Constellation Showcases Opportunities for the Evolving Homebuilder at IBS 2023

Constellation Showcases Opportunities for the Evolving Homebuilder at IBS 2023

Join Constellation HomeBuilder Systems technology leaders as they answer your operational questions and give expert advice on navigating challenges and opportunities at this critical time.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, the largest provider of home building software solutions and services will join the 2023 NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS), taking place January 31- February 2 in Las Vegas. Constellation’s booth – #W1832 – will feature live strategic technology sessions on the latest applications, software, and tools homebuilders can use to remain competitive in an evolving market.

The Constellation technology experts will discuss topics that are critical to a successful homebuilding operation, such as providing exceptional customer experience, calming customer anxieties when buying in an uncertain market, leveraging real time data to improve operations, cost tracking, and the latest homebuilding technological innovations.

John McManus, Founder of the Builder’s Daily, will share his expertise Tuesday & Wednesday at 11:00am at the Constellation booth (#W1832). On Tuesday, January 31st, he’ll help present data-driven advice for the 2023 selling season. On Wednesday, February 1st, join John McManus for a deep dive on data-empowered purchasing.

Chris Graham, President of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems can’t wait to be back in Las Vegas for IBS 2023, saying: “With a long tradition of supporting builders and the industry, we are eager to discuss our latest innovations to help builders compete, delight their homebuyers, effectively work with their trade partners, and improve their business collaboration. Now is a great time for builders to plan for the future, and we can help!”

Highlighting the digital experience for builders and buyers, Constellation will showcase a range of new solutions and features. Tech experts will show builders how to streamline their listing and sales process with products like the New Home Listing Service Distribution Engine, which optimizes new home marketing by distributing accurate listings across the web, including websites like Realtor.com and Kijiji. Builders can also get a close look at SalesXpress, the modern platform that digitizes the new home sales and design process online and offline. NEWSTAR and BuildTopia, Constellation’s complete ERP software systems, will also be on display so that builders can explore their powerful functionality and deep ecosystems.

Industry experts will showcase the importance of data collection and analysis with the Homebuilder Common Data Model, which leverages a standardized set of industry metrics to offer you timely, valuable insights about your business performance and regional homebuilding market. In addition, customer experience experts will be on hand to show builders how to enhance their client relationships with Homeowner central, allowing builders to reduce warranty costs by engaging and communicating with their customers.

Learn more about what Constellation has in store for IBS 2023 and book time for a private consultation here.


Constellation HomeBuilder Systems and Kijiji Strategic Partnership - Provides National Opportunity for New Home Builders to Advertise To Canadian Home Buyers

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems and Kijiji Strategic Partnership

Provides National Opportunity for New Home Builders to Advertise To Canadian Home Buyers

TORONTO–November 9th, 2022 – Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, North America’s largest provider of home building software solutions, is excited to announce a strategic partnership with one of the Canada’s largest real estate websites, Kijiji. This alliance gives new home builders another way to advertise their new homes to hundreds of communities coast to coast across Canada, directly to millions of unique monthly visitors on Kijiji.ca.

Kijiji listing management software

Today’s business-minded home builders want to sell homes as quickly and easily as possible, and this partnership makes it super easy. Powered by Constellation’s new home marketing software platform, NHLS Distribution Engine, it has never been easier for new home builders to create an unlimited number of new home listings to advertise with great convenience and no extra charge to your NHLS account. This comprehensive value offering is exactly what the Canadian new home building industry has been waiting for, a national site for all new homes.

The NHLS platform is built to seamlessly integrate with popular construction ERP systems including NEWSTAR, BuildTopiaFAST, and other systems as requested but can also be used as a standalone solution to accurately distribute listings,  with the click of a single button.

“We’re thrilled to be able to share this important strategic partnership with homebuilders,” said Jeremy Halbert, Vice President – Customer Experience and Initiatives Group of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems.

“It has been challenging times for new homebuilders,” Halbert added, “Builders will need to get more innovative to promote their homes as broadly as possible. Builders should advertise listings to as many potential home buyers as they can, prioritizing sites that consumers visit frequently. We are committed to empowering builders with digital tools to simplify this process and help builders sell as many homes as possible.”

“It is extremely time consuming for builders to accurately list their new homes online and managing different channels is difficult. We help builders not only push new listings directly to their own website, but we can also automate the process to push that same information to as many 3rd party online Real Estate listing channels as possible such as Kijiji, realtor.com and our very own NewHomeListingService.com. All of this ensures that builders are getting as much exposure as possible. “Halbert continued, “This entire solution is a great example of Constellation’s long-term dedication to homebuilding innovation to deal with the complex process of selling homes.”

