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The Lasso Blog

We are back with another edition of our popular “Top New Home Sales & Marketing Tips” for the new year! This year we had insight from so many industry thought leaders that we needed two blog posts!

Here we focus on top sales tips and market conditions for new home communities. Our experts touch on an array of topics ranging from income expectations to personal branding.

For marketing insight, check out the article, Top New Home Marketing Tips for 2019.

Cheers to a successful year ahead!

Jen Barkan, Do You ConvertJen Barkan, Do You Convert
Make Friends with Marketing

With so many different ways now for prospects to find you, understanding the what, why, and how of your lead sources is super important. Regularly scheduled face time with marketing will help you not only to understand your leads better but help you to make appropriate adjustments to your follow-up processes.

Remember, not all leads are created equal, but they are equally important and your message and timing may need to change depending on the source. While online sales craves information from marketing, it’s a two-way street. Your responsibility as the Online Sales Specialist is to provide feedback on not only quantity, but quality and engagement of your lead sources. Reporting back on what you’re experiencing from the frontline phone and web inquiries is extremely valuable info and will promote better results for both sales and marketing.

Myers Barnes, Builder DesignsMyers Barnes, Myers Barnes Associates
Act Your Wage

I regularly hear from people who want to make a lot of money. Who doesn’t? But my questions to them begin with, “How much is that?” What is your financial goal? “A lot” is not a number; neither is “wealthy.” It’s all relative to your perspective. A $100,000 income could be considered a lot. But maybe your vision is greater than that. My next question is, “How are you going to achieve your goal?” That’s the tough one. We all dream of making a six-figure (or higher) income, but without a plan, it’s just a wish. Here’s what you need to do to earn the big bucks you want: Act your wage!

If you want to earn $100,000, do the math. You must generate $40 an hour in sales. Waiting for a walk-in won’t net you $40 an hour. Talking to your friends won’t do it. And your social not-working certainly isn’t necessarily garnering you that kind of wage. To make $100,000 a year, you have to put yourself in front of more people. Make direct connections. Dig up new prospects. Put yourself face-to-face with a qualified buyer. Follow up with those leads you haven’t yet closed. Be active and proactive. THIS is the action that generates a $40-an-hour income and will guide you to your annual goal. When you make your living as a commission salesperson, you don’t get paid by the hour but by the results you deliver. Start acting your wage and powerful results will follow.

Erica LockwoodErica Lockwood, Joseph Chris Partners
One Size Does Not Fit All

New Home Salespeople are not all created equal and that, ironically, is completely acceptable. While one might assume that most everyone entering a career in new home sales aspires to move into a management role, that fact could not be further from reality.

The truth is, there are many salespeople who are inclined to remain doing what they do best – selling. The smaller percentage of the talent pool are those who have a true talent for mentoring, training and managing others. The most commonly occurring faux pas is to look to the highest performing salesperson as the next go to sales management potential. While there are instances where this scenario has found success, there are many more that would show that it is not the best practice to effectively build a management bench.

Look to attitude and aptitude and an individual’s interest in helping others achieve their goals. Being a true leader is not an easy job and takes grit along with a dose of humbleness. When you take time to discuss career goals and aspirations with each of your salespeople – you may be pleasantly surprised. Whether or not your sales staff aspires to take on leadership roles, mentoring each for greatness is always a win-win!

Mike Lyon, Do You ConvertMike Lyon, Do You Convert
The Year of Personalization and Hard Work

2019 is going to look different for Online Sales. Don’t worry, all you need is a shift in mindset and work habits. Personalization will be the winning factor to help you stand out. We have so much technology at our fingertips, but don’t forget that it is all there to help us communicate more effectively with our customers. It takes work to personalize your communication; leverage the tech to enhance your touch.

Kimberly MackeyKimberly Mackey, New Homes Solutions Consulting
Don’t Chase Your Business, MAKE Your Business!

Every year we say that the market is changing, and every year it is true. In fact, the only constant is change. The market does what the market does. These are things over which you have no control. What you do have control over is doing the fundamentals day in and day out. Those who practice a disciplined, focused approach to building their business rather than just waiting on the business to come to them are the ones best positioned for any market conditions. Plan your time to do REALTOR® Outreach to create a steady sphere of REALTOR® VIPs. You need 25 VIPs who will each bring you two sales per year which will generate 50 sales per year! Think about that. Fifty sales per year before any walk-in or referral traffic.

Alaina MoneyAlaina Money, Garman Homes
Focus on the Feel
Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  So my advice in 2019 is to focus on the feel.  How do you want people to feel when they walk in your door? How do you want people to feel when they’re doing business with you?  Not just your buyers, but your co-workers, industry colleagues, and anyone who associates you with your business.  How do you want people to feel when they interact with you?  Because people usually have a choice about who they want to work with – and people tend to want to be around people that make them feel good.  Being mindful about how we want our interactions to feel can be a game changer.  We all wake up everyday with the power to convey a feeling.  Focus on the ones you want to convey and whenever possible, be a source of genuine positivity, joy and even love.
Melissa MormanMelissa Morman, BDX
Are You Leveraging the X Factor?

We believe that Client Experience (CX) is quickly overtaking price and product as the key brand differentiator. McKinsey estimates that maximizing CX can increase customer satisfaction by 20%, lift revenue by 15%, and lower cost of service by 20%. CX is the net of how customers feel about the totality of their moments (human or digital) with your organization. Your “brand” is not something created by an agency or in the boardroom, it is the result of these moments over the duration of the client relationship.

