Join Greg, Kevin and our featured guest this week, Kimberly Mackey, the founder of New Homes Solutions. They discuss multiple ways to improve your customer’s buying experience, such as improving processes and technology. Kimberly is full of energy and her talent and experience are evident with every valuable tip she shares, not to mention her southern expressions such as, "If your underlying processes don't support, the technology is lipstick on a pig."
New Homes Solutions Consulting has a reputation of real-world SOLUTIONS in a competitive and rapidly changing sales environment. Companies call on Kimberly to set up their processes and systems so that sales is the engine that drives the train rather than running it off the tracks. Because she has such a depth of experience in all disciplines within the building industry, she is highly sought after to help companies to create a Customer Experience Process from lead to customer and throughout the building process. By creating a smooth transition and communication processes, she helps builders to create "Raving Fans." She is a keynote speaker with 20 years of experience as an executive in the residential home building. She has a proven track record working with Builders and Developers of all sizes –from the local/regional companies to the publicly traded nationals. For more information, visit: NewHomesSolutions.com
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Editing by: KT Maschler
Greg Bray: [00:00:00]Hello everybody. And welcome to another. Another episode of the Home Builder, Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine
Kevin Weitzel: and I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse.
Greg Bray: And we are excited today to be joined by Kimberly Mackey. Kimberly is the founder of new home solutions. Welcome Kimberly.
Kimberly Mackey: Hey, thanks for having me guys.
I appreciate it. And Kevin, you really do have a voice for radio.
Kevin Weitzel: I did radio puking actually for one day and found out that by the time you pay the radio announcers Guild and all the different associations that are [00:01:00] associated with it, you really make nothing. And at the end of the day, my Adam's Apple hurt, and I'm like, I'm done with this
Greg Bray: Kimberly, for those who haven't met you yet, why don't you give us that short introduction of yourself?
Tell us who you are and what you've been doing.
Kimberly Mackey: Sure. well, I am Kimberly Mackey and I've been in the business longer than I actually care to admit yet. In 2007, which was a great time. I went out on my own and started new home solutions consulting. So, um, I would like to say I've never looked back, but I will we'll admit in 2009, just like the rest of us, I was curled up in a fetal position.
So. Oh, it threw it right. Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger. what I do is a little unique for most of the consultants out there, because I am a management consultant. So I've done just about every aspect. There is in the home building industry, including building homes. So I like to be the person who pulls all the parts and pieces together and creates the whole.
And I go in and, [00:02:00] and, you know, make sure that sales is the engine that is driving the train, but it's not running it off the tracks. So builders bring me in to set up policies, procedures, uh, coaching, training, you know, make sure integration of their systems so that we make sure that they're all talking to one another.
not that I'm a systems expert, but I know. Well, a whole bunch of system, X systems experts like you guys. So I bring in other people and, that's what I do to help them make sure their workflow and their customer experience is really strong all the way through the process.
Kevin Weitzel: But can somebody hire you too, uh, help them out in micro-management consulting?
Because that's a field that a lot of people miss out on, but no, in all seriousness, That's the business side of Kimberly. What's the personal side of Kimberly. Give us one little factoid that nobody knows about you, or an interesting point about you.
Kimberly Mackey: What did we get to the tough questions? I know
Kevin Weitzel: a couple of, for me then Greg asked the nice, easy flowing ones. I hit you with [00:03:00] the squirrel questions.
Kimberly Mackey: Nice. So, a lot of people may not realize that I'm actually a classically trained vocalist.
Kevin Weitzel: Ooh.
Kimberly Mackey: My latest gig though, was hilarious because at my father's wedding last month, uh, as they announced the the bride and groom that my, bonus mom, that's what we're calling my, my new mom, um, asked me to sing Rocky Top.
So I, I stood up and, and stepped forward and as they were walking back down the aisle, I sang Rocky Top. So it's good to know that all that classic training that my parents paid for went to good use.
Greg Bray: So, so is it, is it inappropriate to ask for a few bars at this point? Or should we just let that go?
