As the founder of New Homes Solutions, Kimberly brings nearly 20 years of experience as a senior level executive in the residential home building and real estate industry. She has earned the reputation as being the “expert with real world SOLUTIONS” in a competitive and rapidly changing sales environment.
Often referred to as “the rising star” in the home building industry, she is an accomplished and sought after national speaker and published author of many Sales and Leadership articles. Kimberly’s expertise is in creating Sales Management and Training Solutions for home builders across the country.
Anya: Welcome to the show everyone. I am very excited and privileged to have our guest today. Her name is Kimberly Mackey and Kimberly is the CEO and founder of newhomessolutions.com. She is a trainer and an advocate. She brings both realtors and builders together to educate us on the importance of working together. She puts on training sessions for builders specifically to help salespeople get more sales and she’s also a keynote speaker and an industry thought leader. I am super excited to have Kimberly on the show today so welcome Kimberly and thank you for being here so much.
Kimberly : Well thank you Anya for having me. Pleasure.
Anya: Great. Well Kimberly, as I rattled on a long, long acclimate of your accomplishments and everything that you do, can you tell us a little bit about your background? What’s your story? How did you get to start your own company? What did you do prior to that and what your company’s all about?
Kimberly : I started my company in 2007, September of 2007 to be exact. And actually the way that I started the company is I had worked for a decade and a half with home builders, large national home builders and large regional home builders and had done just about everything with them. But the builder that I was working with at the time pulled out of the market where I was. And of course if you’re pulling out of the market, you no longer need that pesky VP of Sales and Marketing. So at some point they came to me and said, “Okay, now is the time. You know we’re pulling out of the market, we no longer need your services.” Which I had anticipated happening.
Kimberly : But the interesting thing is, the phone started ringing and everybody needed my help at that point and because I was so tied into the industry and had such wonderful friends in the industry, they started calling and saying, “Hey, we know you’re available, can you help us? We’re having a problem selling homes.” Of course in 2007 everyone was having a problem selling homes and it got a whole lot worse after that. So that kept me gayfully going and helping others so the good Lord closed a door and opened a window and I just had the courage to walk through it.
Kimberly : I’ve done everything with a builder from building homes, I’ve been a director of construction, I’ve been an acting division president. I’ve sold homes onsite and was promoted up through the ranks to become a VP of sales and marketing. I’ve been a sales trainer. I’ve pretty much done it all. And I work with builders and developers across the US. Working with them to help them put all the parts and pieces together as they’re creating their sales process so that sales becomes the engine that drives the train.
Anya: What do you think is the biggest factor that separates a good salesperson from a great salesperson?
Kimberly : One of the things Anya, is that we can train skill. We can train what to do and how to do and closing techniques but the thing that we cannot train is attitude. I have to work with someone who wants to be a success and who envisions themselves being a success so the only question becomes the how. Because they already see themselves there. Having that kind of attitude and that kind of hunger to be successful is the key ingredient that separates those who just kind of go through the motions or who get almost there or do okay but never quite get to where their potential truly lies.
Anya: So speaking of that attitude do you think that’s something you’re born with? Or is that something you can learn or teach yourself to have that attitude?
Kimberly : I think it’s both. I think some people are born just being positive by nature. When you have small kids you see the difference in personality. Some people tend to a be little darker, a little more quiet, a little more reserved. Some people tend to be outgoing and bubbly, but that doesn’t even really matter. Knowing your personality I think is a starting point and then you can build from there. I think you can learn a positive attitude because your brain is something that can be programmed. So you tell your brain what to focus on and what you are focusing on is what you’re going to expand in your world. That’s what you’re going to find.
Kimberly : So if you’re focusing on solutions, you’re focused on having a positive attitude, you’re focusing on how wonderful it is and the things that you receive back because you’re putting positive energy out in the world and you’re getting that positive energy back. That leads to more and more confidence and when you have that confidence it exudes over and your buyers naturally respond to it. Your realtors respond to it. Your management responds to it. And you’ll see that people start to respond to you very differently because of what you are initially focused on. And it does take some work. You have to practice that every day and really strive to focus on those solutions. I truly believe that.
Anya: When you say practice it every day is there something that we can do as salespeople? Maybe there’s some sort of an exercise for our brain? Or is it meditation, an exercise? What can we do every day? Is there a recommendation that you have that you personally practiced during your sales years that helped you get into that positive space?
