Before the International Builders’ Show last month, I called my hotel seeking suggestions for a good breakfast place nearby to meet with a source for an upcoming article; neutral ground, something local, and not a concession stand at the convention center.
I know what you’re thinking: Why not just go on Yelp to find a top-rated restaurant? Ultimately, that’s what I did because the “concierge” at my hotel, while very nice, recommended only restaurants located within the resort.
My (foolish and outdated) expectation was that the concierge, to ensure this guest (me) had a good experience and felt special and well taken care of, would offer several options on and off the property—ideally a quiet diner with great food frequented by locals, not tourists.
But this concierge offered a Chinese restaurant among the hotel-only options, forgetting within 2 minutes that I was looking for a breakfast—not lunch or dinner—place. I politely ended the call and went online, feeling stupid and definitely not special.
In selling new homes, you are a concierge for your company, fielding calls, emails, website inquiries, and sales center visits from people who are interested but still curious, motivated but a little lost, smart but looking for answers. This is your chance to make them feel special and to dig deep into their wants and needs to serve them and deliver solutions that resonate.
I’m not suggesting a sales approach that leads your prospective buyers to consider, much less visit, homes besides your own (at least not on the first call), but I am intimating that the ability to deliver a positive, personalized customer experience, especially from the get-go, is a critical driver in converting a prospect into a sale. And, if you can keep delivering that experience through the entire process, a satisfied homeowner willing to refer you to others is the ultimate marketing goal.
In selling new homes, you are a concierge for your company, fielding calls, emails, website inquiries, and sales center visits from people who are interested but still curious, motivated but a little lost, smart but looking for answers.
How? Listen first and write it down, then respond to prospects with answers (and more questions) that show they’ve been heard and understood, and that you seek to learn more. Offer solutions that align with their wants and needs. Be honest, always, about what you can deliver. And, if your company truly and absolutely can’t meet their expectations, bite the bullet and suggest someone who could. While that may seem counterintuitive, it will definitely impress them and create a positive memory that may someday bring them back or, even better, make them reconsider their options so they can buy from you after all.
Neglect that role and responsibility and you may find yourself on the wrong end of a Yelp review and competing with iBuyers and online searches and sellers that at least make it easy, if not particularly special, to buy a home … and, most likely, a resale at that. It may not be as simple as suggesting a good breakfast place, but it’s also not complicated.
Access a PDF of this article in Pro Builder's February 2020 digital edition