Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Final Two Weeks To Sell A New Home in 2014"

December is a great month for someone to buy a new home, and it's a great time for you to help them do just that. However, half of the month is gone - along with most of the year.

There now are just two weeks remaining to make a sales that you can date "2014" - after that, it's 2015!

Anyone that you have been working with that is close to making a decision - that also would like to say that they purchased this year - should be your top priority.

If you need to make a sales quota, make an additional sale to receive a bonus, or just want to make another sale (or more) because you like selling new homes, time is getting short to do that this year. There's still time, just not that much - especially accounting for a couple of days when your sales center likely is going to be closed.

Don't put any additional pressure on yourself. Just realize that there are only two weeks remaining in 2014, and the time to make a sale is now.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"CAPS Classes Announced for 2015"

In the West Palm Beach, Florida area, a total of 10 complete sessions will be offered throughout 2015 for anyone desiring to complete their "Certified Aging in Place Specialist" designation.

The first set of three classes - the number needed for the certification unless you have the credentials to exempt out of the third class - is scheduled for Monday, January 12 - Wednesday, January 14, 2015.

These classes are open to any building, remodeling, design, or health care profession - without prerequisite ot need for additional coursework - and typically have people attending from throughout North America , including Canada. There are, depending on the class, home builders, remodelers, general contractors, trade contractors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, health insurance, durable medical equipment, real estate, local and regional government officials,nonprofit organizations, consultants, and other disciplines.

After attending, you will be able to use your new-found skills and expertise to begin serving the residents of your area by helping them create safe, comfortable, convenient, and accessible aging-in-place, visitable, and universal design applications for their homes.

Join me, Steve Hoffacker, for a professional journey that will great impact the lives of your customers and clients. Call 561-685-5555 for more information or to enroll in the classes.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Another Successful CAPS Program Underway"

Finishing out the year like it started, we are conducting another well-attended CAPS certification program for people throughout North America. Steve Hoffacker conducts 10-12 CAPS programs each year. This is the final one for 2014, and the first one for 2015 is just a few weeks away.

This set of classes - in addition to having people from several states and Alberta - has a mixture of professionals, representing general contracting, electrical contracting, occupational therapy, physical therapy, health insurance marketing, durable medical equipment, real estate, civic renovation, consulting, and other disciplines.


They will be able to take their new-found skills and expertise back to their local markets and begin serving the residents of those areas by helping with safe, comfortable, convenient, and accessible aging-in-place, visitable, and universal design applications,

The CAPS program is a hugely successful training and education program for builders, remodelers, designers, and health care professionals, among others, that empowers them to meet the need of consumers across North America, and these consumers respect and look forward to the services and ideas that are provided by CAPS individuals and firms.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Learn How Universal Design Can Help Your New Home Or Remodel Design"

I just completed teaching another 2-day course on Universal Design for home builders, remodelers, architects, interior designers, and related professions on how to identify universal design opportunities in a home and to incorporate them as a tremendous advantage to the current or potential owners. It offers several benefits, including increasing the value and marketability of the home.

Universal design is a popular topic, but it is an often misunderstood concept. While there are elements of aging-in-place, ADA compliance, and green building accommodated or addressed in particular strategies or tactics, universal design is none of those. It stands alone.

Let me help clear up the confusion and empower you to take these concepts to your marketplace.

I offer this course several times a year, and the next on is January 29th and 30th - you have more than a month to determine if this fits your schedule.

In addition to the classes, I have several books on universal design and would enjoy discussing you questions or design needs. Let me hear from you.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"The Secret To Good Customer Service - Not"

The secret to good customer service? Insult your customers and call them a liar.

I have been dealing with a particular company for years. Their poor customer service is not a secret. They are one of the few companies that provide this service directly to my home, and while I have looked into changing, it seems I continue to be stuck with them.

The most recent time they came to the house, I wasn't home. They don't need inside access to do what is required.

They finished their service and left - no invoice (handwritten or printed), no business card, no scribbled note, no anything other than my being able to tell that they had been there by what had been done.

