Thursday, February 22, 2018

Are You Ready for Home Show Season?

Every year some organization or local home builder chapter sponsors a Home and Garden Show in your marketing area and every year builders, both site and off-site, sign up for a booth.

Some builders work hard putting their display together while others wait almost till the last minute to get organized. No matter which camp you fall into there are some things that can doom your efforts almost before they begin.

Modcoach’s “10 Home Show Sins to Avoid”

Presentation. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. You walk up to a 10’ x 10’ booth and bump right into that 8’ ‘free’ table the show sponsor gives them. It has a purple drape around it and two folding chairs. Parked behind it are usually two people just sitting there like bumps on a log hoping that someone will stop and talk to them and at the same time looking at their watch to see how much longer they have to endure this torture. They have half eaten sandwiches, Big Gulps and potato chips at the end of the table and if you do stop and want to talk, you feel you are an interruption to their dining

Talking to each other. The people manning the booth see each other just about every working day but when they get behind the protection of that table, they talk about everything that has happened since the last time they talked which was probably yesterday. You become an unwanted visitor. To get rid of you, they give you a refrigerator magnet with their business card attached and a copied fact sheet in black and white. There’s probably a candy bowl on the table so it isn’t a total loss. These people are usually lenders or Realtors

Too much detail. People just want know how much insulation was standard in your home. They don't want to know what brand you use, how you install it and a history of how insulation has evolved since the beginning of time. They don’t need to know the name of the person in your company that installs it or the name of the foreman that inspects it. They just wanted to know the R-value

Being the expert sucks. Walk up to any booth selling geothermal and run right into the world’s leading expert on energy. Even though there were other people that came into booth, he continues to tell you how famous he is in the heating industry and after five minutes of this dolt droning on and on without taking a breathe, you simply turn and walk away. He immediately goes over to the next unfortunate soul simply looking at the literature on his table

Taking up the challenge. I visited the booth of a site builder from PA and asked if he ever used modular construction. You would have thought I was asking him to denounce God. I listened to him go off on why modular was the devil and how it is forcing small site builders out of work and other things too nasty to list. When he took a break, I asked him if he had ever visited a modular factory and he had not. Even if I had wanted a site built home, he would not be the one to build it. Any suggestion I would make during the building process would probably have been met with the same challenge

Dressed for work. In WV, I came up to a booth where two young men were stationed in front of their table. That was Ok because there wasn’t much on it anyway. There was a sign at the back of the booth with the company name and logo which looked just like what you would find on those inexpensive business checks…block letters and a guy holding a hammer. The reason they didn’t have anyone at their booth was obvious. They were both dressed in the winter Carharts handing out business cards. They did have their company name on the front of their winter outfits. I forgot to mention that it was about 70 degrees in the building. It looked like “anything for a buck construction company.

No one manning the booth. Ryan Homes had a booth at three of these Home Shows and nobody was there. The professional booth was there. The table where the business cards, literature and books was there, minus all the stuff. All I could find was a pile of information request cards and a drop box and no pen or pencil. It would have been better for them to skip the Show

Selling anything but new homes. A booth in a MD show stopped me in my tracks. The homebuilder had a good looking booth but you couldn’t get to it because the table was loaded with Girl Scout cookies, two kittens in a cage from the local Humane Society and a young man handing out pamphlets about the upcoming sporting events at the local college. What was the builder thinking? No sales for him but lots of cookie sales and adoptions. I almost forgot, he was giving away a new cordless power tool set and all I had to do was enter my name, phone # and email. I did, I lost

Not asking qualifying questions. If you are paying big buckeroos for a space in the Home Show, why would you not ask some quick questions to determine just who could buy your home? It takes less than 60 seconds to ask the visitor when they want to build, if they have located land and if they’ve been qualified for a mortgage. If a Home Show gets 15,000 people through the door, how many of them do you think are looking to build a new home? Best guess…about 1/10 of 1 percent. That’s 15 people. 15 new homes and without asking some quick qualifying questions, you may have missed all 15 of them. Hope you were successful in handing out all that free candy. It would have been better to not sign up at all.

Not asking for a commitment. Serious home buyers will not be offended by you asking them for their name, number and email when you tell them you would like to follow up. Remember, you should have already asked the qualifying questions above and gotten positive answers. They are ready to buy and you want to build them a new home. Sounds like a good plan but first you’ve got to get them to commit to something. Set an appointment in your office, get them to agree to meet at their lot, get them to meet you at a house under construction but get them to commit. Then it is your sale to lose.

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