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.
They Know How to Sell Homes in Denver and Austin
Thus far in 2006, sales per community are down in comparison to prior years in most markets around the country. Salespeople around the country can learn from the salespeople in Denver and Austin. Sales professionals in these two cities are generally the best in the country simply because they have been forced to become excellent or find another profession.
Austin Case Study: The best salesperson I have ever encountered works for KB Home in Austin, a market where conditions have been soft for years. I told her I was doing research on the market but, since she had nothing else to do, she took me through the spotless model homes. She pointed out the features of the very basic home that buyers found popular. She found out I had a brother who was considering moving out of California and asked if he would ever consider Austin. She knew, from memory, the lot-by-lot pricing of the builder across the street. She knew Dell's expansion plans and who the main tenants were in the proposed retail center down the street. She didn't get a sale, but I am certain she gets more than her fair share of sales.
Here are a few suggestions to make 2006 as successful as possible:
- Put Yourself in the Consumers' Shoes: Pretend that you fit the buyer profiles you want to attract. Visit the new and resale home communities in your price range. Where would you buy? List the reasons consumers should buy at your community. If there are reasons not to buy, fix them. The last "fix" should be price.
- Increase the Effectiveness of Your Marketing Budget: Effective marketing can pay off in spades. Don't expect expensive ads in the newspaper to solve the problem. Get creative. Go to community events. Network. Spread the word.
- Sell: Why have the prospects taken the time to visit your community? What are their needs and how can you accommodate them? If they are not serious buyers, do they know anyone who is seriously looking for a home?
- Practice: Work with your manager and other salespeople at overcoming objections. Every time a prospect walks out the door, ask yourself what you could have done better. Those who are most effective at turning a negative into a positive will get the extra sale.
- Work Harder: Paperwork can be done after hours. If the entrance is dirty, clean it. Begin most phone calls with, "I may have to call you back if a prospect walks in the door." Offer to meet a prospect after hours, particularly if you are attracting commuters. Is 9 - 6 during the week really the right hours to be open?
- Hold Onto Your Sales: Cancellations are up in many markets. Generating new sales is much more difficult than holding onto existing sales. Make your existing sales your #1 priority.
In summary, you are selling the American Dream. What could be better?
About the Author John Burns publishes three free Building Market Intelligence e-mails each month: U.S., Local and Strategic. He helps real estate executives develop and execute strategic plans, conduct market research and maximize profitability. More information on his company is available at www.realestateconsulting.com.