Is "Lead Intelligence" the Next Big Thing for Builders?

by Jimmy Diffee

lead-intelligenceAs technology in marketing continues to grow and develop, you may have heard the term “lead intelligence” come up. But what exactly is lead intelligence? More importantly, what can it do for home builders?

What is lead intelligence?

Lead intelligence is gathering as much information as possible about your prospects in order to personalize your marketing and sales efforts. That information comes from a variety of channels. We can find social media profiles, see what pages leads are viewing on our website, what digital content prospects are engaging with and even what interests our buyers may have. This insight allows us to paint a picture of the person behind the lead.

lead-intelligence-sharonFor example, meet Sharon Hamilton. Sharon is interested in a community in Longmont, CO, and requests to get updates from the builder's interest list page on their web site. Using Sharon's name and email address, we can search her Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to learn that she is over 50, married, and soon to be an empty-nester— a perfect prospect for the new maintenance-free patio homes coming to Longmont. There's nothing new about this kind of research to aid in sales and marketing. What is new is the entire industry that's blossomed around making it easy to access this data, called lead intelligence.

How can we use lead intelligence to improve home sales?

As we use lead intelligence to paint this picture of Sharon and her family (ideally in our CRM), we can use it to improve the customer experience during marketing and sales. Sharon, like each of us, is bombarded with ads and sales pitches that are completely irrelevant. She goes about her day, tuning out all the messages that are irrelevant to her immediate needs. That is, until she sees a Facebook ad featuring a person just like her enjoying more free time in the low-maintenance patio home in Longmont. She clicks on it and this time sees a different message than when she visited the builder web site before. The message speaks to her immediate need (downsizing, and enjoying more of her free time). Not only this, but she sees an email in her inbox touting the new park and trails opening soon in Longmont. This type of marketing automation uses lead intelligence to deliver more relevant messaging, and better leads when they get to the sales center.

We're now able to customize the sales presentation to the individuals we are helping to find their new home.

Start the sales visit with a warm welcome

When Sharon walks into most model homes, she is greeted the same way regardless of who the builder is. A salesperson walks up with the same canned line of, “What brings you in today?” This seems like a fine question to ask, but is there a better way to greet her?

With lead intelligence there is. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95 percent of homebuyers research homes online. They research multiple homes, look at different home builders, read reviews and save floor plans. We can utilize all of this information to greet our buyers in a very different way. We know what they look like from their social profiles, so when they arrive at our models, we can greet them personally by saying, “Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton, I’m so glad you stopped by. Would you like to take a tour of the model you loved so much on our web site?” This simple change has already set you apart from every other builder they have talked to in their home buying journey.

Personalize the experience while presenting homes

Before Sharon arrives, you print out a packet of the homes she saved. You can have that already put together so that as you begin to discuss what they are looking for, they aren’t having to repeat everything that they have already told your marketing. Looking in the CRM, you notice that the Hamiltons love to host dinner parties. This is an excellent opportunity to take that lead intelligence and compliment the homes they saved as wonderful spaces for entertaining. As you present the homes to the Hamiltons, they are already beginning to picture their next gathering in the home. The joy in the process of building a new home is already taking place. They also have confidence in the fact that you care about them and understand what’s important to them in their new home.

Deliver a closing they'll remember

wine and rockies ticketsContinue the personalized customer experience throughout the process all the way through closing on the home. As you present the keys, keep in mind that Sharon mentioned she loves to have a glass of Chardonnay after a long day, and her husband is a big Colorado Rockies fan. So, in addition to handing the keys to the couple, also present them with a surprise bottle of Chardonnay and tickets to a Rockies game. Not only have you helped relax the stress of moving into their new home, but you have also provided an opportunity for the family to begin creating new memories as they transition into the next season of their life.

When we utilize lead intelligence to its full potential, the rewards become exponential.

The Hamiltons will move into their new home confident that they made the right choice — not only in the home they chose but the builder they trusted. So instead of being relieved the process is over, they are filled with joy and excitement for the memories to come.

A homebuyer filled with joy and confidence is going to become the type of raving fan that tells everyone they know about the amazing experience they had building their new home. That's the power of lead intelligence in creating a truly memorable home buying experience.

Unleash the power of lead intelligence

If you'd like to learn more about how you can use lead intelligence to improve your home sales, just get in touch. We'd love to hear about your current challenges and share how we've helped other builders.