We have a favor to ask; if you enjoy the podcast, please take a minute to rate it on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to the show. A quick rating and short review help others discover the podcast.
Editing by: KT Maschler
Join Dave Betcher of AtlasRTX on this week's episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. Greg, Kevin, and Dave discuss how to create immediacy and take advantage of the opportunity to build your brand and customer experience.
"Do not be afraid of technology, do not be afraid of trying new things regardless of how busy the market is or how slow the market is, do not be afraid to try new things."
As a co-founder of a popular CRM for builders, Dave has worked with hundreds of builders to implement and embrace new technologies that create better customer experiences and enhance visibility across organizations. Dave is a true proponent of education and has trained and consulted with 1000’s of onsite sales agents on the value of embracing technology to help them better serve their clients and their unique needs. Recently, Dave joined AtlasRTX to lead their homebuilding division and further educate homebuilders on how to embrace new technologies that support customers in their home buying journey. Dave is a yearly presenter at IBS and has hosted 100s of webinars and podcasts related to sales and marketing for home builders.
He has been a senior software executive in the home building industry since 2000. Presenting the benefits and best practices of technology in marketing, sales and customer service to builders and developers around the globe. He has trained 1,000's of builder representatives and sales agents on topics including Lead Management, Sales Process, and Email Marketing. His deep understanding of the residential housing industry provides a unique value perspective for both sales professionals and management.
Outside of work, he can often be found running the seawall in Vancouver or at the beach with his 2 Golden Retrievers.
We have a favor to ask; if you enjoy the podcast, please take a minute to rate it on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you listen to the show. A quick rating and short review help others discover the podcast.
Editing by: KT Maschler
Greg Bray: [00:00:00]Welcome everybody to today's episode of the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse.
Greg Bray: And we are pleased today to welcome to the show Dave Betcher. Dave is the senior vice president and the home builder practice leader at AtlasRTX, which I don't think Dave is what people were expecting me to say that no have known you for a long time.
So we'll let you, deal with that. Here's you introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Dave Betcher: Well, Greg, I could not be happier to be here with you guys [00:01:00] today. This has been a dream of mine, as I've seen a lot of my colleagues.
Kevin Weitzel: okay,
Greg Bray: Wait, wait a dream?
Dave Betcher: Was it nightmare or was it dream? I can't remember what it was.
Dave Betcher: Very happy to be here with you. And yes, my role has transitioned as of the end of the year. I have moved from my other company.
And now I am the senior vice president of home building practice for AtlasRTX, which is a very, very exciting role for me. And something that I see from a technology perspective as something that will be a commonplace as common with home builders as a websites and sales centers within the next year to 18 months.
Greg Bray: And, just for those who are still confused. Yes. This is the Dave Betcher formerly with Lasso. So just to make sure you talking to the guy you think we're talking to exactly.
Well, Dave, you know, for those who don't know you, well, tell us [00:02:00] a little something that, maybe most of us don't know about you.
Dave Betcher: Well, I've spent the last 20 years creating software applications, CRM, software, customer relationship management, software solutions for home builders.
And I think in all of that time, you know, one of the real joys that I've had in my life is to be able to bring new solutions, opportunities, some new ideas to home builders, but I didn't always start off as a software guy. In fact, I'm not a software guy of all things, right. I actually, came into the business kind of on the creative side.
So very similar to what you guys do every single day.
Kevin Weitzel: Well, so I should actually be into that, Dave,
Dave Betcher: I'm sorry, Kevin. Yes. So, but we actually started out as a creative agency and along with providing, at that point when my brother and I started Lasso back in 2001 way back in the day, websites weren't even a thing yet.
I'll talk a little bit more about that, but we came into the industry really providing, creative [00:03:00] solutions for real estate developers in Vancouver, Canada in Vancouver, which was really beneficial for us living in Vancouver. Vancouver was really one for cities to adopt the pre-sale condo type of type of model where people would line up for new condos that hadn't even dug a hole in the ground yet.
And they would put their money down and the condo would be sold out in a matter of days in many cases. So what we were finding was, as we were building out these websites for these developers, this is 2001. This was the day. If you guys can picture back in your mind a day where you were building out flash websites and you charged anything you wanted to, it was like 25,000 for a website.
Greg Bray: I don't want to admit it, Dave, but I was doing HTML in 99. So I'm there with you. I remember it.
Dave Betcher: It was fantastic. The budgets back then, it was just fantastic. But you know, what we found was that there was just especially being in Vancouver the amount of lead traffic that was coming in off these beautiful websites that we were creating.
