June 2019 Newsletter

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Summer is here and the opportunity to capture the boomer market and their families are in play. What are your amenities…do you offer overnight packages, renowned restaurants, walking and biking trails, historic sites and cultural events? All are attractive to potential retirees as it gives them a fantastic experience and a feel for your community. Begin to capture their hearts by showing off your area as a destination and a place to call home!

Sign-up today for our July webinar, “Follow Up Strategies That Will Get More Clients and Close More Sales,” presented by Wanda Allan, National Speaker, Coach and Author. In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Why using a system is critical for success
  • Follow up systems that don’t work
  • How the right mindset will make the follow up process easier
  • Surprising sales statistics
  • The real reason people don’t follow up
  • 3 strategies that will improve your follow up efforts immediately

Improving your follow up skills will help you get more clients and close more sales!

Roaring 20s Returns….Recruiting Retirees in a New Decade will be the theme at our annual conference, November 6-8 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Early bird registration is now open so be sure to check out the details at www.AARCConference.org. The AARC continues to be your resource in the retiree attraction market!


Rachel Baker Chair, The AARC

Roaring 20s Returns….Recruiting Retirees in a New Decade      

Chattanooga, Tennessee – November 6th – 8th, 2019

What’s All the Flapabout? The Roaring Twenties is hitting Chattanooga this fall!

The AARC Annual Conference is pouring new energy and ideas into the retiree community industry.

You already know that the ‘Roaring’ 1920’s were an iconic period—booming economic prosperity, jazz music, flappers, and cultural shifts that changed the country. Back then, like today, ‘cutting-edge’ technology was changing the landscape. In the 20’s, it was things like the washing machine and…the radio (creating a new thing called nation-wide advertising!)

As we find ourselves headed into the NEW Roaring Twenties, it’s geo-location tech, social networks, and unlimited market research available to every potential customer that are changing the way we do business. Next on the horizon, we’re seeing  an increasingly savvy and demanding audience of soon-to-be and current retirees.

Are you excited for what lies ahead OR are you wishing you could enact Prohibition on some of these speed-of-light market changes?

Be inspired and informed by our Keynote speakers, Jason Forrest and Mary Marshall, from the highly acclaimed Forrest Performance Group (FPG). Jason Forrest, CEO & Chief Culture Officer of FPG is recognized for decades of creating high-performance homebuilding cultures through complete training programs. Mary Marshall, Vice President of Marketing at FPG, is a nationally recognized sales expert, coach and leading expert in online learning systems.

FPG is an award-winning sales and leadership training company dedicated to creating your high-performance, high-profit, and “Best Place to Work” culture. We’re not just focused on launching your sales to new heights. We care about creating the sustainable culture behind your sales.

A Message from our Keynote Speaker 

At AARC, we’re ready to help you SEIZE this new, exciting era.

We invite you to join us to learn from the industry’s top influencers this fall…

AARC 2019 Annual Conference:  Nov 6th – 8th
“The Roaring 20s Returns: Recruiting Retirees in a New Decade”
November 6th, 1pm – 5pm (Welcome Reception to follow)
November 7th, 9am – 5pm
November 8th, 9am – Noon
The Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, TN

To learn more or sign-up, visit the AARC Conference page

AARC July Webinar – Don’t Miss Your Chance To Sign Up

Follow Up Strategies That Will Get More Clients and Close More Sales

Wanda Allen, National Speaker, Coach and Author

If follow up is a hard heavy “to do” then the Follow Up Sales Strategies Presentation is for you.  You’ll learn that follow up is merely a matter of having effective habits and good systems in place. If you struggle getting your follow up work done, it’s not because you don’t have time, you’re not organized or you’re not good at sales…it’s because you haven’t learned the right systems and skill set.  Understanding this will help put you in the flow of ease of getting this all important work done on a daily basis.

In the Follow Up Sales Strategies Presentation, you’ll learn:

  •     Why using a system is critical for success
  •     Follow up systems that don’t work
  •     How the right mindset will make the follow up process easier
  •     Surprising sales statistics
  •     The real reason people don’t follow up
  •     3 strategies that will improve your follow up efforts immediately

Improving your follow up skills will help you get more clients and close more sales!

AARC Members & VIP Guest – Click Here to register

Gap Widens Between What Buyers Want, What’s for Sale

Realtor Magazine | June 28, 2019

Home buyers are finding fewer homes for sale that are meeting their price expectations. Half of all home buyers say they’re looking for a home priced under $288,000. But that is 9.1% below—or $27,000 less–than the median list price of currently available homes, a new realtor.com® study finds.

