Myers Barnes Blog

Leaders Versus Managers: What’s the Difference?

Categories: New Home Sales Training | Posted: May 12, 2015

interview clipboardAny successful organization requires strong leadership and management—two different skill sets, not one. They co-exist, leading the group towards achieving goals, but with different methods.

A leader inspires and motivates others to achieve greater potential.
A manager handles, maintains, and supervises the completion of tasks.
And we need both in order to spark a group and then maintain its power, ability, and achievement in the long run.

As legendary software pioneer Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper once said, “You manage things; you lead people.”

You might find all of the qualities in one person, but don’t expect it. While it’s not necessarily a right brain-left brain sort of distinction, there are unique characteristics that define the person who excels in either leading or managing.

The leader: Visionary and inspiring

  • Positive: A glass-half-full mentality is required, because a true leader knows anything is possible, if you believe and can erase the negative thoughts that just hold you back.
  • Charismatic: People are attracted to the individual who is charming, relaxed, and easy to talk to. If people don’t like you, they won’t follow you. Without followers, you’re not a leader.
  • Enthusiastic: Communicates with energy—but not baseless cheerleading.
  • Creative: Sees potential in everything and can turn a bad situation around with creative thinking.
  • Open-minded: Welcomes new ideas, no matter where they come from.
  • Self-confident: Not cocky or arrogant, but confident in his or her own ability, so this person doesn’t feel threatened by others.
  • Self-aware: Keenly aware of his or her own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Inspiring: Sees potential in others and inspires them to achieve.
  • Perceptive: Awareness isn’t just restricted to being self-aware, but also detecting the highs and lows in other people. Being able to successfully “read” other people gives the effective leader the advantage of using visual clues to trigger more effective responses—which then inspires others to follow.

The manager: Organized and responsive

  • Knowledgeable: Knowing the systems, processes, and technology inside and out is essential so that the task master understands what’s involved in getting things done right.
  • Structured: Organized and systematic in everything. A good manager creates processes that make sense to the group, and can be replicated, scaled, or executed even without the manager’s supervision.
  • Dedicated: Forget the clock-watchers. Management requires commitment to seeing the task completed, no matter what it takes.
  • Versatile: Needs to handle a variety of assignments, manage different personalities, and sometimes step in on a hands-on basis.
  • Focused: A goal is not a wish. An effective manager stays the course with discipline and tunes out the distractions that get in the way.
  • Communicative: Today’s managers can’t bark orders with the “Because I said so” mentality. Sharing information with team members and making sure they’re on board with the objectives is key to effective management.
  • Accountable: Remember, there is no “I” in “T-E-A-M”. The manager is in charge and therefore responsible for outcomes, good or bad. However, in those “good” cases, an effective manager knows the share the credit with the team.
  • Resilient: A setback is just a challenge to a successful manager. They don’t allow themselves to get paralyzed when a problem arises, but bounce back with effective action.

When you’re hiring or cultivating talent, compare the individual’s qualities with these lists, and you’ll have a better idea of how they can benefit your business.

You’re Not a Builder, You’re a Technology Company

Categories: New Home Sales Training | Posted: April 24, 2015

Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi wrote, “I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?”

Why am I sharing this? Well, I find that businesses that build homes are a bit unclear as to what they offer to their homebuyers. If we apply Zhuangzi’s principle, are you a builder who utilizes technology to reach your customers and maintain a relationship? Or are you a technology company that uses this expertise to build homes that your buyers want and find?

You can use your building skills to construct homes – so can anyone else with the knowledge and craftsmen.

use virtual floorplans and other technology to set yourself above your competition in new home salesThe vast array of technology tools – website development, social media, virtual floor plans, mobile apps, GPS, QR codes, Google analytics – are those that differentiate you from other builders. When you leverage these power tools to communicate the part of your business that builds new homes, you can market and sell them. You can find your buyers more adeptly. You can locate and reach out to them and pull the right buyers out of a crowd. You can measure their response to your messaging, and alter it as needed.

