Category Archive: Blog

  1. Real Estate Market Update: The Value of Home Pricing

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    Driving around certain areas of the United States, you’ll find that many of the For Sale signs outside of homes are experiencing a pricing trend: Homes are being put on the market for one price and then a reduction in price follows shortly thereafter. Is this the state of the economy, or are we looking at a pricing faux pas?

    Prices are Dropping… But Why?

    According to a Trulia report, more than 14 percent of homes in Dallas TX currently have a reduced price sign and price cuts have risen about 3 percent compared to 2016. These trends extend to major metropolitan areas throughout the country, including San Jose CA, San Francisco CA, Portland OR, Raleigh NC, and many others. What’s interesting about this is that the real estate market is in a unique phase of its cycle, where home prices have been increasing for so long that sellers aren’t sure which price is going to give them the best return for their investment. This leads to an increase in initial home pricing, with sellers hoping the market will continue to thrive. The only problem with that course of action is that the same inventory increases and economical changes that have been plaguing the real estate market for months halt any possible pricing accelerations in the near future and lead buyers to reduce their asking prices to get their homes sold.

    Home Prices and Real Estate Market Choices

    The increase percentage of home price reductions shouldn’t make you throw in the proverbial towel just yet. When combined with the right market, these reductions offer unique opportunities for sales professionals to achieve their sales numbers by passing along the opportunity to their clients. Let’s use the real estate market in Dallas Texas as an example. This housing market is experiencing the highest percentage of pricing reductions in the United States, but according to a Best Places to Invest in 2017 report from Forbes and Local Market Monitor, home prices in this area are expected to grow the most of any city listed. Statistics like the 6.2 percent three-year population growth, 3.9 percent job gains in 2016, and 9 percent annual home price gains in Dallas TX support a growing market and industry numbers show that homes in this city are undervalued compared to historic averages and local income. The same can be said for Fort Worth, Texas, which also made Forbes list of the Best Places to Invest in 2017. In Fort Worth TX, home prices gained 9 percent in 2016, job growth showed a 2.3 percent increase, and its population increased by 5.2 percent from 2012 to 2015.

    Going through all of the numbers illustrates the upside to this for buyers: Many major U.S. cities have solid home markets where population, jobs, and home prices are growing and a great purchase of a price reduced home in 2017 can yield a profit when 2020 comes around. Perfecting your sales strategies for markets in these specific conditions is vital for achieving sales success. Your clients are counting on you to provide the information necessary for them to find a dream home for the best price, the best value, and the best longterm investment.

    At Sales Solve Everything, our new home sales trainers can provide the tools you need to bridge the gap between current real estate markets and your clients’ paths to new home ownership. Our customized programs, online training, and schools and workshops are designed to make sense of your real estate market and refine your sales strategies to not only accomplish your sales goals, but surpass them.

    Contact us to learn more about our new home sales training programs.

  2. Do’s and Don’ts For Your New Home Sales Professional Resume

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    Home builders are always looking for good people, so whether you are thinking of becoming a qualified sales professional or have had years of successful sales experience, a well-constructed resume can help you land that coveted job interview. After all, a resume is a potential employer’s first introduction to your skills and experience. Make that first impression count by knowing what information is vital to include on your resume and what information is better left to your social media accounts.

    Do’s for a New Home Sales Professional Resume

    Do include a cover letter. A cover letter can be customized to include your most relevant experience and skill and targeted specifically to the potential employer.

    Do use a basic font and include your contact information. Unless you’re applying for a position as a graphic designer, or any other traditionally creative position, leave the artsy fonts to those that are.

    Do include a Summary of Qualifications. A Summary of Qualifications is a customized section of your resume that lists key skills, experience, and achievements that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying. Include this summary directly under your contact information so it is the first thing potential employers see.

    Do utilize honesty. Employers will know when you’re stretching the truth about your work experience, education, etc. Just don’t do it. A survey by CareerBuilder even found that employers don’t always hire candidates that are 100% qualified. According to the survey, “42 percent of employers would consider a candidate who met only three out of five key qualifications for a specific role.”

