Kerry Mulcrone, of Mulcrone Consulting, joining us today to talk about client relationships, trends, and Millennial clients.
Full Podcast Transcript
Grace Mase 00:07
Hello and welcome to the Revivify Podcast. I'm your host, Grace Mase. Today, I'm excited to introduce Kerry Mulcrone from Kerry and Company. She has accomplished a lot of things over the years, and I'd love to get behind the scene to learn more about her. Welcome, Kerry. So, please share with us, how did you get started?
Kerry Mulcrone 00:35
So first I want you to know, sorry about my voice, everybody laryngitis speaking training. Go back in time, to 1986. But of course, remember, I'm 39. In 1986, I built a home, and the builder came to me and told me, I sold more homes from my driveway than anybody he ever put in the model. And I was a teacher, I was teaching fifth grade at an elementary school up the street. I took a leave of absence, and for a year and decided this is something I want to do. And the rest is history, I've been doing this for over 35 years and loving every minute of it.
Grace Mase 01:22
What an interesting starting point, being a fifth-grade teacher, and now you're teaching how to get homes sold.
Kerry Mulcrone 01:30
It's just like teaching fifth graders again, Grace. You like to reduce it to the ridiculous so that they learn it and they understand it. And they nod their head and go, "Oh, I get it." And that's the same thing.
Grace Mase 01:46
That makes complete sense. So when you talk to a new group of classmates, what do you say to them, what are things that matter that people should know?
Kerry Mulcrone 01:55
In the people that are selling today is that what you mean? It's really funny. Because as I'm sitting here, I'm developing training for exactly that, how you switch up the buyers’ journey, the sales process? Oh, my gosh, the whole gambit, because we've become a quicker, faster, better society. Right?
Grace Mase 01:58
Kerry Mulcrone 02:18
So I think that what you have to understand is, you have to be able to get into their minds and their hearts. So, emotional intelligence has a lot to do with everything today. So that you're gearing up for the fact that someone would be able to move forward, and in this day and age, with what we're doing, with so many choices online, on-site, and interactive floor plans. I mean, the mediums of way to purchase are so huge, that how do builders reach them on all those different levels? So I think that when you've got a clear understanding of that, and how you're trying to move someone and motivate them, and then how do you maintain really how you create energy and then how you maintain energy. It's pretty important.
Grace Mase 03:18
Right. This is actually an interesting point, create energy, and maintain energy. Do you know the difference between jumping one level out is the energy between a woman homebuyer versus a male homebuyer?
Kerry Mulcrone 03:32
First of all, it's a cultural difference. And you have to realize that, because with different cultures, you need to get the energy flowing, maybe with the man, not the woman. So you have to know your customer. You know how to do that, but as we're talking specifically about women in leadership, and we've spent so much time understanding that, like we add the percentage up to 96% of the home buying decision is female. That she makes that much of the decision or the components that she appreciates are part of what creates that buying decision, whether it's male or female. So that's changed a little bit. And it used to just be, it's no longer when Mama's happy, everybody's happy, I think. I think is when we have partnered together in making this decision, and we've each got our needs met, that's really the magic.
Grace Mase 04:40
Well, that's really interesting. You're right, the trend definitely evolved. Just given that is a trend that we're seeing, do you see, I mean, things that people care about, I know people talk about sustainability and green, healthy homes; those are topics that we hear from the clients often, but do you see that also the same trend within the homebuilding industry?
Kerry Mulcrone 05:03
Absolutely, and then I just think that you add on to that lifestyle and functionality. How does my space work for me? You know, typically when someone comes to a model home, or when they approach a builder, or they go online, on websites, whatever it is that they currently live in, space is not working for them. Now you add the technology into it, and I don't have this and all of that. But first thing is day to day, how does my home live? Which kind of gets you to, you know, we have had a time in an era where it was all about the floorplan, like, master bedroom down and you know, a first-floor laundry room, second-floor laundry room, and it was all about the home site and floor plan. And now I think when you can understand someone's like, if you can be part of somebody's solution, tell me what works well for you, what's not working well for you, and we can go from there. I tend to when I'm working with salespeople and builders, and working much more with how do you want to live in your home? What do you want your home to do for you to make you and your family happy?
