We know that a new website is a big investment, not just in money, but in the time and effort of your team. So when you decide to make the leap and take on a new website project, you want to feel confident it’s the right time. When is the right time for a homebuilder to invest in a new website? There’s no hard and fast rule, but here are a few things to consider.
Your current website no longer represents your brand
Your website is the biggest representation of your company. More than just a place to show the homes you build, it’s a place to demonstrate your company culture and values to potential buyers. A brand is bigger than just the fonts and colors. It’s the tone, the messaging, and the prominence of what is important to you as a company. If you’ve recently gone through a re-brand, or your website never accurately demonstrated your brand and values as a company, a new website is a great place to start showing prospects who you really are.
Your business has evolved
While you should always try to build your website with the future of your company in mind, we know that things change. And your current website may not be equipped to handle it.
If you’re experiencing rapid growth, have moved into new markets, are now selling a new product type, or are introducing new processes, it’s a good time to take a look at your website and see if it can still handle your business goals and meet the needs of your target homeshoppers.
The data tells you it’s time
It may be hard to tell, but we’re a little nerdy here at ONeil Interactive, and we love a deep dive into data reports to see how our homebuilder marketing efforts and website are performing. So when you’re contemplating if it’s time for a new website, we suggest letting the data do the talking.
You can send plenty of traffic to your website through paid efforts, but if users are not converting to leads or not finding the information they’re looking for, it’s all for nothing.
It doesn’t talk to other systems
Your website is only one part of the equation. You’re likely also listing your homes on Zillow, BDX and other Internet Listing Services. You probably want your contact forms to feed into a CRM, where your OSCs or sales team can start to initiate the follow-up process. And if your website doesn’t seamlessly work with these other systems, you’re just setting your team up for more points of maintenance, more time wasted, and more room for error.
It’s not built to support homebuilders
Can your website successfully run on a platform not built specifically for homebuilders, like WordPress? Well, kind of. It can be made acceptable, but there will be performance and productivity limits. You can read more of our thoughts on this here. I may be biased because I work with the talented team that built Homefiniti, but I’ve also heard first-hand how many problems have been solved when moving to a website platform built specifically for builders.
The technology is outdated
Technology is constantly evolving; is your website keeping up? Does it support newer devices? Is it fully responsive? Does it still use Flash? (Spoiler alert: It shouldn’t.) Your website and your website company should be constantly evolving to keep up with new technology, trends, requirements, and consumer expectations.
Negative user feedback
If you start hearing from users and potential buyers that they’re having trouble navigating the website, can’t easily access the information they’re looking for or are just confused about how to use it, it’s time to start thinking about a new website.
If your own sales team is having trouble using the website and finds it impedes, rather than helps, their sales process and conversations with potential buyers, it’s really time to start thinking about a new website.
You don’t love the web team you’re currently working with
Let’s face it, sometimes relationships just aren’t a fit. Whether it’s response time, technical proficiency, accuracy, or general personality conflicts, a poor customer experience with your web company can sour your feelings on the website itself. If you dread making updates to your current site, it may be time to shop around.
Clearly, there are a lot of things to consider when you’re evaluating your current website and thinking about if it’s time for a new one. If you’re ready to take the leap, or just thinking about it, reach out. We’d love to chat!