I remember the first time I attended the Internal National Builders Show back in 2016. Just over a year prior, I had embraced the role of my builder’s first Online Sales Concierge (OSC), bearing the title of “Online Home Advisor”. To be honest, I was unaware of the presence of other OSCs. Though my position was a novelty within my builder’s region, I was granted the freedom to pursue myriad learning opportunities, even if they weren’t directly related to online sales. This autonomy played a pivotal role in accelerating my career growth and reshaping how I could elevate my builder’s online customer experience.
My first year at IBS, despite the absence of OSC-specific sessions among the 120 available, the wealth of knowledge was staggering. My notes overflowed with insights, such as strategies for obtaining referrals. Given my regular interactions with homeowners, why shouldn’t I seek referrals during our conversations? I eagerly shared my newfound knowledge with my close-knit sales team.
One significant revelation was recognizing our website as an extension of my responsibilities. It dawned on me that our website was analogous to a model home, and it was my duty to ensure its impeccable presentation to every visitor.
Even a session on contemporary floor plan designs furnished me with compelling content for my nurture emails. A highlight was witnessing Jenn Barken accept an award at the Nationals for a role that mirrored mine, introducing me to an entire community of OSCs that I was oblivious to.
Flash forward to 2022, during my fifth visit to IBS, I marveled at the evolution. There’s a surge in sessions targeting online sales and OSCs. From once being mere audience members, OSCs have ascended to become industry experts. It’s noteworthy that OSCs, relative to their onsite sales counterparts, still lack abundant resources tailored to their specific needs. Yet, given our engagement across varied stages of the customer journey, gleaning insights from the entire home-building spectrum – from lead generation to warranties – has augmented my proficiency.
For fellow OSCs, I urge you not to solely rely on your builders for IBS attendance. Take the initiative; invest in your growth. IBS provides an unparalleled learning environment, offering deep insights into our dynamic industry. As technological advancements reshape customer engagement, avoid being sidelined due to ambiguity about your position in this landscape. Drawing from my extensive IBS experience, I wholeheartedly assert: every OSC genuinely belongs at the International Builder’s Show.