Emily Peker of the Hamilton Mill Office has been involved in the “home” business for 20 years. She began as a loan officer doing construction loans and mortgages, and then became a new-home building superintendent for Ryland Homes. These experiences have led to her recent success working with builders and selling new homes.
New Homes Success
Even in today’s market full of short sales and foreclosures, Peker has found active builders to work with. Her teammate, Dennis Doll, first got them involved with builders when he received listings from Touchstone Homes.
“We went to them and asked for the listings,” Peker said. “They had an in-house crew, so they originally told us no. But not too long after that, they came back and asked us to do closeouts on two different communities. We sold all of the homes.”
Because of their success in closing out the communities, Touchstone referred Peker and her team to another active builder, Kerley Family Homes. Kerley was trying to finish out 2 subdivisions. The listings had been sitting there with poor pictures and descriptions, and unrealistic pricing. Kerley pulled the listings from the other brokerage representing them and transferred them to Peker.
Since she got the listings at the beginning of the summer (3 in Legacy River in Dacula and 2 in Parkside Village in Cumming), Peker and her team have sold both listings in Parkside Village and one in Legacy River. One of the subdivisions also has lots available, so the hope is that once the last homes sell, Kerley will build more homes and keep her on as the listing agent.
A New Builder
A few months ago, Peker landed listings with a new builder, Mark Miller Properties.
“I’ve known Mark for a long time. He has another subdivision, and I always tried to get him to transfer those listings to me,” Peker explained. “I could never get them, but I also never stopped trying.”
Because of her persistence, Miller recently called Peker to let her know about a new project. He had been approached by his bank to purchase and build on 6 lots in an already established neighborhood. And he wanted to give her the listings.
“We’ve got 6 lots and I have signs up on all of them. We’re planning to sell the lots and custom build for the buyers,” Peker said. “I’m helping him pick out floor plans and also trying to educate him on how to build for today’s market. We need to build in the $300–$400K price range instead of the price point the homes were previously built at, $500-$600K. I’m showing him how he can change his business plan to do it.”
Marketing New Homes
“Because buyers today are still interested in new homes, we really don’t have to do anything too differently to market these homes,” Peker explained. “The biggest selling point comes in promoting the new home warranty and telling buyers we can close on their time frame and they can get a quick reply to their offer. When they hear this, buyers get the warm and fuzzies.”
Peker is also a strong believer that open houses sell houses. Her or one of her teammates (Dennis Doll, Melanie Alexander, Rose Barrett, Tricia Hachem, Shannon Maloy, and Jan Spenard) will sit the subdivisions every Super Sunday and sometimes even on other weekends. They all work their sphere of influence, still the best tool for prospecting. They place flyers in other BHGRE Metro Brokers offices and use the upgraded realtor.com advertising. With both of these, Peker makes sure to pay special attention to the marketing descriptions to ensure all highlights of the home are covered.
In this market where distressed homes comprise the majority of the sales, builders are still active, interest in new homes is still high among buyers, and there is still room for success. Peker is proof.