It just, those leads were just kind of falling on the floor. So [00:04:00] last will really started with just an idea with my brother, myself, and one of our clients who said, you know what, there's gotta be a better way. And this was even before salesforce.com was in the game. It was like access databases.
And a lot of people were using Excel and outlook. So we just built this really simple. We kind of just, out of ideas, just starting to come up with some ideas on how do we start a solution that would meet the needs of our client and it got immediate traction and that is such a cool thing to be able to provide.
You know, you just come up with an idea and coming from the creative side, especially in real estate, We had a little different perspective in terms of, of what the product should be. It wasn't your typical, you know, database kind of look and feel it kinda met the needs of, of the end-user, which is typically the sales person and the real estate sales person is a little different than, you know a lot of other people in the market they need things to be easy to use. They need things to be, you know they need to have accessibility,
these kinds of things. Well, we'll talk a [00:05:00] little bit more about salespeople and using technology as we, as we get through the process. And I'm a salesperson and you guys are salespeople as well. So, you know, it's a little bit of a challenge with adoption, but you know, one of the really significant parts of my life have been able to come up with an idea that really had an influence on the market and really change the way that new homes were sold using customer relationship management tools.
And we were the first ones to be able to put this tool into the market. And I'm so proud of that. And with all of those, the accolades that we received, there's always little pitfalls that happen. And we'll get into those a little bit more throughout the thrill of the conversation.
But you know, that's probably one of the things that I think. Most people know I'm a pretty proud guy, but at the same time, just kind of knowing that we're not software guys. You know, we came at this from the creative side and really working with customers to solve solutions that they were having in order to attract more customers, attract more leads to build up brands, all of those kinds of things that we think about every single day with them
Kevin Weitzel: curiosity question there, Dave was that an original client? Are they [00:06:00] still a Lasso user? Were they in the home building industry? And are they still in business today?
Dave Betcher: Great question. They are not a Lasso user anymore. They had grown, so in Canada, and we'll talk a little bit about Canadian business here. The home building industry is a little bit there's kind of three facets to home building in Canada and there's still is in the US as well, but it's certainly not as prevalent.
So in Canada, especially in the major centers, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa. I see you notice how I said Toronto. That's how we say it in Canada. So if you're thinking Toronto, you know, it's one of those process process. We say Toronto, but that's just so just so you have some insight, but in those major centers there aren't a lot of single family homes just because of the density that we need in order to to fulfill there, isn't a lot of room in those major centers. So even though Canada is a huge country in the major centers, there isn't a lot of room for single family development. So density, I mean, it's really all about density and it's about building vertical and building condos and high rise.
So, the condo market in those [00:07:00] five centers really has taken off. And there are some key players within each of those markets. So Kevin, that first client remained a client of ours until they really, I won't say outgrew the tool, but they needed some elements of the tool that we really weren't in a position to build out on their behalf.
So they had to look at some other options. And at the end of the day, they went over to Salesforce, which I don't necessarily think was the right decision for them. But at the same time to fit the needs of the organization at the bigger picture, not just on the sales and the marketing side, but on the closing side.
And on the contract side, I think they needed something a little bit, a little bit more unique, but you know, they were a client for years and years and yeah. You know, having clients like that. And I think we can all say this within the industry, having clients with that type of credibility and having that logo, understanding that these people work with you. It allows you to build your brand out pretty significantly just by having those clients work with you and see so much value that you can use as a, as references. And we certainly capitalized and utilized a lot of those early.
Clients as reference points [00:08:00] knowing that, you know, there aren't a lot of early adopters in technology, especially in that stage of the game in 2003, 2004, there weren't a lot of early adopters.
They know I need a CRM tool, CRM wasn't even in play. Customers were in play and management was in play, but there was no relationship in the middle. We just needed to build something out and we really needed to accentuate how important this was in a long-term position for the client's business.
And we were really able to do that, but unless we had some really good clients that worked with us, I would have found it very difficult to achieve.
Greg Bray: David's it's interesting. You mentioned the town home or condo type style in Canada. I'm just reacting to some of the entries that I've seen at the nationals over the last few years where there's some great marketing campaigns coming out of, well, how's that, Toronto, Toronto,
Dave Betcher: Toronto. T O R O N T O. That's
how we say yeah.
Greg Bray: Those folks there's a lot but I was like, man, these are all condos what's going on there. I hadn't really [00:09:00] connected us.
Dave Betcher: Well, and you know, all of us are just surrounded by water. So there's really no where to grow but up. And that's really why the condo market has taken off. And, we attract a different type of consumer as well. In Canada, there is a much more relaxed immigration policy. So the amount of integrative immigration that's coming in from certainly, from India, From China from Hong Kong allows for a lot of investment.