Kimberly : I’ve been in onsite sales as you and I previously discussed, onsite sales can be a very lonely proposition. You kind of feel a little isolated out in your sales center. I think that we in management forget that at times. Having that opportunity to put good stuff in so you get good stuff out. Number one, read. The more you read the more money you’re going to make. If reading is not your thing, hey, we’re doing a podcast. Put podcast in. Get that good positive energy. That is the number one practice I think that you can do is that you are constantly putting that good stuff in.
Kimberly : I’m a huge proponent of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Dr. Covey gave us some brilliant suggestions. It’s not an easy read. But it has some of the most important concepts that you can use to truly make you a successful person. And it’s one of those things that’s in my staple that I listen to and physically read. I have the old style book that is highlighted and the pages are a little tattered where I’ve dog eared them and turned them down to mark things. I’m constantly referring back to it and because I’m at a different place in my life and a different place in my career, each time I refer back to it I get more out of it.
Kimberly : Attend every training you can even if your company will not pay for it. One of things I think that separates us in the onsite world from the real estate world and general real estate world is general realtors understand they’re going to have to invest in themselves. They are going to have to pay for training. It’s great when their broker brings in somebody or they get a discount but typically they pay as they go and pay for the training and the coaching that they get. In onsite sales we tended to gravitate toward a builder because we didn’t want to have to make those types of investments. But I think we’re selling ourselves short when we don’t invest in ourselves and we’re not constantly putting the good stuff in.
Kimberly : I invest in myself, I just flew to San Antonio on my own dime so that I could take some additional training in areas that were newer to me so that I could do a better job for the clients that I’m getting ready to bring on. And I do that every year. I make sure that I am attending that kind of training. That I’m listening to podcasts, that I’m reading and I’m working with coaches so that I can continue to raise the bar for myself.
Kimberly : Positive self dialogue. We all have that little voice inside. Talk to yourself as if you have already achieved something. So if it’s I’m going to make a sale this week. Say it in a way that it’s happened. This is the result of me making a sale this week. So that your brain is programmed that’s it’s looking for that sale. Hey, in order for these things to happen and to fulfill the statement that I’ve just made about myself, I have to do X, Y and Z in order to make that happen. That will help you if you have a little call reluctance or you’re reluctant or you’re feeling that you can’t do that followup for whatever reason because you’re being a pest. Or it will help you to make that one extra phone call to your spear. Will help you to fill out more detail in your CRM with your prospects and think what is the next step to moving this person and getting them closer and closer and closer to the sale. So that you’re getting that sale every single week. It’s all about that self dialogue.
Anya: It’s visualize the sale, pretend that it’s already happened but at the same time take the necessary steps. So you’re not just visualizing and thinking that it’s going to happen but you are training your brain. You are learning new things. You are getting better. And you brought up an important point of having a coach. One of the people I love to listen to is Grant Cardone and he just gets me so fired up. And listening to him always gets me in spirit of, okay I’ve got this. I’m going to go out there. I’m going to kill it. It is so much about your head space and at the same time making sure that you’re actually doing something to get yourself better.
Kimberly : I want to tell you something and it will sound very strange coming from me knowing that I do train people for a living, but I do believe that training doesn’t work. I’m just going to let that one marinate there for a second. Training doesn’t work………. As you said, you have to take action on that training. And we can all justify to ourselves why we aren’t taking action. That’s why I think for onsite salespeople when I’m coaching with a team, being held accountable every week in the beginning is very uncomfortable for the onsite salesperson. As I’m going through I’m going, “Well last week you said you were going to do this. Did you do it? And what was the result?”
Kimberly : The first week, “Well you know, I got busy and we had this.” After about three weeks of that question and that same question coming back, now there’s no more justification. Now that person says the pain of having to explain to Kimberly that I didn’t do what I said was going to do has now become more painful than actually taking the necessary steps to do the action itself. With training you have to have that followup and that accountability and that’s where the coaching comes in because otherwise you are just going to constantly be justifying to yourself, well this happened and that happened and I was busy and I’m here to tell you that busy is truly the antithesis of production and being productive. If you get too busy to do the things that you need to do, that’s frightening.
