From Browsers to Buyers: Leveraging AI to Drive Home Builder Success

Data analytics

I recently joined, a cutting-edge tech company that’s shaking up the homebuilding industry by predicting a home builder’s sales demand up to 90 days in advance and optimizing conversion rates to enhance customer engagement strategies.
During my action-packed onboarding (seriously, it’s like drinking from a firehose!), I’ve had the opportunity to chat with over 30 homebuilders in just three months. I’m thrilled to report that many are now signing on as customers.

Let’s face it: Homebuilders have it tough. The market is incredibly cyclical, and deciphering future trends feels like trying to read tea leaves—except the tea leaves are as clear as mud. Interest rates, market dynamics… it’s all the same vague info until OpenHouse came into the picture.
Moreover, grabbing potential customers’ attention is like being in a tug-of-war. Companies like Booka Group and WordStream point out that average conversion rates for home builders—from website visitors to leads, and from leads to sales—can vary wildly. Typically, a builder might see about 0.5% of site visitors turn into leads. But with targeted landing page campaigns, these figures can skyrocket to as high as 10% for some. Converting these leads to sales? That’s another story, with about 20% of leads actually scheduling appointments.

Today, I want to talk about a curious phenomenon in the world of home buyers: the tire kickers. These are low-intention buyers who seem to tour homes with as much purchase intent as someone window-shopping at a mall. They’re just browsing—because they can.
Why do they do it? Well, some people love to browse. Take me, for example. I often find myself on car websites, configuring Audis and Mercedes, dreaming of those diamond-stitched leather seats and musing, “Why wouldn’t I go for the 3.5-liter upgrade?” We’re dreamers. For us, experiencing the buying process of a luxury item—even superficially—is as close as we will get to owning it, without the commitment of a purchase.

But here’s the kicker: while all these groups are exploring, they’re also inadvertently spinning the wheels of your sales team and muddling your data on who is actually likely to buy.

This can lead to several issues:

  • Missed Opportunities: Sales reps speak to so many browsers, they misinterpret those really looking for their future home.
  • Wild Ways of Rating Leads: If one were to rate me as a high-intentioned lead on the Audi website because of the number of times I have done a build and price, they would be terribly disappointed!
  • Drained Trusted Advisors: There is only so much energy in a sales person. If they have to speak with every person not ready or looking to buy but just in the browsing phase, they can’t prioritize the real likely buyers.


Here are 5 ways we can avoid giving so much attention to these tire kickers and focus our efforts on the best opportunities:

  1. Incorporate Higher Commitment in an Up Market: The Digital Marketer’s ‘Customer Value Journey’ talks about the ‘subscription phase’ where the customer gives you something, in exchange for content, a discovery call, a demonstration. The contact form fill is usually the easiest form of subscription as it only requires 3-4 data points. Adding a questionnaire, for example, encourages the customer to provide us with more insights in exchange for a ‘better’ discovery call or ‘better’ appointment booked. We now know so much more about the customer alongside the customer having greater intentions to purchase when they arrive at the show home.
  2. Screen Leads Without Intention Before Giving Them to Your Best Reps: Where necessary, only use your junior sales people to screen leads, keeping your best salespeople to create memorable sales experiences for high-intentioned leads. We want each real buyer to have the best customer experience with your team. Don’t give them the bench to do it!
  3. Empower Your Top Performing Sales Representatives with Information that Matters: At, our product OpenConnect is used by Home builders because it captures the best buyers’  insights through our AI-driven questionnaire and shares that information alongside a host of data on the movement of that customer online with your sales representative. Through our sales app, the sales rep can access the answered questions alongside the pages they have visited so it becomes less of a conversation about how many bedrooms the buyer needs and more of a conversation about why they are looking to move, and what their future looks like with their family.
  4. Increase Your Price: In a market like today, the easiest way to get rid of tire kickers is to price them out. I don’t look at Porsches for a reason. 😅
  5. Start to Tell the Story of Craftsmanship: There are be a lot of people racing to buy a home. Listen to those buyer insights captured with technology like OpenConnect and lean into what they care about! 

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and I’m buzzing with excitement to dive deeper into this fascinating industry. I’m eager to absorb more and share my fresh, outsider insights. Let’s open up the dialogue—tell us how you strategically manage your high-intentioned leads to ensure that great buyers and stellar homebuilders don’t just meet, but connect in meaningful ways. Together, we can refine our approaches and drive real, lasting success.

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