Archive for the ‘Constellation Web Solutions’ Category

The Value of a New Home Sales and CRM System

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
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Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with a client and was pleasantly surprised.  The Sales Manager explained that they weren’t currently using all of the features in their new home sales system to capture all the sales information, but then she explained that they did use it for many important functions.  She explained that even though they didn’t use it to its fullest extent, it was still a very helpful tool, and she excitedly described how it recently helped her land a very important sale.

A husband and wife had come into the sales office one day and told her that they had visited and taken a look around a couple of years ago, and liked what they saw, and they were getting closer to being ready to buy.  The Sales Manager welcomed them back, and invited them to take a look around the model, and politely excused herself, saying that she needed to take care of something in her office and that she would be back in just a moment.  She rushed back into her office and pulled up their names in their CRM system, and was able to refresh her memory by reading all of the detailed notes she had recorded during their earlier visits.  She returned to her buyers, and created opportunities to work the pieces of information that she had gathered from their visits 2 years ago, into the conversation.  The prospects felt very special and thought it was absolutely amazing that she remembered so much about them.

The Sales Manager told me that she ultimately closed a sale with them, and that the prospects mentioned they were very impressed with her ability to remember them.  While she recognizes that there were many other factors that impacted the final purchase decision, she was also confident that her effort to enter additional prospect information in the new home sales and CRM system played a large role in landing the sale.

Another Reason to Get Leads into Your Sales System Immediately

Monday, April 26th, 2010
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When your website is hooked up to your sales system in real-time, you can start to analyze data in powerful ways.  Without this real-time integration, you won’t know exactly when the lead came in… it would most likely show up as 50 leads every Monday morning, some of them may have expressed interest almost a week ago. (if they submitted their contact information right after you did the import)

Having said that, here is some aggregate analysis for lead distribution by Day of Week and Time of Day.  If you look at the charts and imagine how this fits in your prospective home buyer’s day, you should be able to decide when you want your sales staff available to answer questions by e-mail or phone and schedule appointments for your sales agents.

Lead Distribution – Day of Week

  1. husband/wife procrastination factor “can you look up that house we saw last weekend?” it looks like it takes a couple of days for the husband/wife to get around to it.

Lead Distribution – Time of Day

  1. Look for homes online around lunch time
  2. During afternoon meetings, before leaving the office, they look for more homes
  3. Driving home and eating dinner, so no looking for homes at this time
  4. Look for more homes after dinner around 7pm.
  5. From 8PM to 10PM, put the kids to bed
  6. Kids are in bed, time to look for homes again.

Note: Although 8AM, doesn’t look like a prime time for leads, there is some opportunity on Monday mornings as you’ll see below.

Lead Distribution – Day of Week and Time of Day

  1. Around noon on Sunday, they look for homes online
  2. They might be driving around looking for homes in the neighbourhoods they like between 1 and 5pm on Sunday.
  3. Around 6pm they look up the homes that they saw on their Sunday drive
  4. At 8 AM on Monday, they get to work and look at more homes.
  5. At 4 PM on Monday they look for more homes before leaving work
  6. On Tuesday at lunch and towards the end of their workday, they look for more homes.
  7. They look for more homes on Tuesday around 10 PM, then they forget about it until Friday as they prepare for their weekend.

News from the 2010 IBS

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010
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This year’s IBS was the best year in the past four for Constellation HomeBuilder Systems and the thought was echoed by many builders in attendance. There is a realization that technology will play a much more important role in the builder’s future.

There was talk everywhere about leveraging social media in homebuilding. It is a strategy you should adopt NOW! See what I mean…

One thing I learned is the importance of “claiming your business” on Google. There is a way to enhance the listing of your business on Google including maps, pictures content and even reviews. It is part of the Local Business Center… Who Knew? Check out this link to learn about Claiming your Business.

The response to our new Groundbreaker website solution was phenomenal. If you know you need to update your website or think you may need to change see what Groundbreaker can do for you. Announced at the IBS show Groundbreaker had builder big and small talking and agreeing the unbelievable value it represents.

It was amazing to see the response to the newest product in the Constellation HomeBuilder Systems line of ERP solutions. HomeDev is a project management and job cost system developed for the small builder and remodeler. It uses Microsoft tools and works with QuickBooks. Many builders stated clearly “this is exactly what we have been waiting for”.

BuildSoft Pro was introduced at the IBS as well. Current BuildSoft users were stopped dead in their tracks when we showed them the new product and how it will help them better manage job costs and complete projects on time.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems Announces Groundbreaker Websites A Cost Effective and Quick to Deploy Solution for Home Builders

Monday, January 25th, 2010
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Markham, ON January 19, 2010 – Constellation Web Solutions (“CWS”), a division of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems announces Groundbreaker™ websites, an appealing and easy to manage solution designed for home builders to provide a professional and attractive image for potential home buyers.  It instantly connects you with your prospects, delivers the information today’s home buyers expect 24/7, and encourages them to select your product.

