- Telephone calls and video messages keep the public informed yet allow you to remain personal
- Relay the measures you are taking to minimize transmission
- Have a sense of humor
Hi everyone, Kimberly Mackey here with New Homes Solutions. I know that SOLUTIONS is normally brought to you twice a month, but during these uncertain times, I wanted to talk to you and give you some proactive steps and things that you can do today. I don’t know about you, but watching the news kind of makes me feel like I’m helpless and a little bit overwhelmed. It seems like there is new information every hour coming out which can certainly lead to distraction and frustration. That, coupled with trying to ease your customers’ fears on top of it, can make you feel a little tapped out right now. There are some proactive things you can do, and I promise you, just by taking some proactive steps – regardless of the outcome of them – just doing these steps is going to make you feel better. These are things I’ve talked to my builders about around the country today. There are steps that I’m urging them to take, and I’ve picked up some things that they’re doing, so I wanted to share some of those best practices with you.
The first thing that you can do is to update your Google My Business. Google is sending out requests of your company right now to find out if you are changing your hours and how you are dealing with COVID-19. Update your Google My Business ideally with a video that explains – preferably from your division president, your leadership, the owners of the company, your CEO – to say these are the steps that we are proactively taking, these are the hours that we’re open, and we want you to feel safe. If you don’t feel safe coming out, or you’re unable to travel and get here, we have alternative measures so that business can be conducted and go on as usual.
It’s the misinformation; that’s what we’re hearing about. The confusion is causing the fear, so the more you can do to get proactive on that, the better it is. Again, video is going to go a long way, especially when you have someone in your company of authority doing it. Onsite salespeople, you can do this too, and you can create your video to send out to your customers. They’re going to feel a little more connected with you during these times.
Update your social media to make sure that you’re putting information out there on the same items – what hours you’re going to be available, what proactive steps your company is doing to keep its employees and customers and trade partners and everyone safe – any of those things that you can do. Email that video out to your prospects and your customers, and let them know that business is going to go on, and how business is going to go on, and if they are concerned, what the alternative measures are and how they can communicate that with you.
Remind them that we are typically not a large gathering space. By taking some simple steps, we can still practice social distancing, yet remain face to face. That would be showing them that you are taking your Lysol wipes, or your disinfectant or your Clorox wipes, and you’re wiping down door handles or wiping down faucets – any frequently touched surface – and that you’re doing that multiple times a day. You do have hand sanitizer, and employees are being encouraged to wash their hands
Let them know if you’ve had any employees who have traveled out of the country recently, and who are just back, what steps are being taken to keep those people away from the job site; that you are asking them to quarantine in place or stay at home. Relay your proactive measures such as asking all employees that if you feel ill or don’t feel well, or even if you don’t think you’re sick, that you are telling them they need to stay home.
Avoid shaking hands. I went to a conference last week, and people still came up to me – it’s a habit – and they stick out that hand and they wanted to shake hands or even hold my hand when they were talking to me about something personal. I know that we are so used to being a society of touching and shaking hands or even holding hands through something emotional. Certainly in buying homes, that can be an emotional experience for people, but we do need to keep that distance and keep your sense of humor about it. Laugh even if you accidentally forget and stick your hand out. Say, “Sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! Here, let’s elbow bump.” Make a joke out of it, and just as long as you keep your sense of humor, that’s going to go a long way with people, and they will understand the social distancing
Keep hand sanitizer where available. If you have it, great. If you don’t, keep searching for it. See if you can use any of your resources to uncover some so that you can have that around. If not use sanitizing wipes. Soap and water works; that’s what all of the doctors are telling us. 20 seconds of singing Happy Birthday or whatever song; there are now playlists out there that you can use if you’re tired of singing Happy Birthday twice.
Wipe down those doorknobs, and light switches, and don’t forget those sliding glass doors. Don’t forget handrails. One of my salespeople told me today, “I walked through the model as if I was a customer touching the things that customers normally touch – closet doors, drawers that they open, the refrigerator.” I don’t know why customers always want to open the refrigerator. Wipe down the handles of all of those things, and don’t forget those bathroom light switches. Even though we turn them on, we know customers turn them off just out of habit throughout the day. Make sure that you are doing that, and encourage your subcontractors to do the same. Go through your inventory homes and anything else that you’re going to be showing, as we need to continue these practices not just in our model homes.
Again, keep your sense of humor with people. Anything that you can do to reach out and to have that human touch with people in this time – even if you’re not selling them a home – just being human and being real with people will go a long way. This is an ever-evolving situation, and it’s changing from minute to minute. I’m certainly not an expert. Try to stay informed, but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with it and obsessed with it. We still need to focus, and we still need to do our business. People are counting on us to build them their home. They want to be able to move into that home and to have that sense of security that they sought out when they bought a home from you in the first place.
Your REALTORS are being told the same thing right now. You can reach out to them, and pick up that phone, but stop emailing! Now is not the time to be emailing everybody. Pick up that phone and have the personal touch with them.
Hang in there everybody. We’re going to get through this. Nobody knows how long it will be, and we don’t have a crystal ball, but we’re a tough industry; we’ve weathered much worse, so we are going to get through this. Take it seriously, but as much as you can, don’t let it over-impact your world.
I will see you soon. Thanks a lot. Additional Resources: https://www.nar.realtor/coronavirus-a-guide-for-realtors?fbclid=IwAR2GDkA1DbHAEurUydnkeTGZq4JaNtOx9eYPW9MiVjiE8uJFNpRmKtkRxe8
Kimberly Mackey is the founder of New Homes Solutions Consulting, and has the 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”. Her primary business is that of a Sales & Marketing Management Consultant. Companies call on Kimberly to set up the processes and systems within the company so that sales is the engine that drives the train rather than running it off the tracks. Because she has such a depth of experience in all disciplines within the building industry beyond the sales and marketing world, she is highly sought after to help companies to create a Customer Experience Process from potential lead to customer and throughout the building process into the warranty period and beyond. In other words, by creating a smooth transition and communication processes, she helps builders to create “Raving Fans.”
She is a keynote speaker and published author of many Sales and Leadership articles with 20 years of experience as an executive in the residential home building and real estate industry. She has a proven track record 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 with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group where she works with 32 builders, 22 offices and over 650 agents.
For more information, or to book Kimberly for your next event, visit www.NewHomesSolutions.com. While you are there, please be sure to subscribe to SOLUTIONS e-newsletter which comes out twice a month with free training and best practice sharing from across our industry. You are also invited to connect with Kimberly on LinkedIn,www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlymackey; Twitter,www.twitter.com/KimberlyDMackey; and Facebook,www.facebook.com/NewHomesSolutions or on YouTube, www.youtube.com/c/NewHomesSolutions