Lionel Romain, Kijiji’s Commercial Operations Manager, says “We’re excited to welcome home builders to Kijiji.ca through Constellation and the NHLS platform! Members can easily post high-quality, fully branded listings on Kijiji through an industry tailored syndication service. Members will gain access to millions of monthly visitors with just a few clicks.”

“Kijiji Real Estate helps owners, builders, and agents advertise their properties on Canada’s first marketplace,” Romain continued, “In addition to syndicated listings from NHLS, fully targeted media campaigns are available to amplify the builder’s exposure on Kijiji.”

Building on the joint enthusiasm, Milo Anderson, Director & Founder of NHLS Distribution Engine at Constellation HomeBuilder Systems says, “We are beyond excited to introduce the new strategic partnership between the NHLS Distribution Engine and Kijiji. The NHLS Distribution Engine (NHLS.info) is directly integrated with Kijiji — literally clicking one button sends new communities and homes directly on their site. Thanks to this new collaboration we have effectively changed the landscape of how builders connect with homebuyers on a national level. We look forward to supporting buyers on this journey.”


Continuing our commitment to increasing awareness, simplifying processes, and leveraging our relationships for new home builders, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems looks forward to opportunities, growth, and the increased exposure for new home listings with Kijiji.

For more information on the collaboration, click here.

About Kijiji

Kijiji, which means “village” in Swahili, is the number one classifieds website in Canada, connecting over 16.8 million buyers and sellers each month. Kijiji offers Canadians an easy way to buy and sell and find homes, jobs, and services on a local level.  At any given time, there are more than 6 million listings on the network and two new ads are posted on Kijiji every second of every day. Kijiji makes it easy for Canadians to find exactly what they’re looking for in their own community. Visit business.kijiji.ca to connect with a Kijiji digital media expert.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the largest provider of software and services in the building industry. Their innovative software solutions, available as standalone or integrated systems, empower builders with information to drive business objectives and simplify the process of building homes and condos. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the home building software division of Constellation Software Inc., an international provider of market-leading software and services for specialized industries, which is traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Milo Anderson

For more information, please contact:

Milo Anderson
Director & Founder
NHLS Distribution Engine at Constellation HomeBuilder Systems
403-616-6074
milo.anderson@constellationhb.com


Constellation HomeBuilder Systems to Introduce Game-Changing Industry Data Platform at Build Smarter Conference

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems to Introduce Game-Changing Industry Data Platform at Build Smarter Conference

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, North America’s largest provider of homebuilding software and services, is set to reveal a new data platform that will allow builders to improve their operational insights while freeing up scarce data resources to add more value to their businesses.

With the Homebuilder Common Data Model, Constellation will be able to create a standardized set of industry metrics. By accessing the platform, homebuilders can then access highly valuable reporting, analytics, and dashboards, as well as benchmarks to compare their performance regionally. Many widely-used builder metrics, including backlogs, active selling communities, average sales price, net sales, and more, will be made available.

The platform is built to leverage Constellation’s popular construction ERP systems including NEWSTAR, BuildTopia, and FAST and to provide value across the industry.

“We’re thrilled to be able to share this important innovation with homebuilders,” said Paolo Benzan, Vice President, Data Strategy at Constellation HomeBuilder Systems.

“In this critical moment in the industry,” Benzan added, “Builders need access to timely, accurate, information and trends as they face higher costs across the board. With how expensive and hard to find data resources are, we’re proud to introduce this great way to capture insights while reducing your data footprint.”

A can’t-miss presentation of the Homebuilder Common Data Model is set for Constellation’s Build Smarter Conference. The event will be held in-person from Chicago, Illinois from November 7-9, 2022, with virtual streaming for Constellation customers available as well. The presentation will include a detailed walk-through of this new platform and the key data it will offer homebuilder finance, operations, sales, construction, and other teams. Attendees will see examples of benchmark data and learn the various options for accessing the information.

Chris Graham, President of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, shared his excitement about this announcement. “With true industry expertise behind each of our solutions, we’re proud to be a top, cutting-edge partner to the homebuilding industry. We are committed to empowering builders with the information they need to simplify building processes and maximize return on investment.”

“With the Homebuilder Common Data Model,” Graham continued, “We are powering the industry to build smarter than ever at a time when its impact is needed most.”

