With so much housing demand and limited lot availability, it's easy to fall into the "taking orders" mentality. But take caution....
In this THINK DIFFERENTLY segment, I challenge you to think differently about How you're Launching your Communities and Releasing New Homesites...so that instead of just getting more sales, you're earning raving fans.
I'm not suggesting that you stop creating waiting lists or stop capping monthly sales. With more demand than homesites, this is the reality of managing our business right now.
However, if your team has fallen into the "taking orders" mentality, what do you think that's doing to your customer's experience?
In many cases, it's bad. They feel like a number. They feel like you don't care. They feel like you're selling a commodity. But it's a HOME. The biggest purchase they'll ever make.
This puts a bad taste in their mouth....that they'll likely never forget.
Don't let that happen to you.
we want to get the sales, and
we also want to increase the prices so they're profitable AND
we want them to wait AND
we want them to agree to buy one of the few homesites we do release,
AND we want HAPPY customers,
we have to think differently and operate differently to provide a positive experience so they become RAVING FANS, whether they buy from us or not.
The way I see it....we have more people visiting our websites and models than ever before.
We have a golden opportunity to build positive brand loyalty to a larger market...even if they cant all buy from us today.
Raving fans today = referrals tomorrow.
As LEADERS... the first thing WE have to realize…..is that most of our sales people don’t know how to handle this capped sales, waiting lists, selling to the highest bidders, without tainting the customer experience...…. So, we need to provide clear direction and coach our sales people through this.
The 5 C's of Creating a Positive Customer Experience in 2021.
To watch the FB LIVE replay, here's the link:
1. Get CRYSTAL CLEAR on WHO your target buyer is:
- Who are they? (Household size, income, age, etc)
- Why are they motivated to buy?
- What do they want? (Product/pricing/included features)
- Why do they want those particular features?
- How will it impact their life?
- When do they need it? And WHY….
- What are their emotional triggers?
2. CREATE YOUR COMPELLING Unique Selling Proposition and COMMUNICATE it clearly so your offering is highly appealing to the prospect. You want them to feel like you have the one and only and BEST product, price, community for them.
- What makes you special?
- What are your differentiating features?
- What are your competitive advantages?
You know...when you really want something, you’re more willing to wait to get what you want, and you're even willing to pay more for it if you have to. But you have to really want it and believe you cant find it elsewhere.
So, just because you have a list of people who want to buy doesn't mean you can get lazy in preparing and communicating your USP. If you want them to be willing to wait, and you want them to be willing to pay higher prices, and you want them to do so as patiently as possible, then they need to believe that you’re worth the price and worth the wait. And the most effective way to do that is to understand your buyer, have a strong USP, and communicate it in a way that directly satisfies their needs better than any other community.
(YOUR COMMUNITY) ……..is the ONLY community that offers…..(FEATURE) That will….(BENEFIT/IMPACT) your family. Unlike so many other communities, we (KEY COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATOR, i.e: price, features, timing, homesites, location) so that you can (KEY IMPACT TO THE BUYER.)
3. SLOW DOWN and CONNECT WITH THE BUYER AND LEVERAGE that USP.
People prefer to buy from people they know, like and trust. AND, buying a new home is still the biggest purchase most people make in their life time. SO, to offer a better experience, the sales team must...
- Slow down and CONNECT with the prospects, even though they're busy.
- Slow down and DISCOVER the what and the why of their needs, motivations and wants.
- Slow down and thoroughly PRESENT your offering in a way that clearly satisfies their needs and leverages your competitive advantages and builds value. (It's not..we have plan A, B and C, which do you like the best? ..I've truly heard that. OUCH!)
- Get them emotionally tied into the benefits of purchasing with you.
When the prospect realizes that you have the very best new home opportunity for them, then they'll be more willing to wait and more willing to pay the pricing when it's available. Sure, you could take orders, but those buyers are less "bought in." They're feeling desperate and just taking what they can get. Then they get mad when prices go up, and are miserable during construction. Instead, with Solid Selling Skills, your sales people connect on a deeper level and they can leverage the USP and build more value and earn a raving fan.
4. Provide CLARITY for the buyer on pricing, homesite availability, timing and the steps to purchase. TRANSPARENCY IS KEY: If you want to improve the buyer experience...be transparent.
Share the reasons for capped sales, increased pricing, limited lot availability, delivery timelines. Share what you know today, and what could change, and why.…. Provide data. If you're using lotteries, or bidding, or waiting lists...Tell them precisely how the program works.
NOTE: PRACTICE THIS WITH YOUR TEAM...HOW THEY PRESENT IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT as WHAT they say. Sharing this information truthfully, authentically and compassionately takes skill. Give guidance and then practice this with your team until everyone feels comfortable and confident. Let each sales person verbalize it, listening to each other and incorporating the best messages.
If they've done a good job creating and leveraging a compelling USP, and the buyer feels like you offer the one and only for them...they’ll be more likely to wait, and pay the price...and accept changes more readily. They won't like it, but they'll be more accepting of it.
5. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE- regular communication while they're waiting is key.
Every week send something to keep them engaged and updated. Consider the date they were added to the waiting list as part of the experience. Of course it depends on the number of people on the wait list...but regular communication will keep them engaged and excited. Communication weekly during construction is also important as it keeps them engaged and updated...especially if there are delays.
- a phone call to update them on timing, pricing, etc
- a video of the home or a special room in the home
- a personalized video message
- an email about a community update
- a photo of the homesite with trees in bloom
Keep in mind, this market will not last forever. So if you take the right steps now, you'll not only sell at higher premium, but you'll also deliver an experience that develops raving fans.
If you'd like to see the replays on the previous THINK DIFFERENTLY SERIES, visit
my Facebook Live Page...Kathy Tucker Coaching & Consulting.
Feb 16: Think Differently about your TIME
Feb 23 Think Differently to hold More Effective 1:1's with your sales team
March 2: Think Differently about How You Coach your Sales Team
March 9: Think Differently to Develop Self-Reliant Super Achievers
March 16: Think Differently and Launch your Communities more Successfully.
Kathy is a corporate Homebuilding Sales Leader turned Sales and Leadership Coach. She started in new home sales, worked many years as VP of sales, working her way up to Division President of a national homebuilder. In 2018, instead of retiring, she founded Kathy Tucker Coaching & Consulting to help builders and real estate companies develop top producing sales teams and brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high-performance sales culture.
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