Cause, cause if I, if I'm, if I'm recalling you're, you're got some Tennessee roots, is that correct?
Kimberly Mackey: I do go vauls. Yes, absolutely. I'm a graduate of the University of Tennessee and born and raised in two in East Tennessee, halfway between Knoxville and Chattanooga. And
Greg Bray: So that's, so that's like a song that's like in your [00:04:00] blood, right?
Kimberly Mackey: Oh yeah. I didn't have to think twice to know the lyrics for that one. I'm pretty sure that's what they teach us when we first start talking in Tennessee.
Greg Bray: Well, Kimberly, tell us just a little more about. Why you kind of got into home building in the first place and what kind of attracted you to this industry and, you know, kind of your origin story, if you will.
Kimberly Mackey: Okay. Well, I actually was in consumer direct before consumer-direct was cool. So I used to own the home shopping and delivery service for public supermarkets. So, and we went to, at that time, this was a yeah. You know, right before the whole .com burst. So again, great timing. we were trying to get venture capital on wall street and I was partnered with a company called information neighborhood in New York. Um, we were part of an Anderson consulting consortium and I mean, we did all of this stuff and then of course, boom, the .com thing happened. So I found myself, you know, [00:05:00] back in Tampa and yeah, actually with a newborn, so needing to do something that would keep me local so that I could still, you know, I couldn't, I couldn't travel with a newborn obviously.
So, I actually started to get into, I got into home building kind of by mistake because I was going into business valuations with an appraiser friend of mine. And at the last minute, right before I got my license, he said, you know what, this is going to work. And I'm like, well, of course, it's going to work.
Why wouldn't we? Yeah, why would we do something that isn't and he said, I can't do this. My appraisal business is too busy. I can't, I can't support it and do it right now. Well, I couldn't do it without his license. Uh, but I haven't to be sitting next to a lady who was in home building in my class. Yeah, my real estate class.
She said, you know what, you'd be excellent. New home sales. I'm like new home sales. Well, what's that involve. So I went out and visited a bunch of models and I'm like, I can totally do this. Like she goes, sit around in the model. I'm going to keep my nails polished, read a bunch of novels [00:06:00] and people are going to come in.
They're going to wave checks at me and they're going to just want to buy these gorgeous homes. Right. And yeah, they didn't quite go that way. so I actually did dummy down my resume. Nobody would hire me. They kept telling me I was overqualified, but I went to work for a large regional builder and, um, I did a, you know, on the floor, sales and to startup communities got them up and running, and this was before the boom.
So this was before everything was going gangbusters. and uh, about, uh, two years in, they said, Hey, yeah, we have an opening for, a sales manager. Are you interested in being sales manager? And I said, Sure. Well, I'm, you know, I'm like, so what all is that involved? Cause my sales manager had been here Mackey here's the keys go sell something,
Kevin Weitzel: you know, some stuff.
Kimberly Mackey: Yeah, no, I didn't see him again for six months. So, so, um, I became a sales manager and then I went up the ranks and I became the VP of sales and marketing and that regional builder had multiple franchises. So I ended up actually being the marketing [00:07:00] director for all of that. Um, so that went on for. You know, five, six years.
And then I went on to work for the big nationals. And, uh, then in 2007, the rest is history. As they say, I went out on my own when the big national I was working for pulled out of the market.
Kevin Weitzel: And so for the millennials that are listening, the .com burst was when the.com companies, had a big bubble that popped, that affected the stock market.
Very similar to what happened with the housing bust. So, just to bring everybody up to speed because a lot of them are born before that happened before they were even born.
Kimberly Mackey: Thank you for pointing out my age, Kevin. I appreciate it.
Greg Bray: I'll go on record. I remember the .com bust I went through. So, so I'm Kimberly.
I know one of the areas when, when you're doing your consulting that you talk a lot about is kind of that buyer journey, that customer experience. And I think that's an area that we'd like to dive a little bit deeper into today [00:08:00] because I think it's something that, that our, our audience can learn a lot about and, and help improve.
So if that's okay, you know, how do you kind of define that customer experience when you're talking to a builder, you know, where, where does that fit in with their overall business strategy? So to speak.
