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As a homebuilder in the digital age, your website is your biggest sales tool. While the time people spend online is increasing exponentially, their attention span is unfortunately decreasing at a similar rate. Businesses have a very short period of time– about 10-20 seconds to grab a website visitor’s attention to persuade them to continue scrolling! This presents a challenge for homebuilders to elevate the website experience, as 95% of home buyers use the internet to look for homes.

One of the main components that persuades visitors to keep scrolling is a feeling of trust with your business. As the purchase of a new home is likely the biggest financial decision most people will ever make, clients must trust your brand to ensure a successful home buying journey. Traditionally, a warm welcome or kind word from your salesperson was the first introduction to your organization to build trust with clients; now it’s up to your website to offer a positive first impression. In this blog, we discuss the 4 main components of a website to establish trust– so you can create more home buying success stories.

QUALITY OF WEBSITE DEISGN

At our core, humans are visual beings. So, the first step in creating trust is to ensure your website appears legitimate and professional. The landing page and the main navigation must be well-organized and user-friendly.By having meaningful navigation labels, and segment specific language, your website will appear approachable and easy to use. If people are faced with clever, but in-turn, vague labels users may become frustrated and leave your site early. 

Another highly effective way to ensure visitors remain on your website is a dynamic design. A dynamic website relies on a content management system (CMS) which essentially builds the content for you by pulling information you want presented to visitors from a secure database. One step further is utilizing AI technology to create a personalized website experience, so each unique visitor receives customized recommendations to ensure they are seeing relevant content. Website add-ins like the OpenHouse.ai marketing platform understands the behavior of each unique website visitor to help accurately nurture each buyer to find the right home faster. 

In terms of visual design, it can be quite subjective what is “best”. However, we can provide a few general guidelines to ensure you put the right foot forward on your website. The first being– keep it simple. By choosing a classic color scheme that won’t overwhelm viewers, and maintaining a clutter-free menu bar, your potential clients will trust your website right off the bat. As a builder, your portfolio is your identity. So, we suggest that your portfolio is accessible and diverse. Showcase your portfolio by picking images that are high-quality; this may mean utilizing new technologies such as virtual tours or interactive floor plans. By clearly displaying all that your business has to offer, home buyers are more likely to trust you very early in the home search process. Remember, professionalism translates to trust! Don’t overcomplicate it and make your website welcoming!

UPFRONT DISCLOSURE

Transparency is the key to trustworthiness.A website should be upfront with all information that relates to the customer experience. For home builders, that often translates to price. There is the unrelenting myth that purchasing a new home is much more expensive than re-sale. Buyers often are intimidated by the threat of hidden costs in building their home rather than buying one that’s already standing. Documenting base cost, stating any additional fees or charges that may arise will increase your transparency and shows that you understand customers. Therefore, having honest and consistent pricing for each of your designs will support home buyers in trusting your brand. A word of caution—home buyers appreciate upfront disclosure of possible fees but they hate if they have to fill in a lengthy form to obtain that information.

Clearly presenting your salespeople’s contact information is another popular trust-building tactic for your website. One step further is the inclusion of a headshot of the individual your home buyers will be in contact with. This really humanizes your brand and establishes a connection with your sales team, and in turn results in trust. Mike Lyon from Do You Convert claims people simply respond better when seeing a human face. This is a good way to start building a relationship with your prospect at the beginning of their customer journey.

COMPREHENSIVE, CORRECT AND CURRENT CONTENT

Thorough information on your website that’s relevant to the home building industry translates to expertise and authority. By showcasing content that would be helpful to home buyers shows that your organization is well informed and committed to helping buyers at each stage of this process. This presents an opportunity for homebuilders to leverage a blog that is stocked full with relevant articles. Blogs give your website better digital authority as relevant blog posts will boost your chances of appearing higher in search listings. Try to optimize your blog with key phrases that clients may type into Google. 

Beyond digital authority, home buyers will interpret your business as a place to turn to for different solutions throughout their journey. From selecting a backsplash for their new kitchen to different financing options that would best suit their individual needs—your blog could be the first place they look for insight from a professional! The catch is if your organization is a hub for information you need to ensure everything on your website is correct and current. This ranges from ensuring your portfolio is up to date with your newest floor plans to updating your blog content with current material that is relevant in the fast-changing market.

CONNECT TO THE REST OF THE WEB

Now that everything has gone digital, many websites (and in turn– businesses) have lost a great deal of their authority. . When researching products and services, people don’t solely rely on one website to gather insight about its credibility and reliability; instead, customers look for external sources.  An isolated website that doesn’t link to and cannot be found on third party review sites, social media or news outlets may be interpreted as an organization that to has something to hide. 

A strategy to connect to the rest of the web and gain credibility from external sources is through reviews, ideally from a third-party website. Due to the sheer amount of social media and review sites, people have learned to trust external sources more than company-sponsored content. When you write content for your own company, it’s inevitable that customers may perceive that information to be slightly biased! So, by leveraging reviews, potential customers can hear about real experiences from real people. The most trustworthy content would be testimonials from external sites more than those listed on the website itself. While testimonials and reviews are useful, it is important to have a presence on external review sites. By linking to these external sources, your business will be transparent and trustworthy in the eyes of the customer.

CONCLUSION

Trust is the foundation of the home building industry; and in this digital environment that starts with a trustworthy website. Your website is often the only opportunity you have to make a good first impression and with a purchase as serious as a new home, customers need to feel like they can rely on you. In this blog, we outlined the 4 factors that help to establish trust on your website. From a high-quality design to reliable content, your website should be professional and radiate confidence in your ability to build the best home for each unique customer. The homebuying journey begins far before a lead speaks with your salesperson, and it’s time that home builders leverage their website as the first step of building trust. To learn more about how OpenHouse.ai can help you build trust with each of your unique home buyers, fill out the form below!

– The OpenHouse.ai Team