BY: DAWN HIGHHOUSE
We’ve written several articles about how better listings result in more views and more buyer traffic. (Read those articles here, here and here.) We’ve done statistical analyses on listings on MHVillage again and again, and each time the result is the same: the better your listing – the more leads you get. Our studies prove that it is well worth your time to make sure you have complete listings with good photos and excellent descriptions. But did you know that great listings not only get you more leads – they also get you better leads?
The Buying Cycle
Are you familiar with the buying cycle? If not, here’s a nice graphic from www.clickz.com that demonstrates the concept:
In other words, the buying cycle is the process people go through as they are shopping online.
Attention: They first realize they have a need. In our industry, that’s simply the step where someone wants to buy a manufactured home.
Interest: Now they begin searching for a way to solve the problem. In this stage they will start browsing the internet for homes.
Conviction: The evaluation phase. Buyers are now comparing one home to another. They are also deciding what features they want, where they want to live, what communities interest them, and so on. They use this phase to weed out homes they don’t want and to start moving towards homes they do.
Desire: Now they have narrowed down the field. This is where they will select the homes they want to go through. They will also ask very detailed questions about these specific homes. Types of questions might include: financing availability, school systems and the community application process.
Close: I think we all know what this one means!
Why Better Home Ads = Better Buyer Leads
Better listings move people along further into the buying cycle. The more information a buyer has going in, the closer you will be to the close!
So, let’s break this down a bit and look at a couple easy things you can do to directly impact your leads. Here are two examples of home descriptions. These are actual descriptions written by sellers on MHVillage. (Both of these homes are the same Make, Model, Year and located in the same City.)
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Spacious, bright and inviting! Three bedrooms set in a split plan. The master bedroom and master bath sit on one side of your living space and your two guest bedrooms are on the other, perfect for when those friends and family come for a visit! The kitchen has cupboards galore and a breakfast bar, for those less formal snacks. The dining area is open to the living area which is spacious and bright. Your living area has a beautiful bow window in the front, and the dining area opens to the enclosed lanai in the rear!
The full size garage is a rare find!! It has a large utility area in the rear that opens to the separate laundry area and then the kitchen. Great plan for carrying in those groceries or the shells you collected during your trip to the beach! The size, floor plan, garage, corner lot, huge utility room and brightness of this home is a MUST SEE !! Priced to sell quick! Don’t miss the boat on this one!
So, a home buyer takes a look at both of these homes and decides to write the sellers. What do you think their questions are going to be? For Home A, buyers are going to need a lot of basic information about the home – they are very early in the process. For Home B, buyers are already going to have a very good feel for this home. Their question is most likely going to be “When can I come out and see it?”
Now, let’s take a look at two more home listings on MHVillage. Both are in the same community. The top three photos are from one listing. The screen shot below is of another home, but one where the listing does not have photos. Based on what you see here, what can you tell about these two homes?
Photos really are worth a 1,000 words. Just by looking at three sample photos (the seller had several more) a buyer can immediately tell if this home is going to be one they are interested in.
However, without photos, the buyer knows nothing about the home from the listing below. Even if someone were interested, they would have to start with some basic questions – the first of which is usually, “Can I see some photos of the home?”
Which would you rather have – an email from someone who is looking for a home just like yours, or an email from someone who has no idea what your home looks like? It’s common sense, but it is worth repeating – better listings = better leads.
Putting together a full, complete listing with clear, well taken photos takes time. It probably won’t be something you can just whip together in a few minutes. But here’s the thing – taking a few more minutes on the front end can leap frog you in the selling process with your buyers. Instead of starting at the Interest level, you can move into Conviction – or even Desire!
As you enter your home listings on MHVillage, we strongly encourage that you take a good look at all of the available marketing opportunities a listing has – from descriptions and photos, to video tours, floorplans and links to your website, the more you take advantage of, the more the leads you’ll get and the better they’ll be!
Happy Selling –