You follow a sales process for consistency and effectiveness. Does that include a strategy for presenting the home to a prospective buyer? Here are the 8 most common selling mistakes when showing a model home.
Let me first explain that showing a new home is part of your new home sales process. That means you need to apply a proven strategy. Differential demonstration provides a strategic approach to effectively showing a model home. Differential demonstration presents a step-by-step path and the questions and comments to be delivered purposefully along that route.
So, let’s look at where you’re missing the benefits of differential demonstration in new home sales.
#1. Allowing a self-guided tour.
Never ever EVER allow a buyer to just wander through your model home. For one thing, you show a lack of interest, that you don’t take them seriously as a buyer.
Secondly, you concede the opportunity to present specific details that they will either overlook or underappreciate.
#2. Starting in the wrong place.
Whether your sales center is in the model home or its garage, don’t consider it as your starting point. Sure, make introductions and ask your discovery questions here, but when you’re ready to lead a guided tour, do not start here. Every room, every feature in the home is included in differential demonstration and incorporated with a particular end in mind. Follow the planned route because, like every step in the sales process, the demonstration must follow strategy.
Instead of moving from the sales center to the interior, guide your prospective buyer out to the front of the house—not through the mudroom or the main living area. You should present the inside of the home from the moment you escort them through the front door.
Which takes me to Mistake #3.…
#3. Omitting the curb view.
I’ve seen this common selling mistake too many times. The new home sales professional in the model home knows that the buyer has seen the exterior, so they fail to include it when showing the model home.
How can you gauge their reaction to the curb appeal? What features appealed to them? Without starting the differential demonstration from the curb, you eliminate the opportunity to talk about architectural details and the importance of structural decisions, like the style of the windows and front door, height of the foundation, and the quality of the siding.
Think about presenting the exterior of the model home like giving a gift that is beautifully wrapped. The recipient is impressed and excited to open the tempting package. Following differential demonstration enables you to create that memorable impression.
#4. Showing the kitchen too soon.
The kitchen can make or break the sale. It should be part of the crescendo of your presentation, not the introduction. You are orchestrating the demonstration, so while you will show the main living area near the beginning of the tour, tell your prospective homebuyer that you’ll guide them back to the kitchen.
“I want to spend some time here, so we’ll come back after you’ve seen some of the other features I want to show you first.”
#5. Forgetting to involve the buyer in the demonstration.
A new home demonstration is not a monologue. You’re not giving a TED Talk. You’re guiding a homebuyer to make a massive decision.
The presentation is a dialogue. Ask questions and point out features to get their feelings on the home. Frame your questions so, with their answers, they can envision living there. And pose them in an open-ended, not a yes-or-no, style.
“Tell me about your furniture. How would you lay it out in this area?”
“How would you decorate for the holidays?”
#6. Missing the value-added extras.
While you’re pointing out the features that can be seen, don’t forget what’s behind the walls. Explain details like the builder’s choice for MERV filter and SEER rating on the air conditioning. the importance of indoor air quality, and the structural advantages of the home’s sheathing and insulation. If your builder offers CAT6 cabling, tell your buyer how this seemingly minor detail will be appreciated when they are living in the home.
Make it a goal to present at least one such unseen benefit in every room when showing a model home to a buyer.
#7. Overlooking the builder’s brand.
You’re not selling a home. You’re solving a life problem—Where are we going to spend years of our lives?
One of the most common selling mistakes is forgetting your builder! You should always explain the strength of your builder’s brand in this discussion. Look at the competition. What do you do differently? Better? Include it in your differential demonstration.
“We invest in HERS inspection to provide tangible proof of how energy-efficient our homes are.”
“Our builder is heavily involved in giving back to the community—supporting schools, local businesses, and non-profit organizations.”
“We’ve maintained a customer satisfaction rate that’s much higher than other builders. I think it’s because our builder is committed to taking care of our buyers. Our warranty and customer care program are often praised.”
“We’ve earned honors from the local homebuilders association. It’s always rewarding to be recognized by peers.”
What separates your builder from the rest? Feature those benefits prominently when showing a model home to a potential homebuyer.
#8. Neglecting to use a strategy for demonstrating the homesite.
New home sales authority Bonnie Alfriend says, “Our home is our castle, but our land is our territory, and we are, by nature, territorial beings.”
The homesite deserves as much strategy as you apply to differential demonstration within the home. Walk the property, discuss the site’s dimensions and how that relates to the buyer’s needs. Show the property from various angles and talk about the benefits, like mature trees, natural light, position on the street (e.g., corner lot, cul-de-sac), and proximity to amenities.
Make it right.
Showing a model home the right way involves planning and preparation. Plan to use the strategy of differential demonstration. Prepare to present correctly. Memorize the route, the points of differentiation, and the engagement questions. Practice until this strategic approach comes naturally.
Do you want to learn more about the new home sales process of differential demonstration? I’m soon releasing the second edition of Differential Demonstration: How to Effectively Show a House. Contact me to reserve your copy of this workbook to avoid the common mistakes when showing a model home.