We’re all dealing with challenges right now, both personal and business. The pandemic yanked out from under us everything we had taken for granted. Amidst all the fervor that has arisen from the chaos, we’re seeing a spike in new home sales that seemed incomprehensible a few months ago. But in order to best serve your homebuyers, remember that we’re not selling homes now. We’re selling comfort.
Think about it. The purchase of a new home is a very emotional decision. It represents a significant move away from the past, parting ways with the place you called “home”. Moving on.
Now, add in all the uncertainty that we’re experiencing. When will there be a vaccine for this coronavirus? Is it safe to travel? What’s open and what restrictions are in place? How will this affect my children’s education, now and in the long run? Is my job safe?
When someone decides to buy a home right now, they’re putting their trust in the builder and the new home sales professional. We need to treat them respectfully, to be understanding that lifestyles have changed, not out of choice, but of necessity.
Ask. Listen. Respond thoughtfully.
Maybe your buyer needs more space to accommodate a parent or grandparent who is moving in. Think of the stresses involved with that situation. It’s not just expanding your household, but trying to merge two separate households under one roof. Ask the buyer about the challenges and their concerns. Maybe they’re afraid of having more adults under their roof; the added burden of providing care and support can be a heavy weight! As you listen, think about the features in a home that would make it more livable—separate suites, a bigger kitchen, additional flex space so people have a getaway area, and more storage to accommodate the incoming possessions and furnishings.
Your homebuyers might be parents who don’t know when their children will return to school. How are they going to handle home-schooling, particularly for young children who need supervision? Talk to them about their worries. You might not have the solution, but your empathy will go a long way toward building a trusting relationship. And that’s absolutely essential in being their new home sales agent.
How about the empty-nesters who are welcoming their grown children back home? Some parents are thrilled to have their kids back under their roof, while others are worried about the change in lifestyle. Will they feel compelled to “parent” again—making meals, doing laundry? What expectations do their grown children bring with them? Let your homebuyer express concerns and see if you can use that knowledge to find them the perfect new home solution.
I know you’re not a therapist. But, in this business at this time, you sort of need to be. You can’t just sell features and benefits the way you always have. Homebuyers’ priorities have changed. Your priorities must follow suit.
I’ve been training new home sales professionals for a lot of years. I can teach them how to uncover sales opportunities, respond, handle an objection, and do an impactful presentation. But I can’t teach them to care. You need to find that in yourself.
Please look. Look harder.