 

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the largest provider of software and services in the building industry. Their innovative software solutions, available as standalone or integrated systems, empower builders with information to drive business objectives and simplify the process of building homes and condos. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the home building software division of Constellation Software Inc., an international provider of market-leading software and services for specialized industries, which is traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

For more information, please contact:

Elmira Abushayeva
Vice President of Marketing, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems
+1 (289) 859-4866
eabushayeva@constellationhb.com


Email Marketing Strategy and Tips for Homebuilders

With BuildTopia Marketing’s flexible email marketing templates and intuitive designer, it’s now easy for homebuilders to send emails that get responses.

Email marketing allows you to connect with your target audience to promote your brand, new homes and, or services to increase sales. Email marketing continues to be a powerful tool for homebuilders, they can advertise new home listings, share some news, and run customer surveys.

One of the challenges facing homebuilders today is that they lack the skills and expertise in-house to create professional-looking emails that get clicks. People receive more and more emails all the time, and it can be challenging to stand out in full inboxes. To overcome this challenge, you don’t need to hire skilled people, just use the right tool.

Spend thousands of dollars on complex marketing technologies. You need easy-to-use marketing software that is integrated with your existing CRM system, and the ability to successfully run it without the support of a large team of IT or Marketing professionals.

With BuildTopia Marketing’s campaign builder, it’s easy to find the right email templates for any message—whether you’re listing new homes, welcoming new homeowners, or simply sharing some news or your latest residential development.

How do I build an email list?

Building and maintaining an engaged subscriber list will give you the highest ROI, when it is made up of people who want to receive your messages – in other words, people who opted in on purpose. Although building a clean list can take more work at the outset of your email marketing strategy, to help you along the way BuildTopia Marketing allows you to create campaign audience lists based on practically any defined information you already have in your BuildTopia CRM.

There are lots of ways to build your email lists, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few that work best.

How to build an email list?

  • Create a signup form on your website. When people come to your website for the first time and are interested in the homes you are building, they’ll want a way to stay in the know about your brand. Simply create a form for newsletter signups next to your listings page to collect customer data from your visitors.
  • Use a good old-fashioned signup sheet. Whether it’s at your show house, design center, or an event that you’re hosting or attending. When you’re surrounded by people who are interested in what you do, provide the opportunity for them to sign up and learn more.
  • Gain signups through social media. If you have an engaged social media following, tap into that resource to see your email list grow. Share your signup form on your social channels.

Want to add more subscribers to an existing list?

  • Host a contest or offer a discount. Offering people an incentive to sign up for your email list—like a contest, works great. Try offering a discount code for a first-time buyer or a prize for some lucky new subscriber.
  • Make your emails informative and nice to share. When you create beautiful, compelling emails, with a lot of valuable information, such as “new home purchasing tips”, people will want to share them. BuildTopia Marketing gives you features that let the word about your emails spread quickly (like share buttons to forward emails and social media).
  • Build a referral program. Referral programs offer one more way to grow your email list. Using referral codes for subscribers to invite their own contacts for the chance to receive a reward for a successful sale, can drive email signups way, way up.

Email Design Tips

As the adage goes, “presentation is everything”. You only have one opportunity at a first impression, so we’ve compiled our best tips for homebuilders who want to send emails that subscribers click. Design is as much science as it is art, and by using BuildTopia Marketing’s ready-to-use email templates, we take the guesswork out of what can seem like the most challenging part of sending good emails.

Design Tip 1: Use a template or start from scratch

Sometimes it’s easiest to start from an existing template and make it your own. Select the starter template that best matches the layout you’d like to use, then use the drag and drop editor to add other content and apply colors and styles. Starting from scratch often leads to formatting headaches that can be avoided by modifying an existing template to suit your needs. Most importantly, instead of starting over every time you want to send an email, save this template you created so you can use and modify it again and again.

Design Tip 2: Brand recognition and continuity

Make sure the reader knows who the message is coming from by simply glancing at your emails. This can be achieved by putting your logo or company name at the top of the email, but also the colors you use. Be consistent. The fewer colors you use, the cleaner your design will look, which means the reader won’t be distracted from your message. Pick colors that your brand uses elsewhere and stick to just one or two colors for your emails.

Design Tip 3: Create a structure through hierarchy

Use headings and bulleted lists to divide content into sections that are easy to understand by putting the most important information first for people who are short on time and simply wish to scan through the content.

