The Key to a Successful Home Sale

The Key to a Successful Home Sale

Couple at computerIn May, my son graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in marketing. As a high school senior, he set a national sales record for one of North America’s largest electronics retailers. The kid is smart. But when it came time to purchase a new car last weekend, he and his fiancée (who also has a business degree) were novices. Not that they hadn’t researched vehicles online. Not that they didn’t know what was important to them in a new vehicle. Not that they didn’t know what they could afford. It’s just that neither had ever purchased a brand-new vehicle. Rebates or lower APR? Extended warranty? Rustproofing? “Sport” edition? Price negotiation? Then there was the high-pressure sales tactics…

Similarly, how many of your prospective home buyers took classes in home design, home building, or buying a new home when they were college students? With such a monumental decision, how do you help buyers choose you?

Listen…and build rapport. The first salesperson my son met couldn’t wait to demonstrate the vehicle. He quickly identifed the model he thought would most interest this young couple, then spent quite a bit of time showing them the many features. This was followed by the customary test-drive during which the sales person spent most of his time texting.

I’ve met new home sales pros who likewise want to get right to touring visitors through their model home. Most are superb at highlighting the hot-button amenities. But people want to buy from someone they like, someone who cares about them, someone they can trust, and that takes time getting to know them and listening to what they want.

Edu-sell. Price is always important, but selling via lowest price is both difficult and lazy. Difficult, because there are only so many corners you can cut, so many suppliers you can bully into dropping their price. Lazy, because the consumer doesn’t have to think and the salesperson doesn’t have to deal with educating the customer, quality, or other “intangibles.”

The salesman who won my son’s business quickly established rapport over their mutual admiration for Apple products. He segued that into introducing Apple Car Play, found in some of their vehicles. He took the time to discuss all-wheel drive options, various trim levels/options, and what was included, such as explaining the pros and cons of leather seats.

New home buyers don’t know what they don’t know. Your ability to modify standard designs; delightful new amenities prospects didn’t even know existed; product upgrades ideally matched to their priorities; these are all ways to empower buyers to make the best decisions, within the budget they have established for themselves, making you their advisor who has their best interests at heart.

Make the process easy, fun, and (relatively) stress-free. For my son and his fiancée, their salesman turned car shopping into a process of discovery. The vehicle they ultimately purchased was not even on their radar screen initially. From the big touch screen display with back-up camera, to the “Vehicle Protection Package,” to sorting through the business office/finance options, this dealership understood how to respect their customers.

Your homes are designed. Your home building system was designed. Your customers’ new home purchase experience should be designed, too. Looking at the purchase experience through the eyes of the customer is the place to start, rather than what’s efficient for you. Concentrate especially on the areas which can be stressful (e.g., finalizing the design, product selections, and the purchase agreement). Above all else, focus on clear communication, because ambiguity is no one’s friend!

Author: Paul Foresman, VP Business Development, Design Basics, LLC

There’s No Need to Vent…

There’s No Need to Vent…

Whirlpool Vent pull outSometimes placement of the laundry room presents a unique situation for venting the dryer. Maybe your vent needs to run up before it can exit the home. This can cause energy and safety problems as lint can become trapped in in the vent and more frequent cleaning is needed. Introducing a ventless dryer!

The new breed of ventless clothes dryers not only use less energy, they also eliminate Whirlpool Vent cleanthe need for a dryer vent. Even if you are disciplined in cleaning out the lint filter regularly, dryer vent hoses/pipes typically clog over time, lengthening dryer cycles, wasting power, and shortening the life of your dryer. Some vent hoses snake around the home’s framing and are very hard to clean out, a leading cause of the 2,900 home clothes dryer fires reported annually (U.S. Fire Administration). Whirlpool’s HybridCare™ True Ventless heat pump dryer offers a large, 7.4 cu. ft. capacity and dries clothes in about the same amount of time as the company’s traditional vented models.

For more information, visit: www.whirlpool.com

Note: Product spotlights are for informational purposes; we do not formally endorse any product or service.

Reduce the Spread of Germs with Touch-Activated

Reduce the Spread of Germs with Touch-Activated

It’s just common sense, there’s a reason every time you wash your hands. Yet prior to each wash, you’re grabbing the faucet handle – that collector for all of the previous bacteria and germs you needed to wash off! Auto grease…raw fish and poultry…chemicals…what residue has built up on your bathroom and kitchen faucet handles? Touch-activated faucets to the rescue, such as Delta’s models with their Touch20® Technology. Simply touch anywhere on the faucet spout or handle to turn on and off. The faucet will deliver the same settings (flow rate and temperature) as the previous use. Powered by six AA or six C batteries, LEDs around the base flash red to indicate low battery; or choose the optional AC adaptor.