Kimberly Mackey: It fits in everywhere. You know? So it's, it's everything that the builder does. Most of our builders got their start, you know, with it was just them maybe, or them and one other person.
So that's all they had and they built the business and all of a sudden they sold some homes and now they needed to hire a sales. Person. And, and then that salesperson started selling more homes. So they had to hire another superintendent and it just grew organically from there. They never really sat down and had to think through the process from start to finish because really they just hit the ground and kept going.
And most of our builders today have not stopped too, to roll back and think, [00:09:00] okay, Am I delivering what I promise, you know, we have these fancy tag lines and, and you know, this, you know, we're, we're this builder, we're that builder. We're, we're the builder who gives you blah, blah, blah. Everything's included, you know, but what about that customer experience?
And that really involves stepping back from the business itself and kind of looking at it from above and saying, w. What does the customer feel like as they're going through, even from the time that they see maybe one of our billboards or they hear us on the radio or they see us at an event or see one of our signs.
What is their feeling of us, you know, and it's, you know, what is the internet saying about us? You know, what the interwebs, you know, what are, cause sometimes those people are just the unhappy people who go on there. But what about the happy people? And you know, what about the process all the way through was the customer kept informed, are the handoffs.
[00:10:00] Seamless as they go through, uh, every bit of this involves a process map, basically that we have to plan it in advance and know it's like a, it's kind of like a relay. And if you're going to hand off, everybody knows when you hand off that Baton and the relay, that's the most dangerous time. That's when you know, somebody can drop it.
That's when people can stumble and we can't allow that to happen. As we hand off the buyer all the way through the process. Um, it's interesting. I'm going through the home building process myself. We actually close at the end of the month. So I'm coming to you from an Airbnb today, that we're living in temporarily.
but it's, it's been very interesting to go through it as a customer, even knowing what I know there have still been times that I've had to go wait a minute. Whoa, what, what are we doing? Why am I getting this email from this person? And is this legit? You know, the title company out of the blue just emails me and I'm like, why am I getting [00:11:00] stuff from first American title?
You know, I didn't know that that was the title company that was going to be, you know, nobody thought to tell me that that part in advance
Greg Bray: now, now are you packaging your experience personally for, for your builder? So you can go, Hey guys, I got some ideas for you.
Kimberly Mackey: Yes. You know, I mean, In our own experience definitely helps.
And, and to be able to go through this now, unfortunately, I've been working with a wonderful builder and it has been a good experience. Uh, it's been a long experience. We were 18 months into this process because we bought something that couldn't be built yet. It wasn't the phase wasn't open. And you know, so we started this journey a while.
Kevin Weitzel: And if you, and if the buyer understands that ahead of time, that's not a customer service issue. That's just the way it is.
Kimberly Mackey: That's the way it is. We knew that going in, you know, we had that and then, you know, COVID happened. Right. Well, nobody expected that. So, you know, I we're trying to sell our home during that.
They were trying to get the building started during that, you know, and, you know, everything went [00:12:00] haywire, you know, we couldn't physically be where, even though it was just up the road,
Kevin Weitzel: so saying that, you're saying I've heard nothing but positive things about your experience with them and if it is nothing but positive, Who were you buying from?
Kimberly Mackey: Oh, I'm happy to share here that I'm buying from Attomamy homes. So
Kevin Weitzel: awesome. They actually are a fantastic provider.
Kimberly Mackey: Yeah, they really are. So no. And they've done a good, they've done a great job and the communication and you know, you have to think that selling a home to me could be a little on the intimidating side.
Yeah, my salesperson has done has done a phenomenal job. And I also know her mother. So, you know, it's a very small world, so I could always call her mom
Kevin Weitzel: in the, in the consumer to business or business, to consumer selling world, especially with gidgets and gadgets. Your easiest sales are usually selling to salespeople because they already presold themselves.
They already know what they want when they walk in the door, they just want to test you and you can always spot them. Cause they'll ask you questions. It's like, you know the answer to this question. Why [00:13:00] are you even asking me? You know?
