Mike Lyon took the builders present to task this morning
about not having a website and the importance of it.
You need to "show up where your customers are," said Mike Lyon, presenter at the morning session�at the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association summer convention in Chateau on the Lake near�Branson.
Lyons covered many arenas of getting your message out in the three-hour session.
"Average buyer is in the market an average of 12 weeks. Contacting the agent is last resort. Customers are more educated now. They go to www.zillow.com and find out what the going rate is.
"Should I really put my floor plans on line? Not dimensions, but Dude, if they are going to steal it, they will find a way. We need to be sure we're showing up where they are spending most of their time -- online. Builders need to put as much information online as possible.
"New homes Oklahoma City" for example is being punched in on Google. "It's our job" that we are there at the top in the search.
Lyon threw out some stats: 40 percent of shoppers found homes online in 2011. "It doesn't' mean we don't need model homes, but this is how they are finding us."
Think of it as a tier.
First, 90 percent of your customers are online.
Second, they go to their site: 1-3 submit request.
Third, 20-25 percent of those who submit request schedule an appointment, and 30-35 percent of those write a contract.
He talked about the importance of placing your photos, listings, information on YOUR website, not just on some search-listings, find-a-home type site only.
"Always own your own content," which means, don't just post only on some other online search companies, i.e.realtor.com, but also put the content, such as photos, on your own website. You want to direct traffic back to your website. All content should be at your hub - your site -- the virtual model home, Lyon calls it.
It's a virtual showroom. It's the website.
"If you walk away from one point from this talk, spend the money to get a cool website, and use a form that they click on to contact you
What is the cost of a website? More than you probably want to spend. If you are spending less than $5,000, you are not going to get the results you want.
Lyon talked about lead management systems and other important ways to generate sales: Get something basic. www.salesforce.com, which can cost as little as $5 to $15 a month.
Lead generation "doesn't work on your Outlook file, it doesn't work on a piece of paper, it doesn't work with a system of put a red-sticker on the hot-prospect piece of paper, yellow sticker on the so-so prospect, etc." Lead generation works best, most often, with a service you pay for.
"Your website should be 100 percent focused on signing up strangers to give you permission to contact them."
Start with the site where all your content should go, but here are a couple of places you should be as well: www.newhomesdirectory.com. One free listing, forever. www.realtor.com
Lyon was entertaining, brutally honest with the builders and also a wake-up call for many. He was with us a few years ago at the Hard Rock in Tulsa. And his message is still very important.
(Mike Lyon is based in Tulsa and works with Oklahoma and national customers)