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2016 New Home Sales and Marketing Tips

Last year’s post, “Top New Home Sales & Marketing Tips for 2015”, was an incredible success, so we’re back with a 2016 compilation of advice from 24 of the new home industry’s top experts! This year our topics cover sales, marketing and operations. Be sure and bookmark this page – with advice like this, you’re likely to revisit throughout the year. Cheers to a successful 2016!

 

SALES

Myers BarnesMyers Barnes
Myers Barnes Associates

“Have some toxic friends who don’t click with you? Avoid them until you can weed them out of your life. And, I will point out, this should be a guilt-free decision. The same approach applies to employees who aren’t performing as they should on the job. It’s time to consider moving them out so they can find a job where their skills (or lack of) are a better match. Think of it as giving them the freedom to succeed elsewhere. ‪#‎cutNrun”

 

Melinda BrodyMelinda Brody
Melinda Brody and Company

“Ask yourself WHY you sell new homes. If the answer is ‘for the money,’ you may want to rethink your motivations. Nothing is worse than a prospect feeling like an ‘up’ with fake rapport-building and smiles sprinkled throughout the presentation, while secretly the Sales Agent is just focused on their commission. I am not saying money is not important! If you focus on doing something awesome, like helping someone own their ultimate dream custom home, first home, empty nester home……believe me, the money will show up.”

 

Ronda CongerRonda Conger
CBH Homes

“There should be no surprises on what needs to be done each day to be successful.  Do an audit of your days. What are you spending your time on?  Is that good news?  Is it getting you further or closer to your goals? Plan your days.  Plan your success.  You control your hours and what gets your attention – choose wisely.”

 

Michael LandersMichael Landers
Shore Consulting & Culture Crossing

“2016 will continue the trend toward a more Global America.  They key to winning in this increasingly diverse arena is knowing yourself and becoming more aware of your personal defaults related to the way you connect with your customers.  Recognize that your actions and reactions are most likely a result of cultural conditioning. Open your mind to other ways of perceiving behaviors, then Identify opportunities to adjust your style.  We greet, sell and communicate the way we want to be greeted, sold and communicated to.  The challenge is that we all have different preferences and  expectations around these actions.  Know your customer, but first know yourself!”

 

Mike LyonMike Lyon
Do You Convert

“It’s no secret in online marketing that we need to think mobile first. But it doesn’t stop with ‘marketing.’ What about your communication? The personal emails you send to prospects, text messages, even how you leave voicemails all need to be evaluated because people are consuming it on their smartphones.  Clear and concise messaging that is easy to consume and absorb. Your customers expect an easy button; don’t make them work!”

 

Kimberly MackeyKimberly Mackey
New Homes Solutions

“As our industry becomes more and more reliant on electronic communications, let’s resolve to make 2016 the Year of the Relationship. Electronic information is good for sending out information to the masses, but it doesn’t replace good, old fashioned, face-to-face meetings with people.  When we rely solely on the written word, we miss tonality, the facial expressions, and the body language. In other words, we miss all the human aspects that make communication so effective. This is true whether dealing with prospects, customers, or even our outside sales force of REALTOR® VIP’s.  It may take longer on the front end, but as we move through the sales and building process together, it builds trust. In 2016, let’s all make it a point to get out of our sales offices and build relationships in our communities. Not only will your sales numbers thank you for it, but you will meet some pretty interesting people, and enjoy what you do a whole lot more.”

 

Jane MeagherJane Meagher
Success Strategies

“In 2016, builders need to think like retailers selling new homes, rather than construction companies building homes they then sell.  This means we need to make our design studios look and FUNCTION  like world class stores.. We need to inspire our buyers to want what we sell in our design studios.  We need to prove that our optional products are strong values and make our buyers feel like winners when they invest into them.  We need to leverage our design studios to sell more homes and to frontload the concept of personalization into the process of selling our homes. We need to thrill and delight our buyers with their selections experiences. As builders, we need to take full advantage of the market strength to maximize per-home revenue.  We need to stop believing ‘if they want it, they’ll buy it.’  Let’s strategically focus on influencing our buyers…like all smart retailers do.”

 

Kerry MulcroneKerry Mulcrone
Kerry & Co.

