She Made Cyber Sales Soar

Prospecting on the Web became a fresh and effective tool for selling new homes

March 15, 2009

Kelly Kenton Fink of Bowen Family Home, talks about the brand review she did of 30 competing builder Web sites.

Click here to listen.

Category//Marketing Director of the Year

Gold Winner//Kelly Kenton Fink, Regional Marketing and Internet Director, Bowen Family Homes, Duluth, Ga.

Kelly Kenton Fink became Bowen Family Homes’ regional marketing and Internet director in 2005. The division has since increased its percentage of online sales 30 to 35 percent from 5 to 7 percent.

“We still do print advertising,” Fink says, “because I still believe people want to see something in print, to have something tangible in front of them. But the majority of our marketing budget right now is online. I don’t do print unless it comes with an online package.”

She increased sales by 28 percent with the inception of the “My Home Concierge” customer service program — accessible from the Bowen Homes Web site — offering potential buyers special services and personal assistance.

“If you’re moving to the area, we can help you with finding schools, day care, even a hotel to stay in while you’re in town,” Fink says. “We took [clients] all the way from the time of their VIP appointment [with a sales staff member] and walked them through the process, even helping them with mortgage information.”

She conducted a brand review of 30 competing builder Web sites. She registered at each site under an assumed name and made the same information requests from each. “It was really interesting,” says Fink. “I got a lot of auto responders instead of personal follow-up.”

Fink concluded from the results that in terms of response times, correspondence frequency, appointment requests and incentives offered, Bowen’s processes outperformed the competition.

The Nationals judges applauded Fink for doing creative and innovative things to achieve superior results. For instance, she used Google analytics to review the effectiveness of Bowen’s online marketing and made adjustments that saved nearly $200,000. She also developed a co-branding program with Pottery Barn to furnish her models and save merchandising dollars.

“She built the online sales department from scratch,” says Steve Palmer, Bowen’s CFO, in his nomination of her for Nationals recognition, “and [has] the best lead generation and conversion rates in the Atlanta market.”

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