With over 12 years in sales and marketing for new home builders, Jen Barkan brings additional frontline experience as an online sales coach for Do You Convert. Jen developed and managed the online sales program for Rose & Womble Realty’s New Homes division in Hampton Roads, Virginia which grew to represent 20 builders and over 45 communities. Jen has earned multiple national awards, including being the recipient of Professional Builder magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2016.
At the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS) in February, Jen will present “Power of Video: How to Get More Responses & Increase Sales.” We caught up with Jen to get a sneak peek into her session.
NAHB: Without giving too much away, what will people learn at your Tech Bytes session?
JEN: In short, stop being afraid of video! Attendees will also learn how to leverage video email as a sales tool.
NAHB: What is the one thing you are looking forward to the most while attending IBS?
JEN: The thing I look forward to the most is seeing industry friends—catching up with people, seeing where they’re headed and learning what they’ve been up to.
NAHB: What is the most interesting industry trend for 2019?
JEN: Progress and opportunity for the online sales specialist.
NAHB: How has the industry changed in the past 5 years? What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?
JEN: Five years ago, the online sales specialist was a new role within the building industry. Now most builders have implemented this position, so in the future, the position will need to shift in order to think about how to differentiate themselves from others.
NAHB: What is the biggest challenge in the industry at the moment?
JEN: One challenge is how to implement chat and artificial intelligence (AI) effectively without replacing or downplaying the role of the online sales consultant. Our online sales people will have to dig deeper with prospects; if all they are is a talking website, they will be replaced by chatbots.
NAHB: What is one piece of practical advice you would give to someone starting out?
JEN: Execute newly learned tools immediately.
NAHB: If you had to work but didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do?
JEN: I would have a dog rescue sanctuary!
NAHB: What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
JEN: I would love to travel around Europe for two weeks.
NAHB: If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you’d live in for the rest of your life, what are the top three features it would have?
JEN: A shaved ice machine, a separate and detached soundproof home office and a closet for my husband’s 200+ pairs of shoes!
NAHB: If you could dis-invent one thing, what would it be?
JEN: The Fortnite video game.
NAHB: If you could be a member of any TV family, which would it be?
JEN: Right now, I’m lovin’ the Pearsons of “This Is Us.”
NAHB: What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out that they weren’t going to make it anymore?
NAHB: Do you have a success quote to share?
JEN: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” from “Friday Night Lights.”
NAHB: In three words or less, what is your prediction for the building industry in 2019?
JEN: Opportunity in progress.