“The price difference between what buyers are searching for, closing on, and what’s available on the market demonstrates just how big the gap is for entry-level home buyers,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “Buying a first home has always been a challenge, but with such a slim number of entry-level homes available, it’s especially difficult now.”

The median sales price of homes purchased in April was $267,000, which is about 15% or $48,000 less than the price of the inventory currently on the market, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.

Realtor.com® researchers estimate that about 94,000 more homes priced between $100,000 to $340,000—or a 15% increase—are needed to satisfy the imbalance between what buyers want and what is available. However, it’s homes priced above $750,000 that have seen the most growth in inventory lately, rather than the lower end of the market, researchers note.

“Entry-level homes continue to be difficult to come by as the inventory composition shifts more and more toward higher-priced homes,” Hale says. “This is causing smaller and more affordable homes to appreciate rapidly, resulting in a mismatch between what buyers are able to spend and what sellers expect to receive.”

Smaller homes (those between 750 to 1,750 square feet) have appreciated 12.1%, or 3.5 times, faster than mid- to large-sized homes (3,000 to 6,000 square feet), realtor.com®’s analysis finds.

Where Buyers Are Having it Easiest, Most Difficult

Buyers are finding the smallest imbalance in their search for homes for sale in a few select markets. For example, realtor.com®’s analysis found that the markets where buyers are most likely to find what they want is Buffalo, N.Y., which has a median list price of $194,950, followed by Memphis, Tenn. ($219,950); Baltimore ($329,050); Pittsburgh ($189,950); and Philadelphia ($279,950).

realtor.com what homeowners want chart. Visit source link at the end of this article for more information.

® realtor.com

On the other hand, the metros with the largest price imbalances are Cincinnati (which has a median list price of $275,045), followed by Houston ($324,950), Minneapolis ($370,050), Indianapolis ($284,950), and Atlanta ($339,050).

realtor.com chart. Visit source link at the end of this article for more information.

© realtor.com

Virtual Reality:  The Most Effective Sales Tool You’ll Ever Use

Elise Platt, NAHB – 55+ Housing Online Magazine  | Spring 2019

A virtual tour of your homes and neighborhood can be the most effective, interactive element of your overall sales presentation and the absolute best presales closing tool you have ever known. Many 55+ buyers are downsizing or up-styling; some are even changing their locations. Virtual reality tours are a great way to show new concepts. Your buyers get enthusiastic and comfortable long before you are ready to deliver homes.

Today, computer-generated tours are considered a conventional sales tool. Virtual reality allows you, the builder, to be in the market early in the development process and to help generate solid presales, which are often required by the finance community. Well-executed virtual tours capture your prospect’s imagination and make your neighborhood come to life.

Setting the Stage

When 55+ buyers purchase a home, it is usually a joint decision, often involving extended family. We always present our virtual tours in an open, congenial and comfortable setting. Isolating a buyer with virtual headgear and other solo technologies may be fun for some and disorienting to others; that is more about the technology, though, than closing the sale of a home, especially to the mature market.

The virtual tour — a strong presales alternative for a full model tour — should be easily viewed by at least three to four people at the same time. We usually plan a soft, comfortable seating area (preferably with a small sectional so our sales counselor can sit to the side on the “L” and chat with the prospects during viewing) as part of the main sales environment. We use the largest possible tV screen to show our tours; always take glare into consideration in your design of this area.

The virtual tour should be narrated in person by your sales counselor. We intentionally make them with only background music and no words because the words need to be a conversation between your sales person and your prospect.

You must train sales people to consider the virtual tour their most effective sales tool, not as entertainment. Sales representatives should stay with prospects as they watch your virtual tour, just as they should when prospects tour your models. As your sales representatives describe the homes and features to buyers during the virtual tour, they will hear the prospects’ reactions and questions, and can use the experience to help focus on a targeted sales strategy. Representatives can also stop and start the presentation to focus on specific spaces or details.

Crafting a Quality Tour

We create virtual reality presentations that truly represent the unique product offering and the spaces as they will eventually appear in person. When we are selling the view, we have the technology today to incorporate drone shots or other photography into the virtual tour. When we are selling the surrounding environment, we can show that, too.