Imagine if you work conventionally, showing elevations, floor plans, and site maps to potential homebuyers. Now, step it up as you think like a technology company. You pull out your tablet and instantly customize a virtual floor plan to their changes. You add the exterior touches they want. And with one touch of your finger, you send a three-dimensional image to their mobile device.
You’re hosting an open house at your model home. You’re hoping the traffic will pick up. And you wait. Not exactly proactive, is it?

Or you shift to technology mode and post instant updates on Twitter and Facebook, with incentives that will prompt fast response. You text message prospects who should be there and send them photos. You don’t sit and wait. You rely on the power of technology to be a strong sales organization.
You finish a new home and post a “For Sale” sign. But a technology company knows to do more. The sign includes a QR code that a drive-by prospect can scan and then get all the information about the property, even contacting a sales agent right from the site.

The technology company that builds homes knows that most buyers browse on their mobile devices. And they recognize that a website needs to be adapted in order to be viewed on a smaller screen. They develop a mobile app and push out notifications to their prospects, so they can easily tap into this invaluable resource.

Ask yourself which kind of company you are – a builder, like many others, or a technology company with specific expertise in building homes. What is your dream?

Give Your Homebuyer More Than Google Does

Categories: New Home Sales Training | Posted: April 7, 2015

Searching for a new home onlineWhen they’re ready to start the search for a new home, buyers don’t get on the phone. They get online. About 90 percent of them use digital media to hunt for their next home; 52 percent turn to the World Wide Web before looking anywhere else.

They Google keywords, like “new home”, “builder” and the area where they hope to live. What do they find? Google gives them results based on the best matches to those keywords, based on most popular results and the quality of the website’s SEO. From this point, the homebuyer needs to scan through the promotional speak on each builder’s website.

They are looking for a builder who can build a quality home, within their price range. More than that, they want a builder who is reliable, someone with a strong reputation for success.
How do they find a builder with these qualities? Google is a machine. It follows an algorithm, but doesn’t measure personal service. Sites like Yelp can offer some insight, but the reviews are often limited.

The best way you can communicate the quality of your customer service is to deliver it. Be meticulous about your communication with prospects and homebuyers, through every step of the process. Ask them how you can help them make the decision that best suits their criteria. Give them information that will save them the time of Googling and sifting the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Your CRM system is essential to maintaining the strong communication that builds customer satisfaction. Make sure you and your team are trained in using the CRM for its primary purpose: Customer Relationship Management. A CRM will prompt sales professionals to do outreach, will give reminders about a customer’s interests, and keep track of those prospects who haven’t yet committed. What a CRM cannot do is actually make the human connection that leads to memorable quality service.

When you deliver exceptional customer service, you keep your homebuyer connected to you, not Google.

It’s a Relationship, Not a Transaction

Categories: New Home Sales Training | Posted: March 24, 2015

build relationships with new home buyers in the new home sales industryDo you see your new homes customer as a transaction? A one-off? Or is the connection a long-term relationship that delivers future return on your time investment? A customer who remains connected with you during the transaction and beyond will not only return when it’s time to make another purchase, but will also refer others to you. If they’re as happy with the relationship, those others will keep generating referrals.

Successful new home sales people know that today’s buyers seek a relationship with their sales agent. And with so much competition for their business, you need to give them what they want.

Where does the relationship start?

From the first contact.

When you differentiate yourself as someone who is genuinely interested in finding the right home for the buyer, not just making a sale, you’re on the road to becoming the trusted adviser. You take the time to understand their needs and wants, even helping them to uncover certain features that they hadn’t considered as valuable—or, conversely, as unnecessary for their lifestyle.

You provide information about communities, schools, hospitals, and other area amenities. You share virtual tours, articles about the area, and event calendars to give them a sense of place. You answer questions, even before they’re asked. You educate. You don’t focus on making the sale, but guiding them home. You don’t count the minutes and hours you dedicate to nurturing this prospect. That’s for the clock-watchers who are purely transactional.

Remember these five key points about building the sales relationship:

#1. People buy from people they like and trust. Yes, it’s personal. It doesn’t matter how knowledgeable you are, how many homes you’ve sold, and your position with your company. If a prospect doesn’t like you, you won’t make the sale.

