Recently while reviewing one of my client’s Video Profile shops, I had to chuckle at the initial contact between the hostess and my field people when they arrived at the sales center. The hostess was relatively new with lots of energy and never realized why the couple was there. The reason for my smile? She described herself as trying to be a ‘Vanna White’. 

Vanna of course is the hostess for the Wheel of Fortune. I do not watch Wheel of Fortune and I hope not to offend any of Vanna’s fans. But from what video snippets I have seen for the show’s promos, Vanna appears to be there for the ‘eye candy’ effect. Certainly the show’s producers could utilize more high tech and glitzy ways to turn letters over. Yet over the many years this show has been on the air, Vanna poses, smiles and turns those letters. Her personal connection with the viewing audience surely adds to the success of this long running game show. Not a bad gig.

This started me thinking about our sales centers and perhaps what we can learn from this game show. Over the years I have seen hosts and hostesses used in many ways. Sometimes how they are utilized is dictated by the corporate office and other times it is determined by the lead agent. I have observed the host/hostess just say hello and hand out brochures. Other times I have seen them conducting all the preliminaries including model demonstrations and then the lead agent jumps in towards the end to ‘close the deal’. No matter how they are used, I believe all the host/hostess personnel should have a little of Vanna in them. A smile and engaging personality goes a long way when greeting someone.

If a prospective buyer is greeted in a warm, friendly and enthusiastic manner, it sets the stage for further progress. If the prospective buyer encounters a Grinch, and yes I have seen them, then the agent has an uphill battle when they try to establish the appropriate groundwork to create a sale. Of course it is critical that either management or lead agents provide the host/hostess with all the information and tools necessary to be an effective assistant. And while not paid as much as the sales agents, they should be compensated sufficiently so they are encouraged to do more than just ‘turn the letters’. 


The next question every manager needs to ask is if their sales agents go beyond being a Vanna. Although an agent might be friendly and good at establishing some rapport, does he/she go beyond posing, smiling and turning the letters? Do they have sufficient product and community knowledge to provide targeted information? Do they have good listening skills? Do they know how to converse with their prospective buyers? Or are they just glossing over what they deem is an effective sales presentation by spewing information download. Some agents look the part. They dress appropriately, smile and are pleasant. Unfortunately, that is where it stops for way too many of them. Other times I have seen agents who do not necessarily have the same professional appearance but make up for it in their ability to create a community and product match for their prospective buyer.


In the end, it is the sales center personnel who first create that all so essential personal connection. We have lots of technological tools which can effectively augment the agent’s ability to convey information. However, agents should never relegate their sales role to technology. Buyers still need to be seen, heard and feel like a valued customer. Buyer’s come to our sales centers armed with information from the internet…sometimes positive and sometimes not. They want a conversation to obtain information they need to make a critical purchase decision. Our technology can provide them with the facts. However, it is the front line people who make that personal connection…just like Vanna.

Whether you need sales agent evaluations, pre-hire shops or competitive shops, LeBlanc & Associates has the expertise to meet your needs. We will help you confirm who represents you in your sales centers. Are you staffed with professionals who know how to create the sale? Or do you have letter turners. Our Video Profiles will verify what happens from the first hello. Our reports will document what sales skills need reinforcement. And we promise to provide you that personal connection. Give us a call!




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If you understand that your Model Homes are also your Model Stores then maybe it is time to think about how you can make your Model Homes/Model Stores work better for you! 

When you add a little “retail” flavor to your Model Homes, you take the positive RETAIL attributes you have experienced and put those ideas to work for you in your Model Home. The Model is well-stocked, it has curb appeal that will help attract visitors, it is open and ready for business when the first customer walks in, and you know the merchandise, inside and out~ and most importantly you have the “Best Selling Super Stars” greeting your customers!

To “re-key” the Model Store, let’s begin the process by establishing a few terms…

Re-key: To enter data again; to re-enter lost or forgotten information and input new information (new customers)

Re-kindle: To revive & renew your Sales Teams feelings and excitement levels

Re-fresh: To renew energy; replenish it with new vigor and spirit

How important is Team Chemistry? As I look back on my High School coaching days, I believe it might haveeverything to do with Outstanding Performance. Do you get chemistry from the Win Column or do you create it from great training, practice and cohesion of thoughts, words and actions? Team chemistry comes before success, but team chemistry also grows stronger with each success!


