company’s commitment to serving the community while protecting the environment.
Make a list of all the green features of your homes and find a way to communicate this effectively and with pizzazz in your company brochure and website. If you are not a writer, hire professional help! (Go to www.elance.com to find all kinds of professional assistance).
If you do not have a website, have one made by an expert! Your marketing pieces such as your brochure, business cards, and your website should be consistent and inviting. Your marketing materials reflect your professionalism for the work you do and the value you put on your customers. Most buyers today surf the internet first and narrow down their search to a few builders prior to contacting them.
The internet gives you a tremendous opportunity for you to “pre-sell” your homes. Make your website inviting and informative about your homes’ features and what’s in it for them. Your website needs to serve as your first emotional connection between you and your potential customers. Create your website to be easy to navigate and have consumer-friendly content.
3. Train your staff to know the top three features of your homes by heart and be able to speak about them spontaneously. Everyone in your team is a sales person. Practice through role-play and various scenarios. The advantage of having all your staff trained on the subject will pay you huge dividends.
One of the greatest advantages of a trained team is that they will all speak the same language. This will give your customers a seamless experience throughout the sales process, construction and after move-in.
4. Talk the walk by pointing out the activities that your company does to build a cleaner environment for future generations. Magnify your community involvement, support of eco-friendly efforts, your personal commitment to green education to stay abreast of the latest green building practices, your recycling and reusability techniques employed by your company. Customers cannot appreciate your efforts if they are not exposed!
DoubleClick Performics survey concludes that: “consumers are as interested in the company as the products they are researching.” Every single high performance home you build contributes to a cleaner environment and enhances the lives of those who are enjoying them today, and those that will experience their benefits in the future.
Use value-based marketing and you will reap its rewards!