You closed the sale! Take a victory lap! You deserve it.
There is still work to do, however. You want the positive experience to continue for your buyers. What are you doing to ensure a smooth handoff for what happens next in the buyer’s journey? This is where Community Teams come into play.
Introducing your Community Team is important because the level of trust in the Community Team members translates into perceptions about quality, value, and the overall experience. Confidence in the team is critical to what should be the common goal of every team member reducing the buyers’ anxiety.
Anxious homebuyers are likelier to be uncomfortable, challenging, demanding, and sometimes angry. Comfortable, trusting buyers, on the other hand, are easier to work with and far more accepting of delays, problems, and the inevitable bumps in the building road. Customers feel better, and they are more confident with their home builder when they meet the Community Team members, begin forming relationships and believe company representatives are kind, empathetic, conscientious, and committed to providing a high-quality home, a better-than-expected level of service, and a delightful purchase experience.
Much of the consternation that arises later in the process stems from not developing a trust relationship early in the process. The handoff from sales to the design studio or construction or customer care is critical in developing trusting relationships that drive homebuyer satisfaction and willingness to refer the homebuilder to a friend.
The Power of Emotional Endorsement
Homebuyers desperately want to trust the people who can help them make their housing dreams come true. When salespeople do their job correctly, trust is a significant result. But how does that trust transfer from sales to other department representatives?
Well, the answer lies in what we call an emotional endorsement. More than simply introducing a Community Team member by name, it’s about offering a passionate commendation that this person is a trustworthy expert. The result is a transference of trust.
Think of it this way your best friend says, “You’ve got to see this movie. It’s the best movie I’ve seen in years, maybe my entire life.” That’s not just a recommendation; it’s an emotional endorsement. If you trust your best friend, you’ll see the movie.
It works the same way with homebuyers. If the homebuyer trusts the salesperson and the salesperson offers an emotional endorsement of the construction superintendent, the trust transfers, and the homebuyer adopts an initial feeling of trust.
The handoff process requires a solid and thriving culture within the organization and the Community Team. It’s challenging to provide outstanding care to the customer if the internal culture is disrespectful and unsupportive. Excellent service to your external customers and home buyers should flow from the care given to your internal customers and community team members.
Internal Customer Care = External Customer Care
Let me give you a tip that I learned from Bob Mirman at Eliant, coauthor with me of the new book From Contract to Close. Bob recommends that the salesperson provide the buyer with a unique lifestyle bio of the design center consultant, the loan officer, the processing team, the construction superintendent, and the customer care representative assigned to their home.
This unique bio is not a resume of the representative’s education or work history. It should identify these people’s favorite activities and interests (loves movies, coaches little league, owns two dogs). This critical step helps to humanize the team member in the eyes of the customer, and it provides a social gateway for quickly developing successful relationships.
The construction superintendent should be introduced to the homebuyer as soon as possible during or following the contract signing. Before this meeting, the home buyer should receive the lifestyle bio of the construction superintendent. Community Team members must be well-trained in introducing themselves to the buyer. Work with your team members on the basics of greeting a customer (warm smile, positive energy, making a service promise, etc.). A loan officer might lay out the mortgage journey. A construction superintendent might offer a confident statement to the buyer; I look forward to building your new home just for you.
The process and introductions should be planned, clear, and consistent. Create those lifestyle bios for all Community Team members and share them with the customer early in the process and encourage the team to have some fun with this.
Until next time, learn more to earn more!