Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"People Are Looking For A Long-Term Home"

People still look for and purchase new construction. They have various reasons for wanting something new. Among these are the fact that it is new and never before occupied, that it comes with many warranties - builder as well as manufacturers, that they get to select their features and colors, that it may have a better chance of appreciation, and that it is located in a desirable neighborhood with recreational amenities and other natural features.

A second group of people prefers to rent - single family homes or apartments. They may want to save for an eventual down payment on a future home purchase, enjoy not caring for a home in terms of normal maintenance, or prefer the freedom of being able to move frequently without marketing their home first.

Now a third group - arguably the largest - is the one that wants to continue living wheere they are now - regardless of their current age, family situation, age of their home, or how long they have lived in it. This is the aging-in-place market - "AIP."

The AIP market wants to remain in their current home indefinitiely - for the long-term. For some in this market, they have found what they believ to be their "forever" home and see no need to move from it. Others have no real issue with their present home and don't think about the possibility of replacing it down the line.

Aging-in-place comes about in many different ways, but the bottom line is that people want to remain in their current home. It may serve their needs perfectly as is. It may be real close. It might serve them better with a little TLC or renovation. It might need a lot of work, but the neighborhood, the size of their investment, and other factors make moving rather impractical for them.

Many people simply cannot afford to replace what they have now - to get the same size home or layout for the money they spent on their current home. It would take considerably more to replace it, so they remain where they are.

Others - in fact most people - have such an accumulation of stuff that it makes the prospects of moving seem quite tall. Some cannot part with what they have and don't see moving as the answer to their space issues. Others know that it would take an inordinate amount of time to sort through and cull what they have. Better just to remain put.

So whether the initial objective was to find a long-term home, or it just happened, AIP is real. Those of us who provide services to people who want to remain in their homes - such as safety makeovers, assessibility renovations, room additions, new products and finishes, technology, or modernization - there is a huge market who needs our help.

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"You Can't Afford To Fake It - And Neither Can Your Customers"

An old adage is "fake it 'til you make it," but people today want the real deal. If you you can't deliver as you intend or promise, then go a different direction or wait until you can do what you say you can.

On the job training is fine for some pursuits, but in the aging-in-place market, we are talking about working inside people's homes and using their hard-earned savings wisely. We have a fiduciary responsibility to them that cannot be undertaken on just a general idea of how to approach something.

It's more than just displaying confidence about what you might be able to do or what you think you should be capable of. You actually have to have the technical expertise to evaluate what your clients need, advise your them about what works within their budget, prioritize the work if necessary to accommodate their budget, and then deliver your solutions as you have described them. This is more than just a typical remodeling effort.

People want to live in their homes safely, comfortably, and conveniently - long-term. It does no good to agree with them that changes need to be made to accomplish that purpose if you aren't the one who can do it.

Of course, you can function as a consultant, and that's fine. Just make sure your clients know the extent of your expertise and then find the right professionals to execute the job you and they envision.

Whether a consultant, carpeneter, remodeler, OT or PT, designer, handyman, electrician, plumber, or general contractor, make sure you are up to the job of creating effective aging-in-place solutions.

Being CAPS certified is a great place to start. Then, you won't have to fake it. You'll know.

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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. © Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Just How Much Time Are Buyers Going To Give You?"

You can have the most carefully crafted new home sales presentation. You can practice and rehearse it. In fact, you should. But, there's more to the story.

Being ready like a opening night performer - with all of the lines memorized, the stage blocking practiced, the mental rehearsal of how everything needs to come together, and trying to keep the performance real rather than stiff - there still is the element of the customer that has to be factored in.

A stand-up comedian or a stage performer in a play that has a perfectly timed joke that misses the mark with the audience comes off flat. They thought it was funny. It should have been funny. It was funny in rehearsal. Nevertheless, when it really counted - in front of the audience - it didn't resonate. Therefore, it wasn't funny - no matter how much it was supposed to be.

