The Light: Virtual Empathy | John Burns Real Estate Consulting

The Light: Virtual Empathy

New home marketing will never be the same. The home is more of a place of refuge and safety than ever before. For many more, the home is also now their office. Here are some marketing tactics we see working.

Show real empathy and inspiration.

Acknowledge the challenges people are facing, including economic concerns, crowded homes, work hurdles, and family safety fears. Builders can help buyers see their new homes as a place to alleviate some of those physical and financial obstacles. Displays of empathy and inspiration are everywhere—from a builder in Dallas who guaranteed six months of mortgage payments to new buyers if they suffered a job loss to PulteGroup’s Built to Honor Program, which delivers new, mortgage-free homes for deserving veterans and their families as they transition out of the military.

Embrace the virtual world.

Online tours are now the rule, not the exception. Prospective buyers expect simple, on-line interfaces, including 3D renderings and drag-and-drop floor plan designs. Allow prospects to access homes when convenient for them and enhance their feeling of safety with technology that includes Matterport photography, NterNow keyless home touring technology, and virtual reality tours.

Build rapport on and offline.

Purchasing a home is the most important decision a consumer will ever make. Real-time chats with live agents enhance trust. We love the Insta-Marywood Hills program The New Home Company launched at one of its Orange County neighborhoods that included a live Instagram tour with a salesperson. There are great examples of “curbside closings” complete with touchless document signings, photographs, and celebratory flair that minimize direct contact but commemorate the huge milestone for the buyers. Rancho Mission Viejo subtly but personally invites residents and prospects alike to experience the lifestyle of the community through Instagram and Facebook (#theranchrocks). Today’s consumer trusts online interaction, so embrace that.

Though pent-up demand and low mortgage rates have played a role in housing’s quick recovery, marketing tactics have separated the builders with great performance from those with good performance.


Dean Wehrli If you have any questions, please contact Dean Wehrli, Principal, at (916) 647-3263 or by email.
Kristin Matthews If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Matthews, Senior Manager, at (801) 523-5929 or by email.
Ken Perlman If you have any questions, please contact Ken Perlman, Managing Principal, at (858) 281-7214 or by email.
Lesley Deutch If you have any questions, please contact Lesley Deutch, Managing Principal, at (561) 998-5814 or by email.