I have been asked many times to share some of the shops we do around the country as examples of what we see day in and day out in the New Home Sales Profession.
Over the next few months, I am going to share with you some secret shop experiences we are seeing in the field, right now. We want you to know what your competition is doing so you can stand out and have “THE EDGE” among all the rest!
Last week, we secret shopped one of our nation’s largest builders as a competition shop for one of my builder clients. We have a major objection to overcome for this builder and wanted to see how the competition was portraying this objection, if at all to the buying public and what their product looked like.
Upon entering the sales trailer the Agent was present with another Agent and no other visitors. The Agent greeted us, talked about what he had to offer us for viewing and sent us on to the models for viewing. Now we had two Agents present and no one went with our shoppers on the tour of the models. This particular builder does not put alot of options in the homes they build so you think he might have come with us to show us what was not included and what was included.
The other thing that was highly noticed is that the Agent never asked our shopper any questions about their needs and wants, what was their situation, why they were moving, if they were contingent…none of it. No questions were asked in the initial meeting.
This builder has a set of three models attached to a trailer and another three models across the street with no trap fence. Included in the three across the street is a bare bones version of a model, where the builder shows the reality of what they include and what you get for your money. To have that across the street for viewing was an absolute deal killer and to have it with no trap was even worse because I guarantee this, after you viewed this “bare bones”version of a home, you would want to run out of the door. It was really bad. The reason builders have models is to help people vision the home of their dreams. This bare bones version, was so awful, the worse of all floorplans, narrow home with the shallowest lot I have ever seen. It would really take hard work on the part of the sales person to overcome what you were seeing. Had the Sales Person come with us!
But even the best of Agent’s could overcome the client reaction after viewing this model home. Things like a cheap, pedestal, single sink in the master with no drawers or counter for storage, a huge gaping hole so you could pay for a double vanity, no laundry hookups of any kind in the laundry room, it just looked like a closet. No appliances, no mirrors, no microwave, no lighting of any kind, cheap paint, cheap carpet, cheap entry door, cheap interior doors, cheap everything. I could go on and on about this model but I don’t think I could explain it in a way that does it justice. You get the picture. It felt like apartment living was a step up from this model by far.
After viewing the models we reentered the Sales Trailer to speak with the Agent once again. Even though the Agent was good to sit down with us and give us some numbers when we asked him to do so, he still never asked one question of us, really! It happened like this, we would ask for information and he would tell us the answer to the best of his ability. So the fact is, we were leading the sale. There was this whole Car Salesman attitude, you know, getting out the price sheet and doing the , “Well the seller wants this, but we can ask for this, we might get it, I am willing to ask…” such a poor approach to sales. He was missing such a huge, easy step which was building rapport with my shoppers and really getting to know them and their needs. Building trust and rapport means everything in a sale and you need to ask questions and act interested in people to do that.
He did take us to view a model which was standing inventory, ready to go, after we asked to see it. It was also done cheap, cheap, cheap and of such poor finish quality it’s a no wonder it is standing and ready to go. It will be for a long time I am afraid!
The top three mistakes and the moral of this story…
Build Rapport with your clients
Ask Great Questions
Walk the models with them