Today there is undeniable proof that more home buyers use the website of a home builder for their home purchasing decision than any other media.  Constellation Groundbreaker websites use the latest technology to help ensure prominent search results and bring the most prospective home buyers to your company.  The solution is aggressively priced and leverages our expertise in delivering powerful websites designed specifically for home builders.

Groundbreaker websites have an easy to use content management system designed to take the fear out of updating your website.  Simple tasks like adding images or copying and pasting text to update the pages are simplified using our easy to use administration capabilities.

Content management, technical proficiency of the builder, time to develop, and time to launch are all taken into account with Groundbreaker.  The content in a Groundbreaker website is so simple to modify that a non-technical person can make the necessary changes to help sell his homes in seconds. When changes can be done quickly and the results are immediate, it allows you to focus on what works and enhance the best selling points of your homes.

Constellation is launching Groundbreaker at the 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, NV on January 19-22, 2010, and is available for delivery spring 2010.

Request an appointment, or visit one of the booths during the show for a product demonstration.  

Booth C1145        Production Builders – Websites, Accounting, Production and Sales Systems

Booth C842          Small Volume Builders and Remodelers – Websites, Accounting, Production and Sales Systems

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

As the largest home building software company in the industry, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems has helped more than 2,400 builders manage their information technology costs with integrated software solutions to run their business from dirt to warranty. From planning to homeowner services, we have land development software, new home sales and marketing software, production, purchasing, scheduling, accounting, warranty, electronic homeowner manuals, vendor portal solutions, and web site solutions designed exclusively for the home building industry.

Media Inquiries
Cathy Kotsopoulos
ckotsopoulos@constellationhb.com
(888) 723-2222

Constellation Welcomes You to the 2010 International Builders’ Show

Friday, January 8th, 2010
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Constellation HomeBuilder Systems would like to welcome all builders and remodelers to the 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

We have an exciting show planned with many experts available to answer your questions about our products, recent acquisitions, and real-world best practices. To register for these sessions, please click on the session name in the schedule below.

Over the past year, we have seen huge changes in our industry and technology in general. While many builders were focused on their business and making many tough decisions, we were focused on providing world-class customer service, enhancing our products, and developing or acquiring new technologies to meet the needs of the changing home builder, home buyer, and home owner.

To meet these demands, we have released major enhancements to our core production, accounting and sales solutions, completed two significant acquisitions, developed two new products, and offer many of our products in hosted configurations. Our track record with new acquisitions demonstrates Constellation’s commitment to customers with world-class service and ongoing product support and enhancements. This means that home builders can rely on Constellation for stable products, dedication to the industry, and proven expertise. With more than 100 employees focused on homebuilding software, and over 2,400 customers we are the largest software company in the industry with the resources to deliver mission-critical solutions for home builders of all sizes.

With several booths at the show this year, please be sure to stop by to share some stories, or just ask our experts a few questions. We would like to learn more about your business and offer our assistance in any way we can.

See you in Vegas.

Constellation Booth Schedule

  Booth #C1145 Booth #C842
TuesdayJanuary 19th  

11 AM
Field Scheduling and Vendor Portals

1 PM
HomeBuilder Website Best Practices

3 PM
Production Builder Accounting and Estimating

11 AM
HomeBuilder Website Best Practices

1 PM
Bid Management and Purchasing

3 PM
Small Builder Accounting and Estimating

     
WednesdayJanuary 20th  

11 AM
Lead Management Best Practices with Mike Lyon

1 PM
Warranty and Home Owner Service

3 PM
Production Builder Accounting and Estimating

11 AM
HomeBuilder Website Best Practices

1 PM
Lead Management Best Practices

     
ThursdayJanuary 21st  

11 AM
Lead Management Best Practices

1 PM
New Home Sales and CRM

3 PM
Production Builder Accounting and Estimating

11 AM
Warranty and Home Owner Service

1 PM
HomeBuilder Website Best Practices

3 PM
Small Builder Accounting and Estimating

     
FridayJanuary 22nd  

11 AM
Field Scheduling and Vendor Portals

1 PM
HomeBuilder Website Best Practices

11 AM
Warranty and Home Owner Service

1 PM
Small Builder Accounting and Estimating

*if you are unable to attend any of the scheduled events, please contact
sales@constellationhb.com.

