Myers Barnes Blog

Selling New Homes Isn’t Easy

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: September 1, 2015

New Home Sales

Selling new homes isn’t easy. Check that. Selling them successfully isn’t easy.

I’ve seen some sales counselors show up at the model home, go through the motions of calling prospects and following up with leads. They arrive when the model is scheduled to open and leave when the schedule says so.

They aren’t the most effective ones. They want the results but don’t want to put forth the effort that goes into being successful with new home sales. But sadly, these sales “professionals” represent a large majority in our industry.

There is no set schedule in this business. You don’t work 9 to 5, and then turn off your selling mindset. It’s on—24/7. You work every Saturday and Sunday, because that’s when people buy new homes. You take your days off during the week, sometimes not consecutively. You can have your vacation, of course, but you work hard to make it happen. Even though, your mind is focused on how to do better, where to find leads, and how to bring a tough prospect to close. You’re reading up on current sales strategy and listening to audio books in your mobile university (your car, on airplanes).

As a new home sales professional—as in any sales career—you will experience rejection. Deals that seemed like slam-dunks will fall through. It happens. You’re dealing with buyers who are making the biggest financial decision of their lives, and emotions run high. You’re not just a sales professional. You’re a therapist.

You will counsel homebuyers through their fears, guide them through the decisions that may seem minor, but will have a major impact on their future.

You do all this because new home selling is not a job. It’s a lifestyle. And a mindset. You enjoy helping people to achieve the dream of owning a new home. You relish that moment when you hand over the keys and your homebuyers start a new life.

And you reap the rewards that come with being in the top three percent of the income bracket in this country. Yes, the money is great—but only when YOU are.

I believe that, no matter what career you choose, you should choose to be exceptional. There is no other way to live your life than to do it to the fullest. New Home Sales is not easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

What’s your backyard style?

Categories: New Home Sales | Posted: August 25, 2015

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 10.45.44 AM

Customize your backyard to suit your style, the same way you’d customize the inside of your home! It’s always best to have a plan, so do some research, gather ideas, look at photos, and sketch out a design before jumping into a backyard renovation.

Some style inspirations…

  • Japanese Garden: If you’re looking for Zen and relaxation, this is the perfect style for you! Designed to reflect the philosophical life outlook, your backyard would include stone gardens, traditional Japanese plants and maybe even a small fishpond, not for your children to play in of course.
  • Southern Charm Backyard: Quickly becoming all of the rage, string lights and Mason jar candles, mugs, etc. are the perfect way to add that romantic magic to your backyard. Landscaping, we can’t forget the landscaping. To add that perfect touch, delicate landscaping (forget-me-nots, tulips, a willow tree if you can find a spare) is a must.
  • Ultimate Playground: If you’ve got kids running around, the best way to have them not make a mess is outside of the house! What better way to spend time with your kids than in your own backyard? Try to plot out a place for a bonfire to roast s’mores, finding a hefty branch to harness a tire swing, or even creating an outdoor lounge to read, create and relax with your kids. All of these DIY projects are as quick and easy as A,B,C!
  • Green on Green: Ever heard of farm to table? Well what about backyard to table? Growing your own fruits, veggies & herbs is easier than you think! A sunny spot and good soil are the basic necessities. (You don’t even need a lot of space. You can use containers!) Then you just need to figure out whether you want to grow tomatoes and cucumbers, or raspberries and melons, or basil and thyme… Or maybe all of them!

Whatever your aesthetic, be sure to turn your backyard into a place where you and your family want to be! Stepping out your door should mean stepping into a retreat of your own, whether it be to relax in a hammock, refresh your green thumb or be a kid again – be sure to be outside this summer!

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

5 ways to brighten your home up for the summer

Categories: New Home Sales, Uncategorized | Posted: August 18, 2015

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 10.34.14 AMBrightening up your home is easier than you think. There are plenty of affordable cosmetic changes you can make to bring summer into your home.

  1. Bright Pops of Color

Using fruity colors – lemon yellow, tangerine, lime green or berry pink – is an easy way to perk up any space. With a fresh coat of paint, funky furniture, area rugs or throw pillows, you can add a dash of summer zest in no time at all. Bright red and deep navy are also hot colors this summer.

  1. Whiten Up

Adding more white to the color palette will give any room a clean and bright look. Lighten up dark rooms with crisp white walls or luminous accessories like white linen pillows or timeless white dishes.

