This, Too, Shall Pass…We Have Been Here Before!

The media has nothing positive to say…it is all doom and gloom. Of course sensationalism is what sells…so what is better for them than the bottom falling out at the same time the sky is falling? “The housing market has gone to heck in a hand basket” “Prices continue to fall, housing values are down” “Foreclosures are in the tens of thousands.” It is enough to make you fold your tent and go deliver pizzas, right?

Wrong! More millionaires have been made during recession/depression times than when times are good. These are the people who see the glass as half full, not half empty.

Too many of us give up…we listen to it until all we see are impossibilities. Yet there are those who see this market as filled with possibilities. This is the kind of market where it is really true…”when things get tough, the tough get going.”

Perhaps these markets come along to force us to get off our ‘laurels’ and to get creative. This is when we should pull out all the stops, when we examine all our marketing techniques, when we start working on our attitudes and skills.

It also when we need to gather our forces, band together and brainstorm. Rather than see our peers as competitors, see them as allies. Go to every meeting, seminar and gathering and pick everyone’s brain. Watch what the top sales teams do and do the same thing. Hang out with successful people. Think about every sales technique you have ever used…pull out some old tried and true ones, dust them off, update and use them again. As you shop and buy items, think about what made you choose that particular thing, or brand or store. Watch television advertising, and see what grabs your attention. We can get great ideas from how other products market and sell…and it isn’t theft, it is research!

Make sure that your product is top notch…every detail perfect. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference. Even though the consumer may be bargain hunting, they want the very best for what they can afford; windows polished, brass gleaming, flowers blooming. Speaking of flowers blooming, business always picks up in the spring…thank goodness winter is over. It is always slower from the time that the turkey is on the table until the tax man comes…it is our only reason to be happy about April 15th.

What about your sales team? Have they succumbed to the disaster mentality? Shop them, train them, and increase their commissions! Are they likeable? Harvard says that American employers spend 75% of their training budget on product, technology and administration, and only 25% on teaching people skills. I say that if you are going to be successful today that you should reverse those numbers!

Likeability comes from three major areas: How we look and how we move, what we say and how we say it, and how we make other people feel. And it has to be accomplished in one minute or less…you know that old cliché “There is no second chance at a first impression.” A positive attitude is imperative.

Our energy and enthusiasm rubs off on the client; unfortunately so does desperation and negativity. Generating traffic is critical…sales is a numbers game. The more traffic, the more sales. I have a theory about closing the sale. About 30% of the traffic buys because they love the house, the location, the floor plan…kind of a slam dunk. 30% won’t buy…they can’t afford it, they don’t like the floor plan, it isn’t really the location for them. This means that you should expect a minimum of a 30% capture rate, even if your sales force is weak! And what is the point? A strong sales team looks at the middle 30% as an opportunity…if they are a great sales associates, they should be able to increase closing ratio to 50-60% by using their skills, their personalities, their abilities to convert lookers to buyers. So if we could generate one hundred qualified buyers a month, we should increase sales dramatically…the secret is more traffic.

One of the greatest weaknesses in sales of any product or service is follow up. Make sure that the prospective buyer hears from the sales team a minimum of three times. A postcard, a phone call, a brochure, an email…whatever it takes to keep in touch. Until they buy from you, from someone else, or until you read their name in the obituary column, they are still a prospective buyer. Be sure that follow up is done on a timely, and in a friendly, manner.

Have you stopped marketing, mowing the grass, flying colorful flags, all to save a little money? If so, it is costing you the big money. Buyers want to purchase from a winning team, a builder with a great reputation, one who stands behind their product…and who shouts all that from the roof tops! There is never a more important time to train, market, advertise, polish and smile than right now.

I received in the mail this week a color postcard from a 55 plus development advertising a ‘sale’ on a select number and style of homes. The card states “Up to $40,000 off for three days only.” Even though I haven’t sold my house, I am going to look because I think if I find something I love that my new mindset and desire for that new house will MAKE my current house sell. This may sound like I am trivializing what is happening with the economy, with our industry. However, from personal and business experience I promise that all this makes a difference. We have been here before, and we have not only survived, but thrived. Just remember, hang in there, put your best business practices in place…and know that this too shall pass.

Anne Sadovsky CSP CAM CAPS RAM

866 905-9300

Multifamily TV

Fair Housing is a prominent part of our daily lives, and as multifamily professionals we are aware of  that to the point of being wary. How much do you really know about Fair Housing, and examine if you are letting fear or lack of knowledge get in the way of doing your best work? This show is designed to get you up to speed on fair housing and equip you with the confidence to perform effectively within the boundaries of these important laws! Join one of our industry’s most experienced authorities Anne Sadovsky and many special guests as we explore real-life case studies, lessons learned, success stories, and potential pitfalls on topics including: the importance of consistency and documentation; what is (and isn’t) a protected class; the ins-and-outs of accessibility; observing occupancy standards; the skinny on steering; guidance on companion and assist animals, latest findings and much more!  Always exciting and educational…stay updated and educated on this very important part of your job!


Anne Sadovsky, CSP (a Certified Speaking Professional by The National Speakers Association) is the owner of a Dallas based marketing, consulting and seminar firm – where she and her associates provide training, keynotes and counsel to a variety of industries, businesses and associations. Clients come from a variety of fields including housing, medical, technology, churches, hospitality, women’s groups, and education. She is the former Vice President of Marketing and Education of Lincoln Property Company. Her expertise in multifamily housing (since 1968!) makes her a sought after consultant and trainer. As a consultant Anne has literally saved and made apartment owners and developers millions of dollars. Her training tapes and seminars have educated thousands. She has officially flown more than one million miles in order to share her wisdom and wit. Anne is a widely published author and a popular guest on radio and television talk shows nationally. Her success story has been written about in many newspapers and magazines including Money Magazine, Texas Business and Ladies Home Journal. Mirabella Magazine listed her as one of the One Thousand Women of the 90′s, along with Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey. She is affiliated with numerous business and professional organizations including the National Speakers Association where she holds the prestigious designation of Certified Speaking Professional. She has earned a Texas Real Estate license, and is a CAM, CAPS, And RAM, along with many other designations and honorary positions in the industry. Anne is one of the most astute trainers in Fair Housing and Diversity in the industry. Hundreds of thousands of people have been inspired and challenged by Anne’s story. Her message is common sense, entertaining, and enlightening. She makes a difference and helps create success in both business and personal lives. She is truly the first lady of the apartment industry.

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