Converting Website Prospects to Buyers

Monday, September 28th, 2009
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A couple months ago Builder G, not their real name, decided to change the way they follow-up with internet leads. They are already a successful builder, but this is still a big step for their company and their staff. Everyone involved in this will learn how to use the internet differently, identify and follow-up with prospects more consistently, and manage their sales teams more effectively. They will make better use of Constellation’s home building software.  I hope we learn a lot as well and we’ll share it with other builders in the Constellation family. 

For most builders, the time is right to make this improvement.  There is some optimism in the market, websites have probably been neglected, more potential home buyers are getting their information online, the length of the new home buying process has increased, and many large builders are attributing their recent success to a better website sales process.

Builder G will make the following changes:

  1. update their existing website so that it is easier for prospects to obtain community/lot/model/upgrade details and provide contact information
  2. utilize one employee to follow-up with all internet prospects immediately to provide friendly information and schedule sales agent appointments
  3. utilize their existing sales system to track each prospect and ensure that only qualified prospects are provided to sales agents

Builder G hopes to obtain the following results:

  1. obtain more prospects from their existing websites (pre-registration and existing communities)
  2. ensure that all prospects are the responsibility of one person and that their marketing database is properly maintained for future prospect campaigns
  3. use the software from Constellation to follow industry best practices and track every prospect from start to finish

We’ll let you know how it goes.

Online Marketing and Prospect Follow-up Best Practices

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009
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Just a quick announcement to let everyone know that the recording from our online marketing prospect follow-up session with Mike Lyon is available for viewing.

In this presentation, Mike does a great job talking about the changing habits of new home buyers and explains some practical approaches builders can follow to increase the number of new home sales.

To summarize, it’s all about:

  1. providing quick, personal follow-up for all online prospects
  2. ongoing periodic communication (e-mail, phone calls)
  3. bringing online prospects into the sales office

Fortunately, Constellation has sales and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to help with this.  We can bring prospect information from your website into your sales system automatically, provide website redesign services, and even help builders go live with a new website very quickly. For example, Kaplan Companies and Stylecraft Builders have used our services to create some amazing websites that are optimized for search engine results.

We would like to thank Mike for conducting the webinar. He speaks with authority about the conversion rates a builder can expect and best practices that can be implemented to boost sales from internet leads. He is also the author of Browsers to Buyers:Proven Strategies for Selling New Homes Online, the home building industry’s authoritative guide on internet marketing, lead generation and leads management.

To learn more about Mike and how he can help your organization, you can visit www.doyouconvert.com.

Direct link: Online Marketing and Prospect Follow-up Best Practices

Online Marketing Best Practices Webinar for Home Builders

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
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Final Reminder – Register Now

Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 1 PM EST –
Presenter: Mike Lyon – Do You Convert?

Click here for your video invitation to this event.

With more and more new home buyers going online to begin purchasing their new home, home builders need to consider the following:

  • Search engine results and rankings are critical
  • Websites need to be organized to capture more prospect information
  • Prospect follow-up needs to happen quickly
  • Sales staff need to be accountable for every prospect
  • Prospects that are not motivated now can become motivated at any time, so ongoing communication is important

The session will be presented by Constellation HomeBuilder Systems and Mike Lyon and will feature a detailed presentation, product demonstrations and an opportunity for questions.

Important Registration Information

After you register for this session, all participants will receive an email confirmation via WebEx confirming your registration with an event URL and event password.  If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact Cathy Kotsopoulos via email or by phone at (888) 723-2222 ext 6140.

Constellation Web Solutions – A New Opportunity for Home Builders

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
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Recently, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems announced the asset purchase of The Enterprise from move.com and we wanted to take a minute to introduce this offering to home builders and especially our current Constellation customers.  The following is a Q&A summary of the acquisition and our plans for helping home builders better manage their websites.

How can Constellation Web Solutions help make the most of my marketing dollar?

As we come out of the downturn, the methods and means we use to communicate will change and in many cases change dramatically. We will all need to be able to do more with less and the best way to accomplish this is by leveraging the power of the internet.  This was a diving force in our decision to add Constellation Web Solutions to the family of products at Constellation HomeBuilder Systems. We can help you extend your financial, construction, scheduling, sales office, marketing automation and other software offerings from Constellation to the web and your homebuyers through a customized web site from Constellation Web Solutions.

Utilizing homebuilder industry specific services from Constellation Web Solutions can reduce the costs of your online marketing presence. Traditional outreach sources (newspapers, billboards, mailers, and flyers) are more expensive and less effective today than in the past.  Builders and realtor agents will need to jump to the head of the line and use the power of applications developed specifically to market to the “new” buyers.

It can be difficult to market to the needs of a broad group or demographic.  How do you leverage technology to provide what buyers are looking for?

