New Home Sales

Overcoming ...

Overcoming Objections on Unfavorable Homesites

By Mike Fujihira 4 min read

Many sales consultants can recall a moment in their professional career in which they struggled to close out a phase in their community, only to hear objections presented on the handful of available homesites remaining. Even after strategic release schedules and thoughtful pricing strategies, unforeseeable market forces can leave agents with disadvantageous sites to sell near the end of a phase. Typically, the number one reason for this difficulty is undesirable homesite attributes (size or grade of the site, utility box placement, location within the community, etc.). At this point, customers have removed the most favorable sites from the market, and as an agent, we can feel like we only have the “scraps” left to sell. If you are in the closeout stage of a phase and are having this difficulty, consider the following tips:

Increase Your Enthusiasm

It is nearly impossible to sell anything if you are not sold on the product yourself. Remember the “I am sold myself” (ASM) mindset and how it relates to enthusiasm. To build customer enthusiasm, you must first show enthusiasm yourself. To do this, walk the lots thoroughly and familiarize yourself with each one individually. You should know all of your homesites inside and out, especially your difficult ones. After walking through and analyzing your “problematic” homesites, you may realize that many more positives are masked behind the apparent negatives. Write these down and study them. It is easier to sell a homesite when you understand and are able to enthusiastically explain what the benefits of that site are to your customer. 

Focus Higher in the Funnel

Keep in mind that sometimes when it’s one of the last remaining sites in a phase or in a community, customers are there for a reason. Your community has sold out to this point because it’s a great location with great homes for so many. These new customers need or want a new home, and they have seen something about your builder or about your area and community that they love. So sometimes, we can best help them by reminding them of those reasons higher up in the Sales Funnel and how you’re able to meet their needs there, and weigh how important it is for them to get into your community while maybe not getting everything they wanted on the homesite side of things. For many buyers, it’s simply about helping them feel like it’s ok to make some of those sacrifices.

Consider the Ideal Buyer

While it may not be ideal for the masses, every homesite is perfect for someone. Once you have a thorough understanding of each homesite, you will be able to consider their positive attributes and can likely envision an ideal buyer. From there, you can abandon your reactive approach and become more proactive with your efforts. Instead of defending your homesite to every buyer who walks through your door, you can target the buyer who would be ecstatic to live on the site. Coordinate with your builder partner to create specific strategies for targeting your marketing efforts toward your ideal buyer.

Maximize the Positives, Minimize the Negatives

There is no reason to dwell on the bad when you can focus on the good. You already understand your homesite's attributes and your customer’s motivations, so be sure to mind the intersection of the two. You will want to maximize the aspects of the homesite that would be deemed favorable by bringing them up often and minimize those that would be deemed unfavorable by only discussing them when mentioned by the buyer. Consider, for example, two different families. The first is a husband and wife with three children, and the other is an independent retired couple. Both are looking at a lot that is smaller than the typical lot and located near community amenities. For the first family, you would minimize the lack of yard space for the children to play and maximize close proximity to the community pool and parks. For the second family, you would do the exact opposite by maximizing the fact that they have less yard to maintain and minimizing the fact that they are close to the hustle and bustle of community amenities. 

Don’t Paint Yourself Into a Corner

Once you’re narrowed down to a few remaining sites in your community, your discovery and homesite process will likely need to shift. By asking questions that we can’t do anything about, we may end up painting ourselves into a corner that we can’t then really get out of and will only put us on the defense. An example of this might be if our last two remaining sites both have that smaller backyard space like in the previous point, we may not even want to ask them about yard space or anything related to that, but instead may just want to focus and somewhat “feature dump” by selling the proximity to the amenities and less yard maintenance. Because unless they get bought in on that, you can’t change the yard space or do anything for them anyways and will only do more damage than good by diving into that.

Follow an Objection-Handling Process

If, after everything else, your buyer is still objecting due to an unfavorable homesite, you will need to enlist one of the many objection-handling processes. Typically, these will begin with showing the customer that you have heard and understand their concern. This makes them feel at ease, as they know that you are working toward a solution for them. The next step is to uncover the root cause behind their concern. Sometimes the root cause can easily be fixed, and sometimes their objection may even have no reasoning behind it. By determining the real issue, you set yourself up to solve it more easily. As the last step, you will need to offer a solution to their objection. This does not need to be a concession — it may be a mere statement that helps them to work past the objection on their own. Circling back to some of the previous tips that were suggested, the solution to their objection may come by maximizing positives and minimizing negatives or creating positives out of the negatives. These things help them to overlook the unfavorable attributes of their sites and either replace them with or overshadow them with more favorable attributes.

By keeping in mind these tips mentioned above, you will be better able to navigate the discussion of unfavorable homesites. These practices are not foolproof, but by becoming more comfortable and more versed with them, you will be better able to handle objections as they come up and will be able to close out your phase more easily next time around. Knowing how to turn this situation around and sell from more of a position of strength will help you become more effective and versatile as a professional sales consultant.

 

Originally published Jun 16, 2022 6:17:32 PM under New Home Sales, updated June 16, 2022

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