    Do customize your resume for the position. You probably have a general resume you have used for quite some time, but that resume won’t help you land an interview. Tailor your resume to include specific skills and responsibilities you have had that are required for the open position. This is not the point where you start making up relevant skills and experience (see previous tip on honesty).

    Do use resume keywords. Your resume should include some of the same keywords found in the job description for which you are responding. If the job description details the need for someone with experience in a particular client management system and you have it, make sure to include the exact name of that system in your resume. This will increase your chances of any person or computer program picking up on those words and pausing to read/review further.

    Do a spell check and grammar check. Nothing says unprofessional like a misspelled word on a resume, especially when it’s near the overly used trait of “Great Attention to Detail.”

    Don’ts for a New Home Sales Professional Resume

    Don’t provide personal information. Potential employers don’t need to know your age, sex, birthplace, religion, etc. They also don’t need your photograph to determine whether you are a good fit for an open position.

    Don’t get wordy. Employers received hundreds of resumes they have to review to find great candidates. If your resume reads like a novel, chances are it will get bypassed quickly. Focus on key information instead and utilize bullet points to organize the information and make it easier to read.

    Don’t include job descriptions. Showing potential employers the experience you’ve had is important, but instead of listing specific job descriptions in your resume, try describing how you added value to your position. When done appropriately, the potential employer will understand your responsibilities and how you excelled in taking care of them.

    Don’t include old positions that are irrelevant to the job for which you are applying. The fact that you worked for an ice cream shop when you were 16 years old is great, but not a necessary addition to your resume when you are looking for a new home sales position. However, if you spent your weekends as an assistant for a home builder while you were in college, that is a relevant position to include.

    A well-constructed resume is only one step to a successful sales career. If you are looking to get into new home sales, are a seasoned sales professional who wants additional training to perform better, or are a home builder who understands the power of great training, consider attending one of our New Home Sales training seminars or workshops. At Sales Solve Everything, we specialize in relevant training that increases knowledge, develops sales skills, and improves overall performance. We also offer placement services to connect our new home sales training candidates with builders that have available positions as part of our Placement Program.

    Contact Brittney Myers at 888-738-4020 for more information on how you can tackle new home sales with ease.

  3. New Home Sales FAQ: How Do I Close More Sales?

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    As experts in new home sales training, the one question we get asked repeatedly is “What can I do to to sell more?”

    We can jump straight into the different techniques traditionally used to close more sales, but our sales trainers will always advise that to get where you want to go, you must first recognize where you’ve been. We sat down with Roland Nairnsey, our Senior Vice President of Training & Development, to gain some insight on where one can begin when determining the best way to close more sales. His very first recommendation was to start by measuring your current Conversion Ratio to determine how many prospects you must meet in order to make a sale. He says that whether your team closes 1 in 5, 1 in 10, or 1 in 20, this number is necessary as a starting point to improvement.

    Roland’s next step towards closing more sales is working on your sales skills or improving the quality of your traffic as both will facilitate an increase in sales. You can have thousands of prospective homeowners come through your doors, but if you don’t have the necessary skills or the traffic doesn’t consist of qualified buyers, then your efforts are wasted. This is where Roland and the rest of our Sales Solve Everything team can step in to sharpen your sales skills and offer techniques and ideas to bring in qualified buyers.

    At Sales Solve Everything, we firmly believe that “you can’t close if you can’t open,” so our new home sales trainers focus on the Discovery process of each and every encounter to build a strong relationship from the beginning. The Discovery process allows us to understand the goals of each prospective home buyer by asking specific open-ended questions and then seeking out the home and homesite that will best suit their needs. As Dr. Stephen Covey said in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you must “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.” Roland says that by showing our clients that we are listening to them, and of course really listening to them, we’ll be able to develop a relationship that will culminate in providing them with a home that meets the goals originally set forth. At that point, closing the sale will seem natural and the perfect result to a well-planned presentation, instead of an awkward question that looms at the end of it. We call this process “Closing As We Go” and it ensures the client’s wants and needs are met from start to finish.