#2. Listening is more important than talking. Close your mouth and open your ears. Your prospect is serving up many clues. When you focus on what they’re saying, you will gain insight that you can turn to your advantage—and, ultimately, your buyer’s.

#3. The purchase is an emotional decision that is supported by facts, in that order. Homebuyers respond to the experience. They need to feel excited and inspired by the home you’re presenting. Don’t stack up a pile of features and expect them to close the deal. Build up the experiential side.

#4. Solve the problem first. Then sell the solution. A trusted advisor is a professional who creates positive results to a buyer’s challenges. Uncover those problems for the individual buyer, solve them, and then present the solution to the buyer. But make sure the problem you’re solving is an important obstacle your customer wants to overcome.

#5. Stay positive. You will certainly be faced with objections. Accept them as challenges. When you maintain a positive attitude, your homebuyer will feel more comfortable in the budding relationship.

New Home Sales Training Video: The 300 Percent Rule

Categories: New Home Sales Training Video | Posted: March 7, 2015

New Home Sales training video about the 300% ruleIt’s a rare occasion when a prospect walks into a new home sales center and says, “I’m ready to buy.” More often the protective shields go up, just like on the Star Ship Enterprise. Rather than the prospects deciding to engage, they instead disengage by saying “I’m just looking.”

This one phrase, “I’m just looking” is the quickest way to deflate the sails (and sales) of most sales people out there. The reality of your job is you need to cut through the “Just looking.” objection and give your full presentation. Learn what the 300 percent rule is in this new home sales training video.

A little planning can help make that new home exactly what they want it to be!

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training | Posted: March 3, 2015

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For most people, one of the most exciting things about building a new home is getting to make so many choices – exterior materials, kitchen cabinets, rugs, paint… the list is seemingly endless! Before your clients start making choices, encourage them to spend a little time planning. Ask them: HOW you are going to live in each room? WHO is going to live in each room?

For example, the master bathroom. Have you always dreamed of having a soaking tub? Or maybe one of those amazing multiple jet showers? Will you use them everyday? Also, don’t go too trendy with the materials you choose. (Tile, accents, vanity tops.) Remember that what’s ”in” now will in all likelihood look dated in a couple of years.

A similar caveat applies to the kitchen. Dramatic colors and finishes are distinctive, but they also get tiresome more quickly. (For example, that gorgeous jade granite countertop might be your favorite today, but how are you going to feel after looking at it day after day for 10 years?) Also, think about how busy your kitchen is… if it’s the family hub or highway, durability and cleanability will be paramount. Do you want a large pantry? Do you want a breakfast bar? Or maybe a pocket office off in a corner? Are you a master chef? Maybe you want to upgrade your range.

Will the kids have their own bathrooms? Keep the finishes, materials, and accessories simple and durable. Cute wallpaper and bright colors might be fine when they’re little, but at some point they’ll have to go. And vanities with tons of drawers just encourage messiness. Try vanities with wire baskets instead of drawers.

Will parents/grandparents be living with you? Consider incorporating some universal design features – wider, zero entry doorways and hallways, lever handles on doors, drawers and sinks, counters at multiple heights, cabinets on casters, and bathrooms with grab bars.

What about the basement? Will you be using it for storage? A rec room? A home theatre? A home gym? Each of these requires a different set of parameters for carpeting, walls, and layout.

These are just a few of the items new home buyers have to consider when they are planning their new homes. With just a little forethought, you can help them plan a dream home that they’ll love for years to come.

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

Are you registered for my webinar?

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Training, Uncategorized | Posted: February 20, 2015

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Just one of these vital tools will transform the way you sell. You’ll walk away with all of them:

• Equip yourself with fresh, up-to the-minute approaches to achieve moneymaking sales today
• Overcome your pesky competitors and beat the marketplace like a drum
• Convert on-line shoppers to on-site sales
• Embrace technology and win today’s buyers with ON-DEMAND follow-up
• Exceed your sales goals by huge margins and create a monumental income

Don’t miss your opportunity!  Register here.

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

 

Simplify the new home search with a checklist!

