Lasso’s OSC of the Month for January is Kendall Barnes, New Homes Specialist with Hartford Homes in Northern Colorado. In this interview, Kendall shares her career path to becoming an OSC, tips for others in the industry, and how she overcomes the challenges in her role.
What was your career path to becoming an OSC?
I graduated from Ferris State University in 2016 and was referred to the first builder I worked for by one of my best friends, Madison Gardner. I started as an onsite sales assistant, which curated many valuable skills for my current position. I then moved into the Marketing Coordinator and OSC role, where I was able to develop the company’s online sales program. The same friend also referred me to Hartford Homes, and I started as their OSC in June of 2019. This past May, I also obtained my real estate license, so that we could bring our listings in house.
How many leads do you manage per month?
I am the only OSC at Hartford Homes and manage on average 125 new leads per month.
What’s the best part about being an OSC?
I love that the role gives me the ability to blend my passion for marketing with my competitive nature. The harder I work and the more consistent I am with follow up, the better results I see. I like being in control of my income, as well as feeling like I can contribute to the company. I am also very fortunate to have an amazing sales and marketing team to partner with too.
How have you seen online home sales change in the last few years?
When I first started as an OSC, it was still a newer position. Over the past few years, it’s no surprise that there are more OSCs working for builders and I believe we will continue to see an influx of people hired for this position. Buyers are becoming savvier and want to have additional information before coming out to see the homes.
I think COVID also has played a part in this because people are trying to limit their exposure to others, so they are narrowing down their list of options before coming onsite. We’ve also seen more people inclined to participate in virtual appointments since COVID too. This year, buyers seem to expect even faster responses than they had previously. Now that most builders have an OSC, it also has become increasingly important to personalize your follow up, provide rapid responses and get creative to stand out.
How do you see your role/or the OSC role evolving over the next few years?
I believe we will see more OSC teams, as opposed to individuals in the position to appropriately handle the quantity of leads. I also think buyers are going to be more demanding. They will want more information before agreeing to an appointment and expect to receive that info even faster than before. I believe OSCs will utilize text messaging more than phone calls and video emails to create a more personal connection.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome it?
I think the most challenging aspect of the job is standing out in a day and age where people’s inboxes are so inundated. In order to overcome this challenge, I research what other companies are doing, both in and out of the home building industry, and try to think of ways that we can stand out. I also sign up with other builders to see what their OSCs are doing so I can find ways to incorporate unique ideas or tweak what I am doing now.
What is the most important tools you use in your role?
The most important technology that I utilize would be Lasso and CallRail. Both programs make being “on” all the time much easier to respond and take calls anywhere. I also really like BombBomb, especially for our appointment handoff process.
What is your “go-to” closing technique to get an appointment?
My go-to closing technique is “While our model homes are open, our sales team does tend to be really busy and we want to ensure someone is available to answer questions and make the most of your time. Is there a day that works best for your schedule?”
After saying this, if there is an objection, I convey that we want to respect their time and also plant the seed that while we do have models, not all of our plans are available to walk through unless a sales manager is available to accompany them.
What/who are your “go-to” resources for training and/or support?
My go-to is Jen Barkan at Do You Convert. She provides helpful direction and feedback, as well as new opportunities to help avoid getting into a rut. I am very fortunate to also have a manager committed to my professional growth, as well as a sales team that contributes useful feedback to me on my appointments and how we can be better together. I also try to read at least one new thing each week, whether it’s an article, blog or book. Finally, I try to find various webinars to watch. I believe it’s vital to feed your mind and challenge yourself to think outside of the box.
Do you have any specific successes you’d like to highlight?
This year the OSC contribution is about 60% of the overall company sales and we have a 94% show rate for our appointments! The Hartford team really honed in on and became very consistent with the appointment handoff process, which has greatly helped.
I have also become very consistent in my long term follow up, which has paid dividends this year in converting older leads and staying top of mind. Do You Convert taught me how to do this, so that I could be an “appointment getter instead of an appointment setter,” as they say. There’s nothing more rewarding than an “old” lead resurfacing, setting an appointment and then converting to a sale.
Finally, I was selected as a Silver Award winner for The Nationals and will be considered for the Gold Award in February.
Any tips or advice for fellow online salespeople and marketers?
This position is all about consistency, discipline and ownership. The better you get at following your processes, the more successful you will be in this role. Don’t be too hasty in judging a prospect or ruling them out because people’s situations are always changing and they may just need a little time or hand-holding. Determine if they are saying ‘no’ or just’ not today’ and then nurture that lead—most OSCs won’t take the time to care about their prospects in that way and you’ll win out over the competition. Finally, take the goals set by your company and personally set your own stretch goals. I’ve found that to be the best way to challenge myself.
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
I love travel and adventure, spend quality time with my family and friends, and attend concerts and sporting events. I enjoy camping, fishing, and time in the mountains. I am also in the process of planning a wedding and buying a house, so I love to scour Pinterest and Instagram for ideas.