That was 6 weeks ago. Now I get a bill - marked past due.

It's one thing to wait over a month for a bill for services rendered, but to get one and have it marked "late!" Not too surprising since invoicing is not one of their strong suits either. And they don't accept online payments.

So I called (at least they take calls), and after 29 minutes (according to my phone's call timer) of music and ads for their company, I actually got someone to relate my story to. She told me that, contrary to my protest, I had received an invoice at the time the services were delivered. She told me technician put this in his notes so that means it happened. Never mind that I beg to differ.

So, to achieve good customer service, be inconsistent, make the customers wait on hold an inordinate amount of time, and then tell them they are wrong.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Friday, November 28, 2014

"Add A New Home To Holiday Shopping"

The Christmas holiday shopping season is officially upon us. People are going to have a lot on their minds - shopping for their family and friends, decorating their home, baking and cooking, sending greeting cards and emails, going to parties and perhaps hosting one or two, going to school programs, getting their home ready, and even more.

Since their current home is going to be clean and decorated in a festive way, this is a great time for them to sell their home. Getting the home clean and ready to show to prospective buyers is challenging enough, but when the motivation is to have it presentable for visiting friends and relatives, this is a nice way to get two things done at once - and relieve the stress of getting the home ready to sell.

Potential shoppers can picture themselves celebrating the holidays in your home with all of the props and visual clues that you'll be providing for them. Those nice baking smells won't hurt either.

We know that people are busy, but if they stop into your new home sales center, they are not too busy to consider getting a new home. They may try to talk themselves into waiting until next year, but you know they are interested by their mere presence.

Explain how they can market and sell their home (just not give up possession yet) this time of year, and how - while they're shopping for everyone else - they can get something nice for themselves as well - a new home.

People have a lot to contend with during the holidays, but you can help them find and acquire their new home,. December is actually a great time historically to get a new home.

Help them enjoy the Christmas shopping season!
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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"First Impressions Are Lasting"

I saw a post recently that was advertising a home for sale where the picture was so blurry and dull that it makes the property unappealing without even learning what it offers. Unfortunately, I have seen this several times before for various properties.

Does the person listing the property think that poorly of it that this is all they want to show as a representation of it - or could it be that they are photographically challenged?

The post in question (and I have seen many others like this) talked about the supposedly great qualities of the property, but it was really had to get past that first photo impression.

The post did not score well in terms of marketing. Regardless of what was proclaimed about the attributes of the property, there was no getting around the major turnoff of a very poor photo of the site.

Let's make sure that any photos of new homes for sale - or the community, amenities, or vacant homesites - show things in their best light. Even if the photos show good contrast, brightness, and are in sharp focus, the content has to be good also. This means that the grass is cut, no liter is laying about, and everything look showroom fresh.

With that kind of attention to detail, a picture can scream more than a thousand words - all positive about what is available!

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"A Special Opportunity To Appreciate Special People"

Veterans' Day is an occasion when we get to acknowledge the tremendous, selfless contributions made by men and women over the years who have fought for us to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

As we welcome veterans into our new home sales centers this week especially, we are reminded of their contributions and should make a special effort to express our appreciation to them.

Not only is this a necessary thing for us to do, but it begins the conversation by honoring them and takes away any barriers that might have been present for beginning a conversation about the needs and wants in looking for a new home.

Once that conversation and resulting dialog is begun, we can begin focusing on finding a solution for their housing needs.

This is not just a Veterans' Day opportunity to engage our veterans when they visit us, but we can make a special effort at this time.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Practice As If The Results Counted"

The purpose of practice is to get ready for the actual competition that counts in the standings - sports, sales, and life. In new home sales, you can't replicate in role-play or practice situations exactly how customers will act when you are front of them, but you can act as if the outcome will count.

You can go through the actions as if the person role-playing with you is an actual customer and that how you respond to them - with a script or hopefully without one because you have learned the basic techniques - will determine if they decide to purchase from you or not.

