Home Builder Mystery Shopping
Owning a home has been a major part of the American dream since the birth of the nation. From log cabins through sprawling ultra-modern mansions, many people value the possession of a house higher than any other asset. Since this rite of passage is held in such high esteem – and is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many – the competition among home building companies is fierce. RBG works closely with their home builder mystery shopping clients to help them soar to the top of their game and stay there. Mystery shopping reports are designed to meet the needs of individual builders whose target customers vary by locale, economic climate and assorted demographic characteristics.
Mystery shoppers for RBG provide all the details builders need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their sales associates as well as better understand what prospective buyers like and dislike about the floor plans, lots, location and amenities of the houses they’re building and selling. Once armed with this information, the builders can modify the options they offer to gain a better market edge.
Home builder shoppers have to project a believable image of a serious home buyer. Not only do they have to dress the part (business casual) but also drive a later model car; a clunker indicates funds for a new home are probably not available. It’s also important that the shopper is familiar with the industry lingo and can credibly answer questions posed by the salesperson as well as ask questions typical of a new home buyer.
Making the Appointment
Shoppers may be instructed to set up an appointment to tour homes with a random associate or be assigned a specific salesperson. In the latter case, you will be given a scenario to explain how you heard of them. The associate’s demeanor, sales skills and accessibility are graded in this portion of the report.
Meeting the Salesperson
You’ll typically meet the salesperson at their office set up in a model home on the property. It’s important for both the shopper and the salesperson be punctual. During the office visit, particulars about financing, family and personal preferences, desired move-in dates, and preferred structural features are discussed. Again, shoppers are coached ahead of time on what to include in these discussions.
Touring the Property
At the conclusion of the office visit, a tour of the model home generally follows. The salesperson’s presentation of the property is analyzed by the shopper through Y/N answers as well as descriptive narratives on their reports. Shoppers must assess the salesperson’s sincerity, empathy, knowledge of each room’s square footage, flexibility of floor plans, appliance and flooring options, and approximate cost for each requested change.
Questions and Concerns
New home buyers are often just as concerned about the location of the dwellings as they are about size and layout. RBG home builder mystery shoppers must ask a wide range of questions to test the salesperson’s knowledge. In addition, shoppers have to raise a variety of objections to see how the salesperson addresses them. Questions generally include how soon the house will be ready to occupy, choice of lots (size and placement such as street corners or cul-de-sacs), proximity to schools, parks and shopping areas, space between houses, homeowner associations and fees, and landscaping and grounds keeping of common areas. Common objections include too many stairs between levels for elderly or physically challenged occupants, undersized yards and closets, and dislike of decorating colors, textures and styles. How the salesperson answers questions and addresses objections are key to their success and the closing of sales for the builders.
Home builder mystery shopping encourages shopper creativity and sparks the creation of imaginative scenarios. While your observations of the salesperson and property have to be purely objective, the persona you present allows you a lot of leeway, which lets you have fun while earning money.