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Home builders often find themselves at a crossroads as the spring selling season draws to a close.

The frenetic energy of the past few months begins to dissipate, and the focus shifts from managing the influx of buyers to strategizing for the future. At least, that’s what should happen. Too often what happens instead is abject panic about the predictable annual housing market shifts.

This transition period presents an important opportunity for builders to refine their processes, reconnect with their teams, and lay the groundwork that can continue sales momentum through the remainder of the calendar year.

I’ve put together a starting list of five key areas of focus when builders begin to see the spring sales momentum fade. While the list isn’t exhaustive, these items tend to be the most missed or forgotten truths I see when working with builders across North America.

1. Keep Different Teams Focused on Their Core Areas

One of the most critical aspects of navigating the post-spring season is ensuring that each team remains focused on their core responsibilities. Keeping your teams aligned and engaged can help maintain momentum and continue to drive results. It is tempting to lean more heavily on a particular team you trust to execute to take on more responsibility, but it is critical that you keep each team focused on the particular part of the customer journey that they own. I’ll come back to this point after a quick overview.

The marketing team should concentrate on building awareness and fostering intent among potential buyers. This involves creating targeted campaigns, leveraging social media, and developing compelling content that resonates with potential customers. Consistently sharing valuable insights, beautiful imagery, and engaging stories allows your marketing team to keep you top-of-mind and attract new prospects for your sales teams. While the volume will still be lower than earlier in the year, you still should not detect any lack of commitment from the marketing team to continue doing their part.

The online sales team should prioritize immediate responses and appointment setting. Buyers expect swift and professional responses to their inquiries, and at this price point a mediocre chatbot is not an acceptable substitute. Quickly engaging with leads and guiding them through the initial stages of the buying process helps your onsite sales team maintain a steady flow of qualified prospects. Doing so requires solid communication skills, deep product knowledge, and a genuine commitment to helping buyers find their perfect home by setting an appointment. Whenever lead volume declines, your online team should be able to overcome this through increased personalization and attention to each customer and strive to improve conversions from leads to appointments.

The on-site sales team should focus on post-appointment follow-up, overcoming objections, and developing deeper levels of trust with buyers. The personal touch provided by on-site sales professionals and a higher bandwidth of emotion from visiting a model or community can make all the difference in converting prospects into sales. Listening closely to buyers' needs, addressing their concerns with empathy and expertise, and consistently providing exceptional service allows your on-site team to build trust, increase certainty, and a memorable home-buying experience.

Whenever sales management begins dictating how advertising should run or online sales is asked to compensate for poor post-appointment follow-up by on-site sales, alarm sirens should begin to sound. There is a clear difference between collaboration and cannibalization, but in the flurry of adjustments it can be overlooked to everyone’s detriment.

2. Sales Management Should Review Every Appointment

Every lead is an opportunity for both the current month, and all future months until the prospect decides to purchase or opts out. This means that despite the relative sales success so far, there are often three to eight more opportunities that haven’t yet been worked to completion. Consider this fictitious—but rooted in actual case studies—scenario. Through May, a builder has had 600 online leads, held 210 first appointments, and has 23 sales. The 187 appointments that didn’t result in a sale hold both the most high-fidelity information about your prospective buyers as well as the chance to get additional sales without the need for any new leads at all.

Therefore, as the spring season winds down, sales management must review every appointment held closely for clues on both making that individual sale, but also valuable insights that will help identify areas for improvement for the entire team.

Managers should start by sitting down with each sales representative to review their prospects in detail. Take the time to understand each buyer's unique needs, preferences, and challenges by reviewing notes in the CRM (there are detailed notes in there – right?). Gaining a comprehensive view of each prospect's situation enables you to work with your sales team to develop personalized strategies for guiding them toward a purchase decision.

Analyze what and who halted the sales process for each prospect. Were there common objections or obstacles that prevented buyers from moving forward? Did certain team members struggle to address these concerns effectively? Identifying patterns and pinpointing areas for improvement allows you to provide targeted coaching and support to help your sales team overcome these challenges.

With these insights in hand, work with your sales team to create an action plan for each prospect. Outline specific steps to re-engage buyers, address their concerns, and move them closer to a purchase decision. This may involve providing additional information, offering personalized incentives, or simply maintaining consistent, helpful communication.

In some cases, consider offering a prospect-specific promotion tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. However, it's crucial to keep these promotions confidential and never advertise them publicly, as this could undermine trust and fairness in the eyes of other buyers.

Remember to inspect what you expect. Regularly follow up with your sales team to ensure that they're executing the action plans and providing the level of service and support that your buyers deserve. Holding your team accountable and celebrating their successes fosters a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. It is not unreasonable for leadership to ask for a weekly report from sales management on the current status and next steps from every appointment held.