  1. Hit The Beach

A simple and affordable way to bring the beach home – create a display of shells, coral or pebbles on a table or shelf. Hang photos from your last beach vacation. Go wild with a tropical looking shower curtain or placemats. Or try the instant beachiness of a bamboo or rattan chair.

  1. Go For Silver

Silver and glass are always bright and sparkly, with a touch of elegance. Glass mirrored surfaces reflect light and brighten a room. Try an actual mirror or mirrored containers. New shiny silver or crystal lamps or light fixtures are an easy way to change up your décor – and add some summer shimmer.

  1. Au Natural

Bring the outside in. Create an accent wall with a natural hue like grass green or sky blue. Then accessorize with rocks, stones, fresh cut flowers or live plants, and jute or sisal rugs for an organic outdoorsy look.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

How social media has influenced design & decorating

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management | Posted: August 11, 2015

 

In recent years, the home design and decor industry has grown into one of the largest DIY sectors; and social media has played a vital role in generating this growth.

Social media has undisputedly changed the home design and decor industry. Websites like Pinterest & Houzz are being used by DIY homeowners and professional designers alike, offering global access to free resources, and allowing searchers to tap into amazing talent through social media conversations and groups. The days of flipping through sample books and design magazines, and watching DIY TV shows, are fading into obscurity.

Pinterest has revolutionized the DIY idea market and its influence on home decor.

In fact, most of the popular home decor sites in the U.S. receive maximum referrals through Pinterest. And the Houzz website brings dozens of different styles of architecture right in your living room. From a simple DIY idea for your garage, to designing your entire apartment, Houzz has it all.

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 10.26.23 AM

Social media is influencing our dream homes by changing the way we dream about them! For starters, social media has kindled an interest in aesthetics and design. People across the world now have access to incredible resources when designing their own living spaces. Social media, and its tools, let them experiment with colors, patterns and finishes – often for free. These sites have become THE place for people to draw inspiration and find ways to make their homes a manifestation of their personality.

Professional designers, decorators and vendors appreciate the effects of social media, too. They get better interactions and opportunities using social media, and that feedback can be used to develop new products and services. They can reach out to people they never thought of before and access to their knowledge.

The professionals do have some qualms about the effects of Pinterest & Houzz, noting that there is no substitute for actual design expertise. While there is a time for crowdsourcing (creating something through online collaboration) and using social media as a sounding board, having a personal (i.e. live) interaction with a design professional is still the best way to get guidance for larger design projects. After all, most design professionals have years of training and experience that allow them to handle a variety of construction and design issues.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

De-stress your home buying process. Get organized!

Categories: New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Process | Posted: August 4, 2015

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 10.15.41 AM

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to keep on top of everything? Get organized. Develop a system and stick to it! Many financial institutions have apps, checklists and guides you can download to create a smooth home buying experience.

Here are some tips to stay organized as you search for and/or buy a home:

  1. Keep track of where you’ve been—and what homes you like

As you search various homes, it’s easy to forget what features stood out to you. Did it have walk-in closets? A finished basement? Does it have enough bathrooms? To help you remember the amenities of each house, use a homebuyer’s checklist with detailed information about each property you see, including:

  1. The location and style of home
  2. Type of construction
  3. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  4. Features, such as fireplace, fenced-in yard and laundry room

There are also many smartphone apps, such as the My New HomeSM app, that can help you keep track of these items and allow you to rate homes and store photos.

  1. Have your paperwork together, so you’re ready to apply for a mortgage

You’ll need to collect several documents when you apply for a mortgage. Gathering those now will save you time later. Mortgage lenders usually need:

  1. All pay stubs for the past month
  2. W-2 tax statements from the past two years (If you’re self-employed, you need two years personal and business taxes.)
  3. Bank or investment statements for the past three months
  4. The home purchase contract between you and the seller

You should also think about how to best store your documents, such as in an envelope or tabbed binder that fits legal-sized papers, for easy access.

  1. Stay on top of contact names, phone numbers, emails.

Your new home search may take months, and involve dozens of people – realtors, salespeople, contractors, appraisers, inspectors, mortgage professionals, consultants, etc. Making yourself a chart or spreadsheet of contacts with all of their pertinent info will help you keep track of everything – and is easier to maintain than an unwieldy stack of business cards. 

