There are understandable concerns about village sales, especially the refundable deposits and longer-term potential buyers who may think to pull out as they try to sell their homes. Have you got a plan?
I had the opportunity this week to interview Alison Abel. She is Sales Director at the leading marketing agency Marketability, but also the on the ground Sales Manager at the new village The Gracewood, at Kellyville in Sydney, a BaptistCare village.
I’ve always admired Allison for being a “doer”, a relationship builder, a fellow customer-experience junkie, and a lover of “all things retirement living”. But even more so now that I have uncovered her “WHY”.
Alison’s “why” is simply, “to provide the best customer journey to her clients that is possible”.
Long before COVID-19, Alison and her team focused on relationships, education and customer experience as a key part of her sales solution.
This included hosting information days and education sessions for potential clients; individualising client experiences (e.g. by hand-writing name cards for designated car parking spaces); and welcoming clients to The Gracewood.
In fact, Alison and her team typically have five touchpoints with clients – before they arrive for their first onsite inspection.
These strategies have allowed Alison to begin her “coping during a pandemic” journey, with an engaged database built on trusted relationships.
Coping with COVID
As soon as COVID-19 hit, Alison and her team decided to up her focus on supporting The Gracewood’s 100 incoming residents. They set out to deepen their existing relationships with prospective clients on their database.
Allison immediately instigated:
- a weekly EDM to her depositors and database, to continue engagement
- Zoom interviews with incoming residents to uncover their real-life stories, which were then shared with others
- Five-minute videos with guest speakers around topics of interest to her prospects, which she then shared with her prospects
- All of these activities have served to build on her existing relationships and are ensuring that communication channels remain open.
They also further develop the trust that has been established in The Gracewood and BaptistCare since day one.
So far, the feedback on these initiatives – from prospects, depositors and families – has been overwhelmingly positive. Many have enjoyed the opportunity to share their own stories.
Check out this example of one incoming resident, Helen, HERE.
Remember, it is a lot harder to find new buyers compared to the real buyers who already know and trust you.