    As with anything, perfecting the closing process takes practice and an increase in sales will only come when you feel comfortable with your sequence of questions, from narrowing down homes to finding that one of a kind home suited for the client, and finally actually asking for the sale. The more practice you have at this process, the easier it will be to build your closing confidence and increase sales naturally.

    Interested in perfecting your closing process utilizing new home sales training techniques while rubbing elbows with sales pros just like you? We are hosting our 2-Day Advanced PRO 1 Series Workshop on June 14-15, 2017. This workshop delves into the many aspects of sales, including maximizing the value of the 10 areas that are important to your buyers, identifying the right questions to conquer all of their concerns, honing your negotiation skills, and fine tuning your closing skills to surpass those ambitions sales goals!

    Contact Brittney Myers at 888-738-4020 for more information or to register for the Advanced PRO 1 Series Workshop. You can also watch the video above to learn more about the event.
  4. Ready to take the plunge into New Home Sales? We’re here to help!

    Leave a Comment The New Home Sales industry is booming. Just the other day I was driving to a friends house and out of nowhere a plot of land that used to house cattle was now a full blown community. Streets, marketing signs and all. I know it wasn’t overnight, because as Sales Professionals we all know how long it can REALLY take to get a subdivision up and going, but it sure felt like it.

    Across the country, building permits were 17% higher in January 2017 than they were the previous January, according to HousingEconomics.com.

    That is fantastic.  Builders are expanding their footprint and are looking for trained professionals to help them reach homebuyers. That’s where our Comprehensive New Home Sales School comes in. During this 3-Day School, National Sales Trainers Ralph Williams, Mar’Sue Haffner and Roland Nairnsey break down over 15 areas of New Home Sales and take each topic bite by bite with our attendees. From building YOUR franchise and identifying/connecting with different personality types to learning how to conquer concerns and close on the homesite, we want everyone to have the foundation for success.

    Kayla C attended our January Comprehensive Class and shared this with us: “This is such a great program! I am very green in this industry and I learned a lot of great material. this will put me in a really great spot when i get back to my model. I have more confidence.”

    For those of you that are our seasoned Sales Professionals, don’t count yourself out just yet. The response from all experience levels has been overwhelming. Everyone takes SOMETHING away from this class.  Most often we hear, “I just stopped doing that.” or “I had forgotten to take it to that next step.”.

    Check out what Jason D., a 8+ year veteran of New Home Sales said after attending the class… “Outstanding! This is not a “one size fits all approach” but offers strategies we can adopt to our own style.”

    20+ year veteran, Scott E. said: “This program is a very good foundation for success. It is great to have the workbook to take back and use. Having several different speakers adds variety and perspective. Thank you!!”

    Whether you’re looking to get into the industry, are new to the industry or you call yourself “seasoned”, sales is a matter of learning to adapt and grow as the conditions, market, environment and even as the company culture changes.

    If you are interested in attending or want to learn more about this class, check out our schools/workshops page with videos and links.

       
  5. Roland On the Road…Again

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    Well, it is with great delight that in June of this year I returned to the World of Sales Training, on a full-time basis. It has been a four-year absence, and after three terrific years as Director of Sales for a prestigious Luxury Home Builder in South West Florida, the timing was perfect.  I was excited to join the talented team of Ralph and Mar’Sue at Sales Solve Everything.

    the-masters

    There is no doubt that the hiatus has been helpful, and that rolling up my sleeves and getting back into the real world of home selling was both humbling and educational. After being on the road for ten years as a national sales trainer and coach, it was exhilarating to get to “practice what I had been preaching” for so long. Whether it was recruiting, coaching, managing or directly working with and helping customers; the opportunity to get back to my roots was exciting.

    So, what did I learn? Here goes, even though the essential structure of a sales process is still needed, and works; clients have changed. Thanks to the Internet and the multitude of search engines such as Zillow and Trulia, clients are far more educated, and knowledgeable when they walk in. This doesn’t mean that we abandon a sales process, just that we have to be flexible and focused on the client, and even more skilled at building rapport authentically and quickly.

