Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Selling Your Builder
Selling homes by capitalizing on your builder's reputation.
Many components of a new-home purchase can be duplicated. Floor plans, elevations, home site sizes, financing, community amenities and locations can be copied by other builders. The single selling feature that is unique to a sales agent is the builder for whom they work. Do you use your builder's reputation in your sales presentation, and, if so, how do you do it?
Georgia mid-sized builder
Annual sales: $17 million; 24 units
My builder has a really strong reputation in the local area so I want to make sure that I discuss our company in every sales presentation. I determine when to discuss my builder's reputation by asking about any experiences the customer may have had in the past with a builder. If I get feedback that they have had some issues with a prior builder or home, I make sure to discuss the reputation of my builder right away. I know until they get comfortable with my builder they won't be ready to buy, no matter how much they like the home.
Midwest large builder
Annual sales: $25 million; 60 units
I work for one of the largest builders in my market, and we do a lot of advertising. I get a lot of people who come in with the ads and say they came to my community because of my builder's reputation. While that's great to hear, I want to understand specifically what they really know about our company. Is it just that we're big, or do they know about the differences in our construction practices and what really separates us from other builders? For example, do they understand the research we use in designing our floor plans?
California large builder
Annual sales: $19 million; 55 units
I work for a very large builder but am often surprised by how many people know little or nothing about the company. If they tell me they really don't know too much about our company, I use the opportunity to begin discussing the history of our company and our financial strength, as well as our commitment to customer satisfaction. I know when I stress my builder's reputation early I can use it when we're negotiating price at the end of the process.
Georgia mid-sized builder
Annual sales: $19 million; 62 units
The fact that you stand behind your product and care about the satisfaction of your customer is a key selling point. If you don't believe in your builder, it will show through to your customers, and you will lose sales. If the customer doesn't know about our company, I'll use testimonials from our homeowners. Customers expect the sales person to say good things about their builder, but you can't buy an endorsement from your homeowners.