Grace Mase 06:28
That makes complete sense. Sometimes these simple things are all about, how do you create the experience that matters to people?
Kerry Mulcrone 06:36
Correct, and there's a multitude of experiences that we're trying to do. And through all of my years of doing this, whether it's speaking or it's training, or it's developing, whatever it is how do you break that experience down? And there's the experience in shopping and buying, there's an experience in the model home, there's an experience in buying, there's that after the close experience, I mean, you have so much responsibility that you can take into your hands, but you can reap such a huge reward if you fulfill that. Emotional needs are just huge.
Grace Mase 07:21
Absolutely. People make a lot of decisions based on emotion, not so much about the first interaction.
Kerry Mulcrone 07:26
People justify lots of things logically, after the fact if emotionally they're like, "This is feeling good."
Grace Mase 07:34
So you talked about this whole user journey really is from every touchpoint, what can you do to make sure they had a positive experience? And that's a lot to think about. I'm also kind of curious on the other side of any kind of challenges you experience through these kinds of mapping out and figure out how to deal with providing a positive experience for your clients? What are some of the challenges you deal with, and how did you overcome them?
Kerry Mulcrone 08:03
So it's kind of a broad question. So instead of just like from let's just talk company-wide, like what Kerry does, when Kerry gets into what company, right? And oftentimes people think that we need sales training, and we need help, and she's been doing this like forever, so let's call. But what really happens is, the hurdle is that what goes on outside, started from the inside, internal to external. So if I have a builder at a company that has a strong belief system in vision, mission, purpose, core, all of those things, it's so easy for me to work with them, because we rebuild that so that it really speaks volumes to the messaging that builder wants to the consumer. So they're attracting the right customer, and then when that customer is attracted to them, they build that home, underneath that vision. And when you are selling to and building for the right customer that you attracted correctly, it's just so much easier. So that's like, not really my hurdle. But it's kind of my initial emphasis. Can we go backwards before we go forwards?
Grace Mase 09:25
Right, that's great. And have you seen any type of things that are quite different from selling homes back in the 90s versus what we're seeing today? Are there some major shifts in the industry?
Kerry Mulcrone 09:41
So there are major shifts because back in the day, one of the selling points was building equity. And, because people stayed in their homes forever. In fact, part of their let's even say their retirement and or their inheritance was in the equities that they built in their home, from the neighborhood to the floor plan, to just everything. And the trend changed where people are moving in and out of houses much more often. And equity position was really not the big value anymore, because a lot of children saw their parents’ equity go away. And, so you really couldn't convince that anymore. And like my first home was 12 and three quarters interest rate. Well, now someone's buying it. It's a credit card, right? And now they're able to buy it at 3%. Right. So all of those factor in and now we've got Gen X, we now have parents living with children, right? We had the boomerang age, had to be aware of was someone building their home expecting that their children for college, were going to come home and live with them for a while. So the so as generations and families change? That's really the difference that we see. How far does the money go? How far does that money go? And clearly, our biggest focus right now is a lot of people lost money in the homebuilding industry for a while. They've got it back. They're spending it, they have been spending it, look at our marketplace, but they're protective of how they will spend it.
Grace Mase 11:41
Interesting. I'd really like to add-on to what you described the boomer, the Gen X. What about the trend that you're seeing with millennials?
Kerry Mulcrone 11:51
Well, the first thing with the millennial is when are they ready? They're comfortable longer with renting number one, right? So finding that moment where homeownership has value to them. Because if you're going to try and give them value to homeownership, prior to them as an individual believing that, you're swimming and selling upstream, that makes sense. So finding them in that career moment, in that maybe family moment, in that marriage moment. All the different things that all the sudden, I'm okay with renting for a while and a person convinced against their will remains unconvinced, right? So eventually, I'll get to that time. So that's where our customer relationship management systems come into play. And how you follow up with these people that contacted you. But they contacted you and then they weren't buying then what are you doing with them? Remember, I started with a recipe box and just filtered cards through, A, B, C repeat, rinse, and repeat. And I was not dripping any campaigns, I didn't embed tap touchpoints. But it was you know, we kind of chased checkbooks.