“Success today does not happen by accident!  My word of the year is INTENTIONAL.  The average person is bombarded with over 30,000 marketing messages in a single day, so it is SUPER important to be purposefully focused on your PERSONALIZED BRAND and to BE REMARKABLE among your competition.  Leave everyone with the essence of who you are, what you stand for, and why your customers should choose you!”

 

Amy O'ConnorAmy O’Connor
Shore Consulting

“Stop selling houses and start helping people buy homes. To do that, you must change your paradigm of what home means to people. A home is not a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2300 sq. ft. box. A home is a place where people share love, feel safe, and create experiences and memories with friends and family. Focus on the personal aspect of helping people achieve their dreams and you will transform your 2016!”

 

Nanette OverlyNanette Overly
Epcon Communities

“As we begin 2016,  my recommendation is to invest in your own development.  Everything else can be copied or duplicated.  You, as a professional, cannot.   In this industry we have access to great teachers and mentors.  Focus on your growth; in doing so you bring value to your company and those you serve.  Work purposefully on your development; get out of your comfort zone.  We are all blessed with the endless opportunity to grow and improve.”

 

Steve RuggieroStephen Ruggiero
Kimberley Development Group

“The new home sales industry has absolutely transformed over the past number of years. Particularly for those in tougher market conditions, only the sales professional that is absolutely committed to self-improvement, and has the will and desire to fully master how the new home sales industry has evolved, will achieve the results they are after.  I urge you to make a commitment to yourself to learn from the likes of Jeff Shore, Mike Lyon, Amy O’Connor, Kevin Oakley and Dave Betcher, to be the absolute best you can be in 2016!  As Yoda said, ‘Do or do not.  There is no Try.’  If you truly commit to practicing and mastering your art by learning from the very best, only then can you achieve your full potential as a new home sales professional.  Best wishes for a GREAT 2016!”

 

Jeff ShoreJeff Shore
Shore Consulting

“Watch for the rise of non-conventional financing for Baby Boomers who are looking to protect their lifestyle while still recovering from the financial losses incurred during the downturn. Specifically, look for a continued surge in HECM-for-Purchase (Home Equity Conversion Mortgages) for buyers aged 62 and older. The use of HECM loans is rising dramatically and will become more commonplace in 2016.”

 

Ryan TaftRyan Taft
Shore Consulting

“If sales training of days past has been about ‘how to sell,’ then 2016 is definitely about understanding how buyers buy. People are tired of the typical sales pitch, which involves being pummeled with an array of features, benefits and advantages. The sales people who do this tend to have what I call ‘Commission Breath.’ If you want to connect with customers, you have to understand them on an emotional level. This requires you to forget about what’s in it for you, and step into the customer’s life. Uncover what pains the customer is dealing with and connect to the emotion of it. Doing so will encourage you to have empathy for customers. The great thing about empathy, is that you cannot have empathy and commission breath at the same time.”

 

Leah TurnerLeah Turner
Melinda Brody and Company

“Always ask your customers ‘How much time do you have to spend with me today?’ This not only allows you to get an idea of their timeframe, it also allows you to set the stage for the entire presentation. For example, you can say, ‘Great, you have 1 hour to spend with me. Here is what I suggest we do to best utilize our time together…’ You can also introduce the close at this point by saying, ‘Once we find the perfect home for you and your family, we will return to the sales office and I will go over the process for moving forward with the purchase of your new home.'”

 

Sara WilliamsSara Williams
Lasso CRM

“Nurture! We have databases full of prospects, clients with homes under construction, and purchasers. In 2016, if we nurture our relationships with these three groups and continue that practice going forward, each group will help us sell more and grow our business. If we nurture our current database, you will absolutely uncover prospects that have not been touched in a while, and discover more sales. If we are attentive to clients under construction, they will have a better experience and will talk highly of you to their sphere of influence which will result in referral sales. If we maintain a positive relationship with our closed homeowners, we’ll feel more comfortable asking for for referrals or testimonials. Building a home is an intimate experience; if we do not take the opportunity to nurture these relationships, we lose sales and continue to spend marketing dollars and energy looking for new leads.”