So people were buying investment properties in a lot of these cities, which is good and bad in how you, what the effect is on home pricing, man. You know, if you get it, it really had, I would probably say a detriment effect to the to the price of homes in the Canadian market, especially the price of condos in the Canadian market, just because there was such a demand for them by by foreign investors.
And, you know, as a developer, I would probably say, bring on the foreign investors and nevermind where it really, what the price of the homes are. But you know, it almost got to the point where a lot of consumers, especially local consumers couldn't afford to buy a home just because the [00:10:00] price of the homes were just getting so expensive, driven up by the investment that was coming in.
So you just see more and more and more condos being created in these marketplaces. And you're right, Greg. I mean, there's some incredible campaigns and you know, if you look at the sales centers, That they provide. It's a little bit different experience where it's not just a model home, but it's a complete sales environment with 3D models and you really need that type of environment in order to sell a dream.
Right. There's nothing concrete that you can say, you know, look at this backsplash and look at this you know, look at this view because nothing has been built. So you really have to place that in the mind of the customer. And that's, you know, the dream that we all provided.
Right. And that's the dream that we still provide today. But, It's a little bit different model when you're selling condos at 1700 square feet or $1,700 a square foot in compared to a single family home, which, you're providing a little bit more of a concrete tool that people can walk through and they can kind of envision themselves living there.
There's none of that. So, I mean, the, the marketing [00:11:00] materials are just absolutely fantastic and you, right. I'm seeing the nationals, which are tonight, this is a it's March 5th when we're recording this and just looking at some of the campaigns and it's just mind blowing. What's coming out of Canada right now in terms of what the creative component is.
Kevin Weitzel: If you say the Canada's more of a melting pot than America. There might be fighting words.
Dave Betcher: Interesting. We can have that discussion at another time.
Well, actually it is, Canada is a fantastic country. Policy is the same.
And it leads to a lot of diversity within the city. And I think it leads to a much better eating experience.
I must say that, or you get much more exposure to some fantastic food in a lot of these cities, it's not just your traditional meat and potatoes, which I've got to use too. I've been exposed to a lot more amazing food, just because of the environment that we live in.
Kevin Weitzel: So inquiring mind needs to know this.
How did you transition from basically co-creating [00:12:00] a platform and then implementation rollout and just kind of status quo for time into Atlas RTX?
Dave Betcher: Well, you know, I think when we're in our careers and I think at this stage of our careers, we have to kind of understand what are the important components of your life.
What are the values that are important to you and who do you want to share those values with? So one of the values that I always had was, you know, treat your customers incredibly well, do the right thing for your customers. I think you need to have people that you love to work with who share the same vision as you, and you really have to have this passion for what you do.
And I think that passion shows when you're talking to other people, you're not just. schlepping another product, but you actually have a passion and not only are you presenting a product, but you know, I've never liked to sell and I'm not a sales guy. And I think the highly productive salespeople of the world, I'm [00:13:00]
putting my fingers in air quotes, I think we are not salespeople. We are solution providers and by understanding a lot of the pain that people have within their day-to-day roles, you can provide some solutions. And that was one of the things that I really found beneficial. For me was being able to understand the customer and their pain points and really being in depth within the business, within the real estate business.
Yes, I was selling software, but really I was in the real estate industry. And to be in the real estate industry, you get to understand the pain points. So you get to understand the industry incredibly well. So there was, you know, when I was starting to end my career with Lasso, I looked for organizations that really shared the same value structure that I have first and foremost is it needs to be a company that I respect that have the same values with regards to their customers and how they treat their customers, how they do the right thing.
And are they good people? That's really important to me at this stage of my career, that you work with people who you really [00:14:00] enjoy working with and you respect and you can learn from, and everybody's collaborative. That's really what I saw at Atlas. They have a fantastic product and the product is quite new.
And you remember, we talked about early adoption. I, I think when you start to look at chatbots and text bots and, and you start to look at this type of technology, it's fairly new to our industry, into the home building industry. It's been around for years, but it's fairly new in terms of AI, artificial intelligence and autonomous chatbots that will respond to your questions.
I think people are sometimes a little bit afraid of technology. And I think people in the industry, even the sales, the marketing people are sometimes afraid of what technology can can do. I think people are afraid of losing their jobs quite honestly, in many cases where they start to see technology, maybe replacing part of the role that that they had.
So, you know, back to your question, Kevin, I think one of the components that I can bring in is really starting to understand, not just the solution that we provide and how it's, how it's a value to the home builder, [00:15:00] who's implementing a new technology and still somewhat being an early adopter, but it's really understanding what the experience is for the client for the person who is at two in the morning, going online and wanting to get some information about a new home that they're excited about about moving into it's really about what that experience is like.
