How to Become a Professional Home Builder – Market Research

Market Research and Marketing

If you do any type of market research in this industry, you’re going to be ahead of the competition. The bulk of the builders I know just manage day by day and never really do any kind of market research. The thing I don’t want you to do is go overboard in market research so that you never build a home. You need to develop an accurate and concise research plan so that you can reach a clear-cut decision.

One key to good market research is a good real estate agent [Success Team Member]. A good real estate agent is always on the front lines. He or she knows what the customers want and considers what they value. A good agent is one with whom you want to list and sell your property. Even if you’re a licensed agent or broker, let a professional handle this for you. They’re working for you on those nights and weekends when you want to rest. They’re your go-between with the customer. I don’t want to deal with the customer. I want the agent to handle those negotiations.

Getting a signed contract is when your work begins. I don’t get excited over signed contracts. I get excited over closings and when I pick up my check. A good agent will work with the buyers, help them with financing and many other related items that I don’t want to be bothered with. If you ever become one of those builders who assumes the agents don’t know anything, then you’re on the road to failure because the agents know everything. The beauty of it all is, the agent only gets paid when the home is sold. Always use an agent and never, never, never build what you want to build. Build what the agents tell you to build. When you start in this industry you can’t afford to be a pioneer, because pioneers get arrows in the wrong places.

Now, you don’t have to spend lots of time and money doing this. Here’s all I want you to do. Go into a given area where you plan to build a home and jot down three real estate broker signs that you see in that area – three separate real estate brokers. Go home and call all three brokers. When you call a broker, you’re going to get the agent on duty to answer the phone. Don’t get locked into the agent on duty because the agent on duty may have little or no experience. Tell the agent on duty that you’d like to speak to the broker. When you speak to the broker, tell the broker that you’re looking for an agent who is familiar with the area where you want to build and is a member of the Million Dollar Club.

Now, listen. I don’t want to take anything away from those hard working agents out there that are not in the Million Dollar Club, but when you start out you’ve got to go for the gusto. I’ve found those agents that are in the Million Dollar Club have sacrificed friends, relatives and social life to sell real estate. They’re committed professionals. That is the kind of person you want to deal with. Tell the broker that you’d like an agent that earned most of his or her commissions selling homes, not listing homes. There is a big correlation between selling and listing. The successful listing agent is one that cultivates a large network of people. They’re members of tennis clubs and golf clubs, and they know a lot of people. You want an agent that got most of their money selling homes.

The broker will know what you mean. The broker may give you the name and number of one or two agents they can recommend. Don’t deal with two agents within the same company. Just deal with one agent. Contact the agent with a list of pre-printed questions that you’re going to ask the agent. Don’t tell them your grandiose plans. Don’t show them any of your plans. What you want to do is tell the agent you’re considering building in a given area or subdivision and you’d like to ask them a few questions. If things work out, tell them you’d consider them when listing your home. If deep in your heart you know you can’t let them list the home because you’re locked in with another agent in the subdivision, or some other business reason, then be honest with the agent. Tell the agents you’d like to ask them some questions and you’d be glad to pay them for their time. If they answer your questions without wanting payment, send them some flowers or a small gift as a token of appreciation. Remember, you’re going to receive only what you give.

Ask them questions like:

· If you were going to build in this area what size home would you build?
· How many bedrooms would you have?
· How many bathrooms?
· Would the master bedroom be on the first floor or the second floor?
· Would you’ve a two-car garage or would you’ve a three-car garage?
· Would you have a basement?
· What do you think of the schools?
· What do you think of the area?
· What would you do that other builders aren’t doing?

Write all of these answers down. After you complete the call, thank the agent for his or her time, hang up and call the other two agents. When you’ve completed these three phone calls, combine your lists, evaluate them and determine a common thread where all three agents said about the same thing. I want you to incorporate all those things into designing your next home. Add to it all those little goodies that you think are great and wonderful, and that you think will make your home unique. Then develop a set of drawings.

After you get a set of architectural drawings that incorporate all these features call these three agents back and set up lunch or breakfast appointments. Go to a nice restaurant. What an inexpensive investment to obtain this information. After the meetings, show them your drawings. This will accomplish two things. (1) You’ll have a professional critiquing your drawings. They may see little things that you’ve omitted or little things that need to be changed. (2) It gives you an opportunity to meet the agent and see if your personalities mesh and in that way you may indeed hire him to list your home. I can’t stress how important this is.

I had a builder student who heard this same message. He went out and built a beautiful home in a beautiful subdivision and didn’t sell it. He had to give it away and lost his shirt. Why? Because, in this case, the house had only three bedrooms instead of four. Any agent in that area could have told him, “You have to have four bedrooms in this subdivision.”

I know of a builder who built a beautiful home in a subdivision and had to sell it at a loss because his master bedroom was on the second floor not the first floor. Most of the people in this subdivision were retirees and they didn’t want to have a master bedroom on the second floor. Any agent in that area could have provided this information.

I remember a builder who built a beautiful home in an area called The Atlanta Country Club at the same time I was building there. He sold it at a loss because his dining room was too small. Any agent in that subdivision could have told him, “Your dining room is too small.”

I built an $800,000 home when the interest rates were 18%. I showed an agent the drawings. In a large home like this, the owners liked to entertain. Consequently the flow of traffic through the home was important. I had what is called a dead-end living room, that is a living room with no access out. The agent quickly pointed that out. I changed this before we began construction. I’d have been sitting on an $800,000 home paying almost $300 a day in interest because I didn’t have another door in the living room! The agent is very, very important in understanding what the buyer wants.