Design Tip 4: Use visual aids

Nobody likes reading a long, text-heavy email! Make a statement with beautiful photographical images.  When selecting photos to use, try paring down the color in the surrounding design to make the images the central focus. You don’t have to be a photographer to get professional quality photos. BuildTopia Marketing offers you numerous free stock images to choose from, or simply upload your own. Just make sure your images are sized correctly to avoid squishing or stretching and include only the most essential images to keep the email file size down.

Bonus Tip: Choose a font that matches your brand and keep body text size within the 14-16px range to keep it legible. Serif fonts tend to suggest sophistication, while sans serif fonts feel a little more casual. Arial font is a good middle ground. You can use a mix, but we recommend limiting your email to two fonts tops.

Design Tip 5: Keep your message concise

Some of the most effective emails have one clear message. If you have multiple messages to send, consider breaking them up into a series of emails instead and reduce the length of your email until you can simplify no more.

Design Tip 6: Prioritize content from top to bottom

Most people spend less than 10 seconds reading marketing emails, so keep it short and to the point, prioritizing your content from top to bottom and use plenty of white space to give your content some breathing room.

Bonus Tip: When it comes to aligning your content, centering work best if your content is minimal (for example, one large photo and just a few sentences). Left alignment works best if you have more content, it will make it more legible. To maintain harmony, always keep alignment consistent across the entire email.

Design Tip 7: Have clear Calls To Action

“Calls to Action” or simply CTAs, as the marketers refer to them, either link readers to external content or ask them to do something. You can link buttons, text or images. Just don’t include too many CTAs in one email or readers won’t know what to click. Keep CTAs clear and short, to tell them what they should do, using active language (for example: Buy Now or Sign Up).

How to improve your email deliverability

If your emails aren’t getting to your customers’ inboxes, then there’s a good chance that your email program needs some refreshing with these email deliverability tips.

What is email deliverability?

Deliverability measures how frequently your contacts receive your emails into their inbox. It’s 1 of the most important factors for email marketing success, as it’s the ultimate metric that everyone cares about because landing in the inbox is how your messages get opened.

Common email deliverability problems

There are several factors that might negatively impact email deliverability, including bad list quality, missing email authentication, or low engagement. Improving your email deliverability often starts with identifying what’s wrong, which can often be a combination of two or more of the above. Here is an attempt to simplify this:

  • Engagement rate – inbox providers (such as Gmail, Outlook, etc.) look at how users engage with the content of your emails. Open rates and click rates are both positive engagement signals that inbox providers will look at when determining where to send your emails.
  • Email list quality – Bad email list quality can cause deliverability problems. If too many of the recipients block your emails, your domain could end up on an email blocklist like Spamhaus, causing inbox providers to send your emails straight to the spam folder, if they accept your message at all.
  • Domain reputation – Blocklist providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) keep a list of spam traps – email addresses that aren’t operated by real users – that are designed to catch senders with poor sending practices. If your email domain ends up in on these databases, your emails will be blocklisted and won’t reach their intended destination.

Tips to improve your email deliverability

So, what can you do to ensure your emails end up in your subscriber inboxes? Here are a few tips:

  • Tip #1: Keep your mailing list up to date – Older mailing lists contain outdated, abandoned, and uninterested recipients that can have a negative impact on your email deliverability rates. Avoid the Spam folder by validating your subscriber emails regularly and removing inactive subscribers.
  • Tip #2: Have new subscribers verify their address – We’ve all mistyped our email address or perhaps we deliberately gave an incorrect email address to avoid being spammed. For a variety of reasons, it is important to request new subscribers to validate their email before being placed on your mailing list. The simple solution to verify the email address at the point of interaction using a double opt-in tool.
  • Tip #3: Adhere to subscribers’ expectations – Recipients’ expectations are at the heart of email deliverability. Don’t invade your subscribers’ inboxes with your content on a daily routine. It might improve your brand relevancy today, but will hurt your sender’s reputation in the long term. Why? Because these subscribers didn’t request to receive regular emails and may ignore the message, mark it as spam, or unsubscribe. ISPs will also pick up on this low engagement and downgrade your sender’s reputation, hurting your overall deliverability rate.
  • Tip #4: Monitor engagement metrics and spam complaints – One person may not care if they receive several reminders or new home offers from you, but another may protest about their full inbox. But how exactly do you know if your subscribers still want your communications and are engaging with them? Open and click-through rates, as well as unsubscribes and spam complaints, can help you understand whether your audience is finding your emails valuable or not. BuildTopia Marketing’s integration with Mailgun, ensures your emails reach their intended destination. This is made possible through using Mailgun’s proven sending infrastructure, IP warmup, reputation management and more.
  • Tip #5: Don’t attach PDFs to your emails – By attaching a PDF to your mail, you may think you’re making things easier for the intended recipient, but this could give yourself a one-way ticket to the spam folder and a lower delivery rate. Instead, offer a link to where it can be downloaded, and if they’re really necessary, find a way to send them within the body of your email. This leads to less spam and better deliverability.


