Myers Barnes Blog

Move Now Before Interest Rates Do (Referred To As The “Interest Rate Close”)

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, Personal Development, Real Estate Courses | Posted: December 6, 2016

1Most consumers and sales professionals alike may not understand the urgency of moving now before the interest rates do. However, use the example of rates increasing by merely one percentage point. I’ll illustrate why this is important.

Suppose a home is priced at $295,000. Naturally, the customers we consult with and salespeople we educate represent homes across America that may have prices as little as $199,000 or up in the millions of dollars. But, we’ll take the median of $295,000, purely for example purposes. Now, keep in mind the difference between cost and price. The price of $295,000 is a one-time event, while the interest rate represents a 30 year on-going cost.

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Please note the difference in payment (cost). A mere one-percent increase in interest rates seems small at only $171 per month. However, an increase in the monthly payment (cost) over 30 years is a whopping $61,560!

Using this example, you may want to memorize and internalize the following script (Sales Dialogue) and use it to convey the urgency to your potential customers “to move now before the rates do.”

Prospect: We need to think it over (or) sell our home (or) wait (stall) for whatever reason.

Superachiever: Miss Prospect, may I explain the benefit of moving now, rather than waiting?

Prospect: Yes.

Superachiever: The challenge with waiting involves several factors. First, if you are not aware, interest rates have been considerably rising. As a matter of fact, rising rates are an inevitability. With this in mind, consider how interest rates can affect the value of a brand new home.

When acquiring a home, you must always consider the relationship between cost and price. The price of the home is only $295,000 and is, of course, a one-time consideration and a fixed amount. However, cost is an on-going expense and can dramatically affect the final value of a home. A mere one-percent increase in interest rates represents an additional $171 per month or $61,560 over the entire term of a 30-year loan. When you analyze the situation, it’s as if you can say the price of a $295,000 home will now cost $356,560 if interest rates rise by merely another percentage point. Miss Prospect, my question to you is, “Do you think it’s possible that rates could continue to go up?”

Prospect: I suppose they could.

Superachiever: Then I suggest you consider moving now before the rates do. Does that make sense to you?

Prospect: Yes, when you put it that way, I suppose it makes perfect sense.

Superachiever: Let’s do this. We’ll work together and select the perfect home and place it on the ideal homesite, and simultaneously discuss the best financial program available to fit your unique needs.

With this information and selling strategy, you should be able to take advantage of any move the market and the economy make. Of course, the best information won’t benefit you unless you apply it. So take this information and if it applies to your selling situation, change your selling strategy before the interest rates do.

*Calculations do not include taxes and insurance

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

Easy Street Is A Detour Off The Road To Success

Categories: New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Management Training, Personal Development | Posted: November 29, 2016

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Scott Peck’s classic book, “The Road Less Traveled”, starts with three words:

“Life is difficult.”

Peck first published the bestseller in 1978—before the Internet, smartphones, and all the gadgetry that has been created, presumably, to make our lives less difficult. Has it? Or has technology given us the idea that we can get whatever we want, as fast as we want?

The road to achievement is less traveled, because it is marked with bumps and potholes—obstacles that can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Life not an easy trip. It’s not promised to be. Without challenge, we don’t grow. We don’t learn how to improvise and innovate. We merely move along, accepting the status quo.

Those who want a smooth ride can aim for the easy way out, but what will they miss along the way?

When I hit a bump in the road, I take it as a learning experience. Why did I end up here? Did I take a wrong turn or make a bad decision? Was I basing my choice on incorrect or incomplete information, while ignoring my instincts? What can I take away from this part of my journey?

As much as we would love to take the express route to success, there are no shortcuts. In fact, taking Easy Street is a detour off the road to success.

In his 2008 book, “Outliers: The Story of Success”, Malcom Gladwell presented his “10,000-Hour Rule”. He posited that achieving true mastery—not mere proficiency—of any skill requires 10,000 hours of practice. Becoming an expert doesn’t happen by reading a couple of books or attending a webinar. You have to put that knowledge to work, test it, refine it, and shape it into your own success. That type of achievement doesn’t occur quickly. It can’t.

When you choose speed over commitment, you compromise the outcome. You might even settle for “good enough”, which equates to “average”. Does average make you remarkable? Does average define successful people?

