How digital engagement is evolving the home buying experience.

This article was originally published on the Engine Digital blog.

Like most industries, the real estate market is being dramatically impacted by digital. Services like Zillow are dominating home search, and tools such as Houzz are changing the way buyers plan their purchase, renovation, and design their home.

Consumers are also driving change. Smartphone use continues to grow as buyers increasingly rely on connected devices to simplify the home search process. For home builders and real estate businesses, it’s important to not only improve today’s digital experience but to plan for the future — building a roadmap for digital engagement across web, mobile, and other platforms.

We recently partnered with TRI Pointe Group, one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, to redefine the home buying experience for their TRI Pointe Homes brand through improved content, user experience, and technology integration. Following are some of the key insights that came out of our process, and what we believe is needed to drive real digital transformation in the home building space.

Over on our blog, we outlined some of the key insights that went into helping shift this organization towards a more evolved state of digital transformation.

Below are five key takeaways to consider when planning your own digital transformation:

  1. Challenge your sector status quo — consumers are influenced by brand experiences, regardless the category. Too often, organizations focus on competitive audits and overlook the value of comparative audits — looking out of category for brands their customers have affinity with. Set your bar higher to meet these elevated expectations beyond your own category.
  2. Know your impending customers — move beyond today’s customer and understand the needs of the next generation that will inform how you evolve your own digital engagement approach. As the Millennial generation is set to overtake Baby Boomers this year, the way brands market to and engage with their ideal state customer is going to go through a dramatic change. Millennial buying power and Be prepared for this, and get ahead of the curve.
  3. Allow for innovation — ensure you map out opportunities to provide user experiences not seen before in your category, focused on creating a greater experience for your customers. This takes dedicated budget and time for experimentation and innovation, so ensure funds are properly allocated.
  4. Be brave — approach your digital strategy with a sense of optimism and vision. Getting this right means finding the right partners to help guide the effort and ensure the approach leads to “what can be done” instead of “what has always been done.”
  5. “Do” today; plan tomorrow — a digital roadmap should include steps for immediate impact and a plan for long-term improvement and optimization. Digital is never “done.” Be sure to invest in measurement, optimization, and continual improvement in your digital efforts, and be prepared to evolve in parallel to the constantly changing digital ecosystem.

Visit the new TRI Pointe Homes website at www.tripointehomes.com

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Written by Dean Elissat, VP Client Engagement at Engine Digital.

Engine Digital is a Vancouver and NYC digital agency focused on helping organizations like the NBA, Lululemon, Western Union, Adidas, and Pirelli Tires, improve the overall customer experience through foundational web, mobile, and social platforms, products, and services.

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