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Tactics to Selling Homes in Summer Reaching Excellence

By Star Report 8 min read

By Matt Esarey, Sales Leader - New Home Star

For most people across America, the summer season is eagerly embraced as it represents a time for family vacations, afternoons spent poolside, and enjoying outdoor hobbies and activities. However, for new home sales associates, it can represent a season of stress as traffic takes a slight dip compared to what they experienced throughout the spring season. Where there is stress, there is the potential for a negative mindset to grow, especially when attitude and self-talk shift from optimistic to more pessimistic. This ‘poisoning of the well’ can have debilitating effects on anyone in a performance-based career such as new home sales.

To remain in control of that mindset, it’s crucial for sales associates to remain mentally engaged and look at the summer season as an incredible opportunity to direct their focus onto things that the busier seasons do not allow for. When traffic is more prevalent, the focus is solely on converting as much of that traffic as possible. While this is exactly where the focus should be during high traffic times, there is not much time to delve into tactical or skill development. When the goal for any ambitious sales professional is constant and never ending improvement, not having this self-development time is sure to lead to stunted growth. Therefore, lower traffic seasons like summer represent great opportunities to turn one’s attention inward and focus on developing the skill sets and tactics that are sure to enhance a sales associate’s conversion abilities when traffic starts to increase again. With that said, there are three areas that a sales associate can place an intense focus on and drive positive results by having done so:

Driving Traffic through Sales Associate Marketing Initiatives

Rather than waiting for traffic to be driven to the community through the traditional marketing efforts of the builder’s marketing department, a sales associate needs to take ownership of their community and supplement those marketing efforts with some of their own. When I think of Sales Associate Marketing Initiatives, or SAMI as we call them at New Home Star, I think of four different areas where these SAMI’s can be successfully executed:

  • Realtor Outreach
  • Internet/Social Media
  • Referrals
  • Guerilla Marketing

Whether it be hosting a “Dusty Shoe” Realtor outreach event, creating a campaign promoting the community on social media, launching a referral incentive program for current homeowners, or devising a simple lost cost plan for projecting the builder’s brand, these initiatives have the ability to literally turn a community’s traffic around in a relatively short period of time.

Dive Deeper into Discovery

One part of the Critical Path that can often get rushed or even completely overlooked, during busy times is the Discovery phase. When traffic is high, it is common for a sales associate to devote a few minutes to the Welcome phase by greeting the prospect and building some comfort and rapport with them before collecting more information as to what the prospect might be looking for in their next home in an abbreviated Discovery phase. This is followed by some time in Demonstration with the hope of getting through as much of it as possible before the next prospect walks through the sales center door. However, when there is less traffic and no need to feel rushed with a new prospect, it’s imperative to maximize that time spent with the prospect by being more thorough in the Discovery phase and extracting every ounce of potential in that situation. After all, there is no guarantee as to how many more people will visit the sales center in the near future.

An example of being more thorough in Discovery would be to clarify and confirm with the prospect when identifying their timeline for a potential purchase, the price point they are comfortable with, and some of the things that are absolute needs in their new home. Taking the time to ask clarifying questions concerning important topics such as timeline, price point, and needs ensures these points are correct and clear. This is the difference between a sale and a misunderstanding leading the prospect to another option for their next home. In order to develop this skill set, I strongly suggest engaging in consistent role-play with the sales manager or a fellow teammate.

The pursuits of our lives improve when we recognize the action that will create the improvement and take this new action from conscious thought to subconscious habit. The only way for this to happen is through repetition. It’s through repetition that muscle memory is created, which ultimately leads to the desired action happening without thinking through it each time. And how is repetition achieved in our chosen profession? Role-play.

Following Up in a Consistent and Strategic Manner

It has been well documented that a major difference between sales associates who enjoy consistent success and those that experience more fluctuation is the commitment to a consistent and strategic follow-up process. The key to successful follow-up is to make sure that the sale associate’s name and builder are at the forefront of the customer’s mind when they finally decide that it’s time to make a purchase decision. The only way for a sale associate to ensure that they’re the one in mind when that decision is made is to have made frequent contact with the customer over a period of time.

The follow-up process that I recommend is making 5-7 touches with the customer over a 21-day period of time. I recommend 21 days as the timeline because it has been statistically proven that many significant purchase decisions, such as purchasing a home, are made within 21 days of their initial visit or inquiry. Every situation and customer is unique, so a follow-up process should be adapted accordingly. However, there are a couple of guidelines for establishing this process:

  • Never use the same method consecutively. For instance, if one step in the follow-up process is to make a phone call to the customer, make sure the next touch is something other than another phone call.
  • Allow for a minimum of 48 to 72 hours to elapse between touches. This provides a nice balance between alienating the customer by aggressive follow-up and being consistent enough that the sales associate and builder have not been forgotten.
  • When deciding on what touch points to incorporate into the follow-up process, be sure to use methods that will resonate with that particular person. For example, making a social networking connection, such as LinkedIn, with a customer in order to pass along articles or other content pieces that would be interesting to them might resonate more with a millennial who is more deeply involved with social networking than an empty nester who may not be as familiar with this medium.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all of these touches have to be focused on converting the sale. Sometimes, it can be just as effective to pass along an article or something that relates directly to a customer’s hobby or occupation as this shows them that the sales associate truly remembers them individually and that they are not just another name in a process. It has been said that few things in life impact and influence people more than personal connection. If this 21-day process passes without the customer making a purchase decision, they should be included in an extended follow-up process where touches become a little less frequent, but continual to where the customer is still informed of updates and promotions that edify the builder and community. It may be just engaging enough that they stop by the sales center 6 or 9 months down the road and become ready to resume discussions on building that dream home. This sale may come at a time when it’s really needed and earned with very little effort other than just checking in periodically.

In conclusion, it’s important to understand that none of these tactics are ‘quick fixes’ and that all three require a consistent and persistent commitment in order to see tangible results down the road. However, if these three things can lead to an improved ability to drive traffic and convert that traffic at a higher rate, then what better time is there for an ambitious sales associate to implement these tactics into their arsenal than now? It is through this mindset and commitment to taking action that enables a true sales professional to take ownership of their business and financial future rather than being relegated to a position of being at the mercy of the current market conditions. As a former mentor once mentioned to me that remains at the forefront of my mind to this day, “The only three things you can control in this world are your thoughts, actions, and attitude. The rest is out of your hands, and you have to be okay with that.” If that is in fact true, and success can be attained through a meticulous focus on these three things, then there is nothing more worthy of a sales associate’s time right now than their relentless pursuit of self-development.


Originally published Jun 21, 2017 under Explore the latest topics, updated May 9, 2024

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