Friday, December 31, 2010

Sales Tip 113: "Keep Your Spirits High"

Today is the last day of 2010. I know it has been a very difficult year for many people so instead of a sales tip I would like to share this poem with you and wish you all the best life can bring you in 2011. Author unknown....

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than it seems
To a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst you mustn't quit.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sales Tip 112: " How to Increase Communication and Follow-Up with Your Customers"

As the end of the year is approaching, make a commitment to yourself and your customers to improve your communication in the upcoming year. Here are some thoughts to keep your customers informed:
• Alert them to development and construction milestones
• Let your unsettled customer know about upcoming HOA meetings
• Host a “Meet your Neighbor” party and invite them to come and get to know the current homeowners and others who are also building in the community
• Call every week whether you have news or not – people are nervous – keep them in the loop
• E-mail to customers to announce community updates, sales updates, etc.
• Ask your customers weekly for referrals… you never know /things may change at work or with friends and family and know is the chance for their friends/family/co-workers to see if they too, would like to move to your community
• Prospecting – Have a regular direct mail campaign integrated into your marketing plan
• Reach further back into older prospects and contact periodically to see if their status has changed

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sales Tip 111: " Anatomy of an On-Site Promotion"

Do you have a newly finished home or a new community you would like the Realtor population in your area to visit? A little preliminary planning makes for a memorable event that will leave the top Realtor Producers in your community talking for many days.
1. Create your Invitation. Make sure it covers the basics:
WHEN- Pick a date that’s not the date of the area Realtor’s office meeting or MLS tour. Choose a time in the day between 11:30 – 1:00 when people pause in their day to eat lunch.
WHAT- Serve a buffet lunch and match background music that fits with your theme. This can be as simple as a CD playing continuously in the background.
WHY- It’s not enough to say you want them to see your new home. Make it a reason that is relevant to them i.e. If their brokerage is committed to a cause… make a donation in their name.
WHERE- Hold the event in your new home or community.
WHO- Make sure it is clear that YOU and YOUR BUILDER are the hosts
2. Choose Your Invitation List. Do you already work with a Realtor? Ask them to get you a list of the million dollar producers from last year and be sure to invite them. Follow-up with the invitees the day before the event to encourage them to attend.
3. Select a Menu. Keep it simple. Make sure to include plenty of water/sodas/teas.
4. Give them something to remember you by. Find some small token as a give-away. Be sure to attach your business card to each and a short thank you written on the back. Have your floorplans copied onto bright colored paper. Roll them up and tie with a ribbon. Display them in a big basket near the gifts and be sure to hand one out to attendees.
Try to have fun, and once the Realtors have seen your product, enjoyed your event and have been impressed by how they were treated, with a little luck they will bring those elusive homebuyers by for a look at your community.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sales Tip 110: "Is Direct Mail Dead?"

I sure hope not but many believe that it doesn’t work or that it’s just too darn expensive. Who says direct mail has to be 5000 pieces mailed? A direct mail piece can be as simple as 1 letter mailed to your 1 new potential homebuyer. However many pieces of direct mail you are sending to your prospects, please be sure to follow some time-tested guidelines for sending out a direct mail piece to people who have already physically visited your community :

1. Greeting: Thank them for visiting your community. Remind them of your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
2. Sense of Urgency: Utilize this paragraph to state what your special offer is. This gives the reader a reason for reading and reacting. Be specific if there is an “end date.”
3. Support Statement: Support your Sense of Urgency with 3rd party endorsements (i.e. happy customer quote), facts (i.e. interest rates are at an all time low), or just general enthusiasm.
4. Call to action: This is the most important element in your letter. It can be to stop by, email, bring coupon, purchase, or that you will phone them/email them/mail them information - BE SURE TO FOLLOW THROUGH!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sales Tip 109: "Help Your Prospects Get their Finances in Shape for 2011"

