Archive for September, 2012

Ready for Price Increases?

September 25th, 2012

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann, Business Development Coach for Home Builders Edge Copyright 2012

Well the articles pouring out daily are indicative of our Real Estate Recovery.  Builders everywhere are feeling the wounds heal and the starting the mending process of this long recession.  While we are not out of the woods yet, we must forge on and start looking to the future.

What pulls us out of a recession faster than anything?   Appreciation.

Real Estate Appreciation will further slow foreclosures, provide consumer confidence and create a demand faster than anything a President can do.

What provides Appreciation?  Well price increases of course.

Dare I say…I overheard a few builders talking about price increases they were considering last week at our annual local MAME awards dinner.  Though modest, they were still talking about it to slow the pace a bit while they catch up their building with sales.  What a lovely conversation that was.

So with that being said, here are some things to consider…

  • Are your Sales Associates ready to talk price increases?

Many have grown accustom  to giving the farm away for the last five years. Everyone was doing it to get the deal.    There will be some training involved to pull back those reins and start utilizing the psychology of scarcity to create demand.  Everything changes now, all of their scripting, actions and even pricing sheets need different thought.

  • Have your Sales Associates adapted the price increase mentality?

It’s a huge switch in thinking here, one that needs to be converted first in the sales person to be reflected on the floor.

  • Utilize the scarcity of resale to vault your price increases.
  • In many markets there are very low, clean, resale inventory and a lot of short sales.  Short sales can take months to close and may never close at all.  The more the market increases the less you will see banks negotiating on price.  We are already seeing that.  All benefits for Builders.  Do you Sales Agents know how to sell against resale?  Check out my article below and share it with your team.


  • What are you doing as a Manager or Builder to help them make this switch?

No matter the market, you always need to shape and grow your team.  Bringing in on-site training is just as essential in a low market as a thriving market.  The training just changes up for the needs of the associate.


For your training needs, call me.  Home Builders Edge provides onsite, seminar and webinar training for New Home Sales Associates.


Happy Selling!

Resale Retaliation

September 22nd, 2012
By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Sales Coach for Home Builders Edge and Sales Team Coaches Copyright 2012


The last few years, I have been keeping busy with purchasing resale properties, fixing them up to be livable again and putting them back on the market for families to buy.  One of the many things that has transpired in this foreclosure mania is we have a large amount of resale housing possibilities with trashed interiors and many that are not habitable.

For those in the new home industry, resale has never been so easy to overcome.  Some of you out there don’t have resale as competition but I know others out there that tell me resale is definitely competition.  Well I am here to tell you, especially now, resale is not any competition for you…so listen up.



Most of the new home pricing and resale pricing I am observing appears to be pretty close right now.  So it’s easy to make a flyer up to show if someone bought a resale home, the costs it would take to improve the kitchen, the bathrooms, the roofing, the flooring, the exterior, the interior, the lighting, the electricity…the possibilities are endless.


Energy Efficiency

With current energy requirements most new housing just kills resale.  An effective way to see this is to take a picture of two bills.  An average bill from what your clients experience as a regular bill and a copy of a bill from a resale home.  Put them on your ipad and slip swipe from one to another to prove your point.


Floor plans

Many newer floor plans are designed for how we live today, not fifty years ago.  This is an easy selling feature for resale.  Today’s floor plans utilize family living areas and don’t waste space.  They feel more open and airy and not so boxy and confined as older plans.



This is an easy one.  Take your Iphone or Ipad out and view a few open houses.  Shoot the kitchen; shoot the bathrooms, living areas and exteriors.  Then take pictures of your new kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and exteriors.  Don’t forget Master suites which are huge selling features for most people.  Then next time you get someone who is looking at resale as well, simple show them Ipad pictures swiping back and forth between old and new.  Your Dialog:  “You want this kitchen (old) or this kitchen (new)  It will cost you about $30,000.00 to remodel this kitchen to look like this one.  And you probably will never get the open floor plan you will find with new.”  It’s an easy way to drive this point home and you can do this with the kitchen, baths, master, living area!