Even though a practice doesn't count, you can't be sloppy or lackadaisical about it. You must treat it as serious business so that when you actually do work with a customer, that same sense of focus, preparation, intensity for doing a good job, and interest in them as a person will show through.

Watch your favorite sports team. You can tell which players have practiced at full speed and which just went through the motions during the week. The attitude and performance of the team as a whole will reflect how much everyone on it has practiced and prepared under game conditions rather than just putting in time at practices.

Practice, rehearse, and prepare as if the results really do matter - because they really do.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Like It Or Not, Your Email Address Is Part of Your Brand"

We do a lot to create and maintain our personal brand so that people will want to purchase a new home from us or ask us to renovate their home for them.

As a salesperson (regardless if you view yourself in this role or not), you should look like it every chance you get - including when you are using your email. Save the inventive names associated with your yahoo, hotmail, outlook, live, gmail, aol, and other accounts for personal use or when you are trying to maintain some level of privacy or anonymity.

Unless you are known by your nickname and it appears on your business cards, it should not appear anywhere in your email address.


Why do you send someone an email" Likely, to have it opened and to have your message read.

There are two inherent issues here: (1) the intended recipient has to get it, meaning that it has to get past the spam or junk filter and (2) they have to open it and read it, which stands a greater chance of happening if they recognize who is sending it.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have a yahoo, gmail, hotmail, or other free account. I'm not saying that at all. In fact, as you move about the marketplace, your gmail account may give you the ability for people to continue to contact you rather than to figure out which company you are associated with now.

Still, compare "steve123@generic.com" with "steve@companyname.com." In the first instance you (or my customer) might not recognize or know who it's from. In the second it's identifiable as a business email.

If you do not have a company domain or website to use as part of your email address, use your whole name (first and last) or the name of your company with the public email address. If you have a registered domain name, use that in your email - people will more easily understand who it is from and you'll get another opportunity to brand your company or community.


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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

"Capture The Season Before It's Too Late"

While it's still fall - while there are still some colorful leaves on the trees and while there are beautiful fallen leaves dotting the landscape - make sure to take plenty of pictures. You don't need to use all of them now, but throughout the year when you want to share a great fall scene, and you will have the ability to do that.

Fall is such a special time, and you can't reproduce that color at any other time of the year. The green is available for much of the spring and all summer. The barren trees are there all winter and into the spring. This is the time to act.

Then take more pictures in the winter. There is nothing so peaceful and serene as a blanket of freshly fallen snow. Next summer you won't be able to share how beautiful your homes are with fresh snow. Of course, after the snow partially melts or gets trampled is not the time to take those photos or video. Capture your properties at their prettiest - fall, winter, and certainly summer and spring.

The important thing to do is to make a photographic record - still photos and videos that you can post and share out-of-season. Just like fruit when it's out of season and priced higher as a result, your photos will be more impressive and valuable then because they direct people's imagination to those other times of the year.

Happy shooting!

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Monday, November 3, 2014

"Don't Just Tell What It Is, Personalize It"

Most of us really enjoy what we sell, and we also like sharing all of the great features with our customers. However, if our customers want just a list of features, we can give them a sheet that enumerates all of them - or they can read about them on our website.

We know from shopping for various items ourselves that we appreciate learning more than just the basics. While the features are certainly nice to have - and they make our homes what they are, we really want our customers to understand what they mean - to them.

When we shop for a car, camera, boat, major appliance, or anything with a useful life expectancy of more than a year, we want to know what it will do for us. Even when we get something that has a very limited lifespan (even just one use), we still want to know how it will perform and what it will do.

The next time we start in with a recitation of all of the quality features that are in our homes, let's pause and ask ourselves "so what?" - meaning what difference does it make to the customer we are working with at the time?

As we recount the various features that we are proud to include and those we think they will appreciate, let's connect the dots and get them to understand why those features are worthwhile and how they will enhance their enjoyment of the home.

