When a homebuyer looks for a builder to create a luxury custom home, they are looking for their dream home­– a home they have in their minds that is uniquely built for them. This includes the technology that has become a key part of their lives in recent years. Unfortunately, many buyers spend thousands on retrofitted solutions, after they move in, that could have been incorporated in the build of the house. “This is not selling a new home,” says sales leadership expert and coach Mike Moore, “this is selling old homes that were never lived in. Why would a buyer purchase a custom home that they have to customize after they move in?”

Most builders know they are leaving money on the table when technology upgrades are an afterthought, but how can they tap into that post-move-in revenue to go above and beyond their client’s expectations? Here are 4 things builders should stop doing now and start doing instead to increase tech takes.

Stop selling. Start helping

Nothing has ever been sold, everything is bought. If salespeople are focused on selling the tech to hit a dollar goal, they will struggle to find the right solution for the buyer. Focusing on helping a client will open you up to a better sales relationship. “You have to be able to connect to the buyer,” says Moore. Be a trustworthy advisor who will do the work to fully understand what the buyer envisions for an outcome and make suggestions to get the end result they want.

Stop just asking what. Start asking why

It’s not enough to ask a homebuyer what they want for technology integrations, find out why they want it. This unlocks the emotion behind the purchase. “People buy what they imagine they are going to feel after they bought,” explains says Dave Donald, National CI account manager for Wilson Electronics. Find out why they want that big screen tv the size of the wall– have them describe the scenario they are imagining. Whether it’s an immersive movie night that feels like you’re at the theater downtown or a super bowl party that feels like a linebacker might run right out of the screen, understanding the “why” will help you make suggestions that will bring that scene to life.

It also serves as a rehearsal for the client, says Donald. Less than 15% of the buyer’s decision takes place with the salesperson in the room. “When their wife says, why in the world do we need a TV that big… they already have the answer.”

Stop talking about tech. Start bringing the tech experience

Have you ever gone so deep into what a product does that your client gets that glazed look that says you’ve lost them? Sure, some clients are “Techie” and want more detail, but we need to focus less on the features and more on what the product means to the client. The best way to do that is to let them experience it for themselves. “You’ve got to show them what it is and give them a taste of what it’s like in the most experiential and direct way,” says Savant Product Evangelist, George Katsiris. Savant’s NY experience center newly open for virtual tours is set up for just that, allowing customers to feel what it’s like to have this technology in their lives. “Seeing the tech in action allows them to directly imagine what it would be like in their own homes and you’ve closed it before saying anything”.

Stop focusing on pain points. Start focusing on aspirations.

As a partner in creating a buyer’s dream home we, of course, want to address any pain points that they may experience, but for the luxury market, it is less about pain and more about the lifestyle they aspire to create. “The home became a fashion icon for the lux buyer, replacing the car,” says Moore. We sometimes miss that desire and sell just a home rather than that lifestyle they aspire to achieve. Builders need to show them they are going to make their new home the greatest show on earth–creating a home that will give the buyer the smart living experience they are searching for.”

For a list of questions that help understand the lifestyle aspirations of your clients when it comes to tech, check out the Guide to Developing a Home Merchandising & Marketing Plan.

Builder Innovator

Builder Innovator

Helping builders get innovation done right!

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