Imagine where we would be if everyone took the easy way out. Mediocrity might replace the exceptional. We would settle for what we have. People might attempt to strive for something more, but they would give up short of reaching the goal.

Easy Street is a dead-end road for anyone who desires true success. Don’t delay your journey with shortcuts.

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

The Power Of The Positive “No”

Categories: Customer Service, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management Training, New Home Sales Training, Personal Development | Posted: November 15, 2016

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Former British prime minister Tony Blair once said, “The art of leadership is not saying ‘Yes’. It is saying ‘No’.”

Saying “no” to a request, an offer, or invitation doesn’t have to negative. We just need to learn how to say “No” in the right way.

Warren Buffett told William Ury, author of “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In”, “I don’t understand all this Yes stuff. In my line of business, the most important word is ‘No’. I sit there all day and look at investment proposals and say, ‘No’, ‘No’, ‘No’—until I see exactly what I’m looking for. And then I say, ‘Yes.’”’

Even Ury himself said, “the main obstacle to getting to Yes is learning how to say ‘No’ properly.”

Why is it so difficult?

I think it’s because we perceive the word “No” as negative, limiting, and off-putting. So, we say “Yes” when we shouldn’t. We agree to terms that aren’t reasonable. We commit our time to things that aren’t worthwhile.

Then what happens? We grudgingly go through with what we agreed to do. We kick ourselves, and moan about “what I should have said.” So, let’s put an end to that pain.

Aim for a positive “No”. Rather than a blunt refusal, offer another possibility.

“I can certainly appreciate your needs here, and maybe we can find a different way to meet them that is more mutually agreeable.”

You’ve nicely said rejected the offer without ending the conversation.

“I’d like to do that for you, but right now, I can’t. Is there any flexibility in your timeline?”

You let the person know that you’re busy but still willing to help, if and when possible.

“I wish I could help, but I’m tied up; however, I might know someone who can.”

You provide an alternative, by saying “Yes” to helping, but on a different level—offering another resource.

The words “Yes” and “No” don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The successful way to deliver a positive “No” is by finding a way to blend the negative response with a positive one. “No, but…” or “Yes, but…” provide a sturdy bridge.

Someone once told me, “Every time you say ‘yes’ to someone else, you say ‘no’ to yourself.” Remind yourself of that. Respect the value of your time and hone the skill of delivering a positive “No”.

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

Rethinking the Sales Process

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: November 1, 2016

transferring-innovation-from-science-to-businessThe new home sales process is a science and, as with any scientific field, gut feelings and hunches do not play a role. A good business plan should be developed with a solid strategy and an understanding that selling and marketing new homes consists of four components.

Labeled the Four Ps, they were popularized by Proctor & Gamble and are utilized by industry giants such as General Electric and Microsoft. The Four P’s are effective because they break the sales and marketing process into four parts: Place, Product, Price & Promotion.

PLACE. You’ve heard the old adage: The three keys to buying real estate are location, location, location. It’s absolutely true.

The successful builder/developer understands that people don’t just live in homes. They live in a particular area, within the confines of a neighborhood in which the homes are located. Location is the factor that separates one neighborhood from another. Any builder/developer can, for the most part, construct homes at approximately the same cost per square foot, provided comparable materials are used. But the one single factor that changes the perception of value is where one home is located over another.

PRODUCT. Who is your competition? It is either other builders, or, in the case of an established neighborhood, your competition may be the resale market. You should only enter a market when your product has a perceived value that surpasses your competition.

When evaluating housing designs and floor plans, study the area’s past 12- to 24-month sales history. If a distinct market-share has been established with three-bedroom, 2.5 bath homes, then do not attempt to reinvent the wheel. Enter the marketplace with a proven design and simply add enhancements such as vaulted ceilings, spa baths, walk-in closets, or a better use of square footage. Then, you are sure to gain your fair percentage of market share.

PRICE. Again, gut feelings and hunches play no role in determining the price point for your homes. Price cannot ultimately be determined by your desire for a certain profit margin, but rather by what consumers have paid in the past.

Price is easily determined by comparable values, which can be accessed through MLS. To disregard historical pricing data and produce a product at prices that are not proven in the marketplace is writing your own invitation to disaster.

