Friday, 18 May 2012

7 Killer Website Features Your Construction Company is Missing

Investing in a house is one of the biggest  decisions most people will ever make. Unlike a simple online purchase of books, potential homeowners demand more requirements and detailed information before even setting an appointment with a construction company. The newest generation of consumers are highly internet savvy. They perform a big chunk of their research online. More and more construction companies are becoming aware of the importance of a website to accommodate their prospects doing online search. But a lot of companies are still hiding in the comfort of their online directory memberships. While directories provide basic information, it’s still a far cry from what  a highly customized and professional website can offer. Resorting only to directories and micro-sites is a lukewarm approach to attracting new clients because it rarely gives you the flexibility to offer more than the necessary basic information and few selected images. There is no edge over the competition if you have the same format and level of specifications. To truly separate your company from the rest, a more interactive and involved support is needed.

Below is a collection of website features and applications that your construction company can incorporate in your website for a richer and more memorable potential customer experience. 

Project Listing

Project listing plays a strong influence on turning a passing browser into a more decisive prospect.
However, slapping together poor quality images in a photo gallery doesn't suggest quality work. Showcase your previous construction projects with multiple professional quality pictures along with detailed descriptions, the location and the time it took to complete the project. This gives clearer vision of your methodologies and the transparency will make prospects feel more comfortable dealing with your company. Take it a step further by incorporating creative video presentations documenting every project from start to finish. Post client testimonials and reviews featured in the media as a social proof and to add valuable credibility to your company.

Provide good quality images to highlight different angle. 

Interactive Locator Maps 

Location is one of the most critical factors of home planning. If you're working on a specific geographic area, it's best to communicate this early on. Displaying finished and on-going projects on the map can also  help prospects who want to verify if there is a model home nearby they can check out personally.

Aside from an inquiry form, another way to view at a glance your service and sales territories is through an interactive map. Any users can narrow down to the area they want to live. For a more memorable experience, customize the look and feel of the map. Change the color, size and incorporate your logo and company name. When users mouse over hotspots they can view helpful information and links. To give prospects a more realistic sense of place, they can click on the hotspots to display  multiple photos, videos, directions and call to actions such as ‘Schedule an Appointment’.

Locator Map Sample
Change the color of the map to let prospects discover your service location at a glance.

Map with legends
Use legends for quick reference.

House and Floor Plans in 3D

If your company is offering pre-designed house plans, let them preview the plans online. Videos and pictures are not enough in presenting the entire picture. Floor plan is important to understand because it dictates the design of the interior and the placement of furniture. It also helps prospects to see the entire property at a glance and visualize the relationship between rooms. For a big family, floor plans can instantly tell if the dining room is big enough to accommodate every member. Unfortunately, most users might not have architectural or engineering background so it could be a challenge to understand every lines and curves of a classic floor plan. A 3D floor plan can give ordinary users with a more realistic model of the property's layout, size and dimensions.

A 3D floor plan is easier to visualize and doesn't require sitting through an entire video.

Interactive Floor Plans

To give prospects the "next best thing to being there" experience, an interactive floor plan is what you're looking for. When a user clicks on a certain area on the floor plan, they can fly inside and look around through a 360 degree panorama. Additionally, users can opt to view more photos and other pertinent information like size and dimensions. This way , users get a more realistic picture of the property.

An interactive floor plan allows prospects experience the property virtually

DIY Floor Plan

You are in the business of building dream houses. The idea of a dream house is something that has been concocted in the minds of your prospects years before they even have the capability to afford one. Reinforce the emotional attachment of a home by giving them the experience and the tool to design their own floor plan. You can start with a selection of ready-made floor plan templates that users can choose from and customize according to their needs and wants.  Give users the flexibility to build rooms in different shapes and sizes, add or remove walls and move items around. With a drag and drop visual editor and a library of ready-made visuals like lighting fixtures, cabinets, furniture, textures for flooring, fabrics an paint colors, users can highly customized their dream house. Allow them to save their plans online by creating an account. This has an added bonus of getting account information from early prospects. To give them more reasons of coming back, let them share plans with others, browse other user's floor plans and add comments. Incorporate games and quizzes to help prospects identify their design and style profile.

Providing a tool to customize floor plans will keep your prospects coming back.

Online Cost Estimation

Construction cost is usually the biggest deciding factor of the final design and structure of the house. Giving your prospects an estimation early on can let them see how far their allowed budget can take them. A library of different construction elements like materials, layout, size, number of rooms, type of finishing and roofing, number of garage and other labor components that prospects can choose from will allow you to give them a breakdown of costs. Arm your prospects with detailed knowledge  and include equipment, labor rates, overhead and markups. Define all the factors that may cost them more and let them see how change in selections will affect the estimate. This kind of transparency can instantly win their trust and set you apart from other companies.

Take away a lot of the guesswork by giving prospects an estimate cost of their dream house.

Loan assistance and amortization calculator

The more involved your company is in making your prospect's dream house into reality, the higher the chance in winning them as a loyal customer. After giving an estimate of the construction costs, provide funding assistance from processing of loan application to disbursement of construction funds. Dedicate a section for your network of banks and lending institutions so prospect can choose their preferred lender. If you want to go the extra mile, assist in completing required documents. Provide tools to help calculate their estimated loan repayment based on the loan amount, term, interest rate and frequency of payment.

Assisting prospects from planning to funding can win their loyalty.

Your prospective clients have become savvier and more demanding due to the accessibility of technology and information from multiple channels. They are more aware of the wide array of choices available. An interactive and information rich website is an opportunity to get in front of a prospective client. When you give them a helping hand every step of the way, it can make the difference between a prospect scheduling an appointment with you and a frustrated browser surfing to another company.

Pinoylancers, founded in 2008, is a Philippine-based team specializing in website development. Recognizing the fact that every client has unique and distinct business needs, Pinoylancers constantly strives to become a one-stop shop that will offer and develop personalized end-to-end web technologies and solutions.
We are constantly improving to better suit your needs. Please send us any comments, suggestions, or questions you might have. You can simply reply here or contact us at:

Contact Numbers: 09153150809 and 09065216070


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