The market cooling introduced a new selling season for homebuilders. While the past two years have been filled with waiting lists, bidding wars and easy financing, homebuilder sales teams are preparing for a “normal” market where sales strategies need to be revitalized.
Emily Murray, Sales Manager at Fischer Homes, shares, “While we haven’t lost sight of the fundamentals that have driven sales success over the past few years, we certainly have a renewed focus on sales skills that may have gone dormant or weren’t. not as critical during white-hot market.”
Collaboration among salespeople, re-educating core skills and returning customers to internal urgency have become essential for sales managers and coaches, as model home visits slow and buyers become less willing to make compromises.
To refresh and encourage teams, sales summits are a common topic for builders being prepared. “At a recent summit, we both motivated and gave our team a great perspective on the current market and how it has normalized over the past two years of crowd and roster management. ‘interests,’ said Lisa Chapel, director of sales operations for Stanley Martin Homes. . “As with any skill, selling is a skill that needs to be practiced.”
Customer concerns about rising rates and prices have been a new hurdle for sales teams. Murray adds, “As we enter this cooling market, there isn’t one thing you do that equals success, it’s many things. It sounds a lot like a return to basics and fundamentals.
According to Chapel and Murray, here are seven ways to help sales teams prepare for the uncertain market.
1. Recognize external urgency versus internal urgency. Now that the market has calmed down, the external urgency to miss a real estate site or to avoid an extreme price increase has disappeared. This means focusing on the internal emergency. This can be done by learning Why the client wants to move and keep it on that path.
2. Funding update. Historically low interest rates during the pandemic have made conventional financing an easy option for most transactions. However, as interest rates and prices have risen, other loan options may be needed. An understanding of buyers’ monthly payment needs and, more importantly, financing solutions (including points, interest rate drop buying, or PMI buyout) are key tools for evolution. of the market.
3. Next steps are needed. For many sales teams over the past two years, whether to track or align next steps for customers was highly dependent on a customer’s rush. They were willing and ready to take all the necessary steps to own a home. The slowed sense of urgency has brought next-step principles and follow-up fundamentals back to the forefront for sales members who now have to do the heavy lifting.
4. Build relationships. As mentioned in the opening article, sales summits go a long way in encouraging and training sales teams. These meetings not only bring members together to bond, but also to share information, best practices and benchmarks. Chapel says, “We recently held a sales summit with the theme of connection. Connecting with our buyers and connecting with our teammates to help create a better home buying journey for our customers. »
5. Practice sales techniques. As sales teams revisit fundamentals and reinvigorate weekly sales meetings, a great addition to market readiness is to practice selling skills and interactions. Role plays between team members and sales coaches can be an ideal opportunity to hone sales tools and learn how to overcome objections.
6. Maintain relationships with real estate agents. In an era when leads weren’t so crucial, some builders may have abandoned incentive programs or failed to maintain strong relationships with real estate agents. Positive relationships with real estate agents can contribute to the overall success of builders’ sales teams and make a customer’s buying experience even better.
seven. Maintain excellent customer service, even online. A customer’s personal experience and interaction with a seller is an important factor in their decision to buy a home. During the pandemic, the shift to online sales was essential for many builders and has now become a sales mainstay. Murray says, “Online is often the customer’s first experience with us, so we want it to be exceptional. We are fully staffed and the team is expertly trained so we can deliver ‘world class’ service and respond quickly, because that’s really important today. »