Kimberly Mackey: Yeah. Yeah, I called her up. And I said, because I actually was teaching some realtors in her model center and I walked it through and I was like, you know what?
I never really thought that this would be a lifestyle for me, but I'm liking this. So, you know, I get kind of sell myself. So I told her it was the easiest sale. She was going to make it the hardest sell she was ever going to make at the same time.
Greg Bray: So Kimberly tell us some of the things that you've seen over the last year that have been changing in that.
By our experience, as people are trying to adjust, especially given the surge in digital and technology and tools, what are, what are some areas that across builders where you're seeing, you know, kind of changes in evolution
Kimberly Mackey: there? So the interesting thing to me is that, you know, you and I, and Greg had been preaching technology, technology technology.
You got to embrace it. It's here, you know, it stops burying your head in the sand over technology. Well, builders were forced. To get on board the [00:14:00] technology train because they had no other way to communicate with their buyers. So in that instance, it's been really good that we've embraced that technology.
but if you, if your underlying processes don't support, the technology is lipstick on a pig, you know, so pardon the Southern expression there, but that's really what it is because you're, it's just going to magnify. When things are when the when the underlying processes are not correct, it's going to go faster.
Technology allows us to speed up, to touch more things, uh, at a, at a faster clip. But it, but again, if the, if the underlying processes are not there for those handoffs, if your, if your salespeople are saying one thing and your construction team is saying something else, you know, if your design center's saying something completely different, you know, each person, maybe you have a closing coordinator or, you know, each person that touches all the way through the process.
[00:15:00] If they're not all singing from the same sheet of music, you know, then there that's going to really. Blow up that customer process and that customer experience. So everybody should be saying approximately when the closing dates are not, you know, this is not an area where you want to, um, to over promise and under deliver.
You know that the buyer needs to be made aware of, you know, every step of the way, how often they can be in their home and how often they can see their home, what they are doing that could cause the delays today because of restrictions and, you know, we all, and again, the technology helps, but it doesn't help if you don't have those processes in place.
So I'm glad to see that builders are embracing technology. I wish they would map it out in advance and then. Use that technology to enhance what's right.
Greg Bray: So Kimberly, do you have a, an example, maybe more specific about [00:16:00] a Baton dropping situation? You know, if we can, you know, just, just where you've seen it, just go totally off the rails.
We don't, you know, no names, you know, or companies or anything else, but just maybe a simple example.
Kimberly Mackey: Well, I recently invented a thing. I did a virtual bus tour with a bunch of realtors and one of the builders I had sent out in advance, as I said, we're going to have a rehearsal. We're going to check everybody's technology.
Right? We'd do our tech checks beforehand before we do these things. And, you know, I laid out the expectations of what, what needed to happen. I still had a builder who. Bless her heart. This poor woman was out on Island by herself with absolutely no support from her builder at all. Um, her cell, she was trying to do it from cell service.
Her cell signal kept dropping. we kept losing her, you know, she was garbled, sounded like she was under water. And that was an opportunity for her to really shine because she had a very unique [00:17:00] offering, but the technology is self. And not testing it, not knowing. And she was very uncertain through the whole thing.
You know, that's an opportunity to leave a very bad taste in the, in the buyer or the general realtor, uh, eyes, when you try a technology and you don't test it out first and, you know, really make sure that everything's working properly. That was a real Bumble. I ended up having, fortunately I knew quite a bit about her, her project.
So I ended up taking over until she could get back on.
Kevin Weitzel: That's what's on the technology and technology side, where obviously that's something that has to be adapted and learned and practiced really well. What do you see on a regular basis with the implementation of customer service from builders? You know, areas where they stumble?
Kimberly Mackey: I think that, not setting expectations properly, we should always be thinking, you know, we do this every day and we get a little jaded to it. So what happens next? [00:18:00] And communicating that with them or on regular intervals. You know, I love the builders who have the regular Friday call. I call it the super sales meeting where the superintendent and the salesperson get together and they go through their pipeline and they call every single customer.
