Myers Barnes Blog

Blog Category - New Home Sales Marketing

The smart investment of your digital marketing dollars

Categories: New Home Sales Marketing | Posted: July 21, 2017

Let’s assume you have already determined the amount of your annual marketing budget—because if you haven’t, don’t read any further. Go back and create a budget.

The next challenge is to decide where to invest those digital marketing dollars.

It’s not rocket science. You allocate the money where you get the most return on your investment.

Check out the full article on BuilderIQ to see the areas to consider. There are 5 online channels you won’t want to miss out on!

Extra! Extra! Big News from Olathe, Kansas

Categories: New Home Sales, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training | Posted: March 23, 2017

Myers Barnes joins Builder Designs as President.

Homebuilder website development firm expands its digital marketing services.

Chip & Myers at Builder Designs

OLATHE, KS—Homebuilders across North America have a powerful, marketing resource, the result of the newly announced partnership with two recognized experts. Nationally renowned new home sales strategist Myers Barnes has joined Builder Designs, a website development company that exclusively serves the homebuilding industry. Barnes has been named the president of Builder Designs, teaming up with the company’s founder and CEO, Chip Johnson.

As a speaker, educator, and best-selling author, Barnes has guided countless builders toward greater profits. His books include Reach the Top In New Home and Neighborhood Sales, which quickly became the certified handbook for sales professionals, and New Home Sales Negotiation, which is considered an industry playbook for success. His company, Myers Barnes Associates, has offered innovative thinking, strategic direction, and a wealth of growth-focused resources to homebuilders for over two decades.

Barnes and Johnson have collaborated countless times, and they realized that a stronger partnership would provide homebuilders with the support they need to successfully navigate the challenges of Internet marketing.

“I’ve always admired the level of success that Myers has sparked in clients—many of whom we’ve shared,” explains Johnson, who has developed websites for more than 450 homebuilders across North America. “We’ve seen that our knowledge, skills, and passion complement one another. Combining forces was a logical next step to better serve our clients.”

Barnes adds, “We live in a digital world. It’s less about techniques for closing the sale, and more about the online involvement. Homebuyers are doing far more research than ever before. Their needs have changed, the path to purchase has transformed, and so conventional strategies just don’t work anymore.”

Builder Designs is preparing to launch a series of new products that will continue to revolutionize Internet marketing. Builder Cloud and Builder IQ, for example, will open new gateways for gathering and analyzing data that is critical to connecting with and influencing homebuyers.

Barnes refers to the expansion of Builder Designs’ offerings as a “think tank for homebuilders and an all-inclusive online resource center.”

“We can work with a variety of builders, start-up or a seasoned pro, and apply our broad portfolio of services to build or refine strategy, execute the activities, and analyze the results,” says Barnes. “We’re looking at a bigger horizon, where we can do more than help builders to generate leads. We will use digital approaches to actually transform those leads into sales long before they walk into a builder’s model home.

Johnson has invested in deepening Builder Designs’ technical expertise. He has explored new possibilities for lead generation and conversion using a broader range of tools, including FindABuilder.

“Our clients won’t have to wonder if their Internet marketing works because we’ll be able to present the analytics to back it up,” Johnson adds.

For more information about Builder Designs, visit BuilderDesigns.com

About Builder Designs

Builder Designs was founded in 2004 by Chip Johnson, to address the specific online marketing needs of America’s homebuilders. Based in Olathe, Kansas, Builder Designs has become the world’s largest builder-centric, web design company, currently serving more than 400 builders. The combination of web design, search engine optimization (SEO) services, content management, and digital marketing strategy have propelled Builder Designs to become a formidable resource for the industry.

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.

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

selling-my-business

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.

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

6360128671344328781203928557_lessons-in-life

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.

Work Harder on Yourself Than You Work On Your Job

Categories: Leadership, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Training, Personal Development | Posted: August 30, 2016

steps-to-success

The U. S. Navy Seals have a motto: The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.

Muhammad Ali put it this way: “I run on the road long before I dance under the lights.”

In the Bible, God spoke to Jeremiah, a boy destined to be a prophet, about using the days of peace to fortify his mind against future battles. Jeremiah 12:5: “If you have raced with people on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble and fall down in a land of peace, how will you manage in the thick thorn-bushes along the Jordan?”

Louis Pasteur observed, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

And, if you will allow me one more, Colin Powell nailed it. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.”

You’ve probably conquered the “working hard” and “learning from your mistakes” portions. How are you doing on preparation?

If you haven’t already picked up on it, preparation is a key component of a successful business. All the work is performed ahead of time, not during the actual transactions of the day. Consequently, the person who is best prepared achieves the most favorable outcome and keeps the business on track

Make a plan. Then make it work.