And that's one thing that I'm able to just to have a little bit of insight and two in terms of what the end user. Consumer has the expectation of, and what is really the, you know, when people are registering on registration forms or they're going to, you know, they're going to Zillow and they're registering for more information, what the experience is like, and not just how it is, you know, it's really in many cases, diminishing the brand of the builder by what the response is like to the consumer. And this has been really the experience for so many years for builders who either didn't have systems, they didn't implement processes. they didn't really value the consumer as much as they [00:16:00] should have.
And, you know, as we transitioned into a much more consumer engaging type of, environment. Now we really have to step up and meet the needs of what those consumers demand. It can't be the way that home building has always done things because it's not that way anymore for the customer we can't remain in.
I sell to 5% of my database and let's start to talk about some analytics here in a couple of minutes, but you know, it can't be, you know, I sell to a realtor, a realtor list, and anybody who is registering from the website,
I typically ignore people just don't accept that anymore as a customer. they used to just kind of internalize, I think, as a consumer used to internalize how upset we were by getting no response from our questions or from our now we've got all these different models where we can make reviews and we can take down a brand like that.
So we really have to step up our game as salespeople and as marketers to ensure that every single customer has a fantastic experience and, you know, I hate to say [00:17:00] this, but the home builders that understand about that experience, which should be an expectation that is still the exception, that is not the norm.
So people that understand that consumers want immediate information. You know, I can't tell you how many times I just bought a house. And one of the things I really wanted in my house was I wanted to scream out to Alexa whenever I wanted to turn off the lights, that it turned off my TV to turn up the, to turn off the heat.
I love that, but it's immediate. Right? I asked her a question. She gives me an immediate answer, and that's what I want in every experience that I have. Now I'm in my car. I can put Siri on it and I can ask a question about, you know, where I'm going, but it's that immediacy that, that we need. That is yet to be provided.
You know, I still look at stats and I still see what the experience was like for the customer. And in many cases, you know, I think in my head about all of these builders, which I've incorporated an online sales counselor and online sales concierge, which it's their sole role to respond back to online inquiries and phone call inquiries and text inquiries [00:18:00] and all these kinds of things.
This is not an easy role. And we can kind of get into this in a little bit more detail as well. But if you think about that concierge, I always think about, you know, when I travel and I go down to the lobby and I want some information about maybe some. You want some baseball tickets or somewhere where we around traveling.
If I had to wait three days to get a response back from, you know, if I want it, it just doesn't work anymore. Right.
Kevin Weitzel: There, there's not a platform out there that ties in all that stuff, 24 hours a day? Is there
Dave Betcher: well, Kevin, it's funny you say that because that is one, you know, boy, what a segue it's like, you almost had that plan, but it's.
That's one of the consumer expectations now that when they want information, they, they, they need to have it. And they're not patient enough to wait for the next day. They're not patient awake enough to wait for five minutes. Quite honestly, they need that information immediately. But you know, I'm a big believer.
Everybody knows who Gary Vaynerchuk is. And, Gary wrote a book a couple years ago, it was called [00:19:00] Jab Jab, Jab, Right Hook. And I love the premise and really what the premise is, to give people information upfront, don't be a gatekeeper don't request information right off the bat. Give them little snippets of information, build the relationship with with the customer and when they're ready, when they seen value, when it's their time.
Give them the opportunity then to engage with you. That's the jab, that's the jab jab, and then come around with the right hook in which people then engage. But I tell you if you're doing that and the last part where you're not engaging, you're not putting in the right hook. You are losing so much of an opportunity.
It's not, you're not just losing opportunity, but you are losing. Every single dime that you've spent to attract that customer and acquisition costs have gone through the absolute roof. We're a little bit different time right now, you know, last year was a little bit unique in regards to, you know, looking at the cost of a lead and, you know, we can pull back all of our advertising right now as a home builder and we'd still, you know, double and triple the amount of leads that we had over all of [00:20:00] 2018 and 2017.
So we're going a little bit different time when we look at lead acquisition costs, but if we're not doing our job as a organization in understanding and respecting everybody that has a question for us, then I think we are doing a real disservice, not just to the customer, but we're really doing a disservice to us and our and our brand and chatbots and text, textbox allow you to do this. Automation allows you to do this, lets salespeople do what they do best. And that's talking with qualified leads SQL. So the best thing that ever happened to a salesperson, right, but SQLs make up 5% of your database and SQL is sales qualified lead.
The other 95% are MQL's, and those are market qualified leads, marketing qualified leads. Those are people who are dabbling. They're putting a little toe in the water just to see if you know, this might be something that I'm interested in, but I tell you those MQL is, are going to transition into an SQL.
