20BUILDERS' DIGEST| OCTOBER-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2010WWW.BATC.ORGI competed in my first duathlon last year. Aduathlon is a run/bike/run race where you trav-el the same distance as a marathon (26.2 miles)in about 1.5 to 2 hours. Last year I finished injust under two hours and officially "got thebug."This August I competed in five races-twoduathons and three mountain bike races. NowI'm 40 and technically a rookie. I'm learning asI go through tips from other racers, onlineresearch and trial/error.The other day I was thinking about the keysto improving as a racer. I came up with three...1.Physical Conditioning.Specifically-cross training. At 40 my body doesn'thandle repetitive stress very well so Ido a lot of different types of training.2.Technique.The better your techniquethe less energy used. This allows youto travel faster and farther.3.Mental Stamina.Racing, like selling,has a lot to do with confidence. Justlike the confidence you gain frommaking a sale, completing a race is ahuge boost to mental stamina forfuture races.I'm very fortunate to live near a world-classsingle track mountain bike trail. Single trackmeans the trail is very narrow and one way. It's10 miles long and has a beginner, intermediateand advanced loop. The advanced loop comescomplete with various "technical" areas such asriding up and over boulders, on narrow bridgesand over logs.I would estimate about 90 percent of the rid-ers on this track skip or go around the techni-cal areas. The first few times I rode I did thesame. But I had this little voice in my headtelling me, 'If you don't try you won't get anybetter...'If you can't BE Young, you need toTHINK Young!Guess what, I started to try the technicalstuff. What do you think happened next?Yep, I fell down. Again, and again and again.It got to the point where my kids wanted to seemy new "owies" every time I came back fromriding (I was smart enough to purchase elbowand knee pads after some serious bruising).And then finally I made it through my firsttechnical area. And then I made it a second,third and fourth time. I still regress as I try newstuff and take some spills but I'm consistentlygetting better.So what does all this have to dowith the Housing Industry?NAHB just released a report called Profile ofthe Typical Single-Family Builder in 2009.Much like the National Association of Realtorsreport, the average age of a builder is 53 andthey've been in business for 15 years (Realtorshave an average age of 55)."What do you think the housing industryneeds?"My answer to the question is YOUTH. It's asimple formula that nobody likes to follow. Sam Walton understood this lesson. Heunderstood the biggest hindrance to growthwas past success. When he tried something andfailed he learned from the failure and didn'tmake the same mistake again.I see our industry still clinging to the "glorydays of thepast." We'rewaiting for the"markets tobottom out" and "consumer confidence toreturn." We keep asking the question, 'Whenwill things get better?' Meanwhile people arebuying, selling, building and remodelinghomes. 3 Keys for Adapting to the NewREALITIES of the Housing MarketJust like the keys to improving as a racer,adapting your business to the realities of thehousing market takes a strategic approach.Market Conditioning- Stop focusing onwhat has worked in the past or what someonedid during the last recession. If you only lookwithin the housing industry you'll only find thesame old thinking. Instead, look outside theindustry. How has the auto, retail and grocerycompanies evolved? How has Apple growntheir company? How can you incorporate someof these strategies into your business?Technique-If you're going to improve yourmarketing and sales technique you've got to trynew ideas. Specifically I'd consider changingthe "steps" you're taking to move someonefrom a prospect to a customer. The key is fail-ure. If you don't try and fail you've learnednothing. After enough failures you'll find whatworks.Mental Stamina-If you think consumerconfidence is low, builder/realtor confidence isabysmal. Confidence comes from successes.When I host sales meetings I always like to startthe meeting with a success story from everyoneinvolved. The success could be as simple as get-ting an appointment with a top Realtor orprospect. The key is to encourage everyone totry something new and focus on small success-es and lessons learned from those activities."The Housing Industry Needs aGood Dose of..."BYRICKSTORLIE//New Home Sales Coachemail@example.comMarketingMarketingFeatureThe older we get theharder it is to change.But the only way we canchange is to try newthings and fail.