I wonder how people go through life without having goals, or setting goals without establishing a plan for achieving them.

When I hear someone say, “I plan to…” I ask them, “So, when do you plan to do that?”

Quite often, the answer is “someday” or “one of these days”—or something equally vague, like “after the kids are grown” or “once my investments improve”.

A goal without a deadline is merely a wish.

A deadline without a plan is useless.

You can make all the wishes you want, but you will never progress toward achieving them if you don’t create a step-by-step plan with a timeline. That’s how you hold yourself accountable. Sales professionals set goals. They either achieve them or they don’t. When they don’t, they adjust their plan and their actions in order to do better.

It takes energy to make a plan, and commitment to work the plan. It takes just as much energy to wish for better circumstances. But which one will improve your situation and your life?

A wish is like a long sigh. It’s just expelling air in a “woe is me” sort of way.

A goal is a deep breath. You inhale the good air—like your desire and the reason behind it—and exhale a cleansing breath. You energize your body with deep breathing. In the same way, you energize your life by creating goals and following through with a plan to reach them.

Movement creates motivation. Stillness causes stagnation.

Stop sighing. If you want to change your life, change your life plan.

 

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

Differential demonstration: Sell the community along with the new home

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: May 17, 2016

I realize that all new home sales professionals recognize the importance of selling the community along with the new home. They know they need to sell the community in addition to the home itself, but many of them don’t know how to best succeed here.

Demonstrating a model home effectively is a skill, and one that can be learned. Differential demonstration reflects a presentation style that focuses on guiding the prospective new home buyer into the mindset of homeowner, not browser. You do this by helping them envision themselves at home, with their family, their furniture, and their pictures on the walls. They can see themselves cooking in the kitchen, enjoying a long soak in the tub, and entertaining friends in the back yard.

neighborhood

Part of being at home is the neighborhood—life beyond their yard and their driveway. What will it feel like to turn into the community as a homeowner, wave at your neighbors as you go by, walk your dog, and watch your kids play with others in the neighborhood? When you arrive at your home, where should it be with respect to the rest of your neighbors and the community? How about enjoying community amenities, like a clubhouse, pool, or walking trails?

Use differential demonstration to highlight community features that enhance the lifestyle for homeowners. As a new home sales professional, pose directed questions that will help you identify their location needs within this community.

Here are some differential demonstration questions to sell the community along with the new home you’re presenting.

Have you had an opportunity to drive through the community?

Was there something in particular that attracted you to the neighborhood? Are there any other details you would like to learn a little more about?

How important is neighborhood security to your choice for a new home?

As far as the location within this community, do you prefer the privacy of a cul-de-sac, or maybe the security an interior homesite, where neighbors surround you?

Have you considered a corner homesite? Do you know what makes a corner homesite special?

How close do you want to be to the amenities, like the pool, clubhouse, and fitness center? Do you want to be able to walk there or would you rather be a little farther away?

What direction would you like your home to face?

We do have a few green space/conservation/waterfront/pond front homesites. Of course, they are at a slight premium. Would that be of interest?

Ask questions—and lots of them. Every question should be designed to paint that picture of living in this home, on this property, and in this neighborhood. Practice your presentation questions in advance so you can ask them in a non-scripted way.

I welcome your ideas, suggestions, and experiences with respect to differential demonstration. Let me know what you’ve tried and the results. Feel free to contact me directly with any questions.

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

Differential demonstration: The right questions to ask your new home buyer

Categories: Customer Service, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: May 3, 2016

A good interviewer knows how to guide a discussion to elicit more telling responses. You never ask a question that can be answered with just one word, because the conversation ends there.

When you are demonstrating a new home, you’re not merely showing a prospective homebuyer around, guiding them from room to room. Consider yourself a combination of a tour guide and a talk show host. Point out truly interesting aspects and engage the buyer in useful conversation.

Differential demonstration is distinguished from run-of-the-mill demonstration because it is more purposeful and, ultimately, more effective. Involve them in a discussion that guides their imagination. Encourages the buyer to experience the property, feel at home here, envision living the daily routine within this new home.

I’ve worked with superachiever sales professionals who practice differential demonstration with every presentation. Their conversion rate is consistently higher than those who just guide the buyer along a walk-through. Here are the right questions to ask your new home buyer.

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In the kitchen:

Can you imagine yourself preparing your family’s favorite meals in this kitchen?

Wouldn’t all this cabinet space and huge pantry make any chef happy?

In the living area:

Where you place your sofa in this room?

How would you situate your television and stereo in here?

In the master suite:

How would your bedroom set look in here?

Where would you place your bed and dressers?

