By Human Capital Group

4th July 2020

The number one concern for housebuilders at the moment is how to sell in this COVID-19 marketplace.

The parameters of how to sell seem to have changed overnight and there is no way of telling whether these changes are just temporary or whether they are here to stay.

One thing for certain though is that this is currently a very challenging marketplace.

Sometimes it’s important that you listen to others in your sector to help you get some better understanding or simply just to clarify that you are doing the right things.

This is the purpose of our new resilience hub on our website as it brings together experts from all of the globe to share their insights and thoughts on best practice.

This week, Human Capital Group’s managing director Gerard Ball spoke to Jason Forrest MBA who is the Premier Sales Trainer to the US housebuilding industry.

Jason is the CEO and Chief Culture Officer at FPG (Forrest Performance Group) and is seen as a leading authority in culture change programs and is an expert at creating high-performance, high-profit, and “Best Place to Work” cultures. He spoke to us specifically on the topic of ‘How to sell New Build Houses during & after COVID-19’.

There are four keys to success that Jason and Gerard covered:

1. Mindset
2. Skills
3. Opportunities
4. Performance

So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

1. MINDSET – The importance of leaders and sales teams adopting the right mindset during COVID-19 (and what that mindset is).

There is a lot going on in the minds of housebuilders at the moment. People know that COVID-19 will definitely impact sales forecasts in 2020, but the question is whether it will cause people to lower their sales figures or will it give them the opportunity to gain market share.

To find the right mindset, you firstly need to be aware of your negativity, and then it’s about being proactive in shifting it towards optimism and causing a place for change. You need to change your “Delusional Thinking” (i.e. ‘no one is buying at the moment’) into the “Objective Reality” (i.e. ‘no-one is buying from me’).

Jason explains this by saying you can choose to have either an A or B mindset – an “Average” or “Baller” mindset.


2. SKILLS – What are the skill sets you need to identify in your new build sales teams to survive COVID-19?

On this topic, Jason explained to Gerard the following:

  • 2019 was the Year of Abundance – In order to sell a house, salespeople became friends with their customers to lead them through the process.
  • 2020 is the Covid-19 Year – People don’t want to make friends this year, but they do want advice and leadership on what to do.

This means that the selling style this year is very different from what it used to be. Salespeople need to be skilled at having calm and assertive energy while also giving directional advice. This means that they are also giving their customer confidence in the marketplace by telling them that now is the right time to buy.

Creating certainty in an uncertain time is key here, as is being the light in the dark COVID-19 tunnel to ensure that all customers are led towards you.

When looking for a salesperson, there are four things to look out for:

  • They need to be Goal-oriented with high goal clarity
  • They need to be Unleashed and fearless
  • They need to be Motivated with enough energy to get through this
  • They need to have a Procedural mindset


3. OPPORTUNITIES – The opportunity presented by selling houses online and how to dominate your competition in the process.

The definition of an opportunity is a set of circumstances that make things possible. There are six key opportunities that are created by selling houses online via a platform like Zoom:

  • The ability to control the sales process because of virtual and private show house appointments.
  • You can speed up the sales process by getting a lot more information from the client beforehand via video chat.
  • You can share your screen on video chat platforms to show testimonials from people who are buying and why they are. This gives social proof that it’s an acceptable time to buy.
  • You can share case studies and provide further evidence as to why it is a good time to buy now.
  • You can look at competitor floor plans together and find out more about what the customer wants and needs, while also highlighting the flaws of another house.
  • Customers are at home. This means you can ask to have a virtual tour of their house and understand their current challenges so you can better sell them a new home.


4. PERFORMANCE – What are the new KPIs you should be focussed on during COVID-19 and times of crisis?

Importantly, KPIs now should be about conversion rates rather than traffic or footfall to site and understanding the finances of selling is very important. This means that lowering the price of houses doesn’t make sense as it actually makes it harder to reach the required sales targets.

A key performance indicator at the moment is to determine your market share. This means you can work out if your team is performing well by benchmarking them against others in the industry. Is your team doing more or less than your competition in the current circumstances?


Make sure you watch the whole webinar with Jason Forrest to really benefit from his wisdom and expertise.

We’ll leave you with one of the most interesting things he said:

“The reality is that people are still buying at the moment, but the question is, from who?

Covid-19 offers an opportunity that housebuilders have never encountered before as people have amplified frustrations with their current house because they’re spending more time there.

This means that housebuilders have the opportunity to sell to a more motivated audience than ever before which can only be good news!”

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