And tell them what's happening in the process, even if it's nothing, even if it's, Hey, you know what, we still, you don't have your site scheduled to dig yet. We're waiting on that permit to come out, but we just wanted to touch base with you and let you know, we're we're on it. And we expect the permit to come back at such and such.
Even that call. Sometimes we have to deliver bad news, right. But better to deliver it than let the buyer. Bumble around and not know what's going on and get upset because no one is communicating proactively with them. So another instance of that is when the buyer comes in every week or they call you every week.
What we see at the end on the surveys is, is the the, we asked the question. So how was it communications process [00:19:00] through, through sales and through the build and the, the, that it was terrible. I had to initiate all the communication. So even that buyer, you see every week or you talk to every week, you still need to initiate the communication and do it on a regular interval.
So nobody gets dropped.
Kevin Weitzel: It's the, it's the perception of proactive versus reactive.
Kimberly Mackey: Exactly.
Greg Bray: Yeah. I think that's a great insight, uh, and an area that. No matter whether you're a builder or any other kind of company, you can probably improve on that. I know, I know that's an area that we can improve on with our clients, too.
Just keeping them informed about what's going people just when we don't know, we assume. And that gets us in real trouble. And, and we also tend to that things are not happening, you know, because if they were happening, they'd be telling us. So if they're not telling us, they must not be happening, you know?
And so that's kind of, Where, where [00:20:00] things had. So, so have you seen some, as you've helped a builder change, some of these processes, have you seen some notes, noticeable improvements that they can go, wow. We made the switch to our process and now this is going better. Whatever. Can you fill in that blank
Kimberly Mackey: sure yeah
you know, I have a builder, I love this builder and they're in a, they're actually in Kenosha, Wisconsin. So, uh, they're just a wonderful team. Everybody's got a really positive attitude. but they're a builder who grew quickly, right? So as a lot of builders do, and they get to that point where they realize, wait a minute, we're bursting at the scene.
System-wise so they brought me in as many builders do to solve a sales problem. And what we uncovered was we really didn't have a sales problem. Uh, what we had was a process problem. And so we brought the whole company together and we mapped out the workflow. So from the time the purchase agreement was written, To getting it over to the purchasing [00:21:00] department so that we could price out, they do their semi-custom.
So there were often semi-custom options and a lot of the regular options, even because of the, you know, they grew so quickly, they didn't even have those where the salespeople could just, you know, click and on a spreadsheet or, or click in a system and just add that to the purchase agreement. So, what we found is that not only were we clogging the funnel, but, the funnel was actually kind of Z shaped and then circled back around and went back into itself.
So, you know, the the the the workflow was going from the salesperson to the purchasing department, to the manager to approve to then back to the salesperson, back to the customer. And it just, it was kind of like this vicious circle before then they got the home started. Now, once I got the home started, things were smooth sailing.
They had the, they had the construction process down pat was that in-between time that really was causing this giant lag for them. And so we had to fix that and make it easier for the [00:22:00] salesperson to get the customer under agreement. So the salesperson, so the salesperson could set the proper expectations.
Cause how do you set expectations when they're different? Every time?
Kevin Weitzel: Well, and it is an evolving process at our house. You know, we help builders. And we've done this time and time again when they go from 20, 30 homes a year. So even just 75 homes a year, it's a completely different business model. It's not the same business model.
And then that whole process has to change again when they hit 150 homes a year. So I totally relate to having to readjust. Reassess that entire selling process, presentation process, even the communication processes have to, amend and change. You. Can't just drop into Carol's office to ask questions when she's now working from remotely or when she's now managing 30, 40 starts at a time.
So, yeah, and I get it.
Kimberly Mackey: Yeah, and it's very true that communication. And of course, COVID just magnified that because we were separated now, salespeople have always kind of been [00:23:00] remote, you know, they've kind of been removed and that's another problem. If you don't keep your salespeople informed. Then they tend to fill it.
They're very creative. I can fill in the blanks and not necessarily the way you want them to fill in the blanks because we forget to tell them stuff. And they're like, Oh, well you don't know that that this is what's happening. Oh, you didn't know that so-and-so, that you need something from, has been out sick for a week, you know?
