Listen to Pat Mills explain the online system that allows her to see when her sales team has made their follow up contact.
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Category//Sales Team of the Year — Suburban
Gold Winner//Ashley Wilson and Jenn Nowalk, Certified Sales Professionals; and Brenda Simpson and Ann Gowarty, Builder Representatives; Coldwell Banker-Howard Perry and Walston Builder Services , Raleigh, N.C.
Heritage is a master-planned community of predominantly custom homes in Wake Forest, N.C., priced from the mid- $100,000s to more than $1 million.
“While national builders in the area are offering huge incentives and relatively lower costs per square foot, we skillfully point out the benefits and value that distinguish Heritage,” the team writes in its application for the Nationals. “Our home buyers never have to settle for 'cookie cutter.’”
Patricia Mills, the senior sales manager who oversees the team, says they did 144 sales and a little over 54 million in volume for 2008. “I felt very proud of them. They worked very hard.”
The community carries a lot of inventory, by design. It has about 100 homes at all times in various stages of construction, says Mills. “When the buyer comes in we have all price points — from $150,000 town homes all the way up to $900,000 estate homes. The challenge is to qualify the customer. I’ve trained them to listen to their needs and what they are looking for — not just in price point but how they want to live.”
The Heritage sales team represents 23 different builders and communities. “The knowledge that these agents have to have is vast,” says Mills. “They really have to know the inventory.”
The team is accountable for making follow-up contact with prospects within 24 hours through a proprietary system called Direct Connect. Everyone receives a thank you note, a phone call and an e-mail. Mills goes over the team’s top prospects weekly, and if they do not buy, the team is responsible for knowing if the prospect purchased elsewhere, when and why.
The system also provides a means to provide regular feedback to the builders. “My builders have their own code where they can go on anytime and see which one of their homes have been shown and what customers’ comments were,” says Mills. “They love that.”