According to the recent Zillow Mover Report, the pandemic “upended the meaning of home” and changed the way millions of Americans think about where they live. 11 percent of U.S. residents moved in the past year, both by choice and circumstance—and for many, it was a difficult experience.
The pandemic created many limitations for movers that new home builders, like Homes by Taber, were tasked to come up with solutions for. Although every builder was navigating through a changing world and a new normal, not all of them were able to meet customers where they’re at and serve them in a way that works for them—to make the homebuying process as simple and stress-free as possible. See how the team at Homes by Taber shifted, twisted, and turned to lighten the load on the thousands of people who moved to or in Oklahoma during the pandemic.
Online Resources Provide an Easy Button for Moving
One of the best ways to simplify the socially distanced process was turning to technology. Technological advancements to the Homes by Taber website and business processes made it possible for buyers to envision themselves in one of our homes without stepping foot in it—particularly, the interactive floor plan tool.
Homeowners desire a personalized floor plan, but starting a custom floor plan from scratch can be daunting. That’s why we offer personalization options to our expertly designed, homeowner-approved layouts. The interactive floor plan tools allow potential buyers to see the impact a variety of customization options would have on their layout, and the functionality of their home in general. Options include small changes like dual showerheads or trash can pullouts and significant changes like back patio extensions, wall extension, room conversions, or built-in mud benches in utility rooms. Transparent pricing is clearly shown online, so homeowners can get everything they want in their homes while sticking to their budgets.
This tool isn’t just about finalizing a floor plan. Buyers can also select their home’s exterior elevation, material choices and colors—allowing them to pick from preloaded color schemes, tweak an existing one or design their own completely from scratch. The kitchen design feature takes buyers through step-by-step selections of materials and finishes, in what many consider to be the most exciting part of the interior design process. Here, they choose cabinet styles and colors, hardware, countertops, backsplash, lighting fixtures and more in the kitchen layout specific to that floor plan. The digital process is about as real as it can be without standing there in person while the construction takes place!
Our interactive floor plans changed the way potential buyers personalized their homes during the past year, and we know it will continue to be a valuable tool well beyond the pandemic. While we love having future homeowners in person for their pre-construction floor plan meetings and color selection design meetings, this tool and others will allow long-distance or busy buyers to partake in the buying process from their preferred location.
Virtual Walk-Throughs Bring Photos to Life
First introduced in 2007, Google Street View brought interactive, panoramic walk-throughs to the mainstream. It allowed users to get accurate visuals of big cities, small towns and rural areas across the world through stitched virtual-reality photography. This technology was eventually replicated into virtual tours that homebuilders and their potential buyers can benefit from as well.
Homes by Taber has used Matterport’s 3D technology to guide users through virtual tours of our homes for years. They’ve always been helpful, but they actually became essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A flat outline of a floor plan can’t accurately depict the flow between rooms, showcase dramatic high ceilings or display the details that make such a difference in our homes. And while photo galleries and video tours are obviously necessary and helpful, the ability to “walk” through a home gives a much better sense of the space itself once the work is completed by the Taber team. Homes by Taber strives to have a virtual walkthrough available for every floor plan we build to ensure that all customers, both near and far, understand what their floor plan will look like before it’s even built.
Buy a Home Before Seeing It in Person
Before the pandemic, it was much rarer to hear about homeowners purchasing their homes before ever seeing it. Then, this concept became a true reality for so many people in the past year and a half. Homes by Taber had plenty of experience selling homes to long-distance buyers with an accessible, virtual experience prior to 2020—but our sales professionals really upped their game for customers amid the pandemic, becoming experts at selling virtually.
Our team was thoroughly trained on giving virtual tours using tools like Facetime, Zoom or even Facebook Messenger video calls. Once potential buyers were sold on the house, we also offered virtual options for signing the purchase agreement with the community sales managers. One family of homeowners recently let us know how this process impacted their home-buying experience.
“The easiest part was—being over in a different country thousands of miles away—how easy it was to complete the process. Everyone at Taber made it very easy for us to do everything digitally.” - The Pruitts
Again, our goal is always to make the purchasing process as simple and stress-free as possible for potential buyers—and if they’re moving from across town, across the state, across the country or even across the world, we made it a priority to make their moving decisions simple.
Making Moves Simpler Since the Start
Homes by Taber has always been driven by the goal of building the highest-quality homes in Oklahoma while providing the best possible experience for our prospective buyers and existing homeowners. We set the standard for homebuilders across the state and country by spearheading forward-thinking technologies and processes, which put us leaps and bounds ahead of competitors once the pandemic changed the industry as we knew it.
Now that the world is returning to a sense of normalcy, Homes by Taber will take what we learned during the pandemic and continue to innovate in new ways for our customers and homeowners. We’ve been making the process of buying a home easier since the start of our company, and will keep doing so for years to come in markets both old and new.
If you’re ready to become a member of the Homes by Taber family, contact us via online form or give us a call at (405) 984-1185. Whether you’re touring in person or conducting things virtually, we can’t wait to show you around our newest homes and neighborhoods.