    For me there is still almost nothing that replaces the thrill of helping a potential client make the decision to build a home with my builder and my team, and then ensuring that we work together to create the perfect “Client Experience”. One of the ways to create that perfect experience is to ensure that there is a formal download of all pertinent information from sales to everyone in the company that may work with each client. I put together a form to make it easier. If you would like a copy of our “Connect form”, please email me at: Roland@salessolveeverything.com – and type CONNECT.

    Online Sales Bites

    One of the exciting learning tools we have at Sales Solve Everything is a library of 60 online sales videos that address each facet of the sales process in detail, and even include interactive games. Here I am recording my first few “bites” regarding Communication skills.

    If you would like to receive a free sample bite, please write to: Vanessa@salessolveeverything.com; – and type FREE BLOG BITE

    online-sales-bite

    South East Builders Conference – Orlando

    In the summer, I was honored to speak at the SEBC with the talented and entertaining Leah Turner. We discussed “How to Earn the Right to Ask for the Sale”. It was a full house, and wonderful to meet so many new people, and begin new relationships with the builders and their teams.

    If you missed the program and would like the workbook, feel free to email me at Roland@salessolveeverything.com – and type SEBC

    Savannah, Georgia

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    Next it was time for some Southern hospitality, with my friends at the Lamar Smith Signature Homes team, led by the talented Amy Eakin. We had a fun and interactive two days of training covering “The A-Z of New Home Sales” which included role playing of how to demonstrate your model. One of the first concepts is to start from the outside, so here we are deciding on the wonderful features and Benefits that we would share with customers. We all role played and learned to “Close the one you’re in”, one of my favorite songs.

    Lady Lake Florida

    Next it was off to Lady Lake, which is adjacent to the famous Villages, north of Orlando, Florida. Green Key Village, is an exclusive, gated, maintenance free community, with charming Key West themed Architecture and “Green Built” homes that boast zero energy bills, as well as a healthy environment for residents to enjoy. Developed and managed by the lovely Thomas family shown below.

    lady-lake-florida Roland with Greg, Kim and Ashton Thomas

    We are working together on a holistic program of consulting and training. Between on-site training visits, weekly management huddles, remote sales meetings and hot prospect strategy; we are excited to help transform the community one sale at a time./

    Sales Solve Everything Schools In Dallas

    I was honored to join our team for my first ever three day Comprehensive New Home Sales Training School. Students from all over the country joined us for the most thorough training imaginable, culminating in a day in the field with Ralph, Mar’Sue and myself. Mar’Sue taught how to sell from plans, Ralph took them out doors for his world-famous SITE-ing program in the hot sun, and I stayed in the air conditioning, and showed the salespeople how to demonstrate homes, to maximize sales.

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    Roland with two of the four Super Star model demo teams.

    Epic Event In Houston

    Next, off to Houston for an intense and action packed day of training. Ralph taught “How to Run Your New Home Franchise”, and his famous “8-5-1” goal and appointment setting program. Mar’Sue taught “How to Think and Act Like a Champion” and “Negotiation Skills from Around the World”, while I taught “How to Communicate, Connect and Build Rapport like a Pro”, and “Closing Mastery”. The group included a lively mixture of sales people, with all levels of experience from brand new to seasoned pros, and from large national builders to small local. The feedback was amazing and they all come away having learned a ton, while also having fun.

    epic-event-houston Roland, Ralph and Mar’Sue dazzle and educate salespeople and managers in Houston.

    Sales Solve Everything Management Retreat In Dallas

    The managers enjoyed an interactive, advanced level retreat and best practices session. They left educated, satisfied and with new friendships from around the country!

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    Nashville, Tennessee

    It was very special for me to work with my friend Gary, owner of Landmark Homes in the Mount Juliet area of Tennessee, and work with his talented Manager David Huffaker and his Keller Williams new home sales team. The group was young and hungry to learn, which for me as teacher was a true pleasure. There were plenty of light bulb moments, and some transformational sales successes that occurred soon after this first visit.

    nashville-tennessee

    Summer Sales Hero

    The most rewarding part of being a sales trainer and coach are the real-life success stories of our students. My hope is that the transformative sales success of our students will give them confidence, and cascade through all areas of their lives.