Key takeaways

Email remains an incredible standout opportunity as a digital marketing channel for homebuilders looking to stretch their marketing dollars. With tools such as BuildTopia Marketing, sophisticated marketing technologies are now accessible to smaller builders offering them the power to engage with their audience on a higher level, and outperforms social in regard to reach, personalization and content value. In fact, it has the highest ROI of any marketing channel, typically with a 50–100 times higher click-through rate than Facebook and Twitter. For more information about BuildTopia Marketing, Click Here.


Constellation Introduces Easy-To-Use Email Marketing Tools for HomeBuilders

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, the largest provider of home building software solutions and services, today introduces BuildTopia Marketing, a powerful email marketing tool for residential home builders enabling them to easily create marketing campaigns and send beautiful emails with just a few clicks. This module is available exclusively as part of the company’s BuildTopia Enterprise offering.

BuildTopia Enterprise users will have the benefit of several new features, functionality and templates to help them run highly engaging marketing campaigns, including:

Manage Contact Groups

With an integrated CRM and email solution, builders can create their own campaign audience based on any defined information they already have in their CRM. This means that builders can act on their data to send targeted new home listing emails to contacts interested in a specific geographical location.

Email Designer

This functionality provides a simple way to create beautiful and action-driven emails with no coding required. Builders won’t need to be tech wizards to design emails. The drag-and-drop email designer lets them set up beautiful emails in minutes.

Email templates

Choose from the existing email templates or they build their own. With expertly-crafted ready to use email templates, builders can rest easy knowing their emails are user friendly, mobile responsive and work with HTML.

Measuring Marketing Campaigns

Users can review the results of their marketing campaigns These easy-to-understand reports, helps users see which emails are performing and which ones could use work.

Guaranteed Higher Email Deliverability

BuildTopia Marketing assists to deliver more emails to their intended recipient’s email inbox without ending up in their Spam folder. Utilizing a best-in-class email sender, users benefit from a good sender reputation to keep their email score rate high and improve email deliverability.

Industry veteran and Constellation HomeBuilder Systems Sales Director, Andrew Vega talked about how this software addressed the needs of smaller homebuilders. “This level of sophistication has not been accessible to smaller builders outside the enterprise until now.”  This includes a new email designer, built to prioritize easy-to-use features and reliable email delivery to improve user experience.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems’ Vice-President, Sean Wilhelm, explained: “Small and mid-sized builders today don’t have the time or resources to on-board and run complex marketing technologies. They need an easy-to-use marketing software to engage their customers, but also need it to be integrated with their CRM system and to successfully run it without the support of a large team of IT professionals. We’ve developed BuildTopia Marketing to be just that. Intuitive and easy-to-use but with all the features you’d expect from a stand-alone marketing email system. BuildTopia Marketing is the culmination of our ongoing commitment to be the best one-system solution for growing residential homebuilders, two years of work, tons of customer feedback, and an ongoing investment in platform upgrades.”

BuildTopia Marketing fills the Outbound customer engagement gap to support its Inbound lead counterpart, NHLS Distribution Engine, which helps builders distribute their new home listings from a single source to their own websites, their local MLS and other channels. Builders will no longer need to manage listings in multiple systems – the pricing and availability is accurate everywhere.

Click here for a pre-release demonstration of BuildTopia Marketing.

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the largest provider of software and services in the building industry. Their innovative software solutions, available as standalone or integrated systems, empower builders with information to drive business objectives and simplify the process of building homes and condos. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the home building software division of Constellation Software Inc., an international provider of market-leading software and services for specialized industries, which is traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

For more information, please contact:

Adriaan Gouws
Marketing Manager, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems
888-723-2222
adriaan.gouws@constellationhb.com


H.O.M.E. Awards

Stay True To Who You Are: The 12th Annual H.O.M.E. Awards

Thursday, June 16, 2022

CustomerInsight, CustomerConnect, and the Home Owner Mark of Excellence have become well-known brands that builders and developers continue to select as their partners of choice across North America. Through our programs and services, Homebuilding companies align their annual goals/targets and even team bonuses, on the H.O.M.E. Award program, where winning the Best Customer Experience/Builder of Choice was a game changer for the entire organization. It is vital to make sure your employees feel properly recognized for all the hard work they do day in and day out. When team members see that there’s more to getting the job done than simply receiving a post on LinkedIn, they are often inspired to work harder, especially if there is an achievable, yet challenging target involved.