Your CX isn’t something that just happens – it is something you can create and define. There are two key takeaways for builders here. First, we have to learn to evaluate every client interaction thru the eyes of our customers. Second, it’s critical to create an intentional recipe for success — eliminating friction and engineering delight!

Kerry Mulcrone, Kerry & Co.Kerry Mulcrone, Kerry & Co.
“Position” Yourself for Success
Where you “Position” your thoughts, energy, intention and knowledge define what you create! The Definition of “Personal Positioning” is simple in New Home Sales. It is the art of presenting your best self and the best features/benefits of the model home, all at the right time and place, in the right way, with the right message! Whew, a mouthful. For more understanding of this and other key thoughts from industry leaders, get our new book; “New Home Sales & Marketing Best Practices: a Collection of Industry Experts.”

Roland NairnseyRoland Nairnsey, New Home Sales Coach
Be a Developer
With the new year dawning and having enjoyed healthy markets for many years, it is our job as builders and managers to be intentional in everything we do. We should never take any of our success for granted and, with that in mind, we need to think of ourselves as “Developers” in every facet of our business.
PLAN: Now is the time to be purposeful, build upon your success, and develop your plan. What are your short-term goals? More importantly, what are your one-year, three-year and ten-year plans? How often do you measure your plan and what adjustments are you willing to make to accomplish them?
PROCESSES: Examine every single process in your company and develop them to ensure they are the strongest they can be. Specifically, review your sales process and ensure that you have developed a memorable and positive customer experience, that is replicable, focused, and most importantly, maximizes your sales success.
PEOPLE: In sales, we believe in a rigorous recruiting process that often hires candidates based upon their potential, not necessarily what they already know. With this developmental strategy, you must establish a training plan and give them lots of time and attention in the beginning stages of training. As managers, we need to lead by example, and share our wisdom as opposed to reactively putting out fires and managing transactions. The magic is in the mix. With this new year, commit yourself to being a developer and creating the long term and consistent success you deserve.

Amy O'ConnorAmy O’Connor, Shore Consulting
Protect Your Mindset
It’s important to remember that the biggest factor in executing proper selling technique is your own mindset. Mindset always guides technique. A positive mindset leads to strong, positive selling behaviors while a negative mindset leads to flawed, negative selling behaviors. Protect your mindset above all else and the sales will follow.

Skylar OlsenSkylar Olsen, Zillow Group
Where New Construction May Pick Up
Despite losing their Amazon headquarters bids, some cities channeled their inner can-do attitude – and that will pay off. We see these areas – Chicago, Atlanta and Norfolk – as hot spots where new construction could pick up. Why? Following Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, Chicago debuted its P33 initiative, aimed at making the city a tech center by its bicentennial in 2033. Former HQ2 contender Atlanta has already seen some action since it was passed over by the Prime vendor: Convoy, a much smaller Seattle-based company, is opening its east coast office there, and Norfolk Southern may move its headquarters to there from the city for which it is named, Norfolk,VA. These regions are poised for a shake-up in housing starts as a new workforce flocks to them.

Charles ShinnCharles Shinn, Builder Partnerships
Now is the Time to React
Right now the economy is doing very well, but housing is continually softening because of affordability and the rising interest rates. The last time this happened as a response to interest rate increases, it took about 1.5 years to have the market recover. Builders should be immediately working on their hard construction costs to reduce the sales price and maintain the all-important monthly mortgage payment the buyers were paying prior to the mortgage interest increase.
Many builders are reducing the size of their homes by 50 to 100 square feet, dropping the ceiling heights from 10 feet back to 9 feet, eliminate coffered ceilings, eliminating or reducing some of the standard specifications.  As you reduce the costs, reduce the selling price dollar for dollar to get the monthly mortgage payment back in line to where you were maintaining adequate velocity of sales.  Everything you do to reduce your standard home offering can be offered as an option for those customers that what the features.  By doing this you may find you are more competitive and it is possible that you can actually realize increased velocity and profitability.  Now is the time to react.

Jeff ShoreJeff Shore, Shore Consulting
Confidence is the Key
What does your customer need from you more than anything else? Confidence! Confidence is the secret ingredient that separates the good from the great. And that confidence is contagious. It is easily and gratefully adopted by a customer who is anything but confident in a shifting market. This isn’t about willing yourself to be confident and it is certainly not about arrogance. Confidence is the intersection of belief and mastery. Believe in the difference that you can make. And master your techniques through focus and hard work. That is when you find the opportunity to change someone’s world. 

Ryan TaftRyan Taft, Shore Consulting
Practice Makes Sales
How do you make 2019 your best year yet? In a word… P R A C T I C E. If you are going to be in hand-to-hand combat to win a sale, you need to be prepared. Practice overcoming your big objections. Practice connecting better than anyone in your market. Practice sending great follow up. Practice asking for the sale. Practice until you can’t get it wrong. You don’t need to be the most gifted sales professional out there… just be the hardest working one.

Ralph Williams, Sales Solve EverythingRalph Williams, Sales Solve Everything
Prepare Yourself for the Market Shift
2019 will be a year that separates the Good from the Great! Get in front of the market shift or risk a significant reduction in your results. You will need to work smarter & harder to get the same results that you have grown used to in the current market. It will be pertinent to practice more, train more and assign a higher value to every lead you capture whether online or those that walk through the model doors. Doing this extra work will create a “new muscle memory” which will allow you to make the kind of money you deserve.
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