If we do everything we possibly can and knowing that our customer is judging us. And they're also judging all of our competitors. And when I say us, I'm speaking as a home builder right now, if I can just do the [00:21:00] very bare minimum, which is following up with a lead giving them information that they want at any time of the day in the language that they want to speak in.
And when I say language, I'm even talking four languages, right? If you can do that, if you can, you can provide that experience for the customer. You have out sean, all of your competition, you vote sean, the experience that you had with that resale agent, and you've made this experience really a fantastic one rather than something where you just say, okay, I'll never talk to that to that builder again, because they never responded back.
So that's really what the experience is like for a chat bot. But it needs the human interaction as well. And there's many experiences that you, you just can't use a chat bot for, and I can list off 10 of those, right? If you've got an upset customer, you never want to use a chat bot, right? If you've got a customer service issue the last time that you ever want any type of automation, but I think you need to engage people more so now than ever and provide the information that is important to them when they need it at, you know, and that's really what chatbots and textbox can provide now.
Greg Bray: So, Dave, you hit on about 20 things that we could do individual episodes [00:22:00] about.
Dave Betcher: So I love it.
Greg Bray: So, in order to keep this from being a six hour, episode try to narrow that. But one thing that I do want to address that you touched on a little bit, was this idea of the fear of salespeople being replaced by technology.
Let's dive into that just a little bit more because I think that little fear is good, but make sure that they're fearing the right thing. So, if someone's worried about technology replacing them, what, would your thoughts be there?
Dave Betcher: Well, here's my favorite mic line quote in the whole world.
A salesperson will never be replaced by technology. Now I'm going to butcher the quote. Technology will never replace a salesperson, but the salesperson embraces technology will always replace the one who doesn't. Okay. So you have to have the combination of technology and human interaction. The human interaction is really what makes the difference, right?
It is what makes the difference, but not everybody is ready for that [00:23:00] human interaction. So what we try and provide. And I think as consumers, this is what our expectation is. I don't want to talk to a sales person right off the bat. I don't, it's just not something that is in my nature. I want to do my research first.
And I think this is pretty typical of most consumers is that when they're on Amazon, they don't want to be sold on Amazon right away. They want to look and they want to see the 40 photos of the new Vitamix, right. That you may want to buy. When you're ready then to make the decision.
And you've kind of said, okay, I'm going to look at out of the 20 people that I have that I have done my research on. I've narrowed it down to three. And once people have narrowed that decision down, you need the human interaction. After that. Getting people to get to that point where they have made that final decision, that these are the three qualifiers that I am finally based on all of my research, based on all of the online reviews that I've had, based on all of my colleagues and what they have said about this specific builder or the specific product I'm [00:24:00] finally ready to kind of delve in.
And that's where we need the human interaction to step in. Salespeople are not going to be replaced. They, they just can't. And you know, I've got a lot of friends in the industry who are looking at selling homes online and particularly in Canada where I am. It makes it a little bit simpler to have that experience because of the international influence then in the international consumer that is purchasing.
So I think people are worried that people are going to start buying homes online and doing the transactional online. And I think that is scary, but it's coming and we can't avoid it coming, but at the same time on a day-to-day basis, if I'm about to make the biggest decision of my life, and I have put my three options out there.
And now it's not really about the home anymore, that I'm purchasing. It's not about the price that I've narrowed all of this down. The last component to this is what is the experience like on a personal level? How much are you going to help me in my [00:25:00] search? So not sell to me, but how much are you going to help me in my search and make it so compelling that this is the right decision that I don't have to, you know, have any buyer remorse I've made the right decision.
And that only comes from a sales interaction. So I see no fear in that, but I tell you where salespeople still fall down is they do not understand that. Although they have sent out a thousand emails that said the exact same thing. Thank you so much for registering. My name is Dave Betcher and I am here to help you as much as I say, well, I don't get much response from those types of messages.
It's brand new to every single customer when it arrives in their inbox or arrives on their phone. So the experience is brand new to everybody who is registering. I've seen builders today. That have received over 19,000 leads year to date 19,000 online leads year to date some of the clients.
There's no way that a sales person can manage that type of lead flow. I don't care if you've got, you know, two OCS, five [00:26:00] OCS, 20 OCS. You can't have a positive experience for each of those people who are completely new unique, they've got own phone number, their own email address. They've got their own reason to buy a home their own reason for looking right now.
So we need some kind of engagement to, you know, some automation and some way that we can communicate with people without having our salespeople engage and let the salespeople talk to. Again, the people who are really ready to make that decision and make that the final buying reason why somebody chooses me over a competition or worse over nothing.
