The beloved architectural style known as Craftsman has undeniably British roots, yet it’s unmistakably American, from Oregon to Alabama to Illinois. Might that explain its enduring appeal?
Sales All-Star: Kelly Lucente
Kelly Lucente, a new home specialist with nine years of experience, first with Pulte Homes in Minnesota and then with Ryland, keeps up a feverish pace to sell the volume she does.
Company: Ryland Homes, Edina, Minn.
Awards: NSMC Silver Award, Region 4 Salesperson of the Year, 2001; Ryland Homes’ Outstanding Sales Rep of the Year, 1999, 2000
2001 net sales units: 91
2001 net sales dollars: $16.1 million
Average number of appointments per month: 25 "quality sites"
Buyer referral rate: 30%
Cancellation or bust-out rate: 20%
Kelly Lucente, a new home specialist with nine years of experience, first with Pulte Homes in Minnesota and then with Ryland, keeps up a feverish pace to sell the volume she does. She says it has to do with being motivated and directed. Selling mostly townhomes at a $200,000 price point, she is positioned at the sweet spot of her market, where most of the buyers are and traffic is high. But having sold 140 homes in 2000, a national one-year record for Ryland, she pushes for more activity despite the good traffic.
"I am a firm believer that the critical path is pretty rudimentary," she says. "If you are going to be a player at all in your own career path, you need to be able to do that in your sleep." With a background in marketing, she focuses on ways to "bring bodies through the door," by increasing referrals from Realtors and buyers and other "self-generating businesses" - including cold calling.
Once they're inside, she says, the key is to "build rapport" and make a connection with prospects. That connection makes the sale more often than the features and benefits of the product, she says.
"A lot of times I hear people say that 'so-and-so has a better value, but I like you better,'" says Lucente. "And for me personally, that means more than slamming them on a first visit."
Kelly on her sales technique Kelly on time management