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Process | Posted: February 17, 2015

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When someone decides to buy a new home, it’s important for them to choose a home that fits their family’s needs. They may think they know exactly what they’re looking for, but it helps to make a list… especially if there are several people involved in the selection process!

The following “House Hunting Checklist” is a good starting point. It gets them to think about what they’re really looking for.

What kind of home do you want?

  • One-story?
  • Two-story?
  • Basement?
  • Garage?
  • How many bedrooms?
  • How many bathrooms?

What size home do you want?

  • How many square feet?

What special features do you want?

  • Chef’s kitchen?
  • Open floor plan?
  • 2nd floor laundry?
  • Deck or patio?
  • Hardwood floors?
  • Energy-efficient construction?

What neighborhood amenities do you want? What’s important to your family?

  • Quality of schools? Public or private?
  • Community parks?
  • Playgrounds?
  • Sports fields?
  • Shopping centers?
  • Medical centers?
  • Freeway access?
  • Proximity to work?

During the house hunt, they’ll be bombarded with information. Having a checklist will help them navigate this complicated process, and help them figure out what they’re really searching for!

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

New Home Sales Training Video: You’re Not a Sales Person if You Give it Away

Categories: New Home Sales Training Video | Posted: February 12, 2015

New Home Sales Training Video: Price is the common denomintorIn this new home sales training video Myers talks about one of the most misunderstood topics in the new home sales industry today. Price. This is a huge battle between the customer and sales person. But is it? Many sales people and business owners always think that price is the only denominator to deter their sales. Pricing objections are a knee-jerk reaction to large ticket items but they are not as big a deterrent as many sales people think.

Find out more about how to understand the question “how much is it?” And how you can overturn the price objection and get to the bottom of what this objection really means.

A well-built new home can make your winters warmer!

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training | Posted: February 4, 2015

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Depending on where you live, winters can range from chilly to arctic. And depending on the age of your home, your winter contentment level can range from comfortable to teeth-chattering. Older homes come with a well-documented litany of money-losing, energy-sucking, cold-inducing problems, including unsealed air gaps, not enough insulation, and leaky windows. Owning a newly built home means warmer feet – and lower utility bills.

One of the reasons that newer homes are more comfortable in the winter is that they are generally more energy-efficient. Building codes have mandated increasingly higher energy efficiency standards since the late 1970s, says Kevin Morrow, senior program manager for the National Association of Home Builders’ green building programs. “The most recent International Energy Conservation Code came out in 2009 [and] required roughly 17 percent more efficiency than the codes of three years prior,” he says. “So using that as sort of a gauge to how newer homes should perform from an efficiency standpoint compared to older homes, it’s pretty clear that just as homes meet code, they are going to be more efficient.”

Air Sealing

New homes use energy more efficiently. They have a tighter-sealed building envelope that helps prevent conditioned air — cool air in the summer, warm air in the winter — from escaping. Features that create this envelope include higher-efficiency insulation, doors and windows.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors provide homes with light, warmth, and ventilation. And energy-efficient windows and doors can help lower a home’s heating, cooling and lighting costs. Window efficiency has increased tremendously as glass technologies have become very sophisticated, integrating low-e glazing and low conductivity gases. New exterior doors fit and insulate better than older ones, meaning that less air is lost through leakage.

Attic and Wall Insulation

The greater the difference between the indoor and the outdoor temperatures, the more energy it takes to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Adding insulation between the indoors and the outdoors reduces that energy demand. Newly built homes are packed with insulation, so they are more energy efficient and more comfortable than older homes.

Green Appliances

Heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the energy use in a typical U.S. home, making it the largest energy expense for most homes. More energy-efficient mechanics help reduce utility bills. Newly-constructed homes include high efficiency water heaters, furnaces and air conditioning units that homes built years ago might not. If you live in a cold climate, a high efficiency furnace will rival or exceed air sealing for its potential money and energy savings. In warmer areas, a high efficiency heat pump is the best choice.

Programmable Thermostats

Just like a water heater that maintains a set temperature even when it isn’t being used, a thermostat does the same thing for the entire house. Using a programmable thermostat allows you to adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to your schedule. By letting the house warm up (or cool off) when there isn’t anyone awake or at home, you save energy and money.

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