The norm for the home building industry is face-to-face, personal interaction—most people don’t make the biggest purchase of their lives online. Sales people have perfected their presentation–seeing success during model home visits and building relationships during in-person visits. Who would have thought that the gesture of shaking a hand would considered to be crossing the line?
However, based on the current COVID-19 situation and the need for social distancing, moving to virtual interactions is essential if we want to stay connected and engaged with our prospects and purchasers. Whether with buyers or co-workers, connecting with people using video chat will be invaluable to keep business moving forward. Being able to see someone is an important part of communication. It creates a connection and it also ensures that everyone is present in the conversation.
There are different types of video tools. Just about all of us are familiar with Apple’s FaceTime and WhatsApp. They are great for spontaneous one-to-one calls and both platforms allow you to have group video calls too. (This can be a great option when you are visiting a building site and want to call your purchaser to show them the progress!)
When working from a home office, video conferencing tools are a good choice for both internal (within your company) as well as with your buyers. There are a lot to choose from. Here are a few to have a look at and compare based on your needs:
Price plans vary for each, but most have a free version that you can use. Sign up for one—or all of them—until you find the one that you prefer. They are all relatively easy to use. But they do require some practice! Virtual meetings have a different feel to them.
If you haven’t led a virtual meeting in the past, practice on a coworker to make sure you’re familiar with the technology before talking to potential buyers or customers. The above virtual meeting solutions have great support and help docs to get you through the technical hurdles. There is also a possibility that your buyers haven’t used this technology before either, so being comfortable enough to walk someone through how to show their camera or unmute themselves is important!
Most of them have simple icons that help make it easier! (This is a screenshot from whereby.com)
Tips for a Virtual Meeting:
- Know the software. If you’re not sure, practice on a co-worker to make sure you’re familiar with the technology before talking to potential buyers or customers. The above virtual meeting solutions have great support and help docs to get you through the technical hurdles.
- Be camera ready. Similar to making a BombBomb video email (for those who have), look professional. You may be working from home, but you don’t need to look like it!
- Don’t be distracted by your image on the screen. It’s a little awkward at first, but if you engage with the person on the other line as you would in-person, that fades away.
Don’t delay—staying connected is important during these times and using these virtual tools are a great way to get the ball rolling.