No. How would I know that, you know, they're way across town. So. Yeah, that's, that's really important. Then they can keep the customer we're in the loop. And of course, you know, Kevin tools like, you know, the the floor plans and the being able to show people things right. You know, and bring that or the process when you have that, you've thought it out in advance, right.
Of what the that interaction needs to be.
Kevin Weitzel: Absolutely. And then talking about the the turnaround times and, and, you know, the answers, not letting sales know. And then they fill in the blanks. When someone, he asked me, what's the turnaround time on a, you know, a series of 10 [00:24:00] renderings. Uh, do you want the salesmen answer?
Do you want them production answer? Because the production team might have a slightly different answer that I'm going to give you.
Kimberly Mackey: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, you know, this involves, it really is. It's a, it's a, I got a call. I was really excited. I got a call from a builder out of Delaware this week to talk to me about their customer experience.
And when I said, I said, so let me ask you about your business. Are you really busy right now? And they said, yes, we are. And I said, I am so happy to hear that. You're thinking about customer experience at a time when you are slammed. You know, that's that's exactly. I mean, it would have been ideal. Well, if we thought about this before that, right, that they're, they're going, wait a minute.
We are so busy. We realize, now we've got to fix this. We've got to fix it before we get more busy.
Greg Bray: Yeah. I always, always better to start now than not to start right on trying to fix these things.
Kimberly Mackey: Yep. Yesterday's better today. Today. He was good enough, but tomorrow's too late.
Greg Bray: So Kimberly, if you, if you take a builder, like the example you're giving and you say, okay, we, [00:25:00] we have just discovered that this process is all crisscrossed and tingled up and we want to untangle it.
Where, where do they get stuck in the untangling processor, you know, where they're trying to, they want to fix it, they're trying to fix it. And then they just can't seem to fix it. What is it that kind of gets in the way of being able to move, improve along the way? Any, any commonalities you've seen?
Kimberly Mackey: Yeah. I'm going to use air quotes that I know your audience. Can't see, but we've always done it this way.
Kevin Weitzel: Oh, Oh.
Kimberly Mackey: It's kiss of death. It's totally the kiss of death. So that's where you have to bring people in to understand just because you've always done it that way. Doesn't mean you're going to be able to continue to do that as you grow going forward.
Kevin Weitzel: I love quoting John Burns and this is industry-wide and cross-industry. If you're still doing business today, the way you did it, 10 years ago, you are not going to be relevant or even in business, 10 years from now. And with [00:26:00] technology, the way it is that window of 10 years is shrinking every single day.
Kimberly Mackey: If you're still doing business the way you were in 2019, you're in trouble.
Kevin Weitzel: Yes. Yeah.
Kimberly Mackey: So this ain't 2019 any more people and it's not going back. You never are. Y'all it's just going to go back and say, no, it is not certainly there are aspects of our life that will, and we, and you know, we're already seeing more face to face interactions than we were, of course, during the shutdowns, however, We still need to enhance that using the technology.
But again, you know, you have to map that out. So you map the process and then you find the technology that helps to support that.
Kevin Weitzel: I love shopping mom, Paula local stores. That's just, I'm cut that way. It's the way I'm made. I like to support that local economy, but as much as I like doing that, nobody's going to stop shopping in Amazon overnight that switch isn't going to get turned off.
The same thing goes true for home buying. You know, now [00:27:00] that we've, we've given people, all these new tools and new gadgets and new ways of getting in new ways of seeing their homes, they're not going back to let me set an appointment. Now there's some that will, I'm one of them, but I think that you're right on where it's not going to refer.
It's not going back. You are going to have to adapt and overcome to these new threshold scenarios that we have in this world.
Kimberly Mackey: Well, you know, our buyers have been demanding this for quite some time. We've just been ignoring them because we're the home builders and we just don't, we're not early adapters.