  1. Get ready to move into your new home

It’ll take some time and organization to prepare for the big move, especially since you’ll likely be closing on your new home at the same time. Even though it will seem as though there aren’t enough hours to get it all done, don’t rush it. Make sure you plan properly, so you have time to do it right and don’t miss, lose or break anything along the way.

Try using a moving timeline to organize your move. It has hints for what to start packing from six weeks out right up to moving day. Plus, there are handy reminders for things you may have not considered, such as filling out a change of address form, notifying your children’s old and new schools, and transferring prescriptions to a new pharmacy.

The bottom line: Buying a new home doesn’t have to make you a ball of stress. By getting organized, you can make the whole process as stress-free as possible.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

How Millennials Are Changing The Rules Of Homebuying

Categories: New Home Sales | Posted: July 28, 2015

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 10.05.54 AMAs a demographic cohort, Millennials (aka Generation Y) have been confounding people for years. They simply don’t behave the way that people expect them to. Their response to the homebuying process is no different.

In a recent article on Forbes“Millennial Money” blog, the Millennial approach to homebuying was labeled “really weird”. And what makes them so weird is a complex combination of economic and sociological factors that no previous generation has faced.

Thanks to the insecure job market and unprecedented student loan debt, Millennials (age early 20’s – early 30’s) have developed a rather unromantic approach to buying real estate. Couples aren’t getting married, but they are buying homes in cities. They aren’t putting down roots, instead fixing up their new homes and then selling them within a year or two.

Yup, it’s weird. And it’s the shape of things to come. Millennials represent the largest segment (32%) of homebuyers in America, and that number will only grow in the coming years.

20-somethings are using their first homes to increase their credit scores and build credibility with the bank – possibly offsetting the ponderous effect of student loan debt. While they are cash poor (which makes down payments a struggle), many Millennials are able to start their real estate ventures with special programs that financial institutions have established for first time buyers.

Financial advisors have some warnings though. While investing in real estate is more exciting and tangible than contributing to a 401k, Millennials should exercise a level of risk management. Owning real estate involves more fees and expenses – taxes, HOA fees, debt payments. Managing savings and investing in life insurance to offset the debt risk is one recommendation. A prenuptial agreement outlining the financial responsibilities of two unmarried people owning real estate is another.

If this all sounds terribly pragmatic, it is. The Millennials want the American Dream of owning a home. They’re just doing their way, as usual.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

Know The Market Before You Sell Your Home!

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management | Posted: July 21, 2015

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 9.55.02 AMWhen you’re looking to sell your home, you have a vested interest in its value. What you really need to know is how much similar homes in your area are selling for. The same information is also useful if you are in the market to buy a home.

Trusting a neighbor for information on home prices may have once been the norm, but in the current market, it might lead to misinformation. Sellers or buyers can get inaccurate information on a sale because a neighbor may be embarrassed to admit it was a short-sell or they lost their house.

Because real estate sales are a matter of public record, home sale prices are easy to find. However, the days of searching town or county records have been replaced with Web searches that exchange privacy for free information.

  1. Visit a residential real estate website such as com, Realtor.com or Homes.com. Navigate to the “homes sold” page, and type in the address of the home you’re looking for.
  1. Contact a realtor. Even though everyone has access to online websites or neighborhood gossip for details on homes prices, local experts are still recommended for the most accurate information. Find out which realtor closed the sale, then phone or email them to get the price.

Double-checking both the online info and the realtor’s for the sake of accuracy is good practice.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

 

 

Increase Traffic By Staging Your Home The Right Way

Categories: New Home Sales | Posted: July 14, 2015

Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 9.40.36 AMStaging your home is proven to increase traffic and even your sale price, so take the time to stage each room to best show off its assets, and downplay its flaws. The first rule of staging, though, is cleanliness. Above all, every room must be pristine.

Bathroom: Grimy bathroom walls & shower doors are a major red flag to buyers. Spray down the walls with a bleach & water solution, and watch the mold disappear. Clean the shower doors with a muriatic acid and water solution and steel wool. If your tiles are looking old and beat, paint them with epoxy to update the look. Give the whole room a fresh coat of paint.

Closets: Buyers need to see empty closets and/or clean cabinets. So, start tossing stuff. In the kitchen, arrange pantry items (jars, bottles, cans) in some semblance of order, and neatly stack the dishes. In the closets, hang similar items together and facing the same direction. Line up your shoes.

