How would you handle the following situation? I have been lucky enough to be in the same really great community for 6 years. Unfortunately the area around this great community is not so great. The major objection has always been that there are 2 neighborhoods right next to ours with very bad reputations for crime, drugs and gangs. Two years ago the City passed an ordinance that there could be no more section 8 housing in those neighborhoods and this helped overcome the objection with some people. Suddenly this objection started coming up more often lately and is more difficult to overcome since our zip code is the same as theirs and the crime blotter shows all of the crime in the zip code instead of just our neighborhood. All three of our schools have also dropped in ratings this year and they were already low before they dropped. What do you suggest?
If your career in new home sales lasts any respectable amount of time you are certain to face a glaring location objection. The key word in that last sentence is “glaring”, as in obvious. This gives you an advantage when you think about it. The customer who just came through your door saw the objectionable issue…and came through your door anyway! I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important that is. If the location objection were a deal killer that customer would never get out of the car!Simply by walking through the door the customer is, in effect, saying to you, “I may not like the situation but this community is still in play for me. However, I’ll need your help in dealing with my concerns.” Embrace the opportunity!
Look for three things in how you overcome this situation:
1) What do the homeowners say? The people who already live there undoubtedly have the most credibility. Begin the process by sharing what the residents tell you – they’ll likely say things like, “We’ve never had any problems at all.”
2) Sell new. Not just new homes, but sell the overall value of a new neighborhood. New communities upgrade the surrounding areas. You want to send people the message that the area is on the rise (which, as evidenced by the presence of new housing, is true!).
3) Sell the activities. You need to point out that there are community opportunities to be found just like in any other neighborhood. Give the customer a perspective of livability, of normalcy.
You cannot change the crime rates in your area, and that objection will be a deal-killer for some people (we call those people “non-buyers”, by the way). We are only interested in talking to those people who really want to overcome this objection. Stay positive, follow the guidelines above, and change their world!