And speaking from experience, as one who is in the middle of remodeling resale homes, the job is never ending and comes with lots of hard work and unexpected surprises that you never had in your original budget.  Think of it as buying an old car and dumping a bunch of money into changing the interior, painting it to make it look new again but it’s still the bones of an old car.  Or the better choice, just buy the new car and get the new engineering, energy efficiency along with the interior, safety features and the new smell!  It’s just a better choice for most people.


Happy Selling this weekend!

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda?

September 7th, 2012


By Shirleen Von Hoffmann Sales Coach for Home Builders Edge and Sales Team Coaches


Weekend is here!  Showtime.  Just a few thoughts, I will keep it short and sweet!  I want you to think about after each prospect encounter this week.


Woulda  – “Woulda I buy from me?”

Well would you?  Would you buy from you?  Are you the one who stands out from all the rest?  What do you do to stand out and make people feel welcomed, listened to, attended to and closed?


Coulda  –  “Coulda I have done something better with that prospect?”

After each encounter with a prospect I always like to ask myself, “What coulda I have done different with that prospect to be better and to make that sale happen?”  No one knows the answer to this but you.  You are your best judge… ( that is, if you are honest with yourself.)  Come on, be honest!  Can you be better?  Can you kick up your game a notch and become better with your prospects?  I say, always YES!


Shoulda  –  “What Shoulda I do to stand out with this prospect, now that they are gone?”

What shoulda you do to follow up with them and get them back in the door?  Is it going to be unique? Is it going to be something they really are looking forward to hearing about.  Did you find good reasons to follow up with them while they were there?  Again, how can I stand out to them, from all of the rest.


Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…three important things to remember if you want to be better at sales and better at your craft.  With each prospect encounter you can be bettering your selling and your sales!


Have a great week of sales!

Going for the Gold

September 1st, 2012
By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President of Home Builders Edge and Sales Team Coaches Copyright 2012

The Olympics are over. New stars were born right before our eyes with their amazing victories, and there were would-be stars that saw their moment come and go in a flash.

One of my personal hero’s is Dara Torres, who at 45 was one of the older Olympians who swam the 50-meter freestyle.  I read that she trained about five hours a day, six days a week for a race that would last about 25 seconds.  In the trials she was touched out by nine-hundredths of a second which meant that she would not be going to the Olympics.  Think about how much stronger she is just for going through the process of training at her age and getting to enter into the Olympics.  An amazing journey I am sure.

Another hero, Janet Evans, world record holder in many swimming events, also didn’t make the team and was ridiculed in the press for even trying a comeback at age 41.  They said she has a husband and kids and didn’t understand why she even tried.  I don’t understand this kind of thinking. I think she displays amazing drive, courage and persistence to be in the Olympics not only at her age.  It’s important to remember what’s important is everything that goes into the journey, that is what is important in life, not always the end result.

I have a friend, named Bruce.  He is in his mid-60’s, recently retired from his job of 31 years and the other day when we were having coffee, he told me he had decided to take swim classes again now that he was retired.  Now here is the kicker, he is not just taking any old swim classes for retiree’s. He is training to swim “Miles”.  He is training to swim from San Francisco to Alcatraz and back.  2 miles in freezing cold water, treading a very strong current, at the age of 64.  He told me he is having a blast in the class, with all of the other swimmers who are dedicated to improving their skills in a big way.  He retired from stressful job and now he is finding power and fun in the journey of his goal.  Why?  Because when you train and hone, for a goal you set, you RENEW yourself.  Renewing yourself; just feels good.

So what do all of these stories prove and have in common?

  • It proves that no matter our age we can change and improve our strokes, our discipline.
  • It proves that most winners spend five hours a day, six days a week training & honing their skills.
  • It proves you must have a passion for what you do…a drive that runs deep.
  • It proves even when you don’t get the end goal; the journey pays off so much bigger for the long haul. Even when something may appear as a loss, it’s a big win in the long run.
  • It proves no matter what… you need goals and milestones, you set out to achieve.
  • It proves you are never too old to RENEW yourself, your career and your talents.

So when it comes to you, what are you training for? How are you changing?  How are you improving?

Are you going for the Gold or just staying idle?

I hope you are going for it…it’s much more fun!

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