Virtual models take time, focus and hard work to gain the most impact and reflect the individual character and quality of your offering. We spend ample time and resources making the virtual tour as real and as detailed as possible. My rule of thumb: trade the cost of one furnished model for a good virtual tour of the neighborhood, amenities and three models.

Like everything else today, you can spend very little time and money on virtual reality, or go to the extremes of customization, as we do. For your virtual tour to be a truly effective presales tool to help you bring prospects to contract, we believe the incremental dollars to do it well are a sound, smart investment.

We go through the same process we use to design a fully furnished model, only we must have an even greater level of final detail during the prep phase of the virtual tour. each model or space must be targeted to its specific buyer. Furniture layout, color and fabric choices, art, accessories, furniture, wall treatment designs and draperies must all reflect the buyer. not all interior designers understand this process or are willing to dedicate their resources to it. We budget a design fee that well exceeds a model design fee within our overall cost to encompass this whole new layer of details.

Our designers prepare a detailed merchandising “guidebook” that we all sign off on, which is used as the animator’s reference resource. We have been fortunate to partner with Lita Dirks and Co., a top interior merchandiser from Denver, in this effort, and we have jointly developed a great furniture library with our animator, Virtual Media 3D of Montreal. It is a very complex process that requires strong, dedicated team members from the initial input of the design, to the virtual editing process, through the spirit and speed of the final animation.

You must find a reputable, professional virtual animator who has a system and a process that works for you. We will only use a presentation partner who is fully committed to become part of our team. the partner must assign us a dedicated account and creative team, be willing to come to meetings and go the extra mile we request of all our professionals. Cutting corners here or selecting a virtual reality operation that is not on board with your philosophy and quality will cost you more time and money in the long run.

Saving Time and Money

We’ve discovered a secret gem within the virtual process that has saved us time and money in product design and development: Computer animation can (and should) begin before working drawings are completed. All we need is floor plans and wall elevations to start.

We call the preliminary virtual design stage “white wall,” which provides us with a virtual drywall walkthrough before we even complete our final drawings. Viewing the 3-D structure inside and out provides a perspective on the overall design and details, such as ceilings and soffits often overlooked at the drawing stage. the entire design and development team can evaluate architecture and construction issues early on and make changes as necessary, eliminating the need for many costly field adjustments. Our virtual partner has an online approval system that allows multiple team members to comment and converse about issues throughout the process. We all can comment, but as the owner, I have final approval.

Using Reality to Reinforce the Virtual

Depending on the size and timing of your development and construction, virtual reality does not necessarily replace furnished models. If your neighborhood is large enough that you will be delivering homes while you are still selling, you will need furnished models. Buyers will insist on seeing the real thing once it is available; it is not reasonable to think you can have homes available for viewing and not show them.

Builders often think they don’t have to furnish a model because the prospect can see the virtual tour and walk a spec house. You need both:

  • Furnished models revitalize a job at a pivotal point in the sales process. Your reality should truly reflect the virtual: Your buyers should feel as if they have been there before. You are living up to your promise.
  • Your virtual tour presentation becomes relegated to reinforcement at the model stage. Buyers still use it to refer to the details, and it can still be used to introduce the overall offering.

Sharing the Enthusiasm

Last, but certainly not least, virtual reality presentations are a convenient, state-of-the-art way to let your buyers show off their great decision. As noted earlier, in the 55+ market, purchasers are often relocating or changing their lifestyle. A copy of a virtual tour in a format they can easily display on a computer or other device allows them to share their enthusiasm about their new home and neighborhood with their family and friends.

There are many virtues in virtual reality:

  • We can sell houses and write contracts before there is a shovel in the ground;
  • We can modify the plans as we view them in 3-D early in the design process; and
  • We have a very impressive takeaway.

Most important, we make a very realistic promise to prospects and prove to them that we can deliver on it.


Elise Platt is president of e.A. PLAtt & CO., a national award-winning firm, that counsels builders, developers and financial institutions across the country, advising them in neighborhood positioning, branding, site- specific product planning, marketing, merchandising and sales.

Platt’s hands-on experience with builder/developers, in good times and in bad, allows her to help develop outstanding neighborhoods that sell even in the most difficult, competitive environments.

Platt‘s clients have numerous national awards and been featured in prestigious magazines and newspapers. Platt was co-director with Barry Berkus of “neSt”, a series of prototype demonstration houses at the nAHB from 1983 to 1990.