The days of generic information are over!  The prospects and buyers of homes have become used to technology providing them with the information they want in the way the want it.  The builder can not afford to lag behind in providing prospects and buyers the exact information they want.  This means the builder’s web presence will need to have intelligence to go from general to specific information and Constellation Web Solutions is here to help the builder accomplish this complex task.  The ultimate in specificity allows the prospect/buyer to select models and assess build options for their home from the website.  Our interactive floor plans change the drawings the prospect sees based on the specific options selected from the website.  Imagine the competitive advantage the builder has when the buyer compares their home built their way with the help of the builder’s website to other properties.

Mobile web sites provide immediate, location independent access to interested buyers on the iPhone, Blackberry and other handheld devices. We are living in a time when we all expect “information now” that is being driven by the latest in communication technology.  The builder must be prepared to again, communicate with the buyer/prospect using the method preferred by the buyer.  The adoption rate of texting and using handheld devices (apps) to transmit and gather information is staggering.  Any builder that is not conveying information or preparing to convey information on mobile devices is at risk.  The builders that adopt the technology the buyers use and expect, will recover from the downturn faster and more profitable than those that stick to “conventional” technologies.  Constellation Web Solutions has a proven track record in leading builders to the newer technology.

Talking/Texting/SMS yard-signs provide information when you are away from your models and sales office. This is all part of information now.  We live in a 24/7 era where buyers and even browsers see something and want more information.  The beauty of using an application that communicates (texting or talking) is that you are providing instant access to your information.  The greatest benefit is that you are identifying who is asking for the information and you immediately have a way to follow-up with them.  This completely changes the approach you can take in your sales operation while at the same time being responsive to the needs and wants of the buyer.  I would hate to face talking houses of competitors if mine just sat there.

How will my Company, communities, models and plans get the most on-line exposure?

By syndicating your new home web content to new home destination websites such as Move.com, Zillow.com or Trulia.com or your local newspaper web site as well as integrating your information with social networking avenues, blogs, and new media such as YouTube.com.  The old adage in real estate is location, location, location.  It is equally important when it comes to getting your message out.  Let us help you get your message out to these new sources.

How do I begin working with Constellation Web Solutions?

Builders interested in our web sites and related products should call our sales team at (888) 723-2222, or send a quick e-mail to sales@constellationhb.com.

We are your technology in the homebuilding business.  We know the industry and we know technology, can you afford not to work with us?

About Constellation Home Builder Systems

As the largest home building software company in the industry, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems has helped more than 2,100 builders manage their information technology costs with integrated software solutions to run their business from dirt to warranty. From planning to homeowner services, we have land development software, new home sales and marketing software, production, purchasing, scheduling, accounting, warranty, electronic homeowner manuals, vendor portal solutions, and invoice workflow solutions designed exclusively for the home building industry. Constellation’s product suite includes Constellation CRM (CFT), FAST, NEWSTAR, BuildSoft, Builder 360, and Constellation Web Solutions.

Media Inquiries

Cathy Kotsopoulos
ckotsopoulos@constellationhb.com

Constellation Software Inc., Acquires The Enterprise and the Homebuilder Web Development Group Assets from MOVE, Inc.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
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Toronto, Ontario, August 4, 2009 – Constellation Software Inc. (“Constellation”) (TSX: CSU) announced today that it has completed, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Constellation HomeBuilder Systems (“CHS”), the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities of the Enterprise and the Homebuilder Web Development Group (“The Enterprise”) from Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE), the leader in online real estate.

The Enterprise, based in Milwaukee, WI, develops custom Web sites for real estate brokerages and homebuilders.  Product offerings include web development, interative voice response (IVR/Hotline) systems, and television production solutions.

“We are pleased to add the The Enterprise to the CHS family of technology solutions,” commented Dexter Salna, President of CHS.  “We will continue to build on The Enterprise’s strong, well established customer base and flagship product line.”

About Constellation:

Constellation’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “CSU”.  Constellation Software in an international provider of market leading software and services to a number of industries across both the public and private sectors.  Constellation acquires, manages and builds vertical market software businesses that provide mission-critical software solutions to address the specific needs of its customers in those industries.

About Move, Inc.:

Move, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) is the leader in online real estate with 8.3 million(1) monthly visitors to its online network of websites.  Move, Inc. operates: Move.com, a leading destination for information on new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden and home finance; REALTOR.com, the official Web site of the National Association of REALTORS; Moving.com; SeniorHousingNet.com; and Top Producer Systems.  Move, Inc. is based in Westlake Village, California.

For futher information, contact:

John Billowits
Chief Financial Officer, Constellation Software Inc.
(416) 861.2279
info@csisoftware.com
www.csisoftware.com