In the game of life that is the real estate industry, there are many key players. You have your Realtors (just like you), your homebuilders, lawyers, designers, homebuyers (of course), and then you have your builder’s sales representatives.
As a key player yourself, it is your job to know the ins and outs of the industry and its players so you and, more important, your client can come out winners. And as a Realtor, you sometimes get the special power to pick and choose which players you want to ally yourself with. Your goal should be to ensure a win for your client, not just for yourself, and that’s where working with a builder’s sales representative comes into play.
If you’re looking for your next game partner, we’re here to tell you why a builder’s sales rep could be a winning option. So, take a little break from all the action, sit back and let’s jump into a day in the life of a builder’s sales rep.
A Builder’s Sales Rep’s Daily Game
So, what exactly does a builder’s sales representative do?
“The onsite sales rep is responsible for every aspect of procuring a sale, from the initial introduction of a prospective buyer to the development, selecting an individual home, finalizing an acceptable purchase and sales agreement, pre-closing walkthrough and closing,” says Brad Horner, executive managing director for William Raveis New Home Division in Boston, Mass. “As a representative of the seller, the onsite sales rep is responsible for properly conveying the attributes and details of the development and the new homes available while treating all prospects honestly and fairly.”
To do so, sales reps must make themselves as available as possible to their clients. And they must know every little detail about their homes, the real estate industry and their home sites, all the way from email and marketing to design and construction concerns.
“On a typical day, I arrive early and drive to the community to make sure all is looking to par,” says Renée Damron, a new home sales counselor for Chesmar Homes in Austin, Texas. “I open model homes, walk the homes to make sure the light bulbs are all working and the pillows are fluffed, sweep the entry way, etc. From there, I tackle my to-do list that I have set for the day. … Everything stops when a new client comes in because we need to make them feel welcome.”
According to Horner, a sales rep must also research local homeowners associations and community and city amenities and services, in addition to working with homebuyers and their agents throughout the homebuying process.
“The day in the life of an onsite sales rep is very interesting and can vary greatly throughout the day,” Horner says. “Although working with prospective purchasers and their agents is the primary focus, the onsite rep works very closely with the developer, builder, mortgage companies, closing attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, interior designers, the marketing team, current homeowners and the association management company.”
Although it may seem that sales reps have to interact with a tangled web of real estate game players, according to Damron the primary focus is the homebuyer.
“Each guest that I interact with receives my very best care,” she says. “I want to be there for them no matter what part of their journey they are on.”
The Realtor-Sales Rep Alliance
So if a builder’s sales rep’s end goal is to play the game with homebuyers, why should you align yourself with them? Well, wouldn’t you say your end goal is pretty similar?
“We can make [Realtors’] jobs much more simple,” says Damron. “We are truly there as an extension of what they do. We strive for the same goal, to find their buyer a home that they love and to meet their needs throughout the process.”
And Damron isn’t the only sales rep who believes this, either.
“We are always happy to work with real estate agents because they are a valuable way for us to connect with future customers,” says Kathleen Kelly, a sales consultant for Meritus Homes in Deerfield, Ill. “If we make a broker’s client happy, then the broker is more likely to bring other clients to us in the future. … We appreciate the opportunity to discuss what their client is looking for, what their hot buttons are, what their timeline is and to establish a rapport with the broker so we’re all on the same page.”
Kelly and Damron also had some tips to help make a Realtor-sales rep alliance even stronger:
- Call ahead when you plan to bring a client to a sales rep.
- Present new home construction to your clients in a comprehensive way.
- Get to know builders in your geographic area.
- Include sales reps in your home searches.
- Utilize the Internet as best as possible for home searches and research.
- Realize you and the sales rep have common goals and interests at hand.
“Most builders welcome the opportunity to work with real estate agents and offer a broker co-op that makes it worthwhile for brokers to present this housing option to their clients,” says Kelly. “And while there might be a longer timeline for receiving that commission due to the new-construction time frame, brokers will have a partner in the process in the way of a new-construction sales team that will do much of the legwork to shepherd the client through the buying process.”
Bringing the Homebuyer Out on Top
So about that buying process … how do sales reps convert your valuable clients into homebuyers?
“The process begins by selling the positive attributes of the overall development, from location, setting, services and amenities to selecting an individual home that meets the requirements of the prospective buyer,” says Horner. “Upon the execution of a purchase and sales agreement, the process involves the possible selection of finishes if they have not already been made, mortgage application if applicable, completion of construction, appraisal, walkthrough and closing. The onsite sales rep’s job is to make the process as seamless as possible.”
Damron sees this process “like a puzzle.”
“The goal is to have them share as much as possible regarding their lifestyle, how they use their home, where they spend the majority of their time, etc.,” she says. “All those little cues help me point them in the right direction.”
Yet, even after all directions point the client to their new dream home and the deal is done, a sales rep’s job is not done.
“We continue to serve as the unofficial link between the homeowner and the builder, developer and homeowners association,” says Horner. “Many of our sales come from happy homeowners who refer their family, friends and co-workers.”
Who would have thought you could have so much in common with a sales rep? As you play the real estate game, it might be wise to start thinking of who you want to align yourself with so you and your client both score winning experiences.
When you do decide to roll the dice, just remember this parting tip from Damron: “Every builder’s sales rep is different, and some may be easier to work with than others. But when you find a builder representative who truly has your back and your client’s back, it is an invaluable tool.”