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New Home Sales Tactics for Builders Using the Triangle Offense

By Star Report 7 min read

What Is the Triangle Offense?

When you hear the term “Triangle Offense,” you probably think of basketball and for good reason. Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson popularized the Triangle Offense during his coaching career in the NBA, particularly during his time with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. Phil Jackson was a successful leader with a proven strategy for winning on the court. Likewise, you and your new home builder’s leadership team should aim to be the best at coaching your team — and the Triangle Offense is going to get you there.

Just like the Bulls have the Knicks, you have your top competitors too. You aren’t going to dominate your area and industry by always being on the defensive. What you need is a stellar offense. That’s where the Triangle Offense comes in. This is a role-playing exercise you and other leaders at your builder will be facilitating to nurture team spirit.

For the Triangle Offense, you need a Sales Manager and Sales Agent. They should both prepare to walk through the three locations listed below and act as potential new home buyers. It will happen at the:

1.  Model Home
2. Inventory Home
3. Competition

Pay attention to a very important word here, “act.” This is a role-playing scenario, not one in which you quiz your sales team as their manager. Before we fast break into what to say and to whom, let’s first discuss why the Triangle Offense is so important in the first place.

Why should New Home Builders Run a Triangle Offense?

The Triangle Offense is role-play, a valuable sales training exercise for several reasons. Role-play allows your sales team to practice and develop essential new home selling skills in a risk-free and controlled environment. Effective communication, objection handling, active listening, and closing techniques are only the beginning of what will be improved upon!

Gain a Strong Grasp of the Perspective of the Customer

By acting as a customer, you and your Sales Agent will gain valuable insight into what the new home-buying process is like for the people your company is trying to attract and convert. This role-play mimics real-world sales scenarios, enabling your sales team to confront common challenges and objections they might encounter when dealing with actual customers. This helps them become better prepared for various situations.

This is the time for feedback and coaching. During role-play, be sure to provide constructive feedback and coaching to motivate your team. This feedback helps your new home sales team identify their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to refine their approach and improve their performance. Don’t get the wrong idea. The Triangle Offense isn’t meant to be (and shouldn’t be) intimidating for your sales team. Role-play actually helps boost the confidence of sales agents. By practicing in such a realistic setting, they become more comfortable in their sales role and gain the self-assurance needed to engage with “real” buyers effectively.

Develop a Plan for Strategy and Execution

There’s an old saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” How can your leadership team improve upon and fix issues in your sales process without truly knowing how a buyer is experiencing the sales process? 

Through role-play, the manager can assess the progress and performance of individual Sales Agents, identifying areas where additional training or support may be needed to reach sales excellence. Once the Sales Manager and Sales Agent visit the competition (more on this later), they can ensure that their practices are current and use this knowledge to ensure the team is not falling behind. In basketball and in new home building, you never know when you’ll transition from offense to defense!

Gain a Thorough Understanding of Each Community’s Inventory and Competition 

For several important reasons, it is essential for the Sales Manager and Sales Agent to be familiar with the model home, inventory home, and competitor’s homes. 

From there, the Sales Manager and Sales Agents can develop more effective sales strategies when they know their inventory well. They can create targeted marketing campaigns, promotions, and pricing strategies that leverage the strengths of the available products or services based on Target Consumer Profiles

A sales team who knows the inventory can better match the buyers’ needs to available homes. This ensures that customers receive tailored conversations and offerings, and are more likely to be satisfied with their new home purchases. 

As well, a Sales Manager who understands their inventory can position their company competitively in the local market. They can highlight unique selling points and advantages over competitors, helping your new home builder stand out.

The Sales Director Gets a Bird’s Eye View of the Court  

During the Triangle Offense, the Sales Agent reports to the Sales Manager, who then will report to the Regional Director best practices. This allows the director to gain a different perspective on the home-buying experience that he or she would otherwise not have. This proves helpful in providing better training and support to their sales teams and coaching, which wouldn’t be possible without a deep understanding of the inventory, conversations, strategies, and even physical assets. They are able to help Sales Agents overcome objections, provide guidance on product positioning, and offer solutions for common or potential customer challenges.

How to Run Triangle Offense

It’s a Full Court Press

Your managers are teammates, not superstars trying to bring home a trophy on their own. By visiting all three locations on every visit, you are more effectively able to get the perspective of a buyer and become more valuable to your company and your sales team. 

Sales Agent and Manager Walk-through Inventory

On the day dedicated to the Triangle Offense, the Regional Sales Manager will spend his or her time at your current inventory. Some visits should focus on finished inventory; some should look at the homesites that have been released. Sometimes, you should drive to the inventory; sometimes, you should walk. Look at your inventory from all angles, anything and any way possible a potential customer may.

During this, be unpredictable. Focus on construction quality one time with an understanding of differentiating themselves from buyers, and focus on selling to a particular hot button the next time. Constantly change it, and your sales agent will be forced to be more prepared for your visit and will also learn more from the different focuses.

  1. How does the signage look? 
  2. Does the construction itself look high-quality?
  3. How does the salesperson handle common objections? 
  4. What about not-so-common questions?

The Sales Manager and Sales Agent Go to the Model

When the Sales Manager and the Sales Agent visit the model home, he or she is not there acting as their current job title. The Sales Manager is the prospective buyer, and the Sales Agent acts as if he or she is showing the prospective buyer the home. 

The Sales Manager and Sales Agent Go to the Competition

The Sales Manager and Agent should prepare for and lead the Triangle Offense. He or she is the Michael Jordan of your Triangle Offense, just like Air Jordan was for Phil Jackson. In order to do so, the Sales Manager and the Sales Agent need to play the role of a prospective buyer. 

They are not at your model home or inventory but actually at a competitor’s inventory. When you visit competitors, focus on the what, why, and how. Compare and contrast their homes and yours. Ask about incentives and promotions. Ask about homesite inventory and review all MLS listings.

  • Is their sales strategy successful? Why?
  • Why are they getting more or less sales than you?
  • How are they doing it?
  • Is their sales agent doing something yours is not?

The Community Manager should report to the Regional Director the good and the bad aspects of the home by sending photos or calling the Director to provide recommendations to improve for the future. This insider information will be invaluable to knowing where your team is leading the industry and where you can improve.

Interested in learning more and best practices on how to implement these strategies for your team?

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Originally published Oct 10, 2023 under Explore the latest topics, updated January 23, 2024

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