Back to Basics – NAHB Article this month

July 10, 2010 by Shirleen Von Hoffmann Leave a reply »

By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President of Homebuilders AdvantEdge

My company does a lot of Secret Shopping for Home Builders.  I consider the Secret Shopping aspect of my company my very own pulse of the market and love doing secret shops myself, whenever I can, because it keeps me in touch with what the Agents are doing right and not doing at all.  Right now what I see most and my new mantra for the year is,”We need to get back to the Basics”.

Remember when you were young and had to do the ABC’s over and over until you got it right?  Well we as Sales People, we need to get Back to the Basics and do it over and over, until we get it right! In this market, while we have more time, that is what we need to be doing.

I recently did a competition shop for one of my Builder’s in a high end area, where a group of Builders decided to shut down their communities due to the poor economy.  They just reopened about three months ago to try the market again after a two year hiatus. Now after being closed due to no buyers you would have thought the Agents would have been the best in the business.  However, I was so disappointed in this shop, I have to share it with you.

Here are the basics of the visit.  Upon entering I was greeted with a “Hello”, given a brochure with no pricing and pointed towards the doors of the models.  After arguing that I needed to know some basic pricing in order to view the models, I manually wrote down the base prices and viewed the models.  After viewing, the Agent I had spoken with was busy speaking to another prospect, the other Agent was saw me but was busy doing paperwork and simply didn’t acknowledge me or the fact that I was standing there, so I left.

I left feeling like I didn’t matter to them at all.  As I walked away I thought to myself, “Boy, do we need to get back to the basics.”  There is nothing more important that the prospect who is walking through your door.  You should do everything you can to sell them a home.

In this shop;

  • No one asked me questions about what I was looking for?
  • No one tried to build rapport or trust with me.
  • No one gave me their name, asked my name or got my contact information.
  • No one walked me through the models or spent time with me.
  • No one really cared that I came to that community.
  • No one even tried to sell me a home.

And all this was from a community that was closed due to no buyers, amazing!

7 tips to get Back to the Basics  

Goals and Aspirations

Come up with goals you want to achieve, not only for your community but for your life and career.  Really take the time to do this and don’t forget to spell out the action steps it will take to achieve these goals and aspirations. Make sure to calendar the action steps on your calendar to make sure they get done.

Perfect Your Self

Strive to perfect your sale skills by reading, scripting, role play, seminars, and webinars.  Practice, practice, practice creates perfection.  After each prospect visit, evaluate the visit and think about how it could have been better.  Could you have done things differently to get a different, better result?

Become the Expert

When people think about Real Estate, you want them thinking about, You.  Become present in every organization, event and function that might help you become the one everyone calls when it comes to Real Estate.

Meet and Greet

Always drop everything you are doing and greet the prospect who is walking in your door.  Make sure to welcome them, exchange names and extend your hand for a hand shake.  It is a basic thing that is missed 90% of the time.  “Is this your first time here?” or “How did you find us?” are not good introductions.  Greet them as if they were guests in your home.

Walk the Models

Make sure you use this as an opportunity to spend time with your prospects and get to know their needs and wants.  When else will you get the opportunity to spend this kind of time with them?  It’s a huge opportunity to listen and to ask question so you can get to know them, their needs and their wants.

Build Rapport & Trust

Build rapport is one of the most important things you can do.  Everything becomes easier when you have rapport and trust.  Get to know your prospects on a personal level, that’s how you build rapport and trust.  There are studies that prove when you build trust and rapport it can make as much as 65% of a sale!

Close them Every Time

Don’t ever just let them walk out the door feeling like they didn’t matter to you. Close them every time!  People want to matter and they want to be closed.  Here is a big tip, if you have built rapport and trust, closing will be easy! When you find out their needs and wants; you simply sell those needs and wants!

Follow Up Smart

Do your best to obtain registration cards on everyone who come in your door. Create a follow up routine for your prospects and follow up with them every time.  Make sure your follow up is personalized and addresses the needs and lifestyles of your prospects.  By following up you will stand out from your peer group and they will remember you.

It’s all about getting back to the basics.  Given our economic environment and our market it is essential we all pull our best skills forward and get back the basic skills we need to use in this market and every market.

Happy Sales!

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8 Responses

  1. Del Barbray says:

    Your article is excellent and I appreciate the reminder and tips that you gave to help us “get back to the basics.”
    Keep up the good work.
    Thank you
    Del Barbray

  2. Very good information for any sales. Treating a potential customer with courtesy and importance is always the key. Also, in order to buy your product they need a clear picture of what you are selling. Thanks for the tips.


  3. Myers Barnes says:

    Congratulations….and by the way…great job! Myers Barnes
    Posted by Myers Barnes, MIRM

  4. Robert August says:

    Dear Shirleen:
    Congratulations on your recently published article in SMI.
    Keep writing and sharing your valuable points of experience through your common sense approach to our industry.
    ONwards and UPwards!

  5. Thank you Myers. I take your comment as the highest compliment.

  6. Michele,
    Thanks for the comments. So glad you liked the article.

  7. Thanks Del, glad you enjoyed the article.

  8. Thanks for the comments Robert. I am so glad you enjoyed the article.

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