Grace Mase 13:16
You know, things definitely evolved. Technology's definitely played a big role in our industry.
Kerry Mulcrone 13:19
Oh, wow, yeah.
Grace Mase 13:21
And so with that in mind, as you mentioned, if you find the right moment of family, marriage, kids, for the millennials. I assume technology is also a big part of what they expect out of that relationship work experience.
Kerry Mulcrone 13:34
They absolutely do. It's like interactive floor plans. I mean, it's just it's going to be a must where right now. It's, they're really cool on the website. You know, when you see a true millennial walk into a model home, and they have added their options, priced their own picked floor plan. It's like, Oh, my gosh. Ultimately, I hope in my lifetime, we will always need a voice to voice and heart to heart, but boy, they come in pretty prepared, and they respect technology. It's one of the things that garners respect from them, that you as a builder are aware of the needs of technology if that makes sense.
Grace Mase 14:21
I'm going to shift a little bit, I'm gonna focus on you. Along the way clearly, you have built an incredible career and you have a breadth of knowledge that is impressive. Along the way, have you experienced any woman supporting you in the industry?
Kerry Mulcrone 14:37
I just posted in Women in Residential Construction and Professional Woman and Building today with this being the week that it is that I'm really glad that it didn't cost me anything to get all the amazing friends and support I have because I probably wouldn't have the money to pay for the value of what I've gotten through the years. But when you look at my career path, and I physically sold on-site for 18 years, I managed as a sales manager also part of that, then I was a VP of Sales and Marketing for a company. And then I decided that I really wanted to make more of an impact and a legacy with more people than just a company. And I wanted more control of my life, I wanted to be able to follow my passion, where I could be most productive and profitable. So that's when I started my company 15 years ago, and so many people were like, "you can do this", "you've got this." And my speaking career, you know, people work really hard to speak at the Builders Show. And I've spoken for years and on sales rally, and it's just so many people behind me, you know, encouraging me. And I think it's that when you form that mutual admiration club, with so many people, that it's like, oh, my gosh, I love and respect you. And they're like, No, no, I love and respect you more. No, it's kind of like a four-way stop. Trying to say no, you go, no, you go first, to get over the fact that it's like, No, really, you're my strength and admiration. They're like, Oh, no, you are. I love it. I've worked with Angela McKay is just an awesome individual.
Grace Mase 16:27
I spoke to her last week. She's awesome!
Kerry Mulcrone 16:29
She is amazing. She's someone who I have in my back pocket, and she has me and hers. We roomed together at events and things. And you know, what's like, what you put into, like, I just rewrote for a builder. They're still their follow up service of Avid, which is there after-closing survey company? Well, if you're not asking the right questions for your particular company, right, not just generally your company, but your software, it does not behoove you well, until you have personalized it. Right? Because it's beyond just the clicking and navigating. It's all of that, right. So if you ever have any type of event, or conference or anything that you do, I'm happy, you know, to help speak and get to the gut of your audience so that they understand the value of it, but the value of using it and the value of personalizing it.
Grace Mase 16:36
We definitely want to connect with you, but for the time being, I want to be able to, for the immediate thing, I would love to get more discussion time with you to talk about the trends. And people to get to know you and for them to contact you for your service. It's time for everyone to see what you have done so far, and I think is tremendous for everyone to get to know you.
Kerry Mulcrone 17:52
That's great. I love it. I've never seen mutual admiration club. Yes, this is how it happens.
Grace Mase 18:00
It's meant to be, we're here to support each other, and that's the best part.
Kerry Mulcrone 18:03
Right, and you call me anytime!
Grace Mase 18:05
That's fantastic, and then just I love the energy, I love the, just commitment and also to really supporting other women. Now I want to talk about looking forward, or inspiring people who are just women who are coming into this industry? What would you advise them?
