Systems need to be in place if you want to grow and maintain during the highs and lows of the new home building market. People will always be buying real estate, it’s just their methods and what’s important to our buyers changes as the market fluctuates. This is the toughest point to get across in the new home building industry… maybe it’s true of all industries, but since I work in this one, this is my experience. I feel we are too reactionary, when we should really be strategic.
I saw it when the market crashed in 2008, and I saw it when Covid started shutting things down in 2020. And we are going to likely see it again when the tides change and the market slows down. We are far more reactionary then we are methodical, and in sales that’s just not a good way to be…unless your goals are to miss leads and take a partially thought out approach to online sales.
So how can we set up for success no matter the current market climate?
First, understand that when we are flooded with leads, it means we are only converting the cream rising to the top. It’s part of the 20-60-20 rule.
20% of prospects will buy no matter what – you have what they want, when they want and where they want at a price they can afford.
20% of prospects won’t buy no matter what – you don’t have what they want, where they want, when they want, at a price they can afford.
60% Will or won’t buy depending on what you do.
So how can we be strategic instead of reactionary? Well the first step is understanding some of the excuses.
Excuse #1 -“We don’t need an OSC, we have more leads than we can handle. Our site managers are doing just fine!”
When it’s busy, builders without strategies and OSC just capture the top 20%. Not every lead that comes in today is buying in the next week. Some take weeks, months or years. They need to be nurtured, they need to be kept informed, and they need to know that they are important.
That’s what an OSC does. Leads coming in to your site sales agents today, that aren’t ready to buy, will be lost in the database 6 months from now, a year from now. This is why it’s so important to have the OSC set up properly from day one with a great CRM, multiple and varied touch point processes that all feel personalized, and many with automation.
Excuse #2 – “This is not normal, things are going to slow down! I don’t want to hire people now and have to fire them later.”
Well one, we don’t know when things are going to slow down. That’s a scarcity mind set. If we move forward with an abundance mind set, there will always be new business, there will always be people searching for the right house and when we have the talent and the people on our team to convert sales, we’ll stay at the top of our game.
If you don’t ramp up your sales teams, your OSC’s, and of course your trades then yes, you won’t be able to keep up. As with everything it ebbs and flows, but take advantage of the hot market and high volumes when they are happening. And put away for a rainy day.
Excuse #3 – “We don’t want to add to our overhead by hiring more people.”
That old saying, you gotta spend money to make money is not a lie. It’s true, you have to invest in the right people in order to grow your business. That means invest in the right recruiters, the right trainers, and they will find the right people and train them to the best of their abilities so that you will produce.
You are right. If you just hire to throw coverage on without a care for the longevity of the position whether it be online or onsite sales, you are going to pour money into people who won’t stay, won’t learn, and won’t be top producers.
Excuse #4 – “Well I don’t want to do it unless I have guarantees.”
I’ve had builders ask for guarantees that range from how much this will increase my sales, to how long the new hire will stay on. The most I can do is show previous results both with programs that were set up well and where a builder let me go in and do what I felt needed to happen in order to set up for success. It meant open communication with online and onsite sales, and open communication with marketing. As far as hiring someone with longevity – that’s always the goal. But that retention doesn’t only count on what I teach them and how we hire someone with strong work ethic and loyalty.
It also depends on the builder following through with promises. Having a strong company culture. Caring about their employees. Understanding what the program is, and what it isn’t.
Once the excuses are tossed out and you’re willing to make a leap into setting up for success, then we can get started. Then we can create a true program built on principles and a system that’s not about just throwing any lead against the wall and seeing if it will stick, but creating a trackable, performance based process that will withstand slow downs.