Monday, March 9, 2015

"The Time Change Signals A Time To Change"

For most of us, we have reached that time of the year when it really seems like spring - even if the temperatures aren't that mild yet. We are setting our clocks ahead one hour.

Some see it as losing an hour of sleep - that might be true - but I see it as taking an extended trip into one time zone east of where we have been living. Our physical setting doesn't change, but our outlook certainly can.

Not only does spring - or at least the thought of it - signal a freshness outside, it denotes a fresh approach to the way we conduct our business.

This is the time of year to really shake off the cobwebs of the wintertime, to adjust for the great intentions and new year's resolutions we had that didn't quite take off as we expected or planned, and to immerse ourselves into a freshness of purpose and attitude.

There are more springtime events and milestones over the next couple of months, but this one is a good wakeup call for us to get going with renewed energy and enthusiasm!

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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Now That's A Lot Of Tweets - Even If They Are Brief"

Twitter is a great site for spreading your message about what you are doing, engaging with friends and fellow professionals, learning about new concepts, and for remaining active in social media. Many people have yet to take advantage of it or discount its value - maybe because it seems so simple or they remember how it used to be in it infancy when people used it as a diary and posted every little thing they were doing throughout the day. Now, it can be a very strategic way of promoting you and your business.

The 140 character limit stymies a lot of people who can't imagine that they can say anything important in such a little space. Interestingly, after you get used to it, it's quite easy. Most of my posts don't even use the allotted amount.

Use Twitter to post something interesting or special you are doing (holding an open house, taking a class, taking flying lessons, or learning how to surf, for instance - it doesn't have to all business, but certainly should highlight your business pursuits and interests).

It can be motivational or inspirational (perhaps a thought or suggestion of yours, or a quote from someone well known), it can lead people to a blog post on another site, it can showcase a book you've written or an achievement, it can be a shout out, and the list goes on.

I classify Twitter as a microblogging site where you can say a whole lot in 140 character (along with a link) or just have a very succinct observation point to make.

I have been using Twitter for a while (don't remember when I actually started), but today I notched by 60,000th tweet when I posted about my daily Orginal Sales Tip that I post on my website. Wow!

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter "@stevehoffacker."



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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"Being A Difference Maker In A World That Needs This"

People have never had more shopping opportunities nor access to merchandise than they have right now. Want to shop in a retail store? There are ones that never close - they used to close a day or two but now they don't. Time was - pre-shopping mall - when stores were mostly located downtown, and the were only until 5:00 (Monday-Saturday), and they were closed on Sunday. Once or twice a week, plus back-to-school, Easter, and Christmas, they would be open until 8:30 or 9:00.

Then came the suburban shopping malls. Their stores stayed open until 9:00 during the week, with some closing a little earlier on Saturday and not opening at all on Sunday. At Christmas, they would stay open until 10 or 11.

Even now, there are mall stores that maintain 9:00 closing times, but if you want to shop later than that, there are places where that can happen.

Then TV stores like QVC and HSN and online sellers like eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon changed the game forever. Don't forget the infomercial! Now most any business that sell a product - including even some home builders and parts stores can  be accessed on their website at literally any hour. Time zones no longer matter unless you need to speak to someone, and even there, many online retailers have 24-hour live phone help.

So, with the abundance of places to purchase what people want - in their neighborhood, their home town, or on TV or online from anyplace in the world.

That means a huge sea of sameness except for the special value or connection that can be created between a company and its customers. That's our challenge.

The world is crying out for businesses that rise to the top like fresh cream and are noticeably different that they others in some way - it could be selection, specialization, availability, delivery window, pricing, service during and after the sale, product knowledge, or something else that really connects with the customers in your marketplace.

Don't settle for sameness. Be freshly different!

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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Your Readers Aren't Impressed By Words That Don't Connect With Them"

Reading someone's resume, their marketing bio, or a press release for a new product or service should not be a challenging experience to understand the meaning they are trying to convey. Nevertheless, simplicity is often obscured by the desire to be flowery or impressive.

Look where we have come. In some cases it makes sense, such as calling a building lot a homesite because that's exactly what it is. No one is suggesting that it is anything grander than this. Replacing the word unit with home makes sense as well because people own and live in homes, not typically in units.