When we made the decision to introduce an award program that was based solely on the voice of the customer, we had hoped it would eventually draw attention and challenge the status quo of those who loved their marketing awards, but, we did not expect it to become the most sought after award in North America. This November, we will be celebrating the 12th annual H.O.M.E. Awards, which, would not be possible without you. To our clients, team members, associations, trade contractors, industry stakeholders and yes, our competitors, thank you for inspiring us to work hard, stay focused and continue this great award program.

What to expect for the 12th Annual ceremony?

If you haven’t already done so, please register today to ensure your team is locked in for this year. In November, we will have a hybrid event where participants are welcome to join us at the annual Build Smarter Conference at Swissôtel Chicago on November 7-9. If you are unable to make it in person, we will be hosting the award ceremony online, just as we did last year. We want to ensure we celebrate those companies who have achieved exceptional customer experience scores throughout 2021 and 2022, as rated by their clients, and there’s no better way than to offer more than one way for your entire team to gather and celebrate together.

Build Smarter Conference at Swissôtel Chicago, November 7-9Register now

What is the H.O.M.E. Awards?

For those who are new to this award program, welcome! Participating in the Best Customer Experience category is a big endeavour and those companies who are dedicated to providing great customer experiences, typically find themselves in a finalist position each year. This award has only one judge and that is your customers. Companies competing for Builder of Choice have the added evaluation of their trade/supply partners and internal team members, not an easy feat. Builders must deliver on their promises and follow through on one-year obligations to the customer while at the same time, treating people as ‘part of the team’ – not an easy task.

Go to homeownermark.com

2022 H.O.M.E. Award Categories

Best Customer Experience

New homebuyers rate their builder twice, 1 month post-possession and 13 months post-possession.

Builder of Choice

New homebuyers rate their builder twice (as above), plus, their trade/supply partners and employees evaluate them.

Best Trade Partner

Trade and supply partners are evaluated by their builder partners of their workmanship, quality, reliability, warranty and customer service.

Industry Ambassador of the Year

Industry leaders who stand-out in customer experience and go above and beyond to positively impact the Residential Homebuilding Industry.

Why participate?

We all know the importance of reputation, and what builders need to do to protect it, but let’s consider the positives that come from being a finalist and the best way to share your outstanding accomplishments.
Your unique brand is what defines you among your customer base, and helps drive business to your sales centres/website. Everything you do ‘speaks’ to your brand. So, if you are a finalist, tell people about it! It defines who you are. It defines your brand. It markets your business.

Chances are, you have a happy, active and engaged customer base who are out there talking up (and sharing) your business. Keep them talking. Engage them on social media, encourage them to give you an online review, and you’ll probably pick up a few new customers along the way.

Being a finalist means recognition, but also, earning the right to use the branding in all of your advertising, marketing, social media, signage, etc. Take advantage of that. Contact CustomerInsight be sure to order certificates for your sales centres, flags, banners and more. After years of marketing this brand, consumers recognize these awards. It’s your seal of approval. And don’t forget to thank your customers. They are the ones who are driving your brand. Let them know you appreciate them. Incorporate that into your advertising and marketing, and let them know you appreciate their support. It’s as simple as “Thank you for helping us reach our goal of being a finalist.


About CustomerInsight

CustomerInsight is a locally based, award-winning team of research professionals focused on one goal: To uncover valuable insight for homebuilding clients, employees, and trade partners and turn insight into profit. We do this through a combination of intelligent research design, efficient and reliable data collection methods, and thoughtful analysis.


Chris Graham's April 2022 President's Message: Homebuilding Data and Customer Partnerships

We often spend time internally reflecting on the state of our business, where we can improve, and what has been going well. I am proud of how our team has responded to all of the challenges facing our industry. Like you, we are dealing with many unknowns and changes, high levels of production, and other issues in the global and local economies. A day doesn’t go by where we aren’t discussing inflation, interest rates, hiring, diversity, security, remote working, and growth in our businesses. All of these issues require a long-term focus and a dedication to continuous improvement.

