Yes, life has changed. And it’s not going to return to the way it was before the coronavirus stopped the world in its tracks. But what has emerged is the power of innovation, agility, and strength. I’ve seen new home sales people shine brightly during this massive challenge—not accepting what they deem to be a temporary loss. Instead, they’re moving forward with the knowledge that although the rules of new home sales have changed, the fundamentals are the same.
This past year, the National Football League celebrated its 100th season. Over that century, the rules changed here and there. Five years ago, the NFL pushed back the distance for the point-after-touchdown kick. And anyone who follows the sport knows that extending the kick just 13 yards turned the PAT from a “gimme” to a possibility. The success rate went from 98% at 20 yards to as low as 82% at 33 yards the following year.
Meanwhile, the fundamentals of football haven’t changed. Run the ball, pass it, or kick it in the direction of the opposing team.
What has changed about selling a new home?
Not all that long ago, the Web changed the way buyers buy, so sellers adapted. Builders built websites. Then they improved upon them. They added Online Sales Counselors to cultivate the leads coming to those websites. The buyer came to the model home and the onsite salesperson closed the deal. It worked great, a seamless transition from virtual to physical selling.
The fundamentals of selling reflect the basic principle of influencing the buyer, the quest for success. It’s a methodology that establishes a beginning from which everything else flows. The 10-step sales process begins with a “meet and greet” and proceeds through various steps to the differential demonstration and the close
Just a little more than 45 days ago, we did all that in person. The rules have changed. People can accomplish most, if not all, the steps involved in buying a new home without ever coming into direct contact with another person.
We now need to shift and adapt. If a homebuyer is making decisions based on what they see online, we’d better be adept at managing their views. If a buyer goes to one website that simply shows floor plans and photos and then finds another with video and virtual tours, which will leave a stronger impression?
Get your virtual house in order
I’ve spoken with builders all over the country since the pandemic caused shutdowns. Some are thriving. Although foot traffic in the models slowed to a halt, their online visitors have increased and they’re converting those browsers to buyers.
The commonality between these successful builders is that they were prepared for virtual selling when the crisis struck. They had videos, Matterport tours, and interactive floor plans that simulated a lot of the experiences buyers would normally have in the model home. The sales professionals were poised and comfortable on video calls, continuing the “personal touch” that previously had been achieved in person.
A kicker in the NFL has one job. Kick the football through the uprights. That’s it. Yet, the distance of just 13 yards separated the elite kickers who adapted from those who lost their jobs because they couldn’t hit their mark.
Our job is to sell homes. When we can’t do it through the channels we’ve relied on, we need to step back, adjust and go where the sale can happen. Kick farther.
Are you staying in the game or watching from the bench?