PROMOTION. Contrary to popular belief, promotion is not limited to just a good “sales process.” To reach a target audience, you must effectively plan and budget. My personal belief is that your marketing, merchandising, and products should be so good that they could almost make you, as a salesperson, obsolete.

Today’s great salespeople have developed a new mindset: They recognize that success no longer depends on communicating the value of the offering, but instead rests on the salesperson’s ability to “create value” for customers. Builders and developers who delude themselves into believing that selling is easy and strictly a function of building houses will be beat like a drum in the marketplace. It is important to grasp this truth: A sales process is a series of actions and systems directed toward the end result, which is creating a sale on purpose.

In most cases, failure in the marketplace is the result of poor planning. The Four P’s – Place, Product, Price and Promotion – are like a four-legged stool. If each is not weighted proportionately and backed with a proven sales process, the stool will wobble and become unbalanced. If the four areas are not balanced, you may see your sales topple just like a lopsided stool.

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

Healthy Competition. How Will You Stand Out From The Crowd?

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Management Training, Personal Development, Real Estate Courses | Posted: October 18, 2016

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As any U.S. builder knows, housing is a competitive business. But imagine for a moment if it wasn’t.

Think about Google. Google is a monopoly because it has no real competition. No other search engines—not even those from Microsoft or Yahoo—can come close to its level of popularity. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel told Business Insider magazine that Google is a monopoly because it’s “a kind of company that’s so good at what it does that no other firm can offer a close substitute,” a company that’s “10x” better at what it does than anybody else.

Google has no competition and thus does not compete with any other companies and needs no advertising or salespeople for its distribution. Sounds nice, right?

Now, back to reality. In an uber-competitive marketplace like home building, other builders are constantly breathing down your neck. Of course, ideas like sales processes, advertising, and model homes are important but in our industry price is king. A competitive building company must sell its homes at a market price and–like it or not– you don’t get to decide the price.

Price should be determined by comparable values, which can be accessed through MLS. The market dictates the price, and to disregard the market with prices that are higher than what the market will bear, you will swim upstream into futility.

One more thing: Because housing is so competitive, successful companies must differentiate themselves from the crowd in order to make the sale. And it takes more than just building a “quality” house to differentiate.

As you already know, the home building industry is not like Google. It is market driven, so pick your market carefully and have a solid strategy in place to stand out from the competition. In my next blog I’ll address the four pillars of successful sales and marketing.

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

Nix the naysayers. Their toxicity can be terminal!

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, Personal Development | Posted: October 4, 2016

Four blank white speech bubblesYou know some of those people. No matter what you say, they reply with a negative comment.

You say it looks like a nice day. They tell you to expect foul weather.

You talk about the opportunities that lay ahead. They focus on the obstacles. They’ll tell you “it can’t be done.”

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

People who always steer toward the negative side are destined to remain unfulfilled. Maybe they tell you that this pessimism is based on experience, but I believe they are the drivers of their success or failure. Those people who thrive are the ones who nix the naysayers. They have more faith in what’s possible than what others tell them is beyond that realm.

Every invention we enjoy today resulted from someone trying harder and believing in possibility. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 ways to invent electricity. Some might say he failed. He viewed it as the path to his success. “I have not failed,” he said. “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

If you want to succeed in life and work, focus on what you can do, what you positivitycan change, and what you want to achieve. It doesn’t matter what others tell you. Determination and positivity will take you much farther than even your skill. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team because his coach thought he wasn’t good enough. He didn’t let that negative belief stop him. He worked harder, practiced relentlessly. And he became one of the best professional basketball players of all time.

Walt Disney was fired from his first job as a newspaper cartoonist. His editor thought he had no creative ideas.

Avoid negative thinkers. They’re toxic to your success. Don’t let their poison seep into your belief in yourself.

We are the sum of our choices and the reflection of our beliefs. Choose well. Believe in yourself. Success will be your reward.

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

Selling Is A Dialogue, Not A Conversation.

Categories: Customer Service, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: September 27, 2016

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Recently, I was talking with a great sales executive who was explaining the concept of “conversational selling”. He told me that this particular process is a more “people-friendly experience for the buyer. If we maintain control while simultaneously keeping it real with people, the comfort experienced by most of them will result in a successful sale.”

I heard what he was saying. I’ve heard it many times before.