3. Increase Your Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) Review Cycle

As the spring season ends, the used-home market tends to see an influx of new listings as their selling season is just beginning. To stay competitive and avoid being caught off guard, it's crucial to increase the frequency of your CMA review cycle.

Closely monitor the used market and other builders in your area. Regularly assess their pricing, incentives, and marketing strategies, and be prepared to make swift adjustments to your own offerings in response to changes in the competitive landscape. This may require revisiting your pricing models, updating your incentive packages, or refining your marketing messages to highlight your unique value proposition clearly.

It's also important to remember that competition can come from within. Carefully evaluate the positioning and performance of each of your own communities and ensure that they are not inadvertently cannibalizing each other's sales. Each community should offer a distinct lifestyle and set of amenities that appeal to a specific buyer segment rather than competing directly with your other neighborhoods, especially if price points overlap.

Make it easy for buyers to compare your homes and communities to your competitors. Provide clear, concise information about your floor plans, features, and amenities, and be transparent about how your offerings stack up against those of other builders in terms of quality, value, and lifestyle. If you are fearful of comparison by buyers, that is your signal that there is a lot more work to be done here. Resist the urge to complicate comparison by feature dumping aspects of your offering that are commodities or lack clear differentiation.

4. Resist the Urge to Go Ever Broader With Advertising

As the market shifts, casting a wider net with your advertising efforts to generate more leads and traffic can be tempting. However, this scattershot approach is more likely to lead to wasted resources and diminished returns.

Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, focus on serving the market you already have. Double down on the buyer segments and geographic areas that have proven most receptive to your offerings, and allocate your advertising budget accordingly. This targeted approach allows you to maximize the impact of your marketing dollars and avoid spreading yourself too thin.

Resist the temptation to inflate traffic artificially and leads through broad-based advertising blitzes. While this may generate a short-term spike in interest, it often comes at the expense of lead quality and conversion rates. Focus your resources on nurturing the prospects already in your pipeline and on optimizing your website and online presence to attract genuinely interested buyers. If you save advertising dollars here, they should be redistributed to help improve conversions later on in the buyer journey (improved content, digital tools, improved processes, or prospect specific promotions).

5. Tell the Stories of Your Buyers from Earlier in the Year

As the season progresses, it's important to remember that your older leads are still paying attention. Even if they weren't ready to move earlier in the year, they may still be considering a new-home purchase. Sharing the stories of buyers who purchased from you earlier in the year can help you stay top-of-mind, build trust, and demonstrate the value of your homes and communities.

Highlight the experiences of satisfied buyers through testimonials, case studies, and social media posts. Share photos and videos of happy families settling into their new homes, and let their words speak to the quality of your offerings and the exceptional service provided by your team.

These "mountains of evidence" can be powerful tools for reducing fear and uncertainty among prospective buyers. Showing that others have successfully navigated the home-buying process with your company and are thrilled with their decision gives hesitant prospects the confidence they need to take the next step.

I know it can be daunting to create volumes of compelling content, but use the framework of “document, don’t create” when working on this specific area. Focus on documenting what is already happening—with high-quality audio equipment—than trying to orchestrate a single “viral” or overly produced effort. You need to communicate volume so that it is clear that having a great experience or falling in love with the product even more post-purchase isn’t a rare event.

Bonus Tip: Be Strategic With Community Launches

Be strategic about the timing of your community launches. Carefully planning these launches can help balance the flow of traffic and leads throughout the year and avoid the feast-or-famine cycle many builders experience.

Consider launching new communities or phases during typically slower periods, such as the late summer or early fall. This can generate excitement and momentum when buyer interest may otherwise wane. Alternatively, you can hold off on specific launches until the market shows signs of picking up again, allowing you to capitalize on renewed demand. Don’t let yourself be constricted to specific milestones in development as long as you give enough notice to both internal teams and your customers.

In either case, coordinate your launch plans with your marketing, online sales, and on-site teams. Working together to develop a comprehensive launch strategy ensures that every aspect of the buyer journey, from initial awareness to post-purchase follow-up, is optimized for success.

As the spring selling season ends, home builders have a unique opportunity to set themselves up for success in the months ahead. Focusing on key areas such as team alignment, prospect nurturing, competitive analysis, targeted advertising, and buyer storytelling allows builders to maintain momentum, drive results, and create a strong foundation for the future.

Remember, the end of the spring season is not the end of the road, but rather a chance to refine your strategies, reconnect with your teams, and position your company for the natural cycles of the market. Staying focused on your core strengths, adapting to changing market conditions, and putting your buyers' needs first enables you to thrive in any season and build a legacy of sales and marketing excellence in our industry.