Great markets tend to cover up bad decisions and processes, and we typically only uncover these mistakes once the tide has gone back out.
Here are my top five things to stay focused on in 2021 for success next year and beyond:
1. Content: Content is still king, but unfortunately, it still hasn’t been made a priority for all companies. Content creation is a living, breathing thing that is never “complete.” The builders that made content a priority were ahead of the game pre-COVID and saw that pay off in spades during the initial shutdowns with record-breaking sales. This should be a line item on your budget this year and every year.
2. Customer experience: With most builders seeing their biggest backlogs and lowest inventory levels to date, there are now more customers and expectations to manage than ever. This means you have a huge opportunity to provide a great experience for many customers or a really bad one. Make sure to take this chance to elevate your brand. Customer experience must be a major focus in 2021.
3. Lead management: Most builders have seen a massive uptick in interested customers this year (which is not expected to change in 2021). Having a process in place, along with a CRM and a dedicated online salesperson, is vital. Customers are in and out of the market quicker this year than ever before. It’s impossible to get in touch with customers quick enough and long enough without dedicated systems and processes in place. Dialing in your lead management process will ensure the right leads are not slipping through the cracks.
4. Sales process: It’s crucial to focus on your sales process, especially when you have more sales than you know what to do with. Bad habits form when things are easy. Don’t let your company get Good Market Syndrome (GMS)—it’s highly contagious and only leads to frustration and missed sales later. Focusing on your sales process will not only keep you converting leads to sales at a high rate now but prevent under-performance later.
5. Make it easy to say ”yes”: Look inward to see if you make it easy for your customers to buy and for your sales team to sell. Can your salespeople get the base price, lot, and major item pricing to a customer on the spot? Does it take days to get back to a customer to allow them to make a purchasing decision? Most times, we inadvertently convolute our buying process internally, making it hard for customers to say ”yes!” Focus on making it easy, both in-person and online.
About the author…
Matt Riley has invested the last 17 years of his career in the home building industry—from his first job as an on-site sales counselor to running sales and marketing operations of top 100 builders to his current role as vice president with the country’s leading marketing firm for home builders. Matt’s sales and marketing experience has expanded with the evolution of the digital age, specifically within the home building arena. He has applied his passion for “all things tech” to consistently deliver sales and marketing results that have created new benchmarks in the industry and continue to drive sales and profits for home builders across North America. Matt regularly speaks at NAHB’s IBS, Pacific Coast Builder Conference, Builder 20 Groups, and many other new home sales and marketing trainings and conferences. He was selected to Professional Builder’s 40 Under 40 in 2019 and was the 2020 Silver Award Winner of “One to Watch”!