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TW: So what’s happening in your market today?
DS: There are a lot of positive things happening, and new-home sales are clearly on the way back up. We’re active right now in 80 developments and looking to train more associates with the Certified New Home Specialist training. In strong markets in the past, we were actively marketing more than 300 subdivisions and now’s the time to prepare for that growth.

When I see the limited inventory and bidding wars going on in so many markets, I think about what a great solution new homes offer. Agents are busy writing up offers, but are they actually closing deals? Buyers are getting frustrated—instead of paying top dollar and living with compromises, a new home can give them exactly what they want.

TW: It’s well known that you make training mandatory for your new-home sales associates. Can you tell us why?
DS: Quite a few years ago, I noticed our new-home associates in the North region delivering a much higher level of sales success than those in the South. Curious, I reached out to my regional directors, asking why they felt there was such a dramatic difference. They all came back to me with the same conclusion: Almost all the North region agents had completed their Certified New Home Specialist training with Dennis Walsh & Associates, but those in the South region never had.

That very day, I scheduled Dennis to come to South Jersey. Not long after our South region agents completed the training, our new-home sales skyrocketed in the South. That was when I made the training mandatory.

TW: So is it fair to say you don’t buy into a “build it and they will come” philosophy?
DS: If only real estate could be that easy! Most homebuyers don’t have the knowledge and confidence to go out and buy a home without the help of a trained real estate professional. People are looking for someone they can trust to help them make the best decision. And the way you build that trust with both buyers and builders is by having knowledge and confidence.