Myers Barnes Blog Articles

Stick to Building Homes, Not Websites

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Jul, 22, 2014

We’ve become a DIY culture, where we’ve become empowered to undertake a wider variety of tasks than ever before.

Need to fix your faucet? You can find a video online and save the cost of a plumber.
Want to skip the accountant and do your own income taxes? Just point, click, and download the software that makes it easy.

I believe we should continue to learn and grow, particularly with so many resources to make it convenient. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Your website, for example, isn’t something you should tackle on your own. A builder’s website is the most important marketing tool. Homebuyers are searching online before they ever call, email, or visit you. A misstep on your site could mean the difference between making the contact and being dismissed right from the start. Are you going to skimp on something so vital to lead generation?

A website that will attract the right traffic and promote the desired action—contact— must be written, designed, and scripted by a professional. Find someone who understands both design and scripting (the creative and the technology are two different skill sets so expect to hire a team), who has the latest knowledge of SEO techniques. Search engine algorithms change regularly, and keeping up with technology is a full-time job. So, don’t expect you can dabble in it and build your website with the same skills as a seasoned website development professional—any more than a website developer can step in and sell new homes as well as you can.

Think I’m wrong? That I’m underestimating your technical and creative prowess? Are you willing to bet a few months’ worth of leads? Because that’s how long it will take to fix your website if you’re wrong. If you skip right to hiring the website developer, you know that you’re buying knowledge that is based on experience and ongoing training. Along with it, you get the peace of mind that you haven’t overlooked important tasks that a professional will find. With the impact that a great website can have on your business, isn’t it worth the investment to get it right?

NOTE: In the coming weeks, I’ll be offering a series of articles on marketing in today’s tech-driven environment, based on my own experience and research, as well as interviews with industry leaders who have shared their insight. Stay tuned!



Posted In: New Home Sales

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Book Release: Announcing Myers’ Newest Book!

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Jul, 22, 2014

While traveling across the nation to share my enthusiasm about new home sales, I experienced a journey of another kind. This one became a year-long writing adventure into a world of words and I’m so excited about it that I wanted to give you an advance notice. So, here it is: I will have a new book published in 2015 that will rock your imagination!

Between its covers are 50 ordinary words that impact our lives as leaders. While researching their root meanings, I realized I had to get these words out of my head and into print. The yet-to-be-named manuscript is filled with inspiring stories, anecdotes, nutshell wisdom, motivational quotes and messages of self-empowerment that I’ve collected during my travels.

I wouldn’t say it’s like chicken soup for the soul; more like salsa for the soul. It’s fresh, good for you, has essential health benefits, will spice up your knowledge and provide you with a daily intake of optimism.  Watch for it!

Myers Barnes is a new home sales trainer who teaches important and effective sales strategies and techniques in the new-home sales industry to builders, developers, and top corporations.  Visit www.myersbarnes.com to learn more.

 



Posted In: Leadership, Personal Development

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Leak #23: Missing the Manufacturing Excesses – Leaking Profits: Article 26

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Jul, 08, 2014

A homebuilder really has two separate businesses: the manufacture of the homes and the sales operation. We’ve covered 22 ways to plug up leaks in the sales bucket, but we can’t overlook the other side of the business—because while you’re busily fixing the holes on the sales end, your profits might be escaping through your manufacturing gaps. The following manufacturing gaps are sales related:

Standing inventory (see #19)

Change orders

Mistakes in the field

Giveaways and cave-ins

Punch

Managing expectations

Relationships versus accountability to vendors and subcontractors

Principle of 15 Minutes

BOTTOM LINE: Your business is comprised of two operations: manufacturing and sales. Be sure to fix the leaks on both sides.



Posted In: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training

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Red-Hot New Home Sales and Marketing Solutions

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Jul, 01, 2014

How can you ignite your selling power and blow past your goals to achieve blockbuster sales?  Here is your answer!  Join New Home Sales Expert Myers Barnes and Anthony Grasst with HomeStreet Bank on July 15th from 9:00-10:00 PDT for a results-orientated sales and marketing webinar, Red-Hot Sales and Marketing Solutions.

You’ll learn sensible solutions, new ways of thinking and come out of this webinar with great advice to achieve over the top results.

Click here to learn more AND to register TODAY.

 

 



Posted In: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management

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Leak #22: “Bad Month” Myopia – Leaking Profits: Article 25

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Jun, 24, 2014

One more leak in the profit funnel is buying into the mythology of having a bad month. Having a bad month? Change your calendar!

Most people tend to think in “the now”—focused on the next big sale, and not the one that can happen five months down the road.