Kimberly : And that is where having that abundance mentality will come in because an abundance mentality is something that I talk about a lot. I think probably the easiest way to understand how your brain is so programmable and how you can teach yourself these techniques is to think about the kind of car that you drive or the kind of car that maybe you want to drive. And now all of a sudden because that car has spoken to you and you start to see that car everywhere and it’s just like, wow, where did all of these cars come from? I never knew that there were this many of whatever the vehicle is on the road. Or you buy the car and all of sudden you’re seeing them everywhere where you’ve never noticed them before. So the question is, are there automatically more cars on the road of that kind? Or are you looking at them differently?
Kimberly : And obviously the answer is you’re looking at them differently. That goes back to the reticular activating system in your brain or the RAS. So the RAS is the system in your brain, it’s kind of in the brain stem if you were to actually to look at a diagram of the human brain and it filters things for you. So when something is important to you it puts it in a different part of the brain. It goes into the conscious part of the brain. But it also acts as a filter to keep from things that don’t make any sense to you or don’t help you or you’re not interested in, it kind of filters those things out and says, “Eh, not important, not important, not important.” So it may be filed somewhere but it’s in the deep, dark recesses of your brain that will much harder to access than those things that are important to you or are necessary to your survival.
Anya: So is that sort of like declaring your goals out loud? Is that sort of along the similar line like if you say, “Okay, I am going to sell four houses this month.” And saying it out loud. Saying it to your team. Saying to manager. Kind of makes you accountable in a way. Do you believe in that? Or do you think we should keep our goals to ourselves?
Kimberly : No, I think you should absolutely share your goals. Just like if you’re in weight loss program, those people who go to a weight loss program or work with some sort of weight loss coach, have far more success that those who don’t. And the reason is because they’re setting reasonable goals that are easy to attain and they’re figuring out a plan of attack to actually make that happen. And that’s the same thing with your sales. Instead of saying, “I am going to sell four.” And then go, “Well you know the month didn’t go quite go according to plan.” What does it look like in your world when you sell four homes? What does that do to you? What does it do to you financially? How does it impact your family? What difference does that make? And if you sell four homes every month, which is one a week by the way, if you take two weeks vacation is going to equal about 50 homes a year if I’m doing my math right, I’m pretty sure I am.
Kimberly : So what does that do to you to have that consistency? What does it do to your company? What does it look like when you are consistently selling homes therefore they are consistently starting homes? Which means they are consistently closing homes. And thus you’re getting paid. All of those things tie together. So don’t just say, “I am going to.” This is envision. What does this look like when I do this? Not I’m going to do this. When I do it because I am doing it. So it’s not I’m going to, it’s I am doing it.
Anya: And I find that it helps that if you tie that goal to something greater than just yourself. So maybe if builder is starting four homes every single month because of you then you know in a factory these people are consistently getting paid and they’re able to feed their family because you are consistently producing. So it’s almost like thinking about something greater than yourself and usually when we tie our goals to something greater than ourselves, we tend to work harder for that. Would you agree with that?
Kimberly : I would agree with that. I would say don’t discount yourself because it does start with you. But then it does expand out. In fact the National Association of Home Builders tells us for every new home we sell that impacts about 33 people and their livelihood and equates to the jobs that are being created in our country and being sustained because of that. So that’s pretty powerful when you think about that.
Anya: Yes, definitely. Is it a good idea for me to get myself a buddy? Maybe somebody on my team that I can get that I can get that accountability from. Would that be something you recommend we do?
Kimberly : I would. That’s a great starting point. Make sure it’s the right person. Make sure they have an abundance mentality instead of a scarcity mentality. See the difference, the people with an abundance mentality understand that there isn’t, life is not a pie. And so when you take a slice of that pie then there’s less pie for everybody else. That’s a scarcity mentality. People who think, oh, well if you sell a home then that means that’s one less for me to sell. Instead of focusing that hey, when my counterpart over here is selling more homes, that means my company is more successful and by my company being more successful, I’m going to be more successful. That’s the difference in the abundance and the scarcity mentality. So if you want to work with someone who does have that mentality that says, “Hey if I help you and more successful, in turn, I’m going to be more successful just by the act of actually helping you and you helping me back.”
Kimberly : So make sure it’s the right person, not just a person. Because there are unfortunately those who do believe if you’re successful, you’re taking away from instead of helping a rising tide which floats all boats.