Kerry Mulcrone 18:23
So I just did this program in Professional Women in Building headquarters at IBS this year. And I think I remember that some of the . . . First, you have to make a decision. You know, so many people vacillate. And it's not like, you know, how we always see something that's invented, and you think, "Man if I would have only invented that." Right? Or you read a book and you go, I've been living that forever, only if I would have written that. So at some point, you have to have your wake up call with yourself and decide that you want to do something different. And then when you decide you have to get right away, while your appetite is whet for more to get into the details. To what more do I need? Who do I need? What resources do I need? What do I need to get rid of, to be able to do that, and then deliver to yourself and deliver to whatever the audience that you're reaching out to? It's really waking up and making a commitment to yourself and following that passion? That somehow or another, you're wanting to be more productive than you currently are, but you're needing to be financially solvent. I mean, let's not forget the profitable side of it.
Grace Mase 19:51
Right? No, and that's great!
Kerry Mulcrone 19:54
I didn't want to be dispensable anymore where I was a line item as a salesperson or sales manager, that tough times came and I was a line item. I wanted to be able to always be in control of my circumstances to a degree. I've been hit by the economy but I've always been able to find a value in myself personally, just because I just, I care so darn much. And I get so committed that my husband says that sometimes he thinks I'm the food shelf, I just work for free.
Grace Mase 20:33
But when you're passionate about what you believe in, and what, and when you make that decision, and making that commitment, and following through, that's where not only will you succeed, you will also be happy and helping others.
Kerry Mulcrone 20:45
Absolutely, absolutely. It's all part of your legacy.
Grace Mase 20:48
And that's beautiful.
Kerry Mulcrone 20:50
Like, you know, I tell people that your reputation is what people say after you leave them. When I'm at a company, when I'm on an airplane coming home, I tell them, whatever you have learned, however you feel, whatever you say to each other, that is my reputation. And ultimately, that will be my legacy. You know, everybody kind of knows, I've been pretty open with the fact that I turned 65 in December, simply because I get Medicare now. And as self-employed, your insurance is so expensive, that they just laugh. But I'm not going anywhere. I never want them to think that that age means anything other than I get health insurance for less.
Grace Mase 21:35
That's great, and this is just beginning clearly, you're continuing to thrive. So well. Kerry, thank you so much for being here with us and inspiring us, and help us to see a different perspective and learn from you.
Kerry Mulcrone 21:48
Girl, I was just excited, Grace, honored. I was like, "Oh my gosh, am I getting this interview because I'm older or am I getting it because I've got so much in my suitcase that I've packed and carried through all my years?" Whichever it is, I'm going to go with the latter.
Grace Mase 22:07
It's the latter. The experience clearly shows and the relationship you built over the years and the knowledge you have shared with us, and really it inspires all of us. Paving the road for the rest of the other women in construction down the field, the future leaders, and so the legacy you're creating, is helping all of us learn and grow. It means so much.
Kerry Mulcrone 22:29
I'm honored. And some of my best moments and days Grace, are when someone says calls me or emails me and says "You don't know me, but I know you, or I've heard you, and I have a question for you." I'm like, that's my day. That's my complete day.
Grace Mase 22:49
Awesome. Well, with that in mind, I'm sure there will be many people inspired to connect with you. How would they connect with you? What's your contact information?
Kerry Mulcrone 22:56
So if they just go to my website at www.KerryandCo.com or, you know, text me. I'm so available because I pride myself on that. So please go to my website, and then you'll have all my contact information. And I also have you know, another thing is that I just a good way also is every Monday, I send out Caffeine with Kerry, which is just kind of what I've been thinking about the last week. Please go on my website, sign up for Caffeine with Kerry, and then you'll just get a little bit of me all the time.
Grace Mase 23:34
That's awesome. I'm gonna do that. Thank you so much.
Kerry Mulcrone 23:37
Oh thanks, Grace. I've loved every minute of this.
Grace Mase 23:41
Thank you for listening to this episode of Revivify Podcast, and we'll see you next time.