The occupation that formerly was referred to as a janitor is now an environmental maintenance technician, specialist, or engineer. It's real hard to tell from the amped up description just exactly what a custodian or janitor really does on the job to live up to their title.

Words are great. They are our friends because they help us communicate a message to people. A dispatcher or a field commander might deploy their troops or vehicles, so "deploying a strategy" creates a confusion when we hear or read this. While this is used in some technical applications, customers can't really be sure what is meant by it.

There are many other examples that I could cite, but we need to speak in terms that are consistent with what we do.

Our customers should be impressed with us because of the product we offer, our integrity, our reputation, our personality, and the way we treat them - not the huge or impressive words we use in brochures, websites, ads, or presentations. Our customers have to relate to what we are saying for them to stay engaged.

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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Follow-Up Is Initiated By The Salesperson"

Customarily, follow-up is done by the salesperson after a sales presentation, phone inquiry, email contact, or site visit. As new home salespeople, you know that sales seldom happen on their own.

Therefore, you have to remain involved with your customers and help them understand the decision they are about to make as you assist them in making that commitment. Even when sales happen on the initial visit, follow-up is still a vital part of the sales process because the sale must close in order for it to count - for the customer, the lender, the company, and the salesperson.

Knowing this - that follow-up is conducted by the salesperson - imagine my surprise when I got an email recently inviting me to get back in touch with my salesperson in case I hadn't heard anything by now.

It went on to explain how they had a lot of people to contact and that I should go online and determine what I had seen - then contact them to pursue a discussion.

Follow-up is not customer generated. Customers may be quite interested in what they have seen and may want more immediate information than is forthcoming from the salesperson. Thus, they might generate the initial contact before the salesperson reaches out to pursue their presentation.

However, don't count on the customer to do or to replace your work. Follow-up is still a sales function!

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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Agreement On Top 3 Search Engines For Aging-In-Place Sales Training"

I have been ranking atop Google for the search term "aging in place sales training," but now the same can be said for Bing and Yahoo! also.

Today, I occupied the second position on each of these three search engines. I also held additional spots on the first page of each - including #1 on Bing and Yahoo!.

I really enjoy teaching the CAPS program and the aging in place classes. The search engine prominence is a great validation of that effort.

If you are considering becoming CAPS certified, I offer the program roughly once a month in West Palm Beach. Check the schedule for these courses and universal design classes on my aging-in-place web page or contact me by phone or email.





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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Creating A Positive Impact With Universal Design - Ply Gem Presentation At IBS"

Wednesday, January 21st, Ply Gem hosted "Pro Talk" - a series of single-topic programs at their strategically located booth at the IBS/KBIS in Las Vegas. I was invited to present a program called "Creating A Positive Impact With Universal Design" as part of this series.

This was a fast-paced introduction and an overview of the topic rather than an in-depth look, but it was a hard-hitting review of some of the important design standards and benefits of using universal design to create safe, comfortable, convenirent, and accessible living spaces in North America.

I discussed the strategies for builders, remodelers, architects, and designers, and building trades - all of whom were represented at the show - as well as occupational therapists and other professionals to incorporate accessible design into their new homes and renovations - regardless of the home's size or price point.

As I explained, universal design is simply good, attractive design that accommodates the widest possible use by nearly everyone who might live in or visit the homes where such design elements are included.

For more information about specific types of design features to include in a home, or strategies behind the designs, visit my webpage on aging-on-place and universal design. You can also find these features described in my books on universal design.

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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Steve Hoffacker's New Home Sales Training Videos Gain Popularity"

I have been recording and publishing videos for new home salespeople periodically for the past few years. They are short inspirational and educational pieces - often a minute or two - designed to provide a few tips, techniques and strategies that can be used in building your new home sales business and being a more effective producer.

You don't always have access to or need to attend a large-scale training program of several hours at a time - whether conducted at your location or not. For those times when the larger programs are not available to you, the short video messages can help provide instruction, reinforcement, and motivation.

Over the years, the messages have grown in viewership to the point where today, they ranked number one on Google for the search phrase "new home sales training videos." This is out of 247 million results.

