By Christina B. Farnsworth. Popular sales trainer Bob Schultz of New Home Specialist Inc., in Boca Raton, Fla., reminded builders attending the Energy and Environmental Building Association conference in Phoenix last month that new-home sales are a retail not a real estate business. And the competition is not necessarily other new-home builders:

  • Four or five resale homes sell for every new home.

  • Home buyers use a process of elimination to rule out what they don't want.

  • Builders need to sell what's really new about brand-new homes, such as verifiable utility cost savings: They come with energy-efficient appliances and are built with a tighter envelope compared to a used home.