I just don’t happen to harmonize with it.

A “conversation” isn’t purposeful. You engage in conversation with people on the street, in the grocery store, while waiting in line. It’s often a time-filler, a casual back-and-forth that can be entertaining, enlightening, or possibly thought provoking.

But what conversation lacks is purpose. You don’t venture into a conversation with a desired outcome in mind. You offer a thought, the recipient lobs one back, and you volley from there. It can drift away into unexpected tangents, and you let it—simply because that’s the interesting miscellany of conversation.

A “dialogue”, on the other hand, is a scene that is played out, in advance, in your mind. Like a director with a screenplay, your dialogue is intended to communicate a specific point, to reach a conclusion.

In the pre-Internet days, you delivered a sales presentation. It was one-sided. We served up persuasive content, carefully crafted to influence the buyer by dangling those carrots that would prompt a bite. It was, in reality, a monologue.

The Internet created a vehicle for people to browse, research, study, and even engage in conversation. Buyers today come to you with far more knowledge and insight than ever before. With the advent of social media, they’ve also become accustomed to conversation and building virtual relationships in this way.

Sales presentations have evolved, as some trainers rebranded the sales presentation and named it “sales conversation”. Selling became more about relationship building than the feature-benefit presentational approach. This connection has grown from communication that encourages trust.

I respect the idea here, yet I believe we need to commit more deeply to the goal. Instead on conversation, engage in a “sales dialogue”. Prepare yourself for the role of salesperson by knowing the outcome you desire, and then crafting the exchange to achieve it. Sure, go ahead and achieve a friendly relationship through the casual banter of conversation. I’m not advising that you skip this step. I am, however, suggesting that you use the opportunity in a more purposeful way.

Prepare the dialogue in advance. Fine-tune it so that the language delivers a message of knowledge and honesty, with healthy dose of persuasion. Study the dialogue. Create scripts that enable you to be prepared to address objections in a friendly, but guided manner.

When you watch a television show or movie, you’re hearing dialogue that has been wordsmithed, with the purpose of guiding you to a specific emotional response. The writers craft the language as interplay between two people. It’s not ad-libbed. You won’t succeed without preparation. Create a dialogue that prompts purposeful engagement between the salesperson and potential buyer. Remember that the scene should not waft along in conversation, but move along a guided path to the desired outcome—the close.

 

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

There’s Always A Reason To Celebrate. Are You Taking The Time?

Categories: Personal Development, Uncategorized | Posted: September 20, 2016

 

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If you’re like me, you’ve missed a load of opportunities to throw a good party. Celebrations shouldn’t be limited to birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and occasions like those. We need to step up and recognize life’s achievements and rewards.

We need to celebrate. And party.

I should have thrown a party when my best buddy of a son was born. I would have themed that celebration “The greatest gift from God”. I would have shared my blessing and my thankfulness with everyone and anyone who wanted to come to my Baby Joy Party. I would have opened up my giddiness and wonderment that I was gifted with such a perfect child. I still celebrate my son, who is grown and married, and forever my best friend.

The day after I met Lorena, I should have thrown an “I Met My Partner” party. I knew she was perfect for me, but I mostly kept it to myself. My wife is still the most amazing woman I have ever known, the one who doesn’t just tolerate my “uniqueness” but seems to actually enjoy my quirks. Lorena is my steady heartbeat, and the reason my heart skips a beat every time I return home from a trip and see her smiling face.

Making the last car payment or mortgage payment is a reason to celebrate. A “One Less Big Debt” party is a great way to remind yourself and others that there’s an end to indebtedness, that you should reward yourself for making a promise and keeping it.

Being cancer-free for seven years was a milestone worth celebrating. How did I miss that one? I think, like many survivors, you hold your breath a little, exhaling with each month and each year that the doctor tells you that your body is winning the fight. In the midst of my battle with cancer, I couldn’t see seven months in the future, let alone seven years. Yes, I should have thrown that party, for sure.

When I found my Lord and Savior, I celebrated, but in a peaceful way. Why didn’t I share the joy with family and friends? Why didn’t I see that this new relationship deserved more than the internal joy and comfort it gave me?

