by Michele Newbern Gillis
The Sales and Marketing Council may be getting a library.
The council leadership wants to help educate its members by creating a resource center at the NEFBA office and Steve Williams, the chairman of the SMC education committee and vice president of marketing and sales for McGarvey Residential Communities, is spearheading the effort.
“What we are trying to establish first and foremost is a library,” said Williams. “And in that library, we hope to, over a period of time and through donations and purchases, create a library of books, compact discs, tapes and videos.”
Williams said they are just in the formative stages of putting the center together.
“We are out now seeking and speaking to those groups that offer those educational materials for sale on a retail basis,” said Williams. “All them have an impressive list of books, tapes and CDs designed to help people get better at their craft. Those all cost money, so we are approaching those individuals to see what they can do to help us create this resource center, whether it is a gift on their part or something we can purchase with a discount.”
Even though SMC brings in valuable speakers, not everyone can make every Friday morning meeting. Tapes of those presentations would be available.
“Here, the information is at their fingertips,” said Williams. “Our members can take the time to come to our library at times when it is convenient for them and pick and choose what they would like to learn more about.”
Williams would like some of the materials to come from the members.
“If there is something languishing on your bookshelf and you would like to donate it, we certainly would welcome that,” said Williams. “You should be able to receive a tax credit for that, but you would need to refer to your accountant first, of course.”
SMC Chairman Jim DelVelcchio, president of Home South Mortgage, said it would be very helpful if the members could donate materials they already have.
“A lot of the members have been to conventions and bought a book, tape or CD and now they are sitting in a closet,” said DelVecchio.
The type of materials they are looking for are primarily how-to books.
“First and foremost, we are looking for those books that describe those common features that the most successful site agents do to be a success in their marketplace,” said Williams. “There are some books out there that describe the way you set your business up and exactly what to say in any given circumstance. A common feature in all sales is that 20 percent of a sales force sells 80 percent of the business. We want to show the other 80 percent how they can become part of the 20 percent.”
He said they haven’t finalized all the details yet, but they would suggest that the resource center be restricted to the members of the SMC, an organization which is open to real estate agents, site agents, builders and affiliates.
“It will provide educational and marketing materials for the members,” said DelVecchio, “It will be centrally located in the NEFBA offices and the materials can be checked out and used for free.”
Williams said they are trying to add more value to the SMC membership.
“This is one way we can do that,” said Williams. “SMC this year, as well as past years, has been a very successful and viable marketing arm of NEFBA and because of that we are constantly striving for new innovative ideas to put some of our profits back into our membership.”
He said that putting the money back into SMC will create a lot of synergy for the group.
“When we do those type of things, it creates a lot of opportunity for other people who have not recognized the SMC before to take another look at it and hopefully join so they can be a part of the synergy,” said Williams.
Neither DelVecchio nor Williams is sure how much the resource center will cost.
“The money that will be spent on the resource center will only be spent if we are showing a profit,” said DelVecchio. “If we are not making money, we won’t be able to do it. Part of the profits that we are generating this year are going to be returned to the membership of SMC and returned in quality, timely and state-of-the-art audio and visual materials.”
Safe Harbor and daniel are usually the recipient of the bulk of the profits.
“Safe Harbor and daniel will benefit once again from SMC,” said DelVecchio. “We have no intention to neglect our charity functions. There will be a teddy bear drive and the daniel Christmas party. There will be funds that we allocate for charity. In addition to that, we want to grow SMC on a different platform.”
Williams seconds that idea.
“We don’t want to take anything away from what we have done for the charities in the past,” said Williams. “If anything, by creating some extra value with the resource center, the extra members we hopefully gain from this new value that we created will help proportionately raise our charity giving. We look at it as a way to increase our gift giving.”