We're just not, you know, so that's the, yeah, that's the nature of it. Your buyers have been demanding it all along and it's time that we, as an industry start to stop being so afraid of our customers. We have to embrace our customers because, at the end of the day, we need to make it about them. If you're afraid of your customers, then you are not running a customer-centric organization.
Kimberly, one of the, one of the things that came to mind as you were talking [00:28:00] about this evolution, that's changed. You know, we had a conversation previously about this idea of buying a home, you know, sight unseen and, and yeah. The idea that well, people, Oh, people would never do that. And I, and I recall you making the comment.
What are you talking about? Builders have been selling homes, sight unseen, unbuilt homes forever,
you know? And so the idea that we can't sell a home sight unseen it, you know, that some people seem to struggle with is kind of. Ridiculous. That's what you've always done when you're just to have a piece of dirt and no house on it yet, you know, you're selling a home
Kimberly Mackey: to be built.
Yeah, exactly what you're doing. It's a Doobie belt. I was fortunate. I started in a sales trailer with a bunch of renderings, so on paper, Kevin, cause I, you know, I'm old as he pointed out. So, but I had, you know, like color renderings, these beautiful artist's renderings, and there was nothing. I mean, it was, it was dirt.
The roads were in. That's what I had, what they want. And it seriously was here's the keys, Mackey, go sell something. [00:29:00] Oh. And you might want to learn something about T and D and I'm like, what T and what T R dynamite, what are you talking about? So I had no idea what a traditional new development was, and I didn't understand why I was selling townhomes in the middle of a single-family, masterplan community and how that was going to work, you know?
And, but those were some of my favorite sales. Because you really got to sit down and show the buyer and build the vision with them and then see that like come up right from nothing and see you their reaction as their vision started to come, come to life. And those were, you know, those were people that literally would hang out with me on Sunday.
In my model, when I had a, I would bake bread in the oven every Sunday, and I always made something in the crockpot and all the neighbors would come by and they would hang out and they'd have something to eat and they'd stand around and prospects would come in and the neighbors would just start talking to them.
And the next thing you know, [00:30:00] I'm writing a purchase agreement. So it's like, You know, this is that's to me, that's the experience that we can re it's replicable and it's not hard. We make it hard.
Greg Bray: And Kimberly, where can people buy your, cookbook,
your recipe book? Yeah. Right. We need to,
Kimberly Mackey: yeah. Well, as I had to get off of gluten and the bread had to go away, but you know,
Kevin Weitzel: you know, there's a saying that, you know, success can be one of your worst enemies because you, you, uh, tend to stagnate and, or rest in your laurels. What do you say to builders that?
Are in my opinion, insulting their buyers with black and white coloring book, renderings of their homes, versus realistic stuff, or, or that, uh, don't have good response times to their clients when they're trying to reach out to them via the internet. what, what is your response to that?
[00:31:00] Kimberly Mackey: My response to builders who don't want to invest on that side of their business, because it's too expensive.
And I'm like, you just spent $750,000 on this model, home and the parking lot and the amount. And then you added, you know, millions into these amenities that you put in here and that's going to have a finite life span. Sure. You're going to be able to sell and get, get it back, but you don't have to do that for every floor plan that you have to help the buyer to envision what it could be.
Right. So invest a little bit. And take the sale to the buyer. You know, back last year I had no idea how relevant it was going to be, but I actually presented at IBS on taking the sale process, the sales process to the buyer. So you don't have to wait on the bricks and mortar, so you don't have to wait on those roads to be in.
You'd go into wait on the model to be finished and there's no waiting anymore. And new home sales, [00:32:00] we've got to get ahead of it and you can get ahead of it by just taking it out to the buyer. And now we're virtually taking it out to the buyer, but you have to have the right tools to help them visualize.
And I think every builder, I don't care if you're, you know, the custom builder who does three or three to five homes a year, or, you know, you're doing 35 or you're doing 350, or you're doing 3,500, you know, it doesn't matter. We all need those tools. So perhaps the custom guys, the smaller guys, more than the bigger guys, because the bigger guys may have more product on the ground to physically show.