Anya: So how do we deal with these negative Nancys? I feel like every single team has a negative Nancy and it’s always they’re the ones that are picking up the phone and calling all the other sales reps during the day and saying, “Oh wow, how are your sales going? Well, you know I don’t have any holds. I don’t have any deposits. Had this one prospect but they were a joke and they put me in a worse community. And it just sucks and the economy’s clearly, the interest rates are rising and nobody’s going to buy a house.” So how do you deal with that because obviously you can’t just maybe shut them out? What do you do? Because you still have to be in that work environment. What do you do with that negativity?
Kimberly : It’s a shame this isn’t a video instead of a podcast so you’d see my shocked face that you said that. Yes, it seems like we always have to have that one don’t we in every company. I would, you’re not going to change them so I would limit my exposure to them. And certainly wouldn’t let them detract me from my focus. Malcolm Gladwell tells us that in his book Outliers, the people who are the outliers are the people who create these great companies. When you look at Steve Jobs and you look at Mark Zuckerberg even though today may not be politically correct to talk about him but by in a couple weeks this’ll all blow over for him.
Kimberly : But these are the people who did go out on a limb. They didn’t do things the way everybody else expected them because the world wants everybody to contract and kind of if you were looking at us on a dot matrix on a plot chart, you would see that are the dots are really close together. Outliers we think of as kind of a freaky thing. So somebody who’s truly positive and who’s out there and making an impact and doing something different, everybody’s going to try to pull them back because those outliers make those average people feel average. And no one wants to feel average. So rather than focusing on themselves and going, “Wow, if that person can do it, I can do it too.” They’re going to try to pull you down. So if they’re not being successful, they want everybody else to be unsuccessful with them. We hear that the misery loves company. It does.
Kimberly : So just limit your exposure to them. If they’re calling, try to redirect the conversation and say, “Suzie Q you know I understand that you’re having a challenging day but was there something specific that you called me that I can help you with? How can I help you with something specific.” And if it isn’t specific, just let them know that hey, you know what, I’ve got some followup phone calls I’ve got to make. I’ve got a realtor event planned. I’ve got some flyers that I’ve got to do so I’m so sorry that I just don’t have time to do this for you right now. And just kind of blow it off. When they get blown off enough by enough people, they’ll realize that their behavior is not getting rewarded and they’ll stop bother you with it.
Kimberly : And the company will realize very quickly too who’s succeeding. Who’s doing the really great things because positive energy is more contagious than negative energy. Unfortunately you’ve got to get it started. And once you start it and you continue it and you’re consistent with it, it will overtake that negative energy. But it does take some work to get it started.
Anya: Yes, you’re almost saying, be the solution to them and offer to solve a problem and lift them up but at the same time obviously don’t get sucked down into the negative Nancy hole. How do we get out of that hole? You brought up a good point of sometimes we do feel like we’re on an island all by ourselves in the sales models and say things just didn’t go our way maybe for the last couple of weeks for whatever reason we’re not getting those sales. And you start to doubt yourself and so many of us tie our self worth to our jobs and that praise that we’re commonly used to when you’re selling homes and everyone’s cheering for you and you feel like you’re just on top of the world and you feel like a million dollars and then suddenly when it’s the opposite and the sales manager’s calling you and saying, “What’s going on? Where are the sales? Are you doing X, Y and Z? Have you tried this? Have you tried that.”
Anya: And you’re saying, “Yes, yes, yes.” But it’s just not happening for whatever reason. And we can really get down on ourselves and it almost becomes like a vicious circle when you can’t pull yourself out of that funk. So what are your best tips and tricks to try to get out of that funk? Because I think no matter great of a salesperson you are we often find ourselves in that spot sooner or later.
Kimberly : We all do. And sales is an up and down thing. Knowing that is a great starting point. But I think it goes right back to what I was saying how you get starting with having that abundance mentality. Read. Read something different. Do something different. Physically move. Because sometimes you just get physically stuck. And unslumping yourself is not easily done when you’re stuck in a spot. So move. Go do something different. Break the cycle. Break that chain. So if you haven’t been out to visit your realtors in a while, go out and visit realtors. Create a plan of success and act on that plan of success. Is it going to be immediate? Maybe. But maybe not. You may need to keep acting on the plan. You may need to do more than what you were doing in the past.
