Brought to you by the Builder Realtor Relations Committee of the Sales and Marketing Council of the Northeast Florida Builders A
Q. What are some of the ways site agents miscommunicate with Realtors? And, how can site agents better communicate with Realtors?
A. We, in new home sales, miscommunicate with Realtors in a number of ways. The most important example is when we say to them, “just bring us your clients and we will take it from there.” The average Realtor does something like six transactions per year and you want to tell them to just trust you and let you take over? If you were in their shoes, how would you feel about that uncertainty? The key is building the relationship and with relationships comes trust. Once trust is established, you learn to work as a team and you both sell more new homes.
The other way we miscommunicate with Realtors is by talking at them, rather than talking with them. I give examples in my blog and in my presentations of how the normal on-site sales person presents in the general real estate sales meetings, where we just start rattling off statistics about our communities rather than asking them who they are working with and suggesting some solutions that might fit those needs.
When you engage Realtors in your presentation, they are more likely to think about a particular prospect that might be a fit for your community. Price range, bedroom counts and square footage are not part the of initial engagement experience. Most everyone has three to four bedrooms and 1,700-3,000 square feet. Set yourself apart, make it about them.
Q. Is sponsoring a real estate office meeting a good way to get in front of Realtors with builder’s product and communities? How so?
A. Yes, it absolutely can be when conducted in a way to actually connect with the audience of Realtors as we discussed above. Remember, it isn’t about the quantity of Realtors in which you are able to present. It is definitely about the quality of the relationships you are able to build with those who have buyers whose needs fit that of your community. Make those unique connections, work with that Realtor to find the solutions that create the WIN/WIN/WIN.
Q. What are some other ways site agents can get their builder’s product in front of Realtors?
A. The list, for the creative onsite agent is really endless. Some of my favorite suggestions include:
1. Become the “official sponsor of birthdays” for your favorite real estate office. This ensures that you get in front of them each and every month. Plus you get the opportunity to call everyone who has a birthday that month and personally invite them to come to their sales meeting to be honored.
2. Start a “pitch session.” Invite your preferred lenders, perhaps someone from an insurance company and other related services to sponsor with you. Invite your Realtor VIPs and ask them to bring someone else from their office and then everyone gets an opportunity to “pitch” their listings, including you of course! These can be hosted once per month in your model center.
Q. What is the H.E.R.S. rating? How can that work with Realtors who may not regularly bring their clients to a builder’s models?
A. One of the biggest advantages to buying new is the greatly reduced cost of ownership. Insurance and utilities are greatly reduced. The H.E.R.S. rating is the standard by which we can measure a Home’s Energy Rating System. The lower the H.E.R.S. number, the more efficient the home is.
The translation to Realtors and their buyers is that relationship between that “used” home and a new home and what that means for the buyers increased purchase power. Education for our Realtor partners is the key. Enlist your construction department to help you educate them.
Q. Any last tips?
A. For the on-site agent, who is charged with driving 50 percent of their own traffic, there is no better source than leveraging the power of Realtors. You don’t need an email list of 2,500. In fact, I highly discourage that because you will only annoy Realtors if you continue to inundate them with all those emails. You do need strong Realtor relationships.
One of the key things I teach the on-site teams I work with is the simple concept of 25 x 2 = 50. 25 Realtor VIP’s, who bring you two deals per year equals 50 sales per year before any walk-in traffic. Sounds like a great business model to me!