For more information on touch-free faucets, visit: www.deltafaucet.com.

Note: Product spotlights are for informational purposes; we do not formally endorse any product or service.

From Features to Benefits to Emotions

From Features to Benefits to Emotions

Eureka! You’ve just stumbled upon one of the most obvious advantages your homes offer that’s not found in other builders’ homes. Once they know, customers will beat a path to your door! But before you commit to that advertising campaign, let’s see what we can learn from Apple.

In the age of Sony Walkman personal CD players, Apple introduced the iPod, which could hold a lot more music than a single CD-Rom. Apple capitalized on that benefit with their slogan, “1000 songs in your pocket.” The advantage was obvious…and enormous!

Yet, according to marketing/branding guru Alessandra Ghini who was working for Apple on the iPod at that time, “the tagline failed to take the iPod mainstream.” Apparently, storage space wasn’t the point. As reported in Fast Company, Ghini’s team asked owners, “Why do you enjoy the iPod?” Consumer feedback centered around the emotions music can evoke from each listener. Ghini’s team refocused iPod advertising on the now ubiquitous human silhouettes enjoying their music, and another chapter in the annals of Apple’s success was written.

Holding 1000 songs was a factual benefit of the iPod. Yet, in that context, the appeal was limited. Apple’s home run came with tapping into buyers’ emotions surrounding using the product, specifically music’s ability to affect/enhance our mood.

Now, let’s return to that new amenity offered in your homes. We’ll use the Travel Center in the owner’s suite closet as an example. Properly staged, a Travel Center is obvious and easily understood by your model home visitors. But will it actually sell more homes? That depends on how those model home visitors feel.

Stories are a powerful way to tap into buyer’s emotions. “You know, I nearly broke my ankle when I tripped over the suitcase in my closet.” Or, “I love the travel center because everything’s ready, right there, for an unexpected trip.” Asking, “How do you see yourself using the Travel Center?” or to the frequent traveler “How would it make you feel to have everything for your next trip right here at your fingertips?” can help prospects envision living in the home and using the travel center.

Remember, buyers buy on emotion!

Most any plans with a walk-in closet can incorporate a Travel Center into the design, but here is a selection of plans with Travel Centers already designed:

Your Car will Thank You

Streets meander through the neighborhood. Curbs and sewers are already in place, as are young saplings hinting at the promise of beautiful tree-lined streets. This, the neighborhood you’re buying into. You’ve been planning this new home for years. Everything’s been selected, from the floor coverings to the lighting fixtures. No detail has been overlooked. Or so you thought. In the excitement of your dream home becoming a reality you didn’t notice. But your car did. That significant bump when you pull into your drive. In fact, low-slung cars can’t turn into your drive without bottoming out. It’s called a curb grind.

You just assumed that the end of your driveway would slope gently to the street level. But that costs extra money, and if it’s not in the specifications, it likely isn’t going to happen. The time to talk about a curb grind is not after the driveway has been poured—it’s too late at that point. The time is before your purchase agreement is signed!

The Air We Breathe

Most whole-home air purification systems utilize high-performance air filters installed in the home’s heating ductwork, which can be very effective at trapping airborne pollutants and allergens. Some systems go further, adding UV germicidal lights that can kill bacteria and germs in the air as that air passes by those lights. The limitation of such systems is that they are passive, treating only the air that passes through your heating/air conditioning system.

The next generation of indoor air purification is active rather than passive, neutralizing bacteria, mold, viruses, mildew, smoke, odors, and other contaminants throughout your home, even in air that doesn’t pass through the HVAC system. One such system is MicroPure® from Dust Free®. While this system also installs in the home’s HVAC system, MicroPure utilizes NASA-developed technology to naturally produce airborne “scrubbers,” circulated throughout the home through your ductwork that actively seek out and destroy pollutants in the air while also reducing contaminants on surfaces such as countertops and flooring. The MicroPure system comes in three sizes, 5″ (for 2-2.5 ton A/C systems), 9″ (for 3-5 ton A/C systems), and 14″ (for 5-ton and larger systems).

To learn more, visit: www.dustfree.com

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