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New-home salespeople and Realtors® often view each other as rivals, inevitably believing that their territory has been invaded or that their toes have been stepped on.
That kind of thinking, however prevalent, is outdated and counterproductive.
Would you believe that you can actually make more money — in less time — through cooperation than you ever could on your own?
First, stop thinking of a visitor to an open house or a new model as “someone’s buyer.” Instead, consider them to be valued customers — much like you would regard them if you were a retailer.
Then, try seeing things from their perspective.
Buyers are on a journey. They want a Disney experience and Nordstrom-type service at a Wal-Mart price.
With that in mind, everyone involved in the selling must do all they can to provide buyers with exactly what they are expecting.
Consequently, both new-home sales professionals and Realtors® need to agree on a sustainable system for working together for the long term — with the customers’ best interests always at the forefront.
Contracts, as important as they are, don’t create customer relationships; they create a means of conveying real estate.
What matters to home buyers is that the contract and property meet their criteria. And when a new-home salesperson and Realtor® form a close working relationship centered on the customer’s needs, that is much more likely to occur.
A bond created between a Realtor® and a new-home salesperson increases production and productivity through knowledge and understanding.
How to Create a Bond With Realtors®
The key is to have a team of dedicated professionals already in place who can address the problems or concerns of any individual buyer — not “your buyer” or “their buyer,” but “our customer.”
Begin opening avenues to Realtors® by meeting them through your local board of Realtors® and local chamber of commerce networking events. Also, seek them out at open houses for new models as well as those on the Multiple Listing Service.
Then, adopt an outlook and approach that goes well beyond just one transaction. You want to build solid relationships with people who will refer business to you and recommend your services over the long term — your testimonial teammates.
Building solid relationships will take more than determination. You will need to build a pipeline of contacts and communications — and you will need to always follow up.
The lack of follow through is where many people in business fall short. Your follow-up needs to be timely, meaningful and sequential — if you’re well-organized, all three follow-up aspects will quickly become second nature for you.
Moreover, as you go about your business, you should always be on the lookout for your next testimonial teammate because you never know when opportunity might come knocking.
The Practical Benefits of Teaming Up
When you team up, you will have more impact on your customers because your relationship and reputation are working for you.
You’ll have the ability to provide twice the value, you’ll have greater endurance and you’ll be able to maximize the time that you’ve invested — and there’s nothing more valuable in business than your time.
You also will bring more “essence” into your dealings with customers. You’ll bring strengths that your partners do not have and your partners, in turn, will have traits and abilities to offer clients that are not your particular bailiwick.
In other words, working as a team will give you the opportunity to serve customers in more comprehensive ways than you could ever do on your own — not to mention give you the ability to cover far more territory geographically and from a business perspective.
The best advice I can give you is to be proactive at all times. Start putting your team-building program together now, not when there’s a crisis.
When speaking with other professionals, both sides should clearly discuss what expertise and services they can bring to the table.
This will help to build trust and confidence in one another, which is important because when you achieve a high level of confidence in one another, your fear of loss or competition will disappear.
We all live busy lives and time management is more important than ever. That’s why cooperative communication is the wave of the future in our industry.
Making more money in less time by working with more people is the most reliable route for your success for years to come.
Kerry Mulcrone, MIRM, is the president Kerry & Co., a Hudson, Wis.-based company that teaches, trains and consults with new-homes sales professionals, sales managers and builders across the country. She is an award-winning salesperson and motivational presenter with more than 25 years of on-site sales, management and coaching experience and wrote and teaches a course on builder/broker cooperation. For more information, visit www.kerryandco.com; or email Mulcrone, or call her at 612-817-4089.
This article initially appeared in Sales + Marketing Ideas magazine.
“Think Sold! Creating Home Sales in Any Market,” available at NAHB BuilderBooks, is a practical, how-to guide for developing the self-awareness, knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the competitive field of new home sales.
The book covers everything from the home buying process and new home financing to strategies for making better sales presentations and sizing up the competition. It teaches readers how to overcome customers’ concerns and provides specific examples of how to explain the benefits of new home features in customer-friendly language.
“Think Sold” provides insights on how to approach sales and life from a position of optimism that will create successful outcomes; how to improve upon potential customer prospecting and follow-up skills; and how to communicate effectively with various types of buyers and learn how to adjust communication strategies to increase rapport and alignment with buyers’ motives.
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