“Is it the Market or Is It Me?” How to Make Maximum Sales in Minimum Time in a Battle-Hardened Housing Market

This is THE question- isn’t it?

What’s the answer?

Two remodelers and a home builder contacted me last week asking the same thing and here is the answer I gave them- one that you may not expect…


Is it the Market or Me?

I was speaking with Mike from Michigan this morning- a second generation remodeler who does NOT operate in the Detroit market.

Mike explained his situation- a situation that may be similar to yours. His business is down over 85% from its peak. He had to lay off most of his staff and is now doing everything himself.

Mike read my blog post on the importance of appealing to women in order to increase your sales. He could relate to the mistakes I had made and now his question was, “Is it the market or is it me?”

Your challenge in 2010

Your challenge in 2010 is no different than Mikes. I’ll bet you’re operating with less staff, have been forced to cut your advertising budget and seem to be constantly competing on price.

For most of you there are less people buying, building and remodeling homes in your market. There are less builders and remodelers you have to compete with but the ones still operating are pretty darn good.

You’re probably working longer hours and making a lot less…

This still begs the question- Is it your market or is it you?

The Answer

The answer is both.

Your changing market is to blame for your sales being off (aren’t I a genius to figure that one out!). Yet, the fact that you have been relying on the market to bring business into your company is your fault too!

“Wait a minute Rick…I’m working harder today than ever before. The business just isn’t there!”

You’re partially correct. You ARE working harder than ever before but are you looking in the right places for the business?

Is it the Market?

In my discussion with Mike I asked him how many other remodelers there were in his market. He told me 2-3 (at his level) but there were also home builders that were now remodeling (surprise surprise).

I suggested he visit the building inspectors office and get a list of permits from 2009.

The first step in identifying if the market is your problem is asking the question, “IS there a market for what I am selling?”

I suggested to Mike he take a look at the type of work being done in his market.

What type of remodeling projects were people building?

How many new homes were built? Where were they built and at what price point?

Assuming there is a market for your services, the second question is how do you get MORE of it?

Getting More Market Share

Now here’s an oxymoron for you- in order to get more market share you need to focus on doing less.


You read that correctly. In order to get more market share you need to focus on less.

I’m not telling you to stop what you’re doing right now. I’m playing devil’s advocate and asking (as a consumer), ‘why would I choose to have you build or remodel my home?’

Unless your company is positioned to specialize in a certain geographic area, lifestyle offering or demograhpic/psycographic profile- you’ll come across as a jack of all trades and master of none.

To use an analogy, if you just had a heart attack would you want to see a general practitioner or a cardiologist? Of course it’s the heart specialist! And was your decision based on who costs less?

When you’re company is positioned as a specialist people will seek you out for more than just the lowest price.

3 Steps to Determining if it’s Your Market or if it’s You

Step 1: Review building permits and MLS sales for your market. Are people buying what you’re selling?

If they AREN’T buying what you’re selling can you offer something different or can you move to a different geographic market where they are buying?

If they ARE buying what you’re selling but you have a low market share, go to step 2.

Step 2: Specialize, specialize, specialize! If you’re in a small market and can’t move, you may need to specialize in 2-3 things.

The key to specialization is understanding your target market’s problems better than any of your competition. More on this to come at a later date…

If you HAVE a market and are perceived to be a SPECIALIST- go to step 3.

Step 3: Focus on Managing Tasks- NOT Time.

There’s no such thing as time management. We all have the same amount of time in a day.

Because you are doing more with less, are you focusing on the things that will get you your next sale? With all the extra duties you’ve taken on, you may have lost focus working ON your business vs. working IN your business.

Most people tend to spend the majority of time working IN their business. That’s where their comfortable- working on tasks they know.

But these tasks aren’t the same ones that will bring your next buyer in the door.

What you need to focus on each day is the tasks that will lead you to your next sale.

Over the last 20 years I’ve broken down these tasks into 3 categories- Preparing, Prospecting and Presenting.

You can download “Task Management for Housing Professionals” for FREE with the link below…

Download the Task Management List Here>>

Thoughts, questions, other ideas? Tell me what you think by leaving your thoughts at the bottom.

Happy Selling!

P.S. I’ve seen salespeople triple and quadruple their sales using this task management system…even in this economy. It’s FREE and it’s up to you to make it happen. Get the sure-fire tool to stimulate your sales in 2010 and beyond>>