We really need people to connect with our homes, and going beyond just mentioning or pointing out the features to illustrate and explain what they mean and why they are important to our customers is the way to do this.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Friday, October 31, 2014

"A Halloween Reversal"

Halloween is a fun time. We look forward to it all year - for the parties, the decorations, the changing leaves (those still on the trees), and the cooler (and even blustery) weather that seems to come along with it. If we have children, we know what a great time it is for them - planning their costumes, going trick-or-treating, and then stuffing themselves with their candy haul.

Halloween presents us with a paradox, however. We are supposed to dress up as a scary creature, imaginary figure, or villian to convince neighbors to provide candy and treats. The scary side and the sweet side - while perhaps cause and effect, seem at odds.

Moreover, Halloween shows the exact opposite of the way we want to act in our new home sales center.

Sure we can get into the spirit of the day by dressing up as a cartoon or comic book hero, a current movie role, or other popular character, and we certainly can decorate our sales centers and models with corn stalks, dried corn, pumpkins, other colorful squash, crepe paper streamers, paper or cloth ghosts, cutouts of witches, black cats, and the like. We can have candy for the children that visit (with parents or from the community), and we can serve hot cider and cookies.

Back to the behavior. While Halloween is characterized by scary scenes and costumes, designed to elicit chills and screams - and where people hide or mask their appearances with costumes and theatrical makeup - we want to very be very real, approachable, nice, and helpful. This is what I mean by the Halloween reversal.

On a day when so many people are trying to scare someone else, get scared themselves, or totally fool others as to their real identity, we want to create friendly relationships where we can help people purchase the home that will meet their needs.

Have fun, but keep it real. Add some balance to this zany day.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"There's Always A First Time, So Press On"

Growing up, we have each had hundreds of things we did, saw, or experienced for the first time. Some bothered us, and some were fun. There was a first time for riding a bike, shooting a free throw, hitting a ball, skating, driving a car, placing a cell phone call, solving a math problem, writing a term paper, and on and on.

The first time we made a new home sales sales presentation or meet with someone in their kitchen to discuss a remodel, the first time someone said "no" to a closing question, and the first time we wrote a purchase agreement and took a deposit were all defining moments of our sales career. Before each of those happened, there may have been a little apprehension about how to do it or how to keep from messing up. Nevertheless, we got through it.

None of us should ever have tried to invite sympathy from our customers by explaining that this was the first time we had ever filled out a purchase agreement or the first time we had ever used this form or that. Some salepeople feel the customer will grant them extra understanding and leniency by proclaiming that they are new or inexperienced - or that it's their first day or first week.

Actually, the opposite is true. Customers want to work with someone who knows what they are doing. It might indeed be the first time for something (or the first day on the job) - after all there is a first time for everything - but we must not use this as a crutch to try to explain a weak performance.

We need to be prepared. This comes from doing our homework, practicing, and developing confidence that we will do things correctly even when we are doing them "live" for the first time. No one has time for us to learn on the job at the expense of the customer.

Of course, the more times we do something, the better we become and we are more at ease with doing it. Still, the customer should never know that we haven't done something before. This diminishes the confidence they have placed in us to be able to help them.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Celebrating Physical Therapy Month In October"

October is "Physical Therapy Month" each year so we celebrate this month with the PTs. In honor of this month, Steve Hoffacker, Certified CAPS Instructor, is encouraging PTs who are not already CAPS certified to participate in the CAPS designation program.

Americans, Canadians, and people around the globe are desiring to stay in their homes as they age. Also, many people have serious limitations with how they can use their homes in terms of mobility, reach, range of motion, navigation, and maneuvability.

PTs - along with OTs and other health care professionals, architects, designers, remodelers, and so many other professionals - are important in providing home modification services and solutions.

If you are an OT or someone else who would like to find out how you can help you home modifications and people remaining in their homes as they age, contact me at any of the sources listed below..



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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or find out how to get copies of my sales books for new home sales and universal design by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © 2014, Steve Hoffacker.