Kimberly : The market unfortunately there are things that are out of our control so the market changes. Your traffic may go from 10 or 12 a week down to one or two a week. Are they the right one or two? If they aren’t, where do we need to go to find the one or two? Go back and look at the customers who have purchased. Where did they come from? And how can you go out and reach more like that? If you’re doing a great job for your customers, are you working that referral base? Call the customers and say, “Hey you know what, I just wanted to check in with you. We have this new plan that we’re starting and I just wanted to ask you who do you want as your neighbor? Who do you know who would love living in this home?” And describe the home to them.
Kimberly : Start doing things that take you a little out of your comfort zone and you will forget because you’ll be so nervous about getting out of your comfort zone, you’re going to forget that the reason that you’re doing this is ’cause you’re trying to get yourself out of a slump. Don’t focus on the slump, focus on the success that you’re going to have because you are doing X, Y and Z.
Anya: And it’s almost like action begets action or whatever the same, something like that. I love how you said get physically start moving. It’s almost like power posing kind of. If you’re sitting up straight and you’re standing up straight and it’s kind of like when you’re on stage. If you’re presenting yourself in a certain way your attitude changes. And I think it’s a proven fact that how you carry yourself physically it does adjust your attitude, influences your attitude. And then one it influences your attitude, things can just turn around like that and as long as you are creating that action we can usually turn that around. I know our time is coming to an end here so I wanted to ask you last couple of question we already talked about some of the books that you’re reading, some of your favorites, is there anything that you’re currently reading that you would recommend for a salesperson to pick up to expand our horizons?
Kimberly : Interestingly I am reading Ninja Selling right now.
Anya: I’ve been hearing about that. That’s going to be my next book to pick up.
Kimberly : I am really enjoying it. I did get a chance to have some training with Don Tennison out in San Antonio a couple of weeks ago. The book mirrors a lot of what I preach so obviously I’m going to gravitate toward things that I am already a fan of. But it also takes things in a little different direction. They are focused more on the general real estate population. That’s what the goal of the book is. However there’s a lot of crossover. There’s a lot of corollary in there. So that’s what I’m currently reading. I can’t recommend enough just constantly be searching for those things. Listening to podcasts. Go on YouTube. I put out a newsletter so I certainly invite everyone go on newhomessolutions.com. Two S’s in the middle. And subscribe to the newsletter so that you good positive thoughts from me once a month. There’s a lot of my colleagues do very similar things and put out a lot of positive videos. You can search us on YouTube. Constantly be putting that good stuff in.
Kimberly : If you’re taking that time every day to put good stuff in, you’re going to be giving good stuff out. That’s the way it works.
Anya: So true.
Kimberly : You gotta put more good in.
Anya: Beside your website which again is www.newhomessolutions.com, where else can we connect with you? Is there particular place in social media that you hang out? Or what’s the best place to really get in touch with you?
Kimberly : Absolutely. You can search me on YouTube, search for New Homes Solutions on YouTube. Connect with me on Facebook. Again, New Homes Solutions. You will find me or just Google by my name. I have all of my social media information on the website. So if you can only remember one thing, just go to newhomessolutions.com and you’ll see all of the links for Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, wherever. You can find me just about anywhere.
Anya: Great. And I’ll link all of that information in the show notes so people will be able to connect with you. And last question for you Kimberly, what are some of your best tools that you use personally that you feel make your live really much easier?
Kimberly : You know, and this could be a whole other show but I use time blocking which is one of those habits that Dr. Covey discussed in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. And make sure that I have a plan and I have a plan for each day. And these are the things and I support my time blocks with my to do list. Because I’m constantly juggling multiple clients, multiple speaking engagements, being pulled in a lot of directions and it’s very easy to get off course if I don’t do that. And making sure that in those time blocks that I’m making appointments with myself to put the good stuff in. So I’m fortunate that I do travel a lot so the airplane time is typically my time to put good stuff in. I’m always reading or listening to something while I’m on the airplane.
Anya: Great. Well Kimberly thank you so much for joining us today. I know you’re super busy so I really appreciate the time that you gave us. I think everyone listening today will get that dose of positivity from you. You can just feel that energy and thank you so much for being an advocate for the industry and bridging that gap between us and the realtor community and bringing awareness and making us better every single day. It was a pleasure having you on the show.
Kimberly : It’s my pleasure. And thank you for doing what you’re doing and spreading the good information out there. So great idea. Kudos to you.
Anya: Thank you Kimberly.