The world is moving from pandemic to endemic. The term “new normal” changes daily. So, how can you make your plans and strategies for the coming year when there are so many variables?
Let’s look at the big picture, the backdrop against which all of life’s infinite changes will be displayed:
- The need for new housing will remain overwhelmingly strong
- Supply chains, delivery times, and rising costs affect all new products
- New homebuyers will acclimate but will continue to search and make choices based on their wants and lifestyle. The Customer Experience remains paramount.
Keep focused on these fundamental truths, and you’ll be able to navigate the changing sales landscape of 2022. More importantly, you’ll be able to create and work on a plan that will keep you on track to achieve or exceed your goals.
Here are some key points to help you keep your head in the game and make this your best year ever.
Organize your desk, your thoughts, and your processes. If you don’t have systems in place for each process, now is the time to create and implement them. Why? Staying organized will save you time – up to two hours per day. More importantly, your buyers value their time. The more organized you are, the faster you’ll help them get to where they want to be – into their new home. Wasting their time is an unforgivable sin that will cost you sales.
All your sales systems should be centered around the customer’s experience and moving them seamlessly and enthusiastically through the steps of the buying process. Use a CRM to help you streamline those processes and keep track of prospects and where they are on their journey. Your presentation should be professional (including your office, dress, and grooming) and your sales center should be immaculate and inviting. With a new viral variant emerging seemingly every week, make sure your hygiene protocols are clear and followed to make all visitors feel safe and respected.
You might be painfully aware of how backlogs and shortages are affecting construction and delivery times, and how these differ from what we might be used to. but, don’t assume that your buyers are. Every homebuilder is facing similar challenges, so it’s unlikely that any competitor will have an advantage over you. Don’t apologize for how long it takes to get a home placed. That’s just how it is. Instead, highlight the advantage you likely offer over conventional builders in time, quality and price.
Help your buyers understand and set realistic expectations. Then, make sure that you keep your promises and meet those expectations. That is what will create a positive customer experience that will bring you referrals.
Manufactured homes and communities are attracting a whole new generation of buyers, many coming for different reasons than we’re used to. So, ask good questions and listen carefully to understand what your buyers are looking for so you can feature those benefits. For example, formal dining rooms or extra bedrooms are being transformed into home offices. Watch for ways to help your buyers use existing spaces in fresh ways to make your homes more desirable.
Plan your pricing, options, and incentives
Watch market trends and act appropriately. If you see a price increase coming, use that to close deals with current prospects. Selling against a pending price increase will likely be the most effective incentive you’ll ever find. In a ‘sellers’ market, offer premium options packaged into your sale price; if the market turns downward, promote your base or ‘economy’ packages. And even if your actual product is similar to that of your competitors, the way you market it can be totally unique so that you stand out.
What will happen as we get deeper into 2022? No one can say what new unexpected challenges we’ll see. But whatever comes, with some forethought and planning, you can be ready.