THE MARKETING & OPERATIONS PROCESS
The new homes marketing and sales system illustrated here includes four action phases: CONTROL, MARKET, SELL and MONITOR. Though each phase is distinct, all are interactive. In other words, successful selling requires a continuing flow of consumer inquiries generated by marketing; effective marketing requires careful planning based upon accurate consumer market information developed through market research control.
Intuition and creativity are only effective in an overall context of hard facts about consumer characteristics, preferences and financial capabilities and of regular information on the community’s performance in attracting and selling these consumers.
The best source for this information is Sales Consultants and Receptionists who are in constant contact with potential home buyers. Thus, the continuing effectiveness of the marketing program depends upon accumulation of accurate and consistent information by every Sales Consultant and Receptionist. This information, coupled with periodic research, forms the basis for the marketing plan and for modifying the original plan in response to changing market conditions.
Your individual and collective efforts are essential to information monitoring reports and, in turn, to planning effective marketing programs that attract consumers to the Sales Center where selling capabilities can be exercised.
The CONTROL phase of the marketing and sales system ensures cost-effective marketing (number of new inquiries relative to plan objectives and the cost per inquiry relative to budget) and optimum sales performance (number of new sales and sales conversion of new inquiries relative to plan objectives). This is achieved through continuing implementation of the following CONTROL functions.
Consumer research considers the scope and characteristics of the consumer market and socio-economic factors which determine demand. Product research examines home design and construction in the context of direct and indirect competition, or supply.
Utilizing the results of research, recommendations on land development and architectural plans are made to reflect optimum housing products in light of local supply and demand.
Planning and Budgeting
A marketing and sales plan and budget are based upon product and research decisions. The plan defines feasible sales objectives by season and market segment. Creative marketing concepts and product positioning are defined to achieve these objectives. Specific program objectives are detailed for each marketing activity and a budget, segregated by plan component and allocated by month or quarter, is prepared to implement the plan. Results of monitoring are later evaluated for modification of the plan budget in light of results.
The MARKET phase establishes objectives according to number of inquiries, conversion rate and net sales. That is, if X sales are required and conversion rate (sales divided by new inquiries) is Y, then Z new inquiries (required sales divided by conversion rate) are required.
These objectives and a communications media program to achieve them are defined in the annual marketing and sales plan. Modifications are made throughout the year in response to performance evaluation data collected by Sales Consultants and Receptionist. The MARKET phase coordinates the following four components of marketing.
The plan includes a media strategy for cost effective communications and a creative strategy for dramatic product presentation. Specific programs are prepared for all media, including radio/TV, magazines, newspapers, outdoor signs, direct mail and Internet & Web related media options.
A public relations strategy incorporates a variety of means for improving the Sales Center image in key segments of the marketplace (public officials, financial officials, purchasers, real estate brokers, the general public). Programs are detailed for news source development, newsletters, news releases, special promotional events, and community service activities.
A product merchandising strategy is coordinated for information center and model design, selling displays brochures and site signage. Overall high impact and direct appeal to the primary and secondary targeted consumer markets provide the decision-making context.
The purpose of the SELL phase is to achieve the sales objectives defined in the marketing and sales plan. Sales Consultants are the bridge between the seller and the purchaser; they must be well-trained professionals with expert knowledge of the builders’ products.
A successful sales team requires clear definition of management policies and procedures for selective recruitment, terms of employment, compensation, responsibilities, sales office procedures and the selling process. Selective recruitment in a growing company is a continuing process that sustains and improves the sales organization.
Successful selling requires motivation, administration and professional response by Sales Consultants in accordance with the organization’s policies and procedures. Clear definition of policies and procedures reduces arbitrary decision-making and potential conflict, reinforces the confidence of Sales Consultants and increases the time devoted to the primary objective of selling homes.
An organized program for generating sales through real estate brokers (Realtors) contributes substantially to overall rules objectives. Every Sales Consultant must be involved in promoting Realtor relationships.
Complete purchaser satisfaction is a process lasting from the signed contract to the end of the first year of occupancy. Satisfied homeowners are a major source of referral business and customer service programs are effective sales tools. Results of customer service provide initial satisfaction information for evaluation and modification of marketing programs.
The MONITOR phase continually assesses progress against objectives and adjusts the overall marketing program appropriately to ensure success.
Our buyers are the single best source of information about builder homes and service. Regular consumer surveys validate earlier product and marketing decisions and provide early information on changing attitudes and preferences.
Each Sales Consultant’s personal objectives are coordinated with those of the company to establish performance goals. Periodic evaluation of progress against the objectives ensures timely and appropriate support for each Sales Consultant and leads to overall success of the Sales Center.