Who would get the larger of the two closets?

In the children’s rooms:

Which of your children gets this room?

In the guest room:

How can you see yourself using this room? For guests? A home office? A craft room? Maybe an exercise room?

In the garage:

How would you use the garage space?

Would your workshop fit well here?

In the yard:

How would you landscape this yard?

Throughout the differential demonstration process, look for opportunities to spark your buyer to think about actually living in this new home. Rather than view it from the perspective of a visitor, guide them to think like the homeowner.

If you’d like to learn more about the differential demonstration approach to new home sales, please contact me.

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

Differential demonstration: Is your new home presentation on the right route?

Categories: Customer Service, Leadership, New Home Sales, New Home Sales Coach, New Home Sales Management, New Home Sales Marketing, New Home Sales Process, New Home Sales Training | Posted: April 19, 2016

I’m still en route to differentiating new home demonstration the right way. In this article, I’m literally on the route to success.

curb appeal

Differential demonstration is a process for showing a new home in a way that drives the vision in the prospect’s mind of living in this house—from the furnishings to the activity. It’s not just a matter of walking them through the new home and exalting its wonderful features, but rather finding the “touch points” that matter to this buyer and hitting as many as possible. Help them picture themselves cooking in the kitchen, relaxing on their own furniture in the family room, waking up to the sunshine streaming through the master bedroom window, and getting ready in the morning without having to share a sink.

A new home presentation is enhanced by these differentiating points but you can also up your psychological advantage by following a pre-planned route through the home. Yes, it matters not just where you go, but when.

Is your new home sales presentation on the right route? Here’s the tour I recommend to new home sales consultants:

  1. Start at the curb. Your presentation should begin with a full view of the home’s curb appeal. Stand as far back as necessary, even stepping into the street if you have to so your prospect can get the big picture.
  2. Pause at the entry. Distinguish the home by telling the homebuyer the name of this particular home design, also noting the basic features, like number of bedrooms and baths, and the square footage. This is the introduction, appropriately offered at the threshold.
  3. Enter the foyer slowly and intentionally. Look around and remind your prospect of this place where they will be welcoming their guests.
  4. Point out the formal dining room. If there is a formal dining room off the foyer, introduce this space first.
  5. Move to the family room. The family room is probably close to the kitchen. To give your buyers the best view of the family room, move into the kitchen, far enough so they can see the full room—but you’re not going to give them the complete family room and kitchen tour…not yet, any way. Instead, you’re building up the anticipation for this important room so you can present it later in the presentation. Just let them know you’ll come back to this area.
  6. Visit the secondary bedrooms. Remember, you’re rising to a crescendo in anticipation. So, never start with the master bedroom. That’s like presenting the main course before the appetizer. Show the buyers where the other family members or guests will stay.
  7. Return to the family room and kitchen. I bet you thought I was going to guide you to the master bedroom, huh? No. Take them back to most of the living takes place. Give them the details. Talk about family activities that would happen here—family movie night, enjoying a crackling fire on a chilly night, hosting friends at the holidays. Take your time here. Paint that image so clearly that they can see, hear, smell, and taste the experience.
  8. Save the master suite for last. You’ve teased. You’ve offered subtle hints. Now take your prospects to the master suite. Ask them how they would arrange their furniture in this space. Explore the “tv or no tv in the bedroom” debate. Have them linger here so they can create the image of “home” vividly in their minds.
  9. Walk back through the family room. Redundant? Certainly not! This is the heart of the home. Bring them back here a few times to feel comfortable in this space.
  10. Exit to the patio. Guide them to the entrance to the outdoor living space. Let them take it in a moment.
  11. Move from the patio to the corner pin. Just as you started from the farthest reach in the front to enjoy the curb appeal, walk to the end of the property in the back yard. Explore the activity that could occur here. Kids playing in the yard. Cookouts. Evenings by the fire pit. Ask them to envision how they would enjoy their outdoor living in this home.
  12. Re-enter through the family room and kitchen. Again, return to the core. Ask the potential homebuyer(s) if they would like to revisit any part of the home. Invite them to browse on their own. While they wander, stay in the family room, relaxing comfortably. That means no talking or texting on the phone. Show them how it looks to have a friendly visitor.
  13. Finish. When they return, present your close in a casual, conversational manner. Your goal is to gain some type of commitment before they leave. What is the next step in this process? What do they need in order to choose this house as their home?

Practice the differential demonstration tour of your home before actually guiding any prospective homebuyers. Finetune your presentation and know your touch points so well that they are reflexive and don’t come across as scripted. Train yourself to escalate your energy level so they feel your enthusiasm for this home.

Please feel free to contact me to learn more about the essential skills involved in differential demonstration.

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