“What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate”

“What We Have Here Is a Failure to Communicate”

For all of my readers who are old movie buffs, you will recognize this line from the Warner Brothers classic movie, Cool Hand Luke (1967), starring Paul Newman.  (For those of you who aren’t classic movie buffs, here is a link where you can watch the trailer: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3936093721/ ).  But basically, it is about a man, sent to prison, who just refuses to conform despite the punishments those in charge inflict upon him.

Recently, I have been thinking about the way On-site Agents attempt to communicate with our General Real Estate friends, and this line just keeps popping into my head, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”  Except with us, it is almost the opposite scenario as in the movie.  We have all conformed to basically the same script over and over again and it just isn’t working, but we keep doing it anyway.

Let me set the scene for you.  On-site agent, doing what their manager has instructed them to do, reaches out to a Broker’s office and asks if they can speak at the next office sales meeting.  Once there, the presentation goes something like this:  “Hi, my name is Suzy On-site, and I work for Bodacious Builders in Shady Acres. Thanks so much for having me here today.  I want to invite you out to our community, where we build homes from 1400 to 3000 sf, priced from the $150’s.  We have a community pool and park, and are conveniently located…Oh, and did I mention, we are paying an additional 1% Commission to all our Referring REALTORS® for anything that can close by December 31st.  I have packets up front for you, and now I’d like to collect your cards because we are going to have a drawing for a $50 gas card.”  (at which point Suzy passes a basket or a fish bowl to collect the cards)…”and the winner is…Rhonda REALTOR®, congratulations Rhonda…”

Right!?  This is pretty darn close to what we say, isn’t it?  What’s wrong with that, you ask?  Well, the challenge isn’t so much what you said, it is what was heard.  Because we are all saying the same things, the General Agent’s hear the same thing, which is something like, “Blah blah, blah, blah, a builder’s rep is talking, what builder was it? Oh yeah, Bodacious Builder.  I don’t even know where Shady Acres is…huh, what, an extra $1%?, oh well, not working with anyone who would want to live way out there anyway…oh wait they are doing a drawing, did I bring a card with me?, I sure could use that gas card…”.

You see, the only things they heard was, WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) —which is the way most of us listen. So, what can you say to really make an impact?  I am glad you asked, why don’t we start by helping them with a problem they are currently having?  In other words, let’s show them the BENEFITS rather than just listing the FEATURES.

Here is an example of a better script for you to use:

“Hi, I am Suzy On-site with Bodacious Builders at Shady Acres.  Let me ask you a question, who is working with a buyer who is struggling to find a home in the resale market because of the shortage in inventory out there?  Or perhaps has put in multiple offers on existing houses only to be outbid?  Wow, that many of you?  Did you know that in new homes, if your buyer isn’t completely in love with a home we already have under construction, we can build them exactly what they want in about the same time as you spend driving them around for months losing out on putting in bids for existing houses and we can often times do this, at today’s prices for the same or less than you could find on the resale market…eventually? Wouldn’t you and your buyer appreciate knowing that once they have fallen in love with a home, they can lock it up, build it their way, and quickly move their family in without all the “hassle and wait and see games” currently going on in our resale market? I would be delighted to work in partnership with you to make that happen.  We have everything from 1400—3000 sf, so I am sure we can find a plan that will work for you buyers.”  Then, proceed to the drawing…

OR, how about this one?

“Hi, I am Suzy On-site with Bodacious Builders at Shady Acres.  By show of hands, who is working with a buyer who needs a home office (_________________) fill in the blank with whatever your featured home has to offer (just pick one home)?  Fantastic.  How many of those buyers are also concerned about the cost of ownership with utilities, etc. in their next home?  Right!? Most understandable.  Let me show you our featured home this month.  It is called the Key West Model and has this incredible, oversized, home-office/den/work-out room/hobby room—really, whatever extra space your buyer needs this room to be, and with it being off-set from the main part of the home, they won’t have to worry about privacy or if it gets a bit messy from time to time.  Don’t you agree that is a great benefit for your buyers?” (Pause for head nodding).

Now, let’s discuss the H.E.R.S. rating on all our homes at Bodacious Builders.  Since we are Energy Star™ and Green Certified, you can count on greatly reduced utility bills and keeping that cost of ownership much lower than a home built just 5 short years ago.  I will be right over here after your meeting, so please see me and let’s put our heads together to figure out how we can make this work for your buyers.”  Then proceed to drawing…

This works with any feature you can turn into a benefit.  Closing cost contributions, buyer incentives, any plan…you name it.  Your homes, your community, and you have a unique story to tell so why not make your presentation unique? So, let’s take a page from the movie script and be just as determined as Cool Hand Luke.  If you do, I just bet those same REALTORS® who have ignored you for years, will start to say, “WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS SOME SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION!”

Kimberly Mackey, REALTOR®, is the founder of New Homes Solutions, Inc, and has been called a rising star in the Homebuilder’s World for her reputation as someone with real world SOLUTIONS in a competitive and rapidly changing sales environment–SOLUTIONS like “50 Sales per Year before Any Walk-in Traffic”. She is a published author of many Sales and Leadership articles and a keynote speaker with over a decade and a half of experience as an executive in the residential home building and real estate industry.  She has experience working with Builders and Developers of all sizes –from the local/regional companies to the publicly traded nationals.  She also works with Brokers from across the country and is the architect and director of the highly successful Preferred Builder Partnership program with Prudential Tropical Realty where she has increased new home builder sales by over 200% in this large General Real Estate firm.

For more information, visit the www.NewHomesSolutions.com, or visit Mackey at LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlymackey; Twitter, www.twitter.com/KimberlyDMackey; and Facebook, www.facebook.com/NewHomesSolutions.

What do you think? We love to hear from you!