Know that the playing field is not always even, and we are not always on top of our game. Sometimes you have to coach the individual to train the team. You can’t teach someone to “want” to be successful, but you can help facilitate their desire and success through rigorous teaching, mentoring, and accountability. You simply need to be uncompromisingly consistent. You re-kindle your team when you know what makes them tick…what brings the best out in them. Learn what that is and motivate them through that.

Team Chemistry provides the “its fun to work here factor” by combining strengths and talents which help companies grow and prosper. As the team wins more battles, and achieves more goals, the chemistry grows stronger. I guess between chemistry and success is a full circle and one not to be underestimated or broken! But before you get Team Chemistry, you need Teamwork.

The 5 “C’s”: Here are some hints and tips to foster Teamwork:

  • 1) Commitment: Always have commitment by all players at the purpose and core values of your organization.
  • 2) Contribution: Leaders need to enhance feelings of inclusion so that great contributions come forth.
  • 3) Communication: Positive and consistent communication directly impact the energy and enthusiasm of a team.
  • 4) Cohesion: Expect High Task cohesion so that everyone is pulling his or her weight, and carry no chip.
  • 5) Creativity: Out of the ordinary comes the extraordinary! Innovation flourishes when it is widely expected and accepted

As we embark upon the fourth quarter of the year, look at what you have been accomplishing and who has been accomplishing it. Identify who could use some rekindling and refreshing

To have the best store, you have to give more! Take the challenge to improve your team’s chemistry and re-key the Model Store. Be the locksmith that helps them open the door with renewed energy, interest and success:

  • 1) Cultivate their knowledge and confidence.
  • 2) Set priorities that create ambition and desire.
  • 3) Foster high levels of team acceptance.
  • 4) Create intense feelings to accomplish Personal, Team and Company Goals.
  • 5) Commit to breaking through the ceiling with new ways and means to accomplish all of the above!

I can hear all the doors unlocking to let new energy, ideas, and enthusiasm into their Model Stores! May all of you experience a Grand Opening rush every day.


Kerry Mulcrone
President of Kerry and Co
Author of Model Home Model Store…think Retail


Top 10 Hottest 2013 Housing Markets

U.S. home prices rose 5.1% between February 2012 and February 2013, but 24/7 Wall St. found that many of the 30 largest housing markets are even hotter. Phoenix came out on top with a staggering 24% jump in prices. Six of the top ten cities were in California, including San Diego at #6. Here are the cities where prices rose the most in the 12 months ending February 2013:
% Change City
1. 24% Phoenix, AZ
2. 22.3% Las Vegas, NV
3. 22.1% San Jose, CA
4. 21.4% San Francisco, CA
5.20.1% Sacramento, CA
6. 17.1% San Diego, CA
7. 16.3% Riverside, CA
8. 14.9% Los Angeles, CA
9. 13.1% Detroit, MI
10. 13.1% Denver, CO
SEEING IS BELIEVING. Eliminate the doubt. No matter what the market conditions may be, a community’s success ultimately relies on the quality of the sales agents. Video Profiles from LeBlanc & Associates capture each agent’s sales presentation, the good and the not-so-good, through the eyes of the buyer.
CONFIRMATION:You must confirm your site sales staff is selling at peak performance. Accepting mediocrity or less is never acceptable.
TRAINING. Using a Video Profile from LeBlanc & Associates of your best agents demonstrates what you expect from the rest of the sales team. What better way can an agent learn than from the best of their peers? The training aspect is then reinforced with our self-evaluation guide.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING. To maintain the highest quality of final product, all our work is done in-house. Our clients receive two DVDs of each sales encounter. Each video is processed to eliminate non essential footage.
QUALITY. LeBlanc & Associates is established as the premiere company for sales agent evaluations. Our business is your business . . . new home sales. Our high level of training for our field techs provides the best capture rate of your agents. We know you are paying to see your agents – not the walls and windows of your sales office.
WHY LEBLANC & ASSOCIATES? Have you tried the rest and found ill prepared field personnel? Have you seen more walls than agents? Do ceiling shots make you dizzy?




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