I appreciate the support and will continue to provide messages to help you in your business.


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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

“New Year’s Is A Great Ice-Breaker”

Unlike any other widely celebrated and recognized holiday or observance, New Year’s Day applies to everyone. It doesn't matter your age or gender, the country you live in or where you were born, where you live now, your religious tradition, your political party affiliation or voting tendencies, current practices and customs, or anything else.

On January 1st each year – depending on the time zone and depending on the calendar used (some people may experience a delay in celebrating the day when compared to most of the population) – the year on the odometer of time moves ahead by one. No one is exempt.

So, when people walk into your new home sales center for the first couple of weeks of January, a “Happy New Year” greeting is an appropriate, not unexpected, and great way to begin the conversation.

In the grocery store on December 31st, I saw people hugging, shaking hands, sharing a laugh, and talking with each other. Some of them may have known the others, but for many I’m thinking this was just an expression of good wishes for the new year. I both initiated and received several new year’s wishes within the span of a few minutes just walking through the store.

In addition to being a polite way to great people, wishing someone a happy new year does not suggest any hidden agendas or anything for people to be on their guard about - they are open to talking with you. It is one time of the year when everyone is on an equal plane.

Use this very special opportunity to engage people when they enter your new home sales center - and then talk about how you can help them find a new home.

You don't need anything special to start a conversation - just a sincere "HAppy new Year" will do just fine.

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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. © 2015, Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Making New Home Sales Is Not A Race"

Some new home salespeople approach their business as if it were an athletic contest - much like a decathlon - where they attempt to outmaneuver, outperform, and physically overtake their opponents (the consumer).

It's fine to have a competitive nature - many outstanding salespeople do - it just can't control your actions.

The best way to begin building a sale is to learn why your customers have decided to visit you - at this moment and at this time - to the exclusion of any other activity they could be doing.

Once you learn that - or begin learning it if it is not well-defined or somewhat complicated - you can begin supplying data that addresses what will help them make a decision in your favor. This is not the time for information dumping - that rarely is a good tactic anyway. It's time to methodically provide answers to what they are seeking.

This can be conversational and doesn't need to look, sound, or act like it's been rehearsed - even though that might be the case. You certainly need to be well-versed in what you offer and prepared to provide this type of information in this kind of give-and-take format.

Don't be at all surprised if what you offer doesn't appear to interest a particular customer. If you determine that your purposes don't align - you have a product that doesn't meet or satisfy their needs for one or several reasons - you need to be prepared to move on.

The easiest thing - but not the correct one - to do in cases where there does not seem to be a good fit is to keep such customers in your database and chase after them. You email them continuously and leave voice messages for them - as if your diligence is somehow going to change their mind about how well they like or want what you offer.

What generally happens when we chase after something - a dog that won't come when it's called, for instance, or the person ahead of us in a footrace? They tend to run even harder and faster to elude us. New home sales is no different. That is why emails and phone messages go unreturned for those who have little-to-no interest in purchasing your homes.

Accept it and move on. You knew you wouldn't make a sale to each customer anyway so keep looking for that next sale!

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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 27, 2014

"A Change Of View For The New Year"

Now that most of the holiday celebrations, parties, and entertainment are over - just New Year's to go - the scenery begins to change. The festive decorations come down. The garlands, boughs, lights, and trees come down. The yard and decorations go back into storage for several months.

The view really is changing - in more than just the obvious. Sure the decorations are being removed, but they don't leave a hole where they have been. They are replaced with what resides in their place the remainder of the year. This means that the beauty of your homesites and community shine through without any holiday adornment. It means that for existing homes, their typical appearance is what the residents, their neighbors, and their friends typically see.

So now, the view is changing is larger, more important way. It means that people no longer are distracted with decorating their homes, baking, cooking, hosting or attending parties, shopping, cleaning their homes to receive guests, and other activities of the season.

It means they now have the time, interest, and availability to look at your new homes or talk about improving their current homes. The view is changing to looking at the homes and neighborhoods where people find themselves and begin helping them to relocate or revamp what they have.

This view for and of the new year is going to be great.

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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 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.