The coronavirus pandemic has shocked the home builder industry, but each individual developer has responded in its own unique way.
Some builders have paused new home construction while others are proceeding with projects in order to capitalize on the coming economic rebound. Meanwhile, almost all builders have closed sales offices in at least one market.
The coronavirus pandemic and its economic side effects won’t last forever.
Here’s our view on how the new home sales landscape will evolve over the next 12 months – and what sales and marketing leaders can do to prepare.
New home construction may be ongoing, but many of your sales offices are closed to cut costs or to adhere to state or local government mandates.
However, bored consumers are still driving around. They have little to do and want an excuse to enjoy the spring weather from the safety of their cars. Now is not the time to stop marketing entirely.
Those of us who’ve been through a downturn or two know this: Even when buyers are nervous about investing in a new home, they’re still browsing and paring down their list of potential communities.
Your pandemic to-do list:
More on Phase 1: Why Virtual Home Tours Won’t Fill Your Funnel.
At some point, the country will reopen for business. The date will vary by market based on the local public health and political situation. Some states could reopen as early as May.
Even when your market reopens, home buyers will be cautious due to financial insecurity and the health risk of engaging with a sales person. At the very least, handshakes will be less common.
Home builders that can calm consumers’ nerves and convince them to leave the perceived safety of their cars will sell homes. Home builders that can’t, won’t.
Your pandemic to-do list:
More on Phase 2: Urban Exodus: Marketing New Homes as America Reopens.
Our health concerns will fade over time but the economic damage may linger for quite some time. Families will have missed out on weeks, months, or more of earnings. Investors will have had small fortunes wiped out in the volatile stock market.
Homes will still sell. They just won’t sell themselves as they’ve done the last few years. Sales and marketing teams will have to work as hard as they did in the Great Recession to close deals.
And, as anyone who survived that downturn can tell you, it’ll take more than virtual tours on your website to sell homes in a soft market.
Your post-pandemic to-do list:
We’d love to hear your approach to new home search and sales in the age of coronavirus. Contact us!