Like you, we have seen inflation soar, both in our personal lives and in our business lives. Input costs, salaries, and expenses are increasing. Personally, I’m sure many of us have seen significant increases in energy, food, accommodation, and other living expenses. I have seen statistics showing that this is the highest level of inflation in 40 years, and certainly in my entire professional career. How do you respond? How do you cope? How do people afford a home? These are tough questions and I enjoy discussing them with our customers and members of the team at Constellation.

One thing is clear, a proactive or quick response is the key, and having proper data is critical. It is needed to prepare the information and trends required to make good business decisions. Knowing how your business is performing both with internal comparisons and external comparisons is the key. We are fortunate to have many, many businesses within Constellation for comparison purposes and learning, often in software technology, but also in our approach to running vertical market software companies. We are extremely focused on long-term continuous improvement for our customers. I take pride in knowing that our customers will receive our time, expertise, and attention whenever they need it. In fact, we reorganized our business to do just that, and established a Customer Success department that has grown with our business. We now have over 270 dedicated homebuilding software experts. I value our customer partnerships and relationships immensely, some still going strong after 17 years for me personally.

Working closely with our customers is our focus. It allows us to adapt our construction software solutions to meet the changing needs of the home building industry and we have the team and track record to make it happen. As a long-term trusted partner, we have solutions now and for the future, and we are investing heavily in that future right now. This includes everything from the front end of land development and sales, to accounting, production, purchasing, scheduling, collaboration, and ongoing customer experience and warranty. Our solutions manage that data and information for your team and customers, both internally and externally. Data is the lifeblood of a business, the source of so much opportunity, and a key benefit of the solutions that we provide to the homebuilding industry. I look forward to sharing more ideas and thoughts with you shortly.

If you can’t wait until then, please don’t hesitate to give me a call

Chris Graham

Sincerely,

Chris Graham


Constellation HomeBuilder Systems acquires Woodland, O’Brien & Scott

TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, a provider of software solutions for home builders and developers, has acquired Woodland, O’Brien & Scott, a Minneapolis-based company specializing in customer satisfaction and data analysis for the home building industry. With many customers in common, the Woodland, O’Brien & Scott team will be joining Constellation HomeBuilder Systems to provide customer insight expertise and expand the business services available to the industry.

The purchase of Woodland, O’Brien & Scott compliments Constellation HomeBuilder Systems‘ leading position in the North American residential construction market and is particularly notable in the customer satisfaction space. “The addition of Woodland, O’Brien & Scott’s services to our suite of solutions will allow builders to analyze the data that really drives customer satisfaction across the entire home buying, construction, and warranty process,” said Chris Graham, Vice President of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems. “Combined with our acquisition of Conasys Homeowner Care in 2014, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems can help builders increase homeowner satisfaction with better communication and convenient online resources. Now they can benchmark and demonstrate that improvement.”

“The alignment with Constellation HomeBuilder Systems will allow Woodland, O’Brien & Scott services to integrate with the most authoritative software in the market and further increase awareness and growth of our services,” said Charlie Scott, president of Woodland, O’Brien & Scott. “This acquisition will also provide a long-term home for Woodland, O’Brien & Scott’s staff and valued customers.”

Established in 1986, Woodland, O’Brien & Scott has become a trusted consultant for operational excellence, and considers over 100 premium builders to be long-term partners. The “Voice of the Customer” survey is considered an industry benchmark. Company founder Keith O’Brien, managing partner Charlie Scott, and the rest of the Woodland, O’Brien & Scott team will join the Constellation family. Charlie Scott will continue to be closely involved as Director with Constellation HomeBuilder Systems’ professional services team, bringing 25 years of experience in homebuilding operations and managing Woodland, O’Brien & Scott since 2007. Charlie Scott is also a National Housing Quality Award judge and an author for Professional Builder magazine, bringing substantial operational expertise to the Constellation HomeBuilder Systems team and customers.

This acquisition, along with substantial new personnel and software investments, will significantly benefit current and future customers of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems and Woodland, O’Brien & Scott.

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems:

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems builds software solutions for private and public production home builders, and efficient custom builders. Their innovative solutions empower builders with information, driving business objectives from website to warranty. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems continuously improves home construction software and is committed to maximizing your return on technology investment. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the home building software division of Constellation Software Inc., an international provider of market-leading software and services for specialized industries, and is traded publicly on the Toronto Stock Exchange.


Regarding the “Locky” Virus

Screenshot of locky virus

We have received a number of reports from customers affected by the international “Locky” virus. The virus affects impacted computers by encrypting all files on the machine and demanding a ransom paid via bitcoin.

