January 2017

As we start our journey into 2017 we wish everyone all things Good. Good health. Good timing. Good fortune. Good friends. 

In the novel Don Quixote de La Mancha, the author Cervantes brought up an interesting question, “Can we ever have too much of a good thing?”  I am not sure what the answer might be. I guess it depends on what the good is. Can we have too much good luck? Too many good friends? Too much good cheese cake? 

Can our strong housing market be too much of a good thing? For most of us in this industry, I seriously doubt we would answer yes. However prospective buyers might feel differently. The thought of waiting months for the possibility of having a chance at a home which has increased in price is probably not on their ‘good thing’ list. But for now, that is the reality for most housing markets.

While once reviewing a recording of a sales agent I was astounded by what I was hearing. The agent discussed the lack of availability of homes and their long list of prospective buyers. The intent was to be honest, but the spoken word conveyed something entirely different. The agent stated, “So, there’s not much point in you counting on it. I wouldn’t count on it for at least 1-2 more phases….I’d check back then.” Hmmm…not a good thing at all. Do you think the competitor community had the same message with their lack of current availability? I bet the competitor agent gave that buyer a reason to want to wait for their home in a future release. I also bet that agent obtained that buyer’s contact information to keep them current on the next phase release.

We all certainly want this strong market to continue. But how do we balance our financial smiles with the frustration of the buyers? After all, should this market change, prospective buyers can have long memories and they will then want to implement their ‘good thing’. You know what that is…yep, incentives. Not the closing costs kind. But the deep into your pocket kind. Not such a good thing.

We can’t stress enough the importance of earning the sale - immediate or future. This can be a challenge for sales agents who have gotten used to selling in a demand market. Through our Video Profiles I have observed many agents who know how to earn the sale even though they don’t have current inventory to sell. They are friendly, attentive and show a sincere interest in wanting to meet the buyer’s needs. They demonstrate a willingness to listen and are not afraid to effectively showcase their community and product. In spite of the remote chance of that buyer being able to purchase a home any time soon, they create value. They neutralize the buyer’s frustration through good solid sales skills. A welcoming greeting, an effective discovery, and making the buyer feel valued usually creates willingness for a buyer to wait. Is the buyer quickly acknowledged? Does the agent create a comfortable sales environment? Is there an exchange of names? Does the agent establish a personal connection that conveys a sense of trust and sincerity? Is there a reason for the buyer to want to stay and listen to the agent?  

As we begin 2017, do not forget to invest in your sales team through continual training and evaluation assessments. The assessment process, via our Video Profiles, is the only way to insure your agents have not fallen into a desk sitting or name taking syndrome. LeBlanc & Associates welcomes the opportunity to be your partner in confirming only good things are happening in your sales centers. Whether you select our report or prefer to use your own, we will work with you. To start the process, go to our website, send us an email, or give us a call. It’s easy!

Which billionaire could buy your city?
Buying a home is usually our largest investment. For a billionaire, not so much. One study looked at America's wealthiest people to see who could afford to buy not just one, but every home in a given city. It turns out that the Waltons (of Wal-Mart fame) could buy all 241,450 homes in Seattle…and still have over $40 billion left over! Here's the list of billionaires, the city they could buy, and a rough estimate of the cost:
Billionaires: City: Price:
1. Walton Family Seattle, WA $111.5B
2. Koch Brothers Atalanta, GA 78.1B
3. Bill Gates Boston, MA 76.6B
4. Warren Buffett Charlotte, NC 56.1B
5. Michael Bloomberg Anaheim, CA 31.4B
6. Larry Page Boca Raton, FL 29.5B
7. Jeff Bezos Napa, CA 29.5B
8. Mark Zuckerberg Saint Paul, MN 26.8B
9. Steve Ballmer Littleton, CO 20.0B
10. Phil Knight Falls Church, VA 18.0B