So when you're custom, you don't have that. You don't have that option,
Kevin Weitzel: a shameless plug warning, coming up here. Uh, so in addition to hiring a professional consultant, such as new home solutions, uh, what other resources would you recommend for builders that, you know, literally just need to pull their head out of the rear ends.
Kimberly Mackey: I usually we try not to tell them quite that way, but, you know, and to me, there is no [00:33:00] one size fits all. So it really kind of depends on what that builder, hat needs. But we start with looking at the process like I said, it's not, we just don't come in and I just go and go, okay, you need, you need renderings.
Okay, you need this. Okay. You need a CRM, you need. But what we do is we look at what do they have, what's working, what isn't. And then let's fill that void and let's, let's put the things in place. So if they don't have those renderings and we have salespeople who are literally out there selling on the hood of their car, then let's get them.
Um, you know, if we're, if we're selling virtually, you know, I've worked with a lot of builders in the panhandle of Florida, and we have been selling virtually to people across the globe because of the military buyers and the reload buyers there for years, it's a wonderful market because of those military buyers.
But you know, they they're, they're buying sight unseen. They've been buying sight unseen for years. We, there are lots of people who are, so now with what we're seeing with. The mass Exodus from the big cities to the, to the suburbs and [00:34:00] even the experts, you know, there are people who are going, you know what?
I don't have to live in this big city. Not only that I don't have to live in this state. Right. So Florida of course has benefiting from that. They may not be able to travel through this whole thing. So, you know, again, map your process and then figure out what tools you need. You know, do you need to get a gimbal for your salespeople?
So they aren't walking around with their cell phone and they're going, the video shaking all over the place and they're fumbling around with it. And you know them how to do whatever tools you bring in. It's not enough to just have the tool. You've got to use the tool by teaching the people who need to use it, how to use it, and then, okay, I'm getting ready to blow your mind.
You have to hold them accountable. Which means the management and the owners have to also understand that tool. And they have to check in on a regular basis to the people who are supposed to be using it, to find out how [00:35:00] it's going, how is it working and what are they doing with it? How is it enhancing the process?
Because if it's not enhancing the customer experience process, we need to really think about, is this something that we need.
Greg Bray: Kimberly that was, that was an amazing, uh, little segment they're just full of, of wisdom and advice. Um, and, and so I, I hate to, I hate to keep going and ask you for more, but, you know, I want to be respectful of your time.
but do you have kind of that, if you could sum it all up into that one piece of advice that, that you would, you know, share with our listeners today, what, what would that be?
Kimberly Mackey: It really would be take a beat. Manage your business is not going to always come in the door like it is, is today. This is it's temporary.
We know it's temporary. It's, it's bizarre. Actually it shouldn't be happening. I mean, no, nothing points to this continuing. So don't run your business as if it's going to be like this forever. So take that beat and take this [00:36:00] opportunity to map your processes out and then bring in the technology that is going to enhance and make things easier. Cause you don't, you have those processes in place. You don't necessarily have to keep just adding people, which I know gets a little scary thing when in times where we have so much uncertainty, um, those processes will help to take care of a lot of that, but it will also ensure that when you bring people in, you're bringing in the right people for the right reasons who are going to fill a position.
And a need for the position itself and not just adding people for the sake of adding people in the right order.
Greg Bray: Awesome.
Well, thank you so much, Kimberly, for spending time with us today, I've learned a lot. I hope everybody else has too. If somebody wants to connect with you and learn more or talk with you, what's the best way for them to find you
Kimberly Mackey: newhomessolutions.com.
or they can even go to Kimberlymackey.com and it'll redirect them so right too, to new homes, solutions.com two S's in the middle and one [00:37:00] at the end.
Greg Bray: And you've never had to say that before. Right?
Kimberly Mackey: If you forget that, that extra ESSA in there, you're going to be in trouble. Yeah.
Greg Bray: If someone has the domain name without the extra S please let Kimberly know, she'd be happy to buy that for a small fortune so
she can, and there you go.
Thank you again so much, Kimberly. And thank you everybody for listening today and join us again. Next time on the homebuilder digital marketing podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.
Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with Outhouse. Thank you.