 

MARKETING

Mollie ElkmanMollie Elkman
Group Two Advertising

“Simplify in 2016! As an industry we tend to overcomplicate our product offering. If you can’t describe what makes your company unique in one sentence, then it’s too complicated. By simplifying how we present ourselves, we are able to communicate more directly and effectively. Try it!”

 

chip johnsonChip Johnson
Builder Designs

“In 2016, you’ll want to take a holistic approach to SEO. Think beyond keywords to encompass things like site speed, user experience on desktop and mobile, and overall brand perception. You want to build site popularity by driving additional traffic through online marketing. Promoting your brand on social media will improve brand recognition and get you more clicks in search results.”

 

Mitch LevinsonMitch Levinson
mRELEVANCE

“2016 is all about the user. User experience, user generated content, user engagement. Focused marketing and sales efforts will move back to the basics and begin, once again, to engage the target market where they are and use their experience, needs and wants to create an environment where buyers and shoppers feel not only comfortable, but engaged. Whether online on social sites, in blogs or other company assets, or in the interactive sales centers filled with kiosks and tablets as the cool experience and educational hook, 2016 will be about engaging the user where they are, when they are looking, and how they want to experience the brand.”

 

Carol MorganCarol Morgan
mRELEVANCE

“Blurred lines – as online tactics continue to emerge and converge there will be less discussion on what tactic to use and more focus on ROI. As social media and search engine optimization have merged into content marketing, look for more focus on quality, original content.”

 

Dennis ONeilDennis O’Neil
ONeil Interactive

“Digital marketing in 2016 will offer more methods to target buyers than ever before. Whatever your digital plans are this year, consider dialing in the targeting a couple of additional clicks. For example, you can geo-target the campus of large employers near your communities with mobile ads during lunch hours. New targeting options are introduced frequently, so be aware of the tools available and use them for cost-effective, laser focused, and high impact marketing.”

 

Kevin OakleyKevin Oakley
Do You Convert

“Mark 2016 as the year where you begin investing your marketing dollars instead of simply spending them. Content, processes, and people that you invest your energy and dollars into will serve you much longer than any single ad campaign and can be repurposed on any advertising channel you choose to use. Your prospects are obsessed and want more videos, photos, and detailed information from you than ever before – which can be really hard to create when all your resources are going to purchasing ads to interrupt those that don’t even care what you have to say. Focus on providing the best experience to those who already know about you and have you in their final consideration set to convert more browsers to buyers.”

 

Meredith OliverMeredith Oliver
Meredith Communications

“Stop using words like prospects, traffic, leads and ups to describe your prospective home buyers and start thinking about them as fans. With the overwhelming amount of information available today from listing sites to online reviews, your prospective home buyers would not call, email, chat or visit in-person if they were not already a fan to some degree. Most of your fans have been reviewing your photo galleries, virtual tours and interactive floor plans for weeks to months, dreaming of the day they could walk through your model home front door. Treat them like a #superfan from day one and win the sale every time!”

 

OPERATIONS

Juli BaconJuli Bacon
JB Consulting Systems

“2016 promises to be a busy year for hiring and human resources.  Affordable Care Act requirements are in full force and the guidelines are ever changing.  You will need to take advantage of on-line webinars and courses to stay current to avoid steep penalties. Hiring in the construction market continues to be a challenge. Work on making yourself marketable to prospective candidates. Use your social media accounts to help with hiring and make sure you know your online reputation as an employer (see glassdoor.com). If you need to hire, be sure to have a clear job description and expectations before you hire. The hiring timeline is very fast, so don’t sit on any candidate too long or you will lose them. Communicate regularly with them and keep the hiring process as short as possible.”

 

JoAnne WilliamsJoAnne Williams
JW Staffing

“2016 is (refreshingly) a year in which professional service providers in our industry will need to do essential research in order to deliver relevant solutions to their builder clients.   A milestone year of authentic, non-generic customer engagement is demanded in order to effectively collaborate with clients and drive success and profitability.   The new challenges in labor laws, recruitment and staffing are being discussed by all companies and the ability to walk through these and other challenges as partners, will be key to client retention.”

 

Do you have any advice to contribute? What’s your favorite? Please leave a comment below. We hope you have a fantastic year!

 

 

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