Purchasing a new home is likely the largest investment many of us will ever make — and it has long-lasting implications. The building process is a balancing act — coordinating dozens of trades, suppliers and the installation of hundreds of individual components, all of which work together to form the ecosystem that makes up a new home. Choosing the right builder is not something that should be taken lightly, as who builds your home will have a material impact on your ownership experience.
If you’re lucky, you have a family member or trusted friend who has had a positive experience with a builder who also happens to be building in the area in which you wish you to live. If not, conducting your own research will have to suffice — but what should you be looking for? Dee Tran, sales manager for Bedrock Homes, suggests that good communication and setting high standards make for a great builder.
“Setting expectations that the homeowner understands and is happy with from the first meeting through construction is vital,” said Tran. “Once those expectations are set, it comes down to the builder meeting and exceeding them throughout the entire process.”
It’s great advice, but how do you measure a builder’s level of communication? A strong social media presence indicates a forward-thinking company that thrives on interacting with its customers in a public forum. A builder who highlights its customer service standards is holding itself to a higher benchmark than those who don’t. A referral program indicates the builder relies on word of mouth as part of its sales process.
Lastly, look for industry awards, particularly those that measure customer satisfaction, as they are a strong sign of an organization that prioritizes its homeowners’ buying experience. These initiatives are customer-focused and can paint a clear picture of how an organization treats its customers.
Tran adds that the intangible you can’t always measure is the quality of the people behind the brand. “We are very selective about who we hire, as well as the trades we use. At the end of the day, our people make the difference.”
Brent Wilker is the marketing manager for Conasys Inc., a supplier of online homeowner manuals in the new residential construction industry. Find him at ConasysInc.com or on Twitter @BrentWilker.