Kitchen: Revive dated cabinetry with a coat of paint or stain. Update door and drawer hardware. New appliances are always a plus – they instantly say “new kitchen!” If that’s not possible, make sure the ones you have are spotless. Make sure every surface is clean – no crumbs, grease or stains.

Living Room: Revive old hardwood floors. Replace/repair damaged sections, then refinish them in a rich new color. Declutter your built-ins. Remove personal items. Remove excess furniture.

Bedrooms: Declutter shelves, bookcases, surfaces. Remove personal items. Remove excess furniture. Bedrooms should look peaceful and comfortable. In the master bedroom, add a headboard if you don’t have one. It makes the room seem more luxurious. If bedding isn’t show-worthy, buy a “bed in a bag”. Then, paint the walls with a coordinating color. Instant sophistication.

Exterior: No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers.

Myers Barnes is America’s favorite new home sales trainer, author, speaker and consultant.  For more information, please visit www.myersbarnes.com.

If You Want Great Salespeople, Be a Great Sales Manager

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training | Posted: July 7, 2015

Sucessful sales peopleIt’s always a joy to take pride when your sales team succeeds. You know that you played a part in achieving those results. Do you also give yourself the “credit” for their misses? Do you ask yourself how you could have helped them achieve better results?

There’s a simple truth when it comes to sales management. If you want great salespeople, be a great sales manager. Give them a role model to follow. Empower them with the skills they need to thrive.

Here are five traits I look for in a great sales manager:

  1. Self-awareness. A sales manager who is keenly aware of his own strengths and weaknesses demonstrates a valuable ability to be flexible, able to quickly adapt and respond to others. Self-awareness reflects an intuitive nature that enables you to tune into your individual salespeopple as well as yourself.
  2. Effective multi-tasker. Managing a team means you must juggle a variety of issues and challenges simultaneously. You don’t have the luxury of tackling one task at a time. You need to be able to pull the members of your team together and keep them coordinated at all times. When any member feels overlooked, you compromise that individual’s success, and frankly, you become less valuable to the team.
  3. Tuned in. In your role as sales manager, you need to know about the prospects that your salespeople are working with. You should be aware of any opportunities they might be overlooking so you can guide them to greater success. By educating yourself about their customers, you also demonstrate your interest in their work, which is a key motivator.
  4. A meeting master. Sales meetings can be a total waste of time that could be spent driving sales, but they are an essential communication and training tool. A great sales manager controls the sales meeting, ensuring it doesn’t wander off point. Be aware of the meeting’s objective at the outset—and make it clear to the sales team. When you stay on task, you show your salespeople how to maximize their time for best results.
  5. Goal-setter. Great sales managers understand that great salespeople thrive on meeting and exceeding goals. Work individually with your team members to set goals, monitor the progress, and evaluate the results.

No matter how great your salespeople are, there is always room to improve. Capitalize on these five traits to help them realize their potential.

Inspire Your Team – Then Get Out of Their Way!

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales Training | Posted: June 23, 2015

inspire and leadI recently wrote about the difference between leaders and managers. A leader’s role is to inspire people and motivate them to achieve results. A manager supervises the execution of tasks. They are both essential in an organization, but shouldn’t be considered synonymous.

It is also the job of a leader to recognize when it’s time to pull back and let the followers move forward. Let them off their leashes. In other words, inspire your team-then get out of their way!

Once you have sparked that enthusiasm in your group, don’t keep tugging them along. Set them free to use that passion, that knowledge, and that energy to achieve results. Let them explore their potential without your hand guiding them.

Think of professional athletes. Every day, their coaches work with them, preparing them to push themselves to the brink, in order to get that win. On the day of the game, when the smell of victory is just 60 minutes away, does the coach keep preparing them? No. He gives them that last Knute Rockne speech about spirit, drive, and achievement. And he steps out of the way so his team can rush out and use the skills he has honed in them.

Can you do the same? Do you recognize when your sales professionals are trained, motivated, and ready to go? Can you take yourself out of their way?

Successful leadership cultivates future leaders. To do so, you have to empower them with the necessary skills and then allow them to apply what you’ve taught them. Only then can they be on their way to achieving their potential.

It’s okay to stand on the sidelines and watch your players push for the sales victory. Take pride that you have prepared them. And remember that their success is a direct reflection of yours.