Greg Bray: So Dave, I think when we go back and look at a transcript of this conversation, I'm going to be interested to count how many times you've used the word experience in the last few minutes, because you keep coming back to experience, experience, experience, and, which I love.
Okay. Just so I'm clear, I think that's really the heart of what you're trying to get is this idea that is the big differentiator for [00:27:00] so much of this buying journey. So to speak, it's not, yes, if I need a home over there and you don't have one, or if I can only afford so much watch, and that's not what you know, then, then I can't buy from you.
But all else being equal, that experience is the differentiator. Going forward in this competitive opportunity, not just with other builders, but also with the resale home that you might be competing with as well. So you talked about quick response as a key experience. You you've talked about, kind of that personal touch if I could call it that, you know, that interaction, you know, what are some other things in that experience where you see builders just in your mind, just totally missing out on a way to make it even better.
Dave Betcher: It's interesting. And, you know, throughout this entire, you know, journey that I've been on in my career.
I have noticed a couple of things over the last years. And I think one of the things that builders, I don't think they pay enough [00:28:00] attention to are the analytics that are being provided to them by by their CRM company, by their their, their digital agency. I don't think they're necessarily.
And, what I've really tried to encourage is to keep, you know, the analytics and to keep, what is important to an organization is to understand the numbers, because in home building, this is all about numbers and sales games. Sales is really all about the numbers anyways.
So really starting to understand, you know, what is most important and looking at some of their criteria that we should always be looking at as a home builder. And I mean, it's not that it's not that difficult. I mean, there's only a few key elements here that I think we really need to utilize, to understand really the status of, our business and really the status of our success moving forward. And I talk a lot about numbers and sometimes they get a little overwhelming. And just in terms of, you know, when we talk about conversion rates and those kinds of things, but there's a really key elements, [00:29:00] that we can focus on as home builders that everybody should know, or at least ask the questions to.
Our marketing managers to our digital partners, to our CRM company, just to make sure that we have access to this because it's such a good gauge of your business and looking at trends over time, not just to evaluate the status of, you know, my website, but what are the status of my salespeople to, right.
And that's one thing that, that I really always encourage is to understand the database, to understand the data that is being provided and start to make some decisions that are not just gut feeling decisions that a lot of times that we do, but really starting to drive our decisions off the data that, you know, all of this information is providing to us.
I hope that answered your question.
Greg Bray: What are the big three numbers? If you had to pick three?
Dave Betcher: Cause you talked about first one is what, how is my website performing? That is always the key one because nothing happens on the sales floor unless we have a valid website, you know, we've got 98, [00:30:00] call it a hundred percent of customers are going to use our website right when they're searching for a home.
So that's the first number. So if we don't have a website that is, Generating traffic.
Then we cannot expect in that traffic to convert into a prospect that will then convert into a sale. So we start to look at those numbers. So on average, okay. You get one out of a hundred people that go to a website will actually engage with you with more information. They, they will provide, you know, their name, their address, their phone number, their email address. Okay. So that's the first one. What are the, what are the top numbers that, what is the, you know, the, the, the unique visitors that are coming to our website. And if we understand that, then we can start to do a conversion and look at.
Then how many people are registering and if we're not getting at least 1% of our website visitors actually registering for more information, somehow we need to start looking at that because those are going to be leads that we're going to sell to. Now let's take a look at those that lead number, Greg.
So [00:31:00] we sell on average to 5% of our database. So you can kind of do the math. If you've got a hundred homes to sell, you need. Here's my Canadian math about 2000 leads in your database. Now, if you're thinking about a project that is going to take, you know, 10 months to build through, you're going to sell those homes within 10 months, you don't need 2000 leads right off the bat.
Although that would be fantastic, but eventually you're going to have to spend enough money to generate 2000 leads. So you need to have this kind of in your back pocket. How am I going to generate 2000 leads? Now, first thing that happens is we need to look at how those leads are engaging with us. Who's walking in, who's calling who's registering online.
So kind of think back to that 1% number that we were talking about earlier on average of builders database consists of, but 60 to 70% of online leads. So you think, okay, we get 70% of our databases online leads. We convert 1% of our leads coming from our website. So we didn't have to know how much traffic we are generating now.
What is actually then converting from a [00:32:00] lead into a sale. What's going from that MQL to that SQL to an actual buyer and looking at how are our online leads converting compared to how our walk-in leads are converting. And again, we start to look at some averages here and on average, even though 60 to 70% of your lead traffic is going to be online, you do kind of the flip around and say, Only 30% of our buyers at the very most, in many cases are going to be online leads.