Please have this money-oriented discussion with your prospects when they consider purchasing a new home. There are 4 basic concepts your prospects need to embrace if they want to get ahead financially:
1. Live within your means - this requires them to honestly and realistically assess how they spend their money. There is a difference between wealth and income. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend. Can they change their habits by not going out to restaurants as often, driving the newest car etc?
2. Pay down their debts - The goal is to pay down and ultimately eliminate as much debt as possible, especially on credit cards. Have your customers compile a list of their debts with interest rates and payment schedules. Show them how to systematically consolidate these debts and pay them off; the highest interest rates ones first. Then develop a plan for keeping these debts in check in the future.
3. Saving money - Its not enough to earn an income and then pay your bills. Savvy prospective homebuyers must also learn how to pay themselves first. Instead of living the high life... they must develop a strategy to acquire assets that will appreciate, income-producing assets, income producing properties, mutual funds, bonds etc.
4. Working hard - The average US worker puts in a 40 hour week. Studies have shown that self-made millionaires work 59.5 hours a week. If your prospects worked harder than others/took on a part time job/worked overtime .... what could they do with the extra money? Help them to see that winning the lottery or earning "X" amount of money is not enough to secure a financially free future, but rather a combination of all 4 concepts discussed above.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sales Tip 108: "You are the Sale - That's the Bottom Line"

Good Sales People know that before they can sell their product they must first sell themselves. How to do this? Here are a sampling of surefire techniques:
1. Always be your self - people respond to people who are honest
2. Play to the prospect - Its not about making the customer fit your product but rather the other way around
3. Try to learn as much about your prospect before you meet with them - it shows that you care enough about them to have done some homework
4. Ask the right questions - have a good probing plan that will help you to build rapport and find out something about their current situation/motivation, future needs and potential obstacles to overcome
5. Be Positive - your customer does not need to know when you are having a bad day!
6. Don't Hardsell- Customers will feel that they have been slimed/taken advantage of. This does no good as it leads to potential cancellations and no future referrals.
7. Dress the part

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sales Tip 107: "How to Dispose of Current Property in Order to Buy a New One"

One of the biggest challenges facing new home sales reps today is not that buyers don't want to buy a new home, but rather they can't sell their current one in order to move to their new residence. While a Guaranteed Rental is not for everyone, it is worth exploring in the early stages of negotiations with a potential buyer.
1. Mention from the get-go "Have you considered renting your current home if it does not sell?" Many Sales reps are afraid to go there... or rather... introduce this concept too late into the process and the buyers are not enthusiastic about the possibilities...
2. Make sure that when you are qualifying them you get them qualified with 2 mortgages. The lenders will only consider a portion of their rental income... not the entire rental income
3. Have a qualified Real Estate agent on call that you can refer them to to help them set a realistic rental price
4. Remember, that as the housing market slowing improves, so will the prospect of them selling the house in the future while being able living in the house of their dreams now

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sales Tip 106: "How to Use Sense of Urgency to Your Advantage"

When you have buyers "sitting on the fence" there are a number of different tactics you can employ to get them to react. Here are a few:
1. Homesite - this one really is a "one of a kind"
2. Delivery time - "Wouldn't it be great to be in your new home before the holidays?"
3. Tell them outright "You deserve this!"
4. Streetscape - "This is the only one that will have your exterior colors/elevation"
5. Interest Rates are at an all time low... they have not been this low since WWII
6. Incentives - Remind the prospects that those wonderful incentives will not be around forever

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sales Tip 105: “Selling Your Location”

· Be the mayor of your community and location. This is how you do it!
· Figure out what buyer is looking for before you support wrong information. Find dislikes of current location they are in.
· Don’t take your location for granted.
· Use current neighbor stories to help sell location.
· Know about growth coming to the area.
· Know your area.
· Determine your U.S.P. (Unique Selling Proposition). What is so special about your community (and do not rely solely on great location/ close to commuter routes and good schools!) Be Creative or your community will end up sounding like 99 other ones!
· Know general location information of surrounding communities to direct them to if prospect does not work for your location. Think future referrals if they are happy with where you sent them to look

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sales Tip 104 "Best Marketing Ideas - Thinking Outside of the Box"

· Parade of Homes – You don't have to wait for the Industry to have their Parade of Homes; Instead have fun within your community of different houses that have settled. Bring prospects to other happy homeowners’ homes on a select weekend day. Don't forget to compensate your happy homeowners with a gift card to a local store/mall.
· On-line – Check tax records for prices to see what people have in equity in areas and communities that fit your buyer profile. Target direct mail to those customers.
· Be prepared with quarterly marketing plans…make sure pieces are put together ahead of time. Plan to be successful