This shortsightedness doesn’t lead to sustained success. A businessperson—whether the owner or manager—needs a broader view, taking in both the short- and long-term perspectives.

Take, for instance, this all-too-common sales phrase: “You’ve had a bad month.” There is no such thing as a “bad month”. They come in pairs. You have the beginning of the build cycle, when you pen the deal, and the closing that happens after the construction is completed. One bad month during the build cycle leads to another one when there are no closings because of that slow period.

This problem is compounded even more when you fall behind. Let’s say you set a goal of 48 new home sales in a year, or four per month. January comes and goes without a sale, leaving you four sales behind. To catch up, you need to make eight sales in February, but only get two. Now, you’re going into March with a six-sale deficit. And what is the likelihood that you are going to sell ten homes in March when you’ve only sold a total of two in the previous two months?

Then we have the sales manager who feels bad for the salesperson who is missing the mark. “I’ll give him another 90 days,” says the kindly manager.

You’re really going to give him three more months to catch up? Think about it. What this extension does is sacrifice six months—half a year—of sales.

Multiply every “bad month”, “bad quarter”, or any “bad time” by two.

It’s easier to keep up than to catch up.

Casualness causes casualties.

Remember the 3 S’s: Sales, Starts, and Settlements.

Fiscal year versus calendar year

BOTTOM LINE: If you want to stay in business, don’t take a cavalier attitude toward a “bad month”. It’s the harbinger of a “bad year”.



Posted In: New Home Sales

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Leak #21: Keeping the Non-Performer – Leaking Profits: Article 24

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Jun, 10, 2014

When I work with sales managers, the first lesson I teach them is about the value of behavioral economics. You must be able to remove your emotions when managing people. You’re not just managing systems and processes—like sales and marketing—but also the people who perform those tasks.

But we are human, and it’s hard to be objective in some cases. Someone who is “good people” may not be suited for sales.

When you evaluate an individual’s job performance, you should assess their work behavior as it relates to their specific position and goals. You’re not there to be their friend or surrogate mom, measuring their personal qualities. Separate all that and evaluate the working professional, the person who is paid to do a job.

If you’ve already plugged the leaks such as providing proper sales training (Leak #6), employing proper recruiting techniques (Leak #4), and making sure your models are adequately staffed (Leak #5). If you’ve chosen the right sales approach (Leak #16), identified and trained a sales process (Leak #15) and you are using your sales meetings to their fullest (Leak #14), then you’ve given the proper tools and training to your sales people in order to become a success.

The next step: Evaluating their performance. It’s not personal. It’s business. Don’t personalize your personnel management tasks.

Behavioral economics – Remove your emotions.

It’s not your role to judge an individual as a human being.

Focus on work behaviors and company goals.

Bottom Line: It’s not personal. It’s business. Don’t personalize the management task. Stick to work-related performance and achievements.



Posted In: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training

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Leak #20: Overlooking Professional Standards – Leaking Profits: Article 23

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: May, 27, 2014

In simplest terms, a standard is a mutually agreed way of doing something. Do you set standards in your business? Have you communicated your high standards for behavior and performance to your team?

Be creating these standards for your business, you stem the flow of leaking profits.

Always perform monthly written reviews. Reviews are what the term implies. You review and evaluate the activities and results of the previous month, or quarterly goals based upon activities. It’s a time to inspect the salesperson’s pledge to their business plan. At the end of the review, the salesperson should sign off to indicate they have read, understand, and agree to the review.

Do you monitor their results and hold them accountable? Not doing this will cost you in several areas:

Sales - Are they hitting their goals? By adhering to a predetermined sales process you have benchmarks to make sure they are hitting their goals.

Customer Satisfaction – Are they hitting their goals, but at the cost of happy customers?

Attitude – Are they encouragers and energizers, or just hanging in there?

BOTTOM LINE: If you expect your team to adhere to professional standards, you need to establish, communicate, and monitor them.

By plugging holes we’ve discussed such as setting up proper CRM systems, having online sales counselors, doing proper training and hiring, examining your marketing targets, looking at your sales process, striving to surpass industry standards, and taking into account a whole slew of other leaking profits, you will set your team up for success and give them the tools to hit their goals.



Posted In: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training

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Leak #19: Clinging to Your Unsold Inventory – Leaking Profits: Article 22

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: May, 13, 2014

If cash is king—and, let’s face it, it is!—then cash flow is the savior. When you sell standing inventory, you turn the expense of building materials into cash. When your inventory stays on the market, your investment stagnates.

This is just one of the many leaks you need to consider when looking at your profits. It may feel like an immediate loss, but in reality holding on to it drains other areas you could be focusing on in order to reduce leaking profits.