And this the other 70% of our buyers come from other sources. So understanding that that people are becoming much more comfortable with providing their information. And you know, this is stuff we could have talked about five, 10 years, years ago, but people are comfortable in providing their information back.
But where we downfall is the experience again of once somebody provides information, what do they get back and what are the calls to action within those? And where's the urgency within my messaging and all those kinds of things that we really try and promote. But just really understanding what our database [00:33:00] consists of and how we got those, uh, how we got those people into our database and how many more leads we're going to need to get in order to sell through our communities.
So those are kind of the things that we need now start to look at the salespeople. Okay. On average between seven and 10 points of contact to make a sale. So if our salespeople don't follow up once we can't expect somebody to buy from us, unless it's, those are flukes, right? Those that is sheer luck.
That is somebody who just loves where we are located more than anything else. It's the salespeople that need to be engaged, right? And it's seven to 12 points of contact to make a sale. I said seven to 10. It's actually seven to 12 points of contact to get to that sale. And these are all numbers that are available to people, right.
But how are those sales being achieved? Right? How are those contact points being made? Is it just a series of mass emails that are going out? That's not going to make the difference for you. So we need to look at what are the other points that our salespeople are engaging and just like we're on a zoom call right now.
This has become such an important component of the sales process now is having digital calls and I [00:34:00] love. Virtual calls. I think more than anything, this has changed just in how sales are made. And I think the more that people can really capitalize on their virtual experience being on zoom or go to meeting or whatever the case, I think that is really going to be the differentiator now.
So it's not just about the face-to-face one-on-one. You know, communication when you're in a model home, but it's what the pre conversation is either zoom or doing the complete transaction over zoom and how comfortable you are using online tools in order to make the sale. So, or do you have the right equipment?
So, and these are all things that I think we take for granted many times, but it's just so. missing within our sales environment still. So those are some of the stats that we kind of need to look at. We need to know what's our website, the traffic where are the leads coming from? And then how are those leads converting into sales?
And if it's not at a level that we deem acceptable, how can we change? Another one that I love, Greg, I'm just tossing out numbers right now. I'd love to look at how long it takes [00:35:00] somebody from the moment that they register for more information to the moment that they buy. Okay. So if you look at, if I register, today's a Friday, I register today. If i, by next Friday essentially has taken me seven days to, uh, to make a sale. A lot of times, what I can do is I can look at those numbers and I can say, Oh yeah, he's. On average, our walking leads take us about 45 days from the minute that they register until the time they make a sale. Compare that to our online leads that sometimes can take 90 days, 120 days from the minute that they register online in order to make a sale.
And it's a different type of customer, right? So when we start to understand those types of numbers, and then we start to look at how we follow up with people. If we know that our online leads are taking 120 days to actually get to that point of making a sale, then what we can do is understand. That. And now we can create our, our follow-up mechanisms, our followup cadences to then be reflective on an online lead, taking a much longer time than what a walk-in lead does and have urgency a lot closer to, [00:36:00] you know, the, the, the first point of contact in each of those in order to shorten that shorten that sale time.
But these are all analytics that are available to every single builder that's out there.
Kevin Weitzel: When you're looking at that data, I think you're missing a major component. Well, not that you're missing a major component, but that we're not factoring in that you're looking at registration forward.
How many touches does that build or get to experience with that potential buyer? on the website that before they register, you know, if they're interacting with interact floor plan, or if they're chatting, you know, using the real-time chat of, of those types of nature and are those, do you have any stats that basically support those?
Dave Betcher: Jeez, you know, attribution is a really tough thing to measure Kevin, just because there are so many engagement points that people can have now. Right. They can have the online chat, they can come to the website. Five 10, 15 times, you know, a lot of websites now have cookies embedded and those, you know, that that will probably be something, you know, last time we installed cookies in 2009, right.
That's when we first installed website tracking. So after somebody registered people can understand what was the, [00:37:00] the engagement up until the point of registration. Now that's only website engagement up until the point of registration, right? So if somebody's been on the website 10 times before they register.
Is that client more valuable than somebody who's been on the website once and then registered? And in many cases, the answer is yes.
You know, if you've spent a large amount of time, but the challenge, and I think this is something as an industry, we've got to start to think a little bit more about in how to determine all of the attribution points that have come.
Prior to somebody registering. And I think as we do this, it will give us a much better sense of where to spend our money most effectively. What has the most value to the customer? And then what drives the customer to convert into a lead compared to what. Drives a customer to come to our website and then fall off without doing anything.
But that's really, all we're trying to do is just engage in as many possible ways that we can and get in. People's face as many ways as we can to emphasize our brand and to make us seem like we are the, you know, the, the obvious choice. For people to buy a home from, [00:38:00] and we're doing that in so many different ways.
