Lasso’s OSC of the Month for November is Robie Lynn with NVP, Inc in Northern Virginia. In this interview, Robie discusses her career path to become an OSC, how she’s seen the industry change, and her advice for other Online Sales Counselors.
Tell us about your company, role, and location
I am the Online Sales Consultant for NVP, Inc., a privately held Homebuilder for over 30 years, located in Northern Virginia. We sell luxurious single-family homes to the “move up homebuyer” with a price range of $650,000 to $1. 3 million.
How long have you been in your role/or working in new home sales? What was your career path?
I started my career in the new home building industry right out of school in 1991. After eight years, I decided to be a stay-at-home mom to my three children. When I it was time to reenter the workforce, I knew what I wanted to do, and that was to be in the new home construction industry again.
In 2004 I joined the NVP team and just celebrated my sixteenth year. Throughout the years, I have taken part in all aspects of new home construction from settlements, sales support, construction support, customer service, and my favorite, sales and marketing.
In March 2019, I added the role of our Online Sales Consultant to my sales and marketing role. I believe that if you’re in sales and marketing, you are the first voice and the face of the company. Now, I truly am!
Robie wears many hats at NVP and strives to create balance, which isn’t easy for a perfectionist workaholic. She throws her whole self into her job as an OSC and has made great strides utilizing all the tools at her fingertips. She’s embraced her phone, her video emails and her CRM to provide great customer service for future homeowners.
Why do you love the new home industry?
I love watching dirt turn into a beautiful home filled with love and memories. Even though the street is filled with similar floorplans, each family is unique, and once you enter their front door, the homes become very different, just like each family.
How have you seen online home sales change in the last few years?
Being part of the sales and marketing team, our emphasis on curb appeal in our communities and sales models were key. A good website with a contact form to collect leads became the new sales trend but wasn’t critical to our sales success.
However, in these past few years with the new online space providing information at our fingertips, not only websites but our cell phones, we have seen an increase in online leads, especially more now during the pandemic. This allows us to do virtual appointments with Facetime and Zoom, giving buyers even quicker access to the information they are looking for, especially those looking to relocate.
How do you see your role/or the OSC role evolving over the next few years?
My role as OSC has changed dramatically during the pandemic. Our online leads and calls have more than doubled. Being the first point of contact with prospective buyers has allowed me to qualify the leads better than we ever could with walk-in traffic, which has resulted in more sales for our company. I see this continuing to be the trend. With more people now working from home and using technology more, the days of families driving around to find a house are over. It’s overwhelming, and they are too busy. They can now go on many different sites and request information while drinking coffee in their PJs or in the middle of the night, which many do.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome that challenge?
One of the most challenging aspects of my job is that it doesn’t stop! I have learned that if you enjoy what you do, this doesn’t matter. It’s been a family adjustment with me working on weekends and with my cell phone in one hand and the work phone in the other. But it truly is rewarding when you see a prospective buyer through to becoming your newest homeowner!
What is the most important tools you use in your role?
I am so thankful for Lasso CRM! I have Lasso open on my second monitor all day, every day! Unlike many other OSCs, I also handle sales and marketing and oversee many aspects of our company’s day-to-day operations. Having follow-up processes already in place, notes that refresh my memory, and read the updates inputted from my sales team helps me speak to prospective buyers like we’ve been friends for a long time. That allows me to provide them with the best service possible.
I am also thankful for my cell phone, the little walking laptop. As an OSC, you are working seven days a week and that truly allows me to keep up with calls, texts, and emails, even on my “days off.”
What is your “go-to” closing technique to get an appointment?
During my training with Leah Fellows of Blue Gypsy, Inc., she taught me to always ask for the appointment, and that I do! For example, “As you see, NVP has quite a few options available that fit your family’s needs. Let’s schedule an appointment for you to meet with the community sales manager to tour the models and learn more about our pricing and options available. I do have some time available today or tomorrow. What works best for you?”
What/who are your “go-to” resources for training and/or support?
I belong to a Facebook group with the other OSCs who trained with Leah of Blue Gypsy, Inc. We share ideas and ask questions. We also meet monthly on Zoom, and it is very helpful to hear what others are experiencing throughout the U.S.
Do you have any specific successes you’d like to highlight?
I have overcome my fear of the phone! Sounds crazy to accept a role that spends so much time on the phone, but I have learned that creating a relationship with the prospective buyers is so important. At the end of our conversation, they know, like, and trust me, and I feel that we have “one foot in the door.”
Any tips or advice for fellow online salespeople and marketers?
One of the tips that Leah Fellows with Blue Gypsy taught me was that a hang-up might not be a hang-up exactly, but possibly a disconnect (wink, wink).
When this happens, I always respond in a text introducing myself and remind them of their request for information. I have been amazed by how many have reached back out and thanked me for contacting them. This has happened more than once—do not give up, and don’t allow it to discourage you.
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
I love everything related to home and family! Most of the time, we are working on home improvement projects, including cleaning, which I love! I am also a proud Noni of my first grandson, who just turned 2. Spending family time playing in the yard or hanging out talking about our day helps me “turn off” my workday!