Lasso’s OSC of the Month for September is Robin Owens, with Simmons Homes in Tulsa, OK. In this interview, Robin shares her path to becoming an OSC, how she sees the industry and role changing, and advice for other OSCs.
How long have you been an OSC?
I have been our OSC for 8 years. I started with Simmons Homes in 2011, assisting the Sales Team and our Director, where I learned so much about the business. Having behind-the-scenes knowledge about our communities and floor plans gave me the confidence to be excited about stepping up to the role of OSC. Currently, I manage about 130 leads per month.
What was your career path to becoming an OSC?
I have a Sales and Marketing background. My first job out of college was working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where I worked closely with our insurance partners. But interestingly enough, it was my second steppingstone, working for the University of Tulsa as an event planner for the president’s office, that led me to Simmons Homes. One of the events I managed was the televised Extreme Home Makeover project involving TU and Simmons Homes. It was there I met the Simmons Team!
How have you seen online home sales change in the last few years?
COVID and the pandemic changed life as I knew it for sure! The long-practiced, tried and true processes were shaken up. It was a bit of the unknown for a while. The ability to stay calm and do the best you could until you could figure out better was essential. There was nothing more important than just being nice and being immediately available, you know! Customers were blown away that I was actually answering their calls live.
The “better” I focused on was bringing things to the forefront I already practiced, like creating video emails and parlaying that skill into live zoom calls or walking through virtual tours if needed to make a customer feel better. There was definitely more time spent conversing with the customer early in the process. Early COVID times also required more in-depth qualifying, conversation, and nurturing of leads on those initial contacts with our customers for the OSC.
Robin makes it look easy! She has 3 busy girls and juggles work and family life. She is one of the first OSCs I met (at the first DYC Summit). Friendly and welcoming, she is just an all-around nice person. She also has a very calm demeanor which I am sure puts her customers at ease.
How do you see your role/or the OSC role evolving over the next few years?
The role of the OSC will need to be ready for the shift for sure! Things have been hot and easy for a bit but as we see the market possibly soften, the OSC will be instrumental in a builder’s success. More than ever, the OSC will need to work their process 100% and get back to prospecting. Traffic and leads may rely more on technology (like UTour) for communication but the OSC must work hard to establish a relationship so when a customer asks for a human, the OSC is immediately available with personalized information.
I think we will be looking for ways to humanize the process, like asking more details in friendly conversation early on. Long-term follow-up is easier to do (mentally) when you have those notes recorded for recall…and hopefully better received by our customers.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome that challenge?
Personally, I struggle most with organization. An OSC is juggling all kinds of customers, realtors, salespeople, etc. in various stages of their process. So having a go-to CRM like Lasso is vital to my life as an OSC! One system to record and organize all of your efforts so that you can turn around and put that information to work for your company’s sales goals is a no-brainer. Speaking of brains, I tell everyone, “Lasso is my brain.” As a mom of 3 that needs to quickly input customer information, set auto-reminders for tasks, and segment leads for personal and mass communication, it keeps me organized in the chaos.
What other tools do you use in your role?
Other tools I use regularly and love are: BombBomb for super easy video emails or texts; CallRail not only for tracking where leads come from with specific numbers but being able to go back and listen to calls I take on the fly and make notes from them; and PhoneBurner for getting out a single message to a lot of customers in a short amount of time by dropping voicemails and taking live calls one after another. And of course, I leverage our own virtual tours and photos from our website!
What is your “go-to” closing technique to get an appointment?
I love a simple Alternative Close…telling a customer who seems like a qualified, great fit that we have times available to see our model home during the week or on the weekend, and asking them “What time works best?”
What/who are your “go-to” resources for training and/or support?
As an OG OSC and longtime believer in Mike Lyon, I still lean on Do You Convert for best practices and training. If I have repeated some of Mike’s scripts a million times, I bet I say them a million more before I am through. Mike has been great about bringing together OSCs who have been in the game awhile, encouraging them and to support each other and look for ways to encourage those newer OSCs taking on the role.
Do you have a productivity hack you’d like to share?
If I notice an area in which our sales team could use a tip or reminder (especially if it’s in Lasso), I make a quick screen record BombBomb video walking them through the steps. It helps me to communicate the information clearly and efficiently to multiple people at the same time. And for me personally, I am old school….I love a checklist. I find my day goes much more efficiently and purposefully when I take a minute to write out a checklist with the things I want to accomplish that day and check them off as completed.
Do you have any specific successes you’d like to highlight?
I live for the small warm fuzzies….catching the surprise in a customer’s voice when they think you were going to be a recording, the genuine thank-you when you answer their call in the evening, and direct replies about how cool it is to get a video email from me. I especially love the thrill of converting aged leads after much follow-up. A customer once told me, “Your persistence and emails are guided missiles and I thank you for them and your attentiveness.” Those are my favorite successes over the numbers, like averaging 96% more appointments since taking over the role of our previous OSC. (Ok, I lied…I like that one too!)
Any tips or advice for fellow online salespeople and marketers?
You are amazing! You can do this! Best job ever! Just remember to utilize your tools, follow the process, and embrace technology. Remember that you are your own most valuable asset as the Customer Relationships Manager of your builder. There is great responsibility in being the face of your company but don’t let that freak you out.
Just be human. Be nice. Leaning on the actual CRM system to recall personal notes at a moment’s notice helps you connect with your buyer. Give them what they can’t Google (as Myers Barnes would say). People buy with emotion, so make them feel good about shopping with your builder by letting them know you are on their side and can be trusted. Have the knowledge piece down so you can confidently guide them in starting their journey to owning a new home.
What are your favorite activities to do outside of work?
I have 3 girls (12, 11, and 10 years old) who all play competitive soccer…throw in some cheerleading and tennis too….and a husband who likes to go camping and can’t sit still. I stay busy! (Fun Fact: my husband and I went from 0 to 3 overnight when we adopted these 3 sassy sisters at the age of 4, 5, and 6.)
What are you reading/watching(binging)?
I am currently binge-watching Ted Lasso. LOVE it! I am a sucker for any sports theme show or reality competition show. I just started reading Lilac Girls about the lives of WWII heroines. I recently finished Killers of the Flower Moon as the movie is currently being filmed about 45 minutes away from me.
Where is the first place you’re going when we get back to normal travel?
We do love to travel but nothing exotic yet…more adventure and kid-based so far. We would love to take the girls to Jamaica sometime to see where we got married, I’m open to ideas and welcome any feedback you have on great places!