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Pacesetter Homes Success Story

Sales Process: The Path to Success

Interview with Nianne van Bibber of Pacesetter Homes

Pacesetter Homes was recognized in 2017 by Builder magazine as one of the 10 fastest growing home building companies in the U.S. The Texas-based company was started in 2007 by QUALICO, one of western Canada’s most successful builders. Pacesetter Homes launched in Austin, and after a decade of growth, expanded into the Dallas market in early 2018. The company is on track to close over 500 homes this year.

From 2007-2011, despite increasing success, the company was not using a CRM system. Nianne Van Bibber, Online Concierge for Pacesetter Homes, was manually setting up reminders and sending emails for each online lead. There was no central database to track history, keep notes or maintain internal communication with the sales team. The situation was not conducive to growth. “We needed a CRM system specific to builders. We found that Lasso fit those needs,” says Nianne.

The results were immediate. From one process alone, our lead-to-appointment ratio doubled.

– Nianne van Bibber

In 2011 Pacesetter Homes implemented Lasso CRM and set to work learning and setting up the system. After a short time, Nianne launched her first sales process. It was a simple, 30-day process with eight activities. “The results were immediate,” notes Nianne. “From that process alone, our lead-to-appointment ratio doubled.”

She quickly went to work refining and adding more sales processes that were tailored to different prospect types. “We assign processes according to the information we have – whether or not the lead has a phone number, which source they’re coming from, and what types of questions they’re asking. We also modify our processes according to community status, such as grand openings and close-outs.”

Pacesetter Homes continued growing as more online leads converted to appointments and sales. In 2015, the company contracted with Mike Lyon at Do You Convert to improve their processes and manage their growth. In 2016, they hired a second Online Concierge, Kristin Butler. Today, the 2-person team leverages more than 10 sales processes to manage over 400 new online leads a month. Of 500 new sales last year, the online sales team contributed an astounding 40 percent.

“Time and time again, people thank us for staying in contact with them,” says Kristin. “Other builders stop following up after a day or two, and we stay in constant contact over a 6-month span. When they’re finally ready to purchase, we’re the first ones they contact, because we stayed in touch.’

In early 2018, Pacesetter Homes expanded into the Dallas, TX market. With five new communities, Nianne and Kristin needed to replicate their sales processes in a brand new database without losing a lot of time. “The Lasso Team helped with moving over all our templates and making changes as necessary. They’ve made it really easy transitioning into the Dallas market,” says Nianne.

Nianne and Kristin continue to refine and add sales processes as Pacesetter Homes’ market share continues to grow. For any home builders not using a sales process, Nianne has this advice, “You need to do it immediately! It’s going to save your sales team a lot of time and effort on a daily basis. Once those processes are set up, your team can use their time more wisely and efficiently.”

Here are Nianne’s and Kristin’s top 5 tips for implementing a sales process:

  • Keep it simple. Start with one process for online leads that has 7-9 activities over a 30-day period.
  • Pay attention to prospects’ needs. Then modify and add more sales processes to accommodate them.
  • Shop yourself. Every few months, sign up for your own sales processes to see if they need to be updated or modified. Perhaps a process includes time-sensitive or seasonal messaging. It’s important to keep them relevant and fresh.
  • Personalize communication. Just because activities are automatically generated doesn’t mean they can’t be personal. Take a few seconds before sending an email to check the prospect’s profile or view website analytics for any new developments.
  • Never stop learning. Markets and technology change all the time. Learn which messages resonate in your particular markets. Leverage the latest improvements to your CRM system. Be the first to respond, the most relevant, and the most consistent in your follow-up, and the appointments will follow.

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