Lasso’s OSC of the Month for February is Desiree Elderkin, New Home Concierge (NHC) with Kimberley Homes, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In this interview, Desiree shares how she’s seen the industry change, challenges in the role, and advice for other OSCs.
How long have you been in your role/or working in new home sales?
I have been our NHC for almost 2 years but have been in new home sales for the past 6 years. I grew up around Kimberley…it’s a family company!
What was your career path to become an OSC?
New home sales was not my first choice—I could never see myself in sales. I went to MacEwan University for Psychology, because I knew I wanted to help people, and minored in Business, because I knew that would be beneficial in any career path.
I hosted in our different Showhomes throughout high school and then the summer before my final year in University I decided to join the team as a Sales Associate. My cousin, and a dear family friend, convinced me that our methodology of selling is not at all as “dirty” as I thought. Instead, it focuses on helping people and changing their lives. Quickly I learned this to be a great mix of all of my talents and abilities and worked my way through different Sales positions that ultimately led me to our OSC/NHC!
How many online leads do you manage monthly?
We have a database of almost 4500 OSC-specific leads that I keep in touch, with roughly another 80-150 new leads each month.
Desiree took over the role of OSC with Kimberley Homes in April 2019, Since the beginning, she has set and maintained an incredibly high standard for herself when it comes “no lead left behind”. She continues to be an exceptional example for our entire sales team when it comes to follow-up even as her monthly incoming lead volume doubled through 2020. She has been crucial to Kimberley Homes’ success this year with over 70% of our total sales coming from her OSC position. Her work ethic is unmatched and it shows in her results!
How have you seen online home sales change in the last few years?
HOLY ONLINE! We have been grateful to be so prepared for this change to our industry. I’m personally grateful to have had a year to prepare and familiarize myself with the best practices for my role. I’ve been able to innovate and pivot each week, and sometimes even each day, as something new came our way this past year.
2020 required adaptability from us as a society and with so many people now working, schooling, and being more house-bound overall, it has led to a lot more people searching online for new (safe and clean) places that provide more space for their new family’s needs and routines.
How do you see your role/or the OSC role evolving over the next few years?
Buckle up and get ready! We have been breaking new records each week in 2021 and I don’t see things slowing down with families continuing to need new spaces for what life throws our way.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome that challenge?
The constant nature of being reachable 24/7 especially with the ever-growing number of people looking for homes. Setting up unique sales processes for different quality leads and setting boundaries for myself too to make time for life beyond work.
I’ve always been a high achiever and busy body – so this role excites me with so many new things on the go, allowing me to stay adaptable and quick on my feet. I’m always looking for new projects and ways to do things more efficiently so that I can stretch our resources to help the most clients possible.
What are the most important technologies/tool(s) you use in your role?
Lasso is the most important tool without a doubt in order to manage the volume of leads we interact with, and still maintain the high client experience and attention-to-detail that we strive for at Kimberley Homes.
BombBomb is another app. I send a ton for video messages to leads—over email, text, or other. While I once avoided video like the plague, I’ve found so much success that it’s one of my main follow-up go-tos now. This provides an extra level of personalization that makes a big difference for clients to meet me virtually, considering I don’t usually have the opportunity to meet most of them in person.
What/Who are your “go-to” resources for training and/or support?
Anything that I can get my hands on! Do You Convert, Lasso, BombBomb, Jeff Shore, CHBA…any webinars, articles, videos, or resources that I can get access too – I do! Whether it is about lumber or direct ideas for an OSC, I always find education to be the best resource to be as knowledgeable for our clients as possible. We need to ensure they feel comfortable in making the right decision for one of the largest investments they will likely ever make!
Do you have any specific successes you’d like to highlight?
In 2016 we brought in the OSC role and started at roughly 12% contribution to our company sales. When I took over this position in early 2019, we were sitting around 30% OSC Contribution and I have grown this to over 70%!
I follow up with all of my appointments and help our Onsite team in maximizing every lead’s closing opportunity. OSCs have a unique relationship with the clients. We’re seen as a trusted advisor that cannot sell to them so there’s often different information that they may be willing to share. This gives us a better understanding of the buyer and leads to more sales for the whole team because we can generate additional ideas for follow-up.
Any tips or advice for fellow online salespeople and marketers?
Stay positive and take time for yourself in order to have your cup full enough to keep up with this wave and ride it for as long as we can!
We are fortunate to have this pandemic affect our industry in such a positive way, so while things may be scary out there, make use of the online resources that we have and never be afraid to try something new. It might just end up saving you a ton of time and stretch your capacities to new levels that you never thought were even possible.
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
I am a sun-baby, and love the water most, so I spend as much time as I can in the summers at our cabin in Pigeon Lake. I have recently found a great love in hiking and climbing to push myself outside of my comfort levels and seek the adventure in life!