Successful Marketing Ideas for Home Builders

Home building and selling has the potential to be a lucrative business if (and it is a big “if”) there are regular inquiries translating to orders that result in steady revenues. Given the competition, it is sometimes challenging to get new customers. Customers have become more knowledgeable. In this scenario home builders need to put in extra efforts to market themselves and increase their steady stream of orders.

Stand out and specialize

A builder must create value and bring something special to the table. He could, for instance, join the niche of luxury custom home builders with attendant high returns and a reputation that earns new clients. This is not easy to achieve.

* However, what a builder can do is he can specialize in green building technologies and point out how his knowledge will result in homes that are more comfortable to live in as well as less energy hungry.

* There is practical wisdom enshrined in traditional building practices such as “Vaastu” from India. He could blend these principles with contemporary methods to create a unique image of his organization.

* A builder can also offer specialized lighting and ventilation guidance incorporated into the plans that will be perceived as giving value.

* He could also add landscaping and harmonizing exteriors with interiors as a skill.

* Custom designing service would also help a builder develop an identity of his own.

In fact, concentrating on offering custom luxury homes with special green building features, landscaping, lighting and interiors would lead to better long-term revenues and growth. If he gets one client, that new client is likely to refer him to others.

Going online

Buyers are searching online so it follows that builders too must be online in order to be found. A website is indispensable for online marketing efforts and the site must be Search engine optimized, full of informative content, spectacular imagery as well as video walk through.

* In addition to a regular website, deploying a property specific mobile responsive website gets more leads. The mobile site should show images, possibly a video and description as well as contact details in addition to testimonials from clients.

* Registering and listing property and agency on Yahoo Local and Google local, on maps and in local directories is foundation to local marketing. People usually use smartphones to find property in their vicinity.

* Writing and posting informative articles and blog posts

* Leverage social media to create an impression that the builder is an authority on his topic, hold contests online, give freebies for recommendations and plenty of other activities to network.

* Email newsletters are effective since it helps build one-to-one connection. Visitors to your website could be invited to sign up for newsletters and receive offers as well as information. Should a prospective buyer show interest, responding promptly and then maintaining the connection is vital for conversion.

In all the above matters, stressing on the specialization would help builders create a niche identity that would possibly lead to more inquiries from buyers looking for luxury custom home builders located in Anderson SC. For more Details: http://www.actionconstructionco.com/

Custom Home Builders Accommodate Buyers In A Changing Market

After the recent year or so in a sluggish market, custom home builders are making strides in meeting the expectations and desires of their buyers. While recuperating from a slow housing economy, custom home builders are finding solace and increasing sales by giving buyers what they want in the form of upgrades and eco-friendly features.

Large national companies also consistently provide consumers with attractive amenities, but they are finding it more difficult to meet the demands of buyers who yearn for “greener” options and inexpensive homes. As the laws of demand in a market dictate, both custom home builders and large national companies are attempting to “give people what they want.”

Custom home builders are accommodating the desires of their buyers by offering personalized options in new homes. Outdoor living options are a high priority in the minds of many buyers and designers. While a barbecue grill and kidney-shaped pool have traditionally been the standard, buyers are now opting for outdoor kitchens, kid-friendly pools, putting greens, ramadas, and even a few backyard skate parks. Designers say kitchens are a key focal point indoors, showcasing convenience and beauty.

Custom home builders are trying to promote a particular lifestyle through gourmet kitchens, islands, and upgraded appliances. They maintain buyers do not want standard kitchen appliances, choosing instead to have upgraded appliances in their new homes. In custom homes, buyers are also requesting bigger and more elegant guest rooms and bathrooms. In response to buyers wishes, custom home builders are “going the extra mile” to please their buyers.

Arizona new home buyers also follow national trends in their desire to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, and Arizona custom home builders are meeting their demands. Installing energy-efficient appliances is commonplace, but custom home builders are doing more to accommodate buyers who wish to live a “greener” lifestyle. Many Arizona custom builders have adopted construction techniques that emphasize conservation of energy, water, and resources. Yet this type of construction for the large national builders (who build a majority of the new homes in metro Phoenix,) this means completely revising their business structure, which is driven by production. The large builders view this as risky at a time when revenue is down and sales are stalled.

National home builders recognize the environment-friendly market, and many already include more common features such as dual-pane glass and low-water bathroom fixtures. More extensive green construction, though, involves numerous other items: ductwork placed underground or in “conditioned” enclosures and “gray water” systems that reclaim used water from kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms and use it to irrigate the landscaping. These features can be expensive, and national builders are skeptical as to whether enough buyers are willing to spend the additional money on a new home. It is estimated that “going green” increases a home’s price by approximately 5%. National companies are finding it difficult to justify any features that raise a home’s price, at a time when they are trying to clear out their excess inventory.

Markets are influenced by consumer demand. If Arizona’s home buyers continue to follow national and global trends in eco-friendly housing, national builders will benefit from “going green” and begin to see their sales increase. Custom home builders in Arizona are already reaping the benefit by giving buyers exactly what they want.

Sources: “Greater Expectations: Model Homes Build up Buyers’ Appetite for Upgraded Amenities,” Susie Steckner, The Arizona Republic: July 7, 2007.

“Going Green is a Hard Sell for Struggling Home Builders,” Glen Creno, The Arizona Republic: July 20, 2007.