    While I was in Nashville, one student in particular stood out. I noticed that Jameson (third from the right in the kitchen, wearing glasses and a jacket), was always early for the training, sat in the front row, and took a ton of notes. With the voluntary homework assignment, he was the first to send me his three page sales presentation. It was almost flawless, perfectly following the carefully thought through outline in the workbook.

    Little did I know that Jameson had been in a bit of a sales slump with no sales for the previous month. A week after the training I received this email from his manager David: Jameson wrote 4 contracts last week! We are very proud of him! I credit your program with giving him the confidence to push for the sale and close these deals! Thank you! Have a great week!”

    Since then, in what is now 8 weeks, Jameson has had 11 sales and taken four reservation agreements as he has temporarily sold himself out of home sites. Congratulations to Jameson, our well deserved Summer Sales Hero.

    My Peeps

    Since many of you used to enjoy pictures of my family and watching my little Max grow up, I thought I would include an updated photo of all of us. Max is now 8, and here we are, with my wife Svitlana on Naples Pier this summer. Like most of you, I couldn’t do anything without the love and support of my beautiful family. I am truly grateful for all our blessings.

    my-peeps

    For questions or comments please either call me at: 561-236-2400 or email me at: Roland@salesolveeverything.com And be sure to friend me on Facebook and LinkedIn. Have a great month of successful selling.

  6. 5 Keys to Building a Better Relationship With Your Sales Leader

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    In any relationship, it takes two people to make it work. The Manager-Employee relationship is no different. Some of us are blessed to be able to work for someone we respect and admire. In those instances, we are motivated to do our part in creating and maintaining a positive working relationship, often going out of our way to ensure the relationship strengthens over time.

    But like family, we often don’t get to choose our leaders (without a job change) and not all leaders are created equally. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to work on this relationship and drive positive outcomes. Here are five of them:

      1. Be Prompt. Whether it’s being on time for a weekly sales meeting, sending in your traffic report Sunday evening or submitting a quarterly competitive analysis consistently without being asked, being prompt creates a positive perception that you can be counted on to do what is needed when it’s needed.

      2. Be Prepared. Having a prepared list of topics ready to discuss with your manager during your one on one meetings displays not only you are disciplined with your time, it shows you respect others’ time as well.

      3. Be Proactive. Most customer issues occur because of poor communication and unmet expectations. Sometimes we are to blame. But sometimes the customer doesn’t communicate well. Be proactive with your communication to your Sales Leader. You can’t control how they are going to respond to you, but if positioned properly, the response will be better if you communicate sooner rather than later. Try this: “I know this is going to make our lives more difficult in the short term but I’m letting you know now that XYZ happened in the hopes we can avoid an even bigger problem down the road.” Lean on your manager: “I could really use your guidance on how to fix this so the company and the customer is least impacted.”

      4. Be a Partner. Managers are often overworked and under-appreciated. Just like we are getting pulled in a thousand directions by customers and chasing down paperwork, our managers are getting pulled in a million directions trying to meet the needs of their team, their own manager and oftentimes, angry customers. A good manager won’t let you feel the pressure they themselves are feeling. But just because they aren’t exhibiting stress doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling it. Sometimes a simple “How can I help you?” or a surprise Starbucks can go a long way with people. Everyone needs to feel like they are appreciated…even your manager.

      5. Be Polite. Let’s face it. Everyone has a bad day every once in a while. As a manager, we’ve done things and delivered messages in ways that I came to regret. People make mistakes. At some point, everyone deserves a second chance. If your manager isn’t having a great day and takes it out on you, don’t take it personally. Be polite. Listen to what they have to say rather than how they say it and do what only you can do: Control your response. No one ever got into hot water by being polite and even if your manager isn’t the type to apologize (and to be clear, they should absolutely apologize), you will sleep better knowing you were the bigger person and acted with grace.