Not long ago, I sponsored one of the most joyous celebrations of my life. My soon-to-be daughter-in-law put together a rehearsal dinner party at the wedding venue in Mexico. It was most certainly the most festive celebration of the love between two people and the connection with their families that I have ever attended. My son is now experiencing the kind of love I always wished for him, the wholehearted, forever love I have with my wife, Lorena.

I sit here and wonder at all the blessings I’ve had in my life. I’ve loudly celebrated many of them. I overlooked the significance of others. I’ve learned that celebrations aren’t marked by the calendar, but the moments in your life. Take note of them. Party it up to remind yourself that joy comes in many ways. What I choose to celebrate is up to me. I might throw a big bash, or maybe just Myers Barnes, party of one.

 

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

The Art Of the Turnaround

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training, Uncategorized | Posted: September 13, 2016

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My clients consider me a “turnaround specialist,” which is, by definition, a person with special knowledge and ability who is devoted to one area of study and research.

Elaine Morgan, an author who wrote several books on evolutionary anthropology, explained her preoccupation with a singular topic this way: A specialist tends to think in grooves.

That’s how I think. My focus of study is on selling homes and my particular groove is selling NEW homes. As a result, I have been fortunate to excel in sales strategy, and the art of the turnaround.

That sets me apart from most of the sales trainers in the industry today. It has become my Unique Selling Proposition (USP). I’ve built a reputation for helping salespeople, managers, builders and companies get from where they are to where they want to be. I teach them how to reverse direction and to stay on track until they achieve profitability.

Not a simple task, if you think about it. Most folks confuse a groove with a rut. They believe they’re focused and heading in the right direction, but in reality, they’re just digging a deeper hole. They’ve lost their vision.

When I’m able to turn them around and give them a fresh perspective, they get their groove back. They are re-energized, rededicated and ready to put their own spin on success.

What about you? Are you in the grove of innovation of the turnaround that can help you with your comeback?

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

Learning Lessons

Categories: Customer Service, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training | Posted: September 6, 2016

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If you’ve been with me for any amount of time, then you know I’m all about reading books and spreading and sharing knowledge. As a result, I often have in-depth conversations with friends and colleagues about what we’re reading. As you can guess, the topics we cover are broad.

 

Recently, I was talking with a friend who is reading a book called “ Making Sense of Who God is.” One chapter focuses on God’s will, defining His “revealed will” and His “secret will.” God’s revealed will is spelled out in the Bible: Don’t steal or murder. Be kind and courteous. Love your enemies. Don’t lie. Be grateful. Sell lots of new homes. Ok. That last one was my take on Matthew 19:21: “Go and sell what you have…”

 

God’s secret will is not quite as easy to pinpoint. Should you switch jobs, marry this person, have a child, move, buy a new car, borrow for a home addition, etc.? How can you even know the secret will of God?

 

The answer, according to the author, is to get to know the character of God. The more time you spend with Him in Bible study and in prayer, the more you get to know His character and, consequently, His secret will for you.

 

I mention this because it’s the same principle in relationships. Take a husband and wife, for instance. The wife comes home tired from working all day and has to cook dinner, help the kids with their homework, clean house, etc. The husband is sitting in the living room reading the newspaper and watching TV. She thinks, “Boy, I wish he would get up out of his La-Z-Boy and help me. I know if I ask him to, he will; but I expect him to see that I’m tired and I need him to pitch in because he wants to … not because he has to.”

 

As it plays out in real life, if she does not reveal her “secret will,” her husband — who is basically clueless — doesn’t respond. Because he does not see her need and meet her expectations, she becomes hurt and angry.

 

Nice lesson, but what does any of this have to do with new home sales? Well, I’ve given you this lengthy explanation to set the foundation for this statement: Every potential buyer you meet has a secret will and a revealed will. They may tell you some of the things they want in a home and neighborhood; but to know what they really want, you must spend time with them. Observe. Diagnose. Get to know them. Study their character. Learn how they think. Then you will understand how to respond to their needs, their home-buying objections, their desires and the “secret will” they have as a homebuyer. You will also know when to quit selling, either because they’re ready to buy or because they don’t want to buy.

 

Why is this important? Because the majority of new home salespeople are content to sit on their La-Z-Boys. They don’t make the effort to get up, get out and get to know the homebuyer. If you do, you’ll elevate your sales from second-rate to superstar status. And that’s my revealed will for you.

 

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