Video Mystery Shopping: The 2013 Benchmark Results are In!

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Each year the Melinda Brody and Company compiles a detailed report for all of our New Home building clients that show each builder where they rank nationwide among other builders in several key areas of the new home sales presentation. Well, the results for Melinda Brody and Company’s 2013 Benchmark Survey are in!

This much anticipated survey tracks the results of all of the video mystery shops we have done throughout the year. In 2013, we conducted over 900 video shops for 47 builder divisions! Whew, that’s a lot of video mystery shopping! The Benchmark Study allows us to analyze and see the ‘trends’ that are taking place in the home building industry. It gives our clients an opportunity to see where they rank against other builders, the areas where they are doing extremely well, and the areas where improvement is possible. It also allows us to put our finger on the pulse of what is going on nationwide in the homebuilding industry. Builders’ sales teams are rated in the areas of registration, model and home site demonstration, the builder’s story, closing, and follow up.

So, what did we learn? The good news is that this year’s findings show that all areas have seen improvement year over year, with the exception of the builder’s story and follow up. The biggest improvement was in the home site demonstration. This is important because it tells us that sales people are finally ‘getting’ the importance of showcasing the home site. Yahoo!

As for the builder’s story and follow up, both were down 5% compared to last year. There really is no excuse for this. I recommend that sales managers focus on these two areas in their sales meetings. Provide your sales associates with a solid script as to what sets your builder apart from the competition. Also, put systems in place to make follow up a natural part of the sales presentation.

The one category that always ranks dead last in the survey is CLOSING. While the overall score did increase by 2%, an effort to close the buyer was only attempted in 44% of ALL the video mystery shops. Plain and simple folks, you can’t make the sale if you don’t close the buyer….and you can’t close the buyer if you don’t ask for the sale.

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