The virus is spread via a legitimate-looking email requesting payment of an invoice. Included in the email is a Microsoft Word attachment that uses a “macro” to encrypt files on the infected computer. All shared network drives can also be affected. Please be extra vigilant when opening attachments from an untrusted source.

We suggest taking the following preventative steps:

  • If you receive an email from an untrusted source with a Microsoft Word document attached, DO NOT open the document.
  • If you happen to open a suspicious Word document that requests permission to run a macro, DO NOT enable macros.

 

The Locky virus is also taking other forms: it can be spread via email attachments of any file type. To learn more about the Locky virus, read the article "New ‘Locky’ Ransomware Virus Spreading At Alarming Rate: Can The Malware Be Removed And Files Decrypted?" by Cammy Harbison via iDigitalTimes.

If you are a Constellation customer and have experienced the Locky virus at your company, please contact Customer Care immediately at (800) 411-2020.

Thank you,

The Constellation Team


Electronic Signatures for Real Estate Now Legal in Ontario

For more than 300 years, contracts for the sale or lease of land in Ontario have required ink and paper. Beginning July 1, 2015, electronic signatures can now be accepted on digital real estate agreements, deeds and mortgages in Ontario.

This is big news for a thriving real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where the average price of a detached home just rose over $1.052 million Canadian dollars. However, before you begin emailing contracts, take note from Toronto real estate lawyer Bob Aaron, via thestar.com:

Even though electronic signatures will now be legal in the real estate context, those signatures are only effective if it can be proved that the signatures are reliable for the purpose of identifying the person signing, and the attachment of a signature to the electronic document is also reliable.

Since the law does not define how to determine whether a signature is reliable, it is up to individual real estate agents and lawyers using electronic signatures to satisfy themselves that the legal requirements have been met.

I expect that the use of electronic signature platforms like DocuSign (docusign.com) will become popular among real estate agents and lawyers anxious to jump on the electronic bandwagon.

Constellation has partnered with DocuSign to offer integration between the world’s leading provider in electronic signature management and our new home sales software. Builders using our flagship NEWSTAR Enterprise homebuilder management software along with NEWSTAR Sales save valuable time and organization headaches, and rest assured that their sales contracts are saved securely.

To see NEWSTAR and DocuSign, please request a demonstration. Note that we are also working to integrate DocuSign with our other sales software for homebuilders.


2015 Housing Leadership Summit: Homebuilder Shark Tank

Would you like to put your next big idea in front of $2 billion of acquisition capital?

Here’s your chance to throw your idea into the Shark Tank. BUILDER and Metrostudy have put together “an all-star line-up of money men” to challenge, probe, and ultimately decide if your idea has merit.

Moderator: Brad Foster, Managing Director, Corporate Finance, FTI Consulting

Sharks: Bird Anderson, Executive Vice President, Commercial Real Estate-Home Builder Banking, Wells Fargo; Tony Avila, Managing Principal, Encore Funds; Theodore Karatz, Principal, GTIS Partners, Anthony J. McGill, Managing Director, Zelman & Associates; Rodney Montag, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, RAM Real Estate Capital

Do you have a big idea? The Housing Leadership Summit is looking for three of them. Click here for more information and to submit your idea to the Shark Tank.

For the second consecutive year, Constellation is the Digital Sponsor of the Housing Leadership Summit.

Photo: Housing Leadership Summit Shark Tank “Sharks:” (from left) Rodney Montag, Theodore Karatz, and Bird Anderson


2015 Housing Leadership Summit: Keynote Speakers

The 2015 Housing Leadership Summit will kick off on May 11, and this year’s “Team First” theme spotlights ways home builders learn to think differently to drive success. Over 35 speakers from homebuilder executives to industry leaders will challenge you and your team in exciting new ways.

Brian Greene (above left), is a professor and string theorist: we can’t wait to find out how this will relate to homebuilding!

Ivy Zelman (above middle), CEO of Zelman Associates, has become one of home building’s most powerful and influential capital players.

John Maeda (top right), is the former President of the Rhode Island School of Design and is dedicated to linking design and technology (aren’t we all?).

The Housing Leadership Summit conference theme spotlights a similar pain and opportunity point for production home builders large and small: the need to think and act differently to succeed now in home building, and the essential role your team plays in those differences. BUILDER and its partner Metrostudy can and will give you a high-level, immersive, energizing, 360-degree panoramic view of your team’s challenge and opportunity for the coming 12 months, the likes of which no other home building conference event can do.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the Digital Sponsor of the 2015 Housing Leadership Summit.