In part one of Don’t Say, “I don’t know.” We attacked a scenario that’s easy to fall into if you are a brand new OSC, or even when you have been doing this for a while, but there may be things you just don’t know.
Saying “I don’t know,” is the quickest way to kill trust with a new home buyer and have them rudely asking for someone who does know. But in scenario two it’s not that you don’t know, it’s just that the information doesn’t exist. This can be frustrating and cause you to say, “I don’t know.” But in reality it’s an opportunity to find out what people want and see if you can position them in other communities.
No matter what, OSCs should take the time to get to know the wants, needs, and desires of anyone who calls. Even if it’s not for something that’s available, don’t be frustrated. It’s an opportunity to build rapport, a relationship and transparency about what is actually happening with the community they
Scenario Two: The Information Doesn’t Exist
There’s nothing more frustrating to an OSC than having a coming soon community listed on the website with no information being provided to them. This happens more than you think, and way more than we’d like.
Some schools of thought believe in listing something “coming soon” as soon as you own the dirt… Sorry, not this school over here at Blue Gypsy. We understand the real-world pain of collecting an interest list that has no parameters and could be years out. The community is coming soon – as in we don’t know when, but we want to tell you we own land out here. We have no floor plans, we have no pricing, we have no models, and we have no timeframe for when this community may start. Sound familiar? Sound painful?
Someone sees a coming soon sign on the road, on the internet, reads an article in the paper (yes people still do that, though it may be an article online.)Your
Prospect: “I saw your coming soon community, ‘Tomorrow Land’ and I wanted to find out what the price of the homes will be.
“I don’t know,” is not your answer. “Your guess is as good as mine,” Is also not your answer. Your answer is… “Oh! How did you hear about our upcoming community in Tomorrow Land?”
Prospective buyer, “I drove by a sign on the land.”
“Great! Yes as you can see the development is a ways out, is there a certain timeframe you were looking to move or a price range you were hoping to be in? Since that is a very new community, we do not have all the details yet.”
If you can discover their timeframe and price range – maybe, they are ready to wait 5 seasons until that community may begin. Or maybe they are in a hurry, and you have something closer and within their budget that can get them off a crazy long interest list, and into something you can actually help them with.
“Oh I just wanted to know the pricing for that community,” the prospect persists… maybe won’t tell you anything about their own timeframe or price range.
“At this time, we don’t have pricing or floorplans for that community. We are actually still in the development stage and many factors can impact pricing and availability. My best guess is we may have more information in about 90 days, 6 months, early spring 2024. (fill in the blank with whatever you’ve been told, and don’t be afraid to go ask land development what their thoughts are on this.) Does that fit your timing for when you were hoping to be in a new home?”
Again, take a pass at time frame, you’ll get a couple different responses.
“No, I want to be in a new home by then.”
“Wonderful, were there other areas you were looking at, would something like, “X community 15 minutes east be of interest? Or we have Y community that’s just 10 minutes west?”
Or they say, “I’m not in a rush, we’ve been waiting for something to come available in that area for a while now. We just wanted to know if you had any more details.”
“Well thank you for that, what I can do is add you to our interest list and keep in touch with you. As soon as I have more details, I’ll let you know, but you also will get an email from me once a month even if I DON’T have any updates, just so you know I haven’t forgotten about you. Will you keep me posted if anything changes and one of our other communities looks like it might work for you?”
Build rapport. Build a relationship. Find out as much as you can even though you don’t have any information currently on that community. Even if you can’t give them any info on that community, finding out why they were interested in that, what they are ultimately looking for, when they want to move, and what their current pain points are, will help you add some notes to the database and make sure you stay in touch. If they say, “We hope to be in the $250,000 price range,” and this is never a price that’s been offered in your communities and not likely here, let them know realistically that may not be likely. And ask, “Do you think your price range will change in another year or so as we get closer to opening that community? Right now, you are about $100,000 or more from where the starting prices may be in that community.” (ONLY SAY SOMETHING LIKE THIS IF YOU KNOW IT TO BE TRUE!)
Be honest and say, I will make a note of your price range and keep you on the interest list and if anything comes up in that range, I will let you know.
Interest lists for communities “Coming Soon” can be used as a way to build relationships and don’t need to be a trust losing “I don’t know.”
Stay tuned for part 3 of Don’t Say I Don’t Know.