Now that it's very difficult by the time that they registered to track all those different attribution points. And I think that's something that is going to evolve with technology that that we're able to track that across all of those different domains.
You know, people coming from Zillow to the website and then engaging with the digital floor plans and then doing online chat. And then finally three months later registering on the website, you know, in many cases, people see that lead as the same as somebody who just, you know, Went to a Facebook ad and clicked on over to the website where it's much different customer.
And having that knowledge when we look at a profile of somebody looking at all of those different attribution points will allow us to really define people that are ready to buy today, compared to those customers that need some more engagement and that need some more communication to to get them to the point. You know, they're still at that MQL stage where they need to become that SQL with the attribution or with the engagement that we're having. Right.
Greg Bray: So, Dave, in all seriousness, when when's the book coming out.
When you put [00:39:00] all this together for us in a little, in a package that, you know, it doesn't have to be long, but, but this is great stuff.
Dave Betcher: And I'm no rocket scientist here. You probably gave that from my conversation style.
Greg Bray: This is great. This is great stuff. And it's hard. I know it's hard for some of our people when this is audio only did to kind of wrap. On all of these numbers and some of that.
Dave Betcher: So one thing that I will say, and this is, I don't think builders do this enough is I don't think they lean on their partners or their vendors.
And I never liked to think of us as a vendor because of vendors, anybody. I think for people like, like us, we are partners. And when. People become our customers when they're Blue Tangerine customer, when they're an AtlasRTX customer, when they're an Outhouse customer, we are partners and people have the ability to lean on us more than I think they, they recognize because we have a lot of industry insight and expertise that they may not know.
[00:40:00] They may not have the time to understand or learn this information that I'm spewing out right now. This comes from years and years of being in the industry. People have, I don't think have taken enough advantage of the education that's available to them. And there's all this education by so many wonderful people out there.
The Myers Barnes, the Greg Bray, the Jeff Shores, the Mike Lyons and the Kevin Oakley's of the world. You know, throw in Meredith Oliver and throw in Kimberly Mackey, Carol it's, there's just, there's so many great resources out there that people can really take advantage of. And even if you're just taking a little snippet of everything that you learn and just implement one thing at a time, it just gives you so much from ability to not just better your customer experience again, but better yourself.
Greg Bray: Dave, we have learned a lot today. I want to re respectful of your time. Cause you know, [00:41:00] you're a busy guy. So as we kinda kinda wrap up, is there any, any last advice, you know, the one thing you wanted to make sure you share today that, that you haven't had a chance to mention yet?
Dave Betcher: Well, I will say this and this little self-serving I will say, but don't be afraid of technology. Right? As home builders, we've always been a little reluctant to adopt technology to pace that the consumer is is expecting.
So I will say, do not be afraid of technology, do not be afraid of trying new things regardless of how busy the market is or how slow the market is, do not be afraid to try new things.
But the last thing that I will say, and these are things that I've said for. 10 plus years, every experience for your customer and is a unique. And if you are not going to engage with your customer, you are missing an opportunity and you're not just missing an opportunity to sell a home, but you're missing an opportunity to build your brand and the brand experience for a customer.
And that's really what is our biggest asset as an organization is what our brand represents. And I think by doing a disservice to our customers by thinking, Oh, we're, we're busy enough. We don't need to follow up with, with our leads. We [00:42:00] don't need to provide a great experience for our leads because we're busy enough.
We've sold enough homes to last us, you know, another year,
I think we're really doing a disservice, so embrace technology, but also understand that if you are going to attract customers, Make sure that the experience is a very, very positive one for them, regardless of if you think you're going to sell them a home or not.
Greg Bray: Awesome. Well, Dave, for someone wants to learn more, reach out and connect
with you. What's the best way for them to get in touch.
Dave Betcher: Lots of ways you can do it. You can get me at Atlas I'm on that website. So it's www.Atlasrtx.com. That's an easy one. Look for me online. I don't think there's that many Dave Betcher out there, but certainly I'm very accessible on LinkedIn, on Twitter. On Facebook on Instagram, you can find me just about everywhere out there. And, guys, it has been an absolute pleasure talking with you, although you didn't really get a chance to talk to me, it was just like, you know, the one thing about these podcasts that I get to do because I talk so much. I think my wife appreciates it. The most, because after I'm done, I just, I don't say a word for a couple of days, so, [00:43:00] uh, probably, she'll be thanking you for allowing me to spew all of this information out.
Greg Bray: We think we thank her for allowing you to do so we appreciate it, Dave. Thanks so much for being with us and thank you everybody for listening today to the Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, and I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine,
Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse. Thank you.