Home shoppers can spend months on multiple websites as they transition through the four Home-Buyer Life Cycle Stages of Discovery, Research, Selection, and Closing. In our four-part series "Optimizing the Home Buying Cycle", we uncover all the ways to align your website to the needs of each of these four stages in order to deliver a consistently optimized and impressively effective home shopping experience. Buying a home is one of the largest, most exciting investments most people make in their lifetime. So, before most home buyers enter the Research stage of critically researching and considering their possibilities, they first go through the Discovery stage, complete with passive research and daydreaming of amenities and possibilities that are within (and outside of) their personal reach and budget. Even though home buying intentions are premature, aligning your website with home shoppers’ interests in the Discovery stage can produce an enormous payoff including valuable brand loyalty.
One way to optimize on the Discovery stage is to offer an Automated Valuation Model tool. This can be used to help home shoppers learn what their current home values may be worth, offering a theoretical budget that’s perfect for the Discovery stage. Even more efficiently, AVMs are commonly used as lead capture tools, providing you with the upper hand and ability to reach out to home buyers as they transition into their Research stage. The AVM is a great tool to begin conversations with as well as instill brand loyalty and interest among potential home buyers.
Apart from AVM, another way to align your website to the needs of home shoppers in the Discovery stage is to consistently blog about your local markets and communities. Use Market and Property Information to generate blog topics such as “Jersey City Home Prices at a 5 Year High”, complete with a link to either the most recent Jersey City listings or to your AVM so Jersey City home owners can see their current home’s estimated value. This can inflict inspiration for many non home shoppers to either begin their Discovery stage or to begin channeling their Discovery stage through your brand.
Finally, a great way to take advantage of the Discovery stage to offer engaging and fun search capabilities, such as search filters based around lifestyle. For example, Onboard’s Lifestyle Search Engine enables home shoppers to find communities based on nightlife, pet friendliness, local mass transportation, and school ratings. These search functions can be highly valuable when potential home shoppers consider various neighborhoods and areas to move to.
Just because the Discovery stage doesn’t produce an immediate payoff doesn’t mean it’s not a valuable stage to capitalize on. To learn more on how to convert more leads through the Home Buyer Cycle, register for our free upcoming webinar, Close More Deals: The Art (and Science) of Converting Leads to Sales.