This brings us back to the sales presentation. You plan for where you want to stand to illustrate a certain room, and you want your customers to stand in a certain place as well - to take in the room and hear what you want to accent. They aren't interested in the room, in staying put that long, or in hearing a long explanation,. They are ready to move on.

You plan a very elborate tour of your recreational amentities, but they want the 30-second tour. You want to take them room-by-room through your model, but they want to see the one or two key spots they are interested in considering. You plan for a 45-60 minute fact-filled and discovery-packed presentation, but they tire of this scenario after a few minutes.

Of course, each person is different. Some will give you two hours or more - when you really only want 45 minutes of their focus. Some will have one foot out the door in 10 minutes.

The point is this. All of the exhaustive preparation and various techniques you have created for involving your customers in a complete presentation may get shut down early on. They may not give you a fair hearing, so you have to be ready to shift gears and give them what they think they need - regardless of what you think they should hear and see.

It's a matter of communication. If you are information dumping or too controlling, you risk losing your customers. You have to take your cues from them and keep them engaged. Some will appreciate an in-depth presentation, and some will just want the Twitter version.

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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. © Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Steve Hoffacker - Top Ranked Aging-In-Place Sales Trainer

If you are looking for someone to help you understand the aging-in-place market or attain your Certified Aging-inPlace Specialsit ("CAPS") designation, look no farther than Steve Hoffacker. Take a look at today's Google SERP (Search Engine reults Page) for "Aging-In-Place Sales Training." How often do you get to occupy the entire first page on Goggle - all 10 positions?

The page is nice, but the important thing is the aging-in-place expertise and services that are 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. © Steve Hoffacker.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Be Ready, Or Don't Start"

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 day on the job, the first day with that company or community, your first new home sales presentation ever, the first time filling out a sales contract, or the first time doing selections - after all there is a first time for everything - but don't 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. © Steve Hoffacker.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Move Your Head So I Can See"

How many times have we gone to a movie or play and sat behind someone much taller or bigger than us and jad trouble seeing the performance becuase of their head blocking our view? Maybe no one was there when we sat down and they came in later. Same issue either way.

So we try to move our head left or right to see as much as we can - definitely not as comfortable as if we had a clear view of the scene or the stage.

How about when we are driving and get behind a large truck? This is essentially the same issue. We can't see what is in front of the truck to know whether it is safe to pass or not. Maybe there are even more trucks ahead of this one - as frequently is the case.

Check this out. Samsung has developed 4 outdoor TV moniors that are attached to the back doors of the semi-trailer and disply what the camera in mounted in the front bumper sees of the road ahead.

This has marvelous implications for safety.



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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, May 6, 2015

"Put A Smile On Your Presence"

So many people who interact with us as salespeople, sales clerks, cashiers, or customer service - on the phone or in person - seem to be doing so stoically rather than enthusiastically and engagingly. In a word, they need to smile.

Smiling is more than having your mouth formed into an upward curve - although that is a great start and has a lot to do with it.


Smiling reflects an inherent helpful, courteous attitude. It is enthusiasm, joy, and a caring spirit. Many people are doing themselves, their companies, and especially us, their customers, a disservice by attempting to complete a role for which they are ill-suited. They simply aren't happy or caring enough to be dealing with the public. Find them a job indoors away from the public or outside where no one is around them. Don't let them engage or talk with the public.


While smiling is an outward sign that we recognize and appreciate, we also can identify a smile even when we don't see it - such as on the telephone or when someone has their back to us. When someone is really trying to help (even when things aren't going as expected or they don't have the answer we are looking for), we can tell. We can hear it in their voice. We can sense that they really are interested in our issue and that are attempting to resolve it in a pleasant way.


Of course, there is the forced smile and the over-the-top friendly attitude that we detect on the phone. This doesn't help or count.


I'm looking for genuine happiness and pleasantness. If people really enjoy working with people this should come rather naturally. We all have our off moments, but we can tell when people are sharing a smile with us - or when they want to.


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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.

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.