Recently I needed to write up a detailed description for a client of the roles, responsibilities and expectation of the OSC. While this company already had an OSC program previously it wasn’t set up for optimum sales. It’s important to understand what an OSC is supposed to do – like make the appointment. And not set unrealistic expectations like – every lead will be wrapped up in a bow and ready to write so your site manger needs not do any work.
They OSC is a hybrid between a customer service role and a sales role within the company, but to believe it’s either of those things is not understanding the true reason behind the position.
The primary goal of the OSC is to capture that lead at the top of the lead funnel and provide fast and personalized customer service. Their goal is to sell an appointment not a house. If an appointment is set quickly – as long as qualification questions have been asked and no red flags have been raised – that is a qualified appointment.
An OSC will ask qualifying questions to find information such as but not limited to:
- Financially what is the price range they are looking for – Do they qualify and how?
- What area are they interested in and why?
- When do they want to move, and what are the contributing factors? Are they willing to live in temporary housing if needed?
- Are they working with a Realtor – Yes or No – if yes who and what office?
- Have they previously visited the community? – If so which and when
- Have they previously spoken to the Sales Manager of the community they are interested in? If so who and when?
- Do they have a house to sell? – if so when are they planning on listing and do they need the proceeds to purchase the new home?
An OSC is not responsible to find out:
- What lot or homesite is perfect for a buyer
- Even communities are changeable if the buyer discovers more as they visit a community and think another will be a better fit.
- What floorplan beyond a shadow of a doubt is right – features they want, yes – one floor plan, no
- Whether or not the options they want are available in a specific home, or whether they will fit on a specific lot
While the OSC is trying to narrow down to specific community and floorplan, there is no way that someone can be sure of what they want until they begin visiting the community or communities of interest and looking at the homes. Seeing a community and floor plan in person provides more clarity for the buyer. This may mean they adjust their parameters. This does not mean the OSC did not do their job and properly qualify the lead. It is not an exact science.
An OSC’s role is to SELL THE APPOINTMENT NOT THE HOME
If all information cannot be ascertained because the prospect is unwilling to disclose or fully disclose information to the OSC, as long as there are no obvious red flags, I.e. major pricing discrepancy admittedly poor credit, or unattainable expectations – appointments should be set.
The OSC should set the appointment and help the customer begin their journey to purchase a new home.
Appointments happen with buyers who:
- Don’t buy from the first community they visit.
- Don’t know the exact floor plan they want when they visit.
- May be 6-months or more out from purchasing.
- May need to visit several times before writing a contract.
The Next Goal of an OSC is to provide stellar customer service to long-term leads
While some prospects and leads may want a quick turnaround with an appointment, other leads require long-term consistent, persistent follow up to eventually result in an appointment or sale. These follow up plans can last for weeks, months, or years. This is a very important part of an OSC’s daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
We do not deny people appointments because they :
- Have not yet made a decision.
- Are still weighing their possibilities.
- Haven’t spoken to the preferred lender.
- Are not planning to purchase when they walk through the door.
20% of people will buy no matter what. They are ready willing and able.
20% of people won’t buy no matter what. They are unqualified, they don’t like your product, you don’t have what they need after they’ve inquired, they have experienced bad customer service, or any number of other reasons.
60% of people will buy with you depending on how you provide service and assistance.
1 in 3 to 1 in 5 appointments set by the OSC will buy, but this does not mean:
- They will write a contract then and there
- The agent doesn’t have to do any leg work
- The OSC needs to provide that lead wrapped up with a bow ready to buy
If a site manager drops follow-up with that lead after the appointment, they are likely to fall into the bottom end of the 60% category because customer service and care was not continued.
A buyer who made an appointment is highly likely to buy a house somewhere. The entire team should be focused on that home purchase being in-house.
They will buy with you IF:
- They are financially qualified
- The community and area are the right location
- You can provide them with the home, they want in a time frame that’s agreeable
- You provide them with the customer service, attention and follow up they desire