    Keeping these five habits fine-tuned will help you prepare to be a better leader yourself someday. Be straightforward, be honest and remember the 5 P’s outlined above in managing your professional relationships.

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  7. 8 Out of the Box Ways to Create a Community

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    If you ask a sales professional how they would describe their community, what do you think they’d say? You’ll likely hear, “At XYZ Estates, our community has about 20 remaining home sites, a pool, fishing pond and walking trails. The model homes sit towards the front entrance.” Rarely does the sales professional describe the “sense” of the community or what it “feels” like to live there. Why don’t we do this? How can we as new home salespeople bring a greater sense of community to our neighborhoods? Here are 8 tips for doing just that.

    Consider this your warning. This may be challenging for most of you, but you’re going to have to GET OUT OF THE BOX for these. In order for this to really work, you’re going to have to grab your fellow sales consultants who sell within your community (yes, your competition) and *GASP* work together. After all, you’re all part of the community and together, you have the relationships to bring everyone together, not just the families to which you alone sold homes. The goal is to show that the entire community is successful and fun no matter whose homes are selling. Here we go.

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    1. Create a community Facebook page. This shouldn’t be about marketing and referrals. At least not overtly. The idea is to engage your homeowners in connecting through social media and provide them a source of relevant information. Make the group private so only residents are able to access the group.

      • Welcome new families (with their permission). Include a short bio and family picture.

      • Allow homeowners to post items for sale

      • Advertise garage sales

      • Post school calendars and menus

      • Create and maintain a list of service providers

      • Advertise resales and open houses (You read that right. Help your homeowners liquidate the investment they made with you and build relationships with local Realtors in the process)

    2. Buy closing gifts…for everyone. Chances are, when someone closes in your community, you’ve met them. Rarely does a buyer only visit one model in any given community before buying. Why not set yourself apart from the competition by sending a welcome gift to everyone who closes on a home? Better yet, join forces and send one nice welcome gift from all sales consultants and a more traditionally branded “closing gift” to those who bought from you. Some ideas:

      Mugs for the grownups

      • Moving day activity basket for the kids

      • Moving day basket for the household (flashlight, duct tape, box cutter, advil, bottled water, bandaids, toilet paper, paper towels, snacks, paper and pen, picture hanging kit, small hammer, gift card to local pizza place (get them to donate it!), etc)

      Personalized doormat

    3. Hold community events. Leverage multiple marketing budgets and host a block party. Let the community see that the builders in their neighborhood mean what they say when they tout how much they care about their homeowners by working together.

      • Block parties

      • Phase close-out party to introduce everyone once they’ve closed

      • Holiday parties and kids’ parades. There is a neighborhood we know of that is known throughout the town for their Halloween block party. Families trick or treat in this community rather than their own because the hot dogs, friends and hayrides are way more fun that in their own neighborhoods.

    4. Partner with local businesses. Ask area small businesses to host events welcoming homeowners to the area and introducing themselves and their services. This could be anything from a morning drive-by offering coffee and doughnuts to a wine and cheese fundraiser.

    5. Start a community Instagram feed. Tell your community story through the stories of your homeowners. Feature new floorplans, how homeowners are using their space or the local florist’s latest arrangement.

    6. Review local restaurants. Get a real taste for your community! Ask restaurants for coupons for your homeowners (assuming it’s a good review!) or have them host a community night with the proceeds going to a community fundraiser or school.

    7. Hold a “We love our pets” day. Give out catnip toys and dog treats at the models. Take pictures of families with their pets and socialize them on Facebook and Instagram. Ask your local pet store to contribute. Have a local vet sponsor. Have a pet fair!

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    8. Create community text group. Use this sparingly to keep homeowners alert to school closings, road closures/traffic issues, crime and weather alerts and lost pets.

    Whether you implement several or none of the ideas here, the point is to empower your homeowners to embrace their community by embracing it yourself. If you and your competitors are truly passionate about building a great neighborhood, a little effort will go a long way to instilling that same passion in the families who live there.

    It’s one thing to say you work in a community. It’s another thing entirely to say you helped to create one.

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