I told you I’d be watching the trends to see what the collective Google Analytics data was telling us and you guys… it’s GOOD. Like really good! Prospective home buyers are on builder websites and they’re showing genuine interest in the product. There’s increased ad inventory so the cost is going down but the amount of traffic we are able to send is going up. Traffic is up overall about 23% from March and about 41% from last April! Goal completions on builder sites are up nearly 30% from March. It’s all freaking beautiful. Like sunshine and roses and all the good things.
I know that intro is a bit much, but I can’t even begin to tell you how happy these numbers make me. In the face of overwhelming uncertainty and having spent the last 6 weeks inside the confines of my not so large home with two teenage daughters, a husband, a dog, and a cat, things may have gotten a little frayed at the edges for me if you know what I mean. Oh and remember how we told you that Megan was selling her house, she listed it two weeks into the Pandemic shut down, well it’s under contract! So hope springs eternal over here at ONeil Interactive.
How Are People Interacting With Builder Websites?
On a serious note, the numbers I am seeing are on par with what I’d expect to see from builder website stats in a normal April. As of April 20th new users are up 57% from March and 23% from last April. They comprise 71% of the traffic on builder websites. 👇Take a look at what the Average Time on Site looks like too, see how the trend is increasing. It follows right along with the increase in goals and events. These website visitors are invested, interested and making moves towards becoming solid leads.
Mobile use also continues to rise both year over year and from March. People may be working from home, but they’re also using the phones more than ever. It’s the only connection to the outside world for many. This is worth mentioning again, it’s imperative that you consider your mobile design when making website changes.
How Are People Getting To Builder Websites?
When I look at how people are finding the builder sites that they are visiting, I noticed that there is a 30% increase in search from March. Generally speaking, people who come from organic search as well as paid search, are farther down in the sales funnel than those who come from display ads on Facebook or Google. People who are searching for new homes are already showing interest and intent so to see a spike that large from March is a really good sign. It also bears noting that the increase over the previous April in search traffic is 40%.
Why is the News So Good?
There are several reasons why I think these trends are full of positive information.
- Most states made residential construction essential so new homes continue to be built and what was already starting as a strong 2020 for home buying is continuing in a domino like effect to lift up new home buying interest.
- The stimulus checks have started to arrive. For many who are still gainfully employed, this money was just the push they needed to move forward in the home buying process. It’s noticeable on the graphs, you see a strong uptick on April 12 when the first checks hit people’s bank accounts.
- New home construction has an overwhelming advantage to used home sales in this market….the homes are clean and empty (or not even yet built) and free of germs. Builders who have moved quickly to provide virtual tours and sales are at a distinct advantage in general, but certainly against agents selling used homes that are currently lived in.
This market isn’t ideal, sure, but there are sales to be made nonetheless. Position your company wisely, dive head first into a digital first approach and you will reap the benefits. Take advantage of the increased inventory in the digital ad markets, film those virtual tours, add the buttons to provide Facetime, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Skype Video calls if you are on Homefiniti (or reach out to us to find out how you can get your website in Homefiniti). Adapt, adopt and thrive.