Help buyers get their footing by showing new homes

Identify clients' 'love' needs and create a sense of urgency

Every now and then, a reader tells me that he tried a suggestion and it worked.

To be honest, I am not surprised, because I do not write about thinking outside the box. I write about ideas and proven processes that I know will work. I just have a different way of applying fundamentals sometimes.

What follows is an example of sharing something you already know, but may need a new way of thinking about its importance.

Establishing trust is so important that, for purposes here, we will assume that trust is established. Unfortunately, the answer to the question, "Why did you purchase THAT home NOW," is not "because we trusted our agent."

Here are the three buying imperatives:

1. You showed them a home in which they can picture themselves living and enjoying.

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2. There is a sense of URGENCY to make a decision due to time constraints, or they are afraid that will lose the home to another buyer.

3. They have a price baseline that eliminates or minimizes the fear of "paying too much." They have good reason to believe they are getting the best deal possible.

Overlook just one of these three imperatives and you are not going to make a sale anytime soon, no matter what closing technique you use.

It is not because you cannot "sell." It is because you did not deliver one of the three imperatives above.

If the buyer says he wants a 3,000-square-foot home on the east side of town, with a two-car garage, three bedrooms, three bathrooms and an office, what would you show him that he would LOVE?

Here is a suggestion: The next time you qualify a buyer, ask him this question:

"After you move in and are on the phone with your best friend, how would you answer this question: ‘We just moved in and absolutely LOVE our new home, because _______.’"

The fact that it has 3,000 square feet and four bedrooms will not be the answer. It will have to do with convenience, safety, fun, the view, family fun or health. The answer will be something like, "We can’t wait to sit around the fireplace, pool, deck, boat dock, whatever and watch the birds, sunset, golfers, etc."

The solution: Find the house that meets their "love" needs.

This is the house they called you back to see the second time, fell in love with, and must purchase or start losing sleep over not having it (URGENCY). There is only one like it in that location.

At this point, you have met the first two imperatives But in today’s market, with its confused pricing, love and urgency are not enough to put pen to paper.

If they cannot eliminate the fear of paying too much, and can delay a buying decision, they will delay it.

Here is how you make sure this does not happen.

This is why homebuilders need to stop encouraging general agents to SELL their homes, and start encouraging them to SHOW a new home model at the top of the agent’s showing schedule.

The reason you show a new home first thing is to establish a price/value baseline from which to show your resales. A fixed, believable price is your starting point. New homes meet this need.

When homebuilders and on-site agents understand this process, they will start talking in terms of the general agents’ interest, not their own, and will, as a result, sell more new homes.

The problem in today’s market is that when resales are compared to each other, there is still the unknown of what offer the seller will take, and what the pending maintenance expenses will be. There is a lot of room for doubt, because there is no price baseline from which to judge value and worth.

On the other hand, if they have seen a new home model first thing, they have a fixed price base from which to evaluate the resales, including the incentives and warranties. Does this mean they will buy a new home? Who cares? As long as they buy a home.

I can hear it now. "What if my prospect doesn’t want to see a new home model?" That is a great question, but it is not close to the point. The reason you want them to see a new home model is not to sell them one, but to help them establish a valid price/value baseline. They need to see what they can get for a fixed price, and be able to compare what they see and hear in model centers to the resales you show them.

The worst case is that you leave a new homes center, having taken their "new homes temperature" and registered prospect in case they decide to come back and have heard your prospect’s answers to the on-site agents questions that will help streamline your resale presentation.

All any of this is doing is sharpening your resale ax, while giving you a backup sales opportunity if they decide they might like "new" after all.

Either way, resale or new purchase. Your prospect buys with confidence, and you get to deposit thousands of dollars that you would have otherwise missed.

David Fletcher, a licensed real estate broker and lifetime achiever, is founder of EMentoru, a company dedicated to helping real estate agents and homebuilders help each other make sales. Contact him by phone or text at 407- 234-2349, or by email at davidf@ementoru.com.

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