No longer just a place to connect with friends, post photos and videos and share status updates, social media is now serving a new function for users looking for their dream home. PulteGroup is leveraging live Facebook events to help bring its new communities and homes to meet consumers where they already are: online.
“Social media presented an innovative and exciting opportunity to debut our new community during a time when the sales office was previously closed and maintaining social distance remains imperative,” said Jessica Edwards, Marketing Manager for our Southwest Florida division. “The greatest asset of hosting a live event via Facebook is the ability for our team to engage with consumers and answer their questions in real-time, where everyone watching can also hear their response and contribute to the conversation.”
Instead of postponing its grand opening event, our Southwest Florida division hosted a Live Virtual Model Tour on Facebook of its latest Pulte Homes community in Fort Myers, Edgewater at Babcock Ranch, on May 9. During the live hour-long event, our sales consultants took viewers inside each of the three new model homes and showcased the community to virtually replicate the experience of an on-site visit.
“At the end of the event, we officially opened for sale and buyers were able to reserve their homesite of choice in the community. Within minutes—while we remained live on Facebook—our sales team received reservations, resulting in seven new home orders. This response and success exceeded our expectations for Edgewater at Babcock Ranch’s online grand opening event,” said Edwards.
With community events happening across our diverse portfolio of brands, the audience for social media home tours is not limited to any particular buyer group. Del Webb, recently unveiled its brand-new home designs at South Carolina’s Sun City Hilton Head community on Facebook. Debuting its six new GenYou™ model homes during a Facebook Premiere, viewers tuned in to learn more about the new innovative designs and preview two freshly decorated models. The team plans to showcase the remaining models over two additional Facebook events scheduled this month.
“There has been a great response from consumers who love that they are able to experience the new model homes without having to leave theirs,” said Coastal Carolinas Division Marketing Manager Jennifer Pencarinha. “We are seeing an increase in the volume of inquiries to our sales team following the events, especially from individuals who are out of state and have been unable to travel for an in-person visit.”
To date, we have hosted almost two dozen Facebook Live and Premiere events, with several future event dates set. Surpassing typical in-person attendance numbers for a new community grand opening, each event reaches an average audience of 2,000 people on Facebook. Many receive responses from over 100 people who virtually RSVP to register their interest and attendance ahead of the event.
“The benefits of hosting live social media events for grand openings and community tours are twofold,” said Chief Marketing Officer Manish Shrivastava. “We can reach a much broader audience that can participate from anywhere in the world and connect directly with customers searching for their next home.”
Our Minnesota team has highlighted several of its new communities and homes with recent Facebook Live tours and plans to continue to leverage the tool for future sales events.
“This has been a great tool to help gain exposure during a difficult selling environment and support a number of ongoing sales activities,” said Shannon Huber, Minnesota Division Vice President of Sales. “I see this becoming a lasting part of our sales process where we continue hosting events on social media for all new communities.”