LINK TO THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE, “I Was Wrong! There, I Said It (And You Might Be Making The Same Mistake)”
Three important takeaways to build relationships with the brokerages as a whole instead of the indivual REALTOR®:
- Educate the brokerages on selling new construction
- Partner on sponsorships to carve out a niche
- Incentivize with commissions instead of bonuses
Hi everyone, Kimberly Mackey here with New Homes Solutions, and I am coming to you today to talk about an article that I posted on my blog way back on January, 29th of 2014. The title of it is, “I Was Wrong! There, I said it (and You Might Be Making the Same Mistake.)” You see, back when I was a vice president of sales and marketing, I always thought that I needed to focus on the individual REALTOR®, and do things for the individual REALTOR® in order to sell more homes. Even if I was running a bonus or anything like that, I would do it as a bonus rather than a commission. Again, focused on the individual REALTOR®. Well, over time, I have learned that isn’t the best focus for us as home builders. When you only have one home to sell, it is about the one REALTOR® – the one who’s going to sell your home or the one who’s going to list your home or combination of both. However, when you have multiple homes to sell, it’s about the relationship with the brokerage community and the brokers themselves in the individual brokerages out there.
Start to think a little bit broader. When you do so, you can structure a situation for yourself and carve out a niche in your market where you are the ones that the brokers are going to promote, that the brokers are going to encourage their REALTORS® to work with you. You’ll be working with educated REALTORS® and “Raving Fans”; not those REALTORS® out there who don’t know that much about new construction, or it’s their first time selling. Maybe they’re the type of person who wants to posture and always has to puff themselves up and create a little bit of a problem in order to create some importance? We want to work with those agents who are “Raving Fans” who love new homes, and there are plenty of them out there, but you have to be a little creative to go after them and go out and get them. When you think about working with brokerages, start with the general manager of the brokerage or the broker themselves who represent many agents or have many agents working for them. Sit down, talk to them, and find out what you can do to help them. Perhaps you could educate? It’s really great to educate our general REALTORS® about how to do new construction, and how to be involved with us as builders. A lot of the problems that we have, come from a place of fear, and just not knowing. Imagine when we can erase that by educating. That’s one of my favorite things to do is to reach out and educate general real estate agents. In fact, I do it regularly for a very large brokerage here in the Tampa Bay market.
Any training that you might be able to assist agents with – maybe they need some sponsorship for an award or program that they’re running, and you might have an opportunity of being in front of them on a regular basis? Maybe they have a special charity, and you could partner with them on that charity – any type of partnership. But think about partners, and think about partnering with that brokerage so that you can reach many agents and not just one.
I stated earlier that I always paid a bonus, because the way that most commission structures are, the general real estate agent when they get their commission, it’s based on the split with that broker. Above that, if there is a bonus that is titled as such, a lot of brokers have a structure where they do not split that bonus. So that word bonus versus commission is very, very important.
I am not saying you need to always go out and incentivize REALTORS® to sell your homes. In fact, I think if you have great relationships with them, that’s the number one way to get them engaged. You should definitely encourage your sales team to get creative, get out there, and build those relationships. But you as a company need to support that. However, there are times when it is important for us to get a home moved, or it may be in a close-out situation, or when we’re just opening a community. Maybe you have had a home that sat there or turned a couple of times and never quite made it across the finish line. In those instances, it’s more important to get that home sold. You might want to consider an individual real estate bonus on it, or better yet, paying additional commission amount. Because then you are helping to support the brokerage as well. Now, don’t worry about agents being upset because you are paying commission instead of a bonus. I mean, I’ve never met anyone yet who complained about making more money. Have you? So, understand that difference, use it sparingly, but occasionally it does make sense to do that.
I do like to create a VIP program, though, and with this, you have to be extremely consistent. This needs to be extremely well thought out. You’re going to reward right behavior all the way through from those agents who come out and show your homes, to those who sell. Try to build VIPs. A VIP to me is someone who is going to sell at least two of your homes per year. We want to build those relationships. When we do that, we’re going to be dealing with those specific agents who are already “Raving Fans,” who already know, us like us, trust us and remember us when they have a buyer. That’s more important. We’re going to build those relationships over time. If you would like a copy of a basic template that I have for creating a Real Estate VIP Program, please feel free, to reach out to me here at info@NewHomesSolutions.com.
The last point I want to leave you with is a point that I like to teach all of my agents. You do not need to have a relationship with thousands of general REALTORS®. In fact, there’s a magic formula. If each one of your onsite agents has a VIP relationship with 25 general real estate agents who are, as I define a VIP as someone who brings you two sales per year, then each of your onsite agents, with 25 VIPs bringing you two sales, already have 50 sales right out of the gate on January 1. Think about that.
Thanks again for joining us for SOLUTIONS e-training. Never miss an episode be sure that you sign up so that it comes straight to your inbox twice a month. Thanks again, and we’ll see you next month.
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