Sales Skills in a Hot Market: Customer Retention

If you’re in new home sales chances are, you have a sizeable backlog. This is usually a good sign because a backlog means you’ve been selling homes. Today, we’re continuing our series Sales Skills for a Hot Market and we’re talking about customer retention. 

What does customer retention look like? The fact of the matter is that keeping people happy is just not easy these days. You probably already have that figured out. But that’s not surprising, given the buyer’s journey, the frustration that buyers are having in this process in the first place. Just getting on a list, making it to the top, watching the prices and the interest rates go up all the time. The delays that we’re seeing all throughout the process because of production and product availability. The problems with where they live now, the reason they’re buying in the first place, those things have not gone away. Appraisal issues and sometimes rude salespeople.

It’s not easy to be a buyer right now. It takes its toll after a time.

Of course, your buyer is not going anywhere as long as the prices keep going up. And let’s face it, over the last couple of years, cancelation rates in the new home industry have been very, very low.

Despite the frustration, why would a customer want to walk away from all of that built-in appreciation? It just wouldn’t make sense. But what if the prices just were to go flat for a while? I don’t mean prices going down but what if the prices just went flat. What would that do to the customer?

You see, the problem is when your customer is infatuated with price increases, you end up with what I call the future promise gap. And the future promises, the joy, the thrill that I have as I think about my home and what it’s going to be like and what my life will be like living in that home down the road.

The future promise gap exists when my future promise is not so much about the home, but about the money, about the appreciation that I’m gaining. That’s where my joy is. If that’s the case and the prices go flat, what’s going to happen now?

The joy starts to recede. My love for the home was not really there as strong as it needed to be in the first place. And now that future promise gap, the future promise about making a lot of money, you know what it’s going to do. It’s going to cause cancelations. When we see prices go flat, they don’t have to go down, they just have to stop going up.

So what do we do about that? I’d like to share three ideas here.

Sell the Future

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman suggests that we think of our future in terms of anticipated memories. It is the job of the sales professional to bring clarity to those anticipated memories. The more we can get our customers thinking emotionally about their own future, the more likely it is that their future promise gap will be diminished.

Reconnect with a Customer’s Mission

You need to constantly reconnect your customer with why they were buying in the first place. They’re purchasing because something is not right in the home they’re in right now. You learned this while taking the buyer through the 4:2 Formula. If they don’t move forward, that problem is not going to go away. Not anytime soon. You have got to keep your customer constantly reminded about their mission.

Keep Them Focused on Rule Number One

What’s rule number one? Live in the right home. More than anything else, when customers talk about prices or interest rates or terms or is this the right timing? If these are the key factors in their decision, they’re going to make a mistake in the home that they choose. But rule number one is live in the right home. Get them focused on that first and then talk about everything else.

It’s just not easy to be a buyer right now. But for those buyers in the backlog, we’ve got to keep them locked in and we keep them locked in by appealing to the emotion.

If you like what you read here, you’ll love what you’re going to see over in Sales365! It’s our social network just for residential real estate sales professionals. It’s FREE to join and you’ll find more content from me and my team. Not only that but you’ll be able to post your own questions and share ideas with like-minded people.

 Just go to or download the app at your app store. Until next time friends, learn more to earn more!

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About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.