By Teresa Walsh
With more than 25 years in the business, David Schoner is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in new-home sales and marketing. As the previous owner of Schoner Research and the New Jersey New Homes Guide, he’s worked for the past 17 years as vice president, Coldwell Banker NRT, responsible for all New Homes Division operations. In this interview, Schoner shares his insights on the rebound in new-home sales and how brokers can best build this important revenue stream.
Teresa Walsh: Why do you feel new homes should be an important part of a real estate broker’s or agent’s business?
David Schoner: What motivates me about new-home sales and what’s in it for me is security. We’ve been around for 20-plus years and we’ve weathered every storm so far. I look at new homes from this perspective: Builders are essentially a multiple listing service. If you provide them great service, they will provide you multiple listings—it’s an annuity. A study done in Boston found that, on average, brokers sell two or more existing homes for each one of their new-home listings. Clearly, marketing new homes drives more resale business as well.
TW: I’ve spoken to agents who avoid new-home sales because they don’t want to wait to collect their commissions. How do you address this with your associates?
DS: That’s a short-term focus. Yes, you often have to wait longer for your commissions, but in the long run, new-home sales actually provide far more financial security. For example, when the market started to decline, many agents were out there scrambling and wondering where they’d land their next paycheck. The problem is they hadn’t built a pipeline. At the same time, new-homes specialists—here in New Jersey and all across the nation—had numerous homes lined up in their pipelines. I personally know agents that had 10 or more homes presold. They knew exactly where they’d be landing their next 10 paychecks.
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