Healthy cash flow is essential to manage your finances. How long does it take for you to receive payment on your accounts receivables? And how old are your payables? What impact would it have on your business if you could shorten these cycles?

Builders tend to cling to their anniversary inventory, rather than keeping it moving, which would stimulate cash flow. We’re not collectors. We’re sellers. Don’t fall in love with your inventory. Push it out the door.
• Sometimes, you have to cut and run.
• 10% loss means you need to make 11% to breakeven
• 20% = 25%
• 30% = 43%
• 40% = 67%
• 50% = 100%
• 60% = 150%
• 70% = 233%
• 80% = 400%
• 90% = 900%

Consider the “time-value” factor of your money. If you wait for the value to return, you’ve still lost money, because you could have taken the money sooner and invested it elsewhere.

Look at ROI versus ROE (Return on Energy). Standing inventory is a drain on your focus, energy, and productivity every time you look at it. Instead you could be focusing on your marketing, your training, your sales process, these are all places where energy equals profits.

BOTTOM LINE: Falling in love with your standing inventory will cost you.



Posted In: New Home Sales

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Leak #18: Falling prey to “Industry Standards” – Leaking Profits: Article 21

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Apr, 29, 2014

Falling prey to “industry standards” for compensation, benchmarking, and accountability is just one more area to consider when evaluating leaking profits in your home building business. In order to stem the flow of leaking profits you need to set your goals above the standard.

Thus far we’ve talked about many areas where you must evaluate: such as taking into account market share research data, refining your sales approach, and overlooking the cost of your traffic among other leaks.

One of the biggest areas we’ve talked about is looking at your marketing approach. In fact marketing is so important we have two sections on builder marketing for new home sales. By using some of the techniques and information we’ve shared here, you will set yourself above your competition.

While studies have shown how beneficial having on online sales counselor can be for your new home sales business, the majority of your competitors have not embraced this concept. Just as a CRM system is essential, yet so many builders out there use an inferior system allowing those that use a CRM to get ahead of the game.

If you follow along with what everyone else in the industry is doing, you won’t get the edge. If you want to be outstanding, then you need to stand out. Industry standards are designed to be just that—the status quo, the common denominator, an “acceptable” level. Sometimes, we can take the easy way and settle into those habits and patterns that have already been established.

Innovate, don’t emulate.

BOTTOM LINE: Following industry standards are fine for a standard business. If you want to be exceptional, raise the bar.



Posted In: New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training

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Video: All Things Come To Those Who Go After Them

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Apr, 15, 2014

Will Rodgers once said that even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there. Because information, knowledge, and education are only useful when put into action.

The same goes for new home sales training. If you read the books, listen to the videos and attend the seminars, if you don’t put it into action you aren’t going to achieve your goals.

Listen here, and find out the story of under achievement. Find out how to make sure this isn’t your story!

 

Watch More Here



Posted In: New Home Sales Training, New Home Sales Training Video

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Register for The New Rules for New Home Sales webinar!

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Apr, 08, 2014

Click here to register for The New Rules for New Home Sales webinar on Thursday, 4/17 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.!



Posted In: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training, Personal Development

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Leak #17 Neglecting Market Share Research – Leaking Profits: Article 20

Posted by: Myers Barnes | Published: Apr, 01, 2014

You are not working in a bubble. You have competition in the new home sales arena, and if you don’t do your market share research you are adding to other leaking profits mistakes you may be making along the way.

How do you stack up in your market against your competitors? Market share is the percentage of business (or sales) a company wields, out of the combined total of all companies in a given market (known as “market potential”). You could have a percentage of the single-family homes, luxury homes, or homes built within a specified geographic area, to name just a few.

You should be aware of your market share statistics so that you know how you’re doing in the “big picture”. When you know the market potential, you have a much clearer view of your opportunities. Can you see where you can increase your market share? Setting a target of growing market share is a great way to build your profits!

There are two ways of defining market share:

1. Percent of sales: For example, a small builder sells $6 million in a market that represents a total of $300 million in sales; this company’s market share is 2 percent.

2. Sales units: A builder sells 50 units per year, out of the 1,500 total units sold by all competitors in this region; the company’s market share is 3.3 percent.

Get factual information about closed transactions in Land Transfers and/or MLS.

Compare only to other new home sales—not resales, short sales, and foreclosures.

Pay attention to the Four P’s: Place, Product, Price, and Process.
Develop product and pricing to your actual market, rather than gut feelings or existing plans.

BOTTOM LINE: A great barometer for your success in a specific market is your market share.



Posted In: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Training

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