Constellation HomeBuilder Systems Adds Resale Insights to Real-time Homebuilder Data Solution at NAHB IBS 2024

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems Adds Resale Insights to Real-time Homebuilder Data Solution at NAHB IBS 2024

BuilderMetrix™ sources data from live builder ERP systems and real estate data integrations, fueling smarter decision-making through accurate and timely analytics.

Las Vegas, NV – February 27, 2024Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, a leading provider of homebuilding software solutions, announced today at the 2024 NAHB International Builders’ Show that its BuilderMetrix™ platform now provides access to home resale insights. With this new capability, builders will be equipped to make better business decision-making.

The real estate listing home resale data now combines with analytics on new home sales, job costs, community lot details, construction milestones, and operational sales, making BuilderMetrix™ the only solution available for homebuilders to gain accurate, near real-time financial and operational data. BuilderMetrix™ offers data sourced anonymously from builder ERP systems and through real estate listing data integrations.

“BuilderMetrix™ is a game-changing decision-support tool,” said Ty Brewer, Chief Digital Officer at HistoryMaker Homes. “We can benchmark our costs to other regional homebuilders in real-time and are confident that the data is 100% accurate.”

Previously known as the Homebuilder Common Data Model, BuilderMetrix™ boasts data coverage spanning more than 80% of North America and includes a mix of single-family homes, multi-family, and high rise. It leverages a standardized set of industry metrics to offer timely, valuable insights about business performance and regional homebuilding markets. Users can view regionalized reports including benchmarks of multiple job costs categories like electrical, HVAC, and flooring, as well as sales insights for both new home benchmarks like new home sales prices and square footage, and real estate listing resale data such as inventory, list price drift, days on market, closings, and close price.

“There’s a significant gap in the industry for homebuilder data that executives can rely on to improve their day-to-day decision-making,” said Paolo Benzan, VP of Data Services at Constellation HomeBuilder Systems. “Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is uniquely positioned as a data provider due to our breadth of coverage across the homebuilding industry. Our access to real-time, anonymized, and aggregated homebuilder data allows BuilderMetrix™ to be a truly one-of-a-kind homebuilder data platform in terms of content, accuracy, and timeliness. It is full of information leaders can rely on with confidence.”

Technology experts from Constellation HomeBuilder Systems are attending the Builders’ Show and will discuss topics of importance to a successful homebuilding operation, such as providing exceptional customer experience, leveraging real time data to improve operations, seamless cost tracking, and the latest homebuilding technological innovations.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems will be giving live presentations and demonstrations of their full product suite in Booth W3655. Builders can schedule a private demo or email sales@constellationhb.com to learn more.


outstretched hand with key

5 New Year's Resolutions for a Better Homebuyer Experience

The ringing in of the new year is the perfect time to reflect and set important goals. One goal we hear consistently from homebuilders of all sizes is the desire to improve the homebuyer experience.

There are many reasons why this is a high priority for many builders. Businesses that put their customers first are more likely to achieve long-term success. This is especially true in an industry like homebuilding where buying a home is one of the biggest purchases a person will make in their lives. Beyond a duty to the customer, creating a great homebuyer experience is also a profitable objective. It can help builders reduce costs throughout the homebuilding process and drive valuable customer referrals in the future.

If improving the homebuyer experience is on your to-do list, here are five New Year’s resolutions you may want to consider—along with some practical tips for accomplishing them.

1. Listen to the Voice of your Customers.

How can you create a better homebuyer experience if you don’t truly know what your buyers think about the quality of your construction, your processes, and their interactions with your business?

Customer surveys are a critical tool for a homebuilder that wants to prioritize its buyers.

But there are a few things to consider about implementing a surveying plan:

  • What questions should you be asking buyers?
  • When is the right time to survey buyers?
  • Should anyone else be surveyed, like your employees or trades?
  • How do you plan to track improvements in your survey results?

A proven survey platform can help you collect the right insights about your homebuyer experience, and access important analysis to drive operational changes that yield better results.

Ensure you're delivering a fantastic homebuyer experience this year

2. Modernize your Sales Operations.

Your customer relationship begins during the sales process, from the initial prospecting through to the sales agreement and contract signing. Providing an efficient and modern experience for your buyers can make sure everything starts on the right foot.

In the digital age, buyer expectations have evolved. Builders should ensure that their sales operation includes:

  • Lead capture directly from a builder’s website
  • Accurate information specific to the lot of interest
  • Quick sales contract generation
  • Integration with your ERP system to ensure seamless, correct data

The modern sales operation should be data-led and digitally-managed, and you can take steps to implement it in your homebuilding business this year.

3. Offer e-Signatures on your Sales Agreements.

A builder’s sales office can be a daunting place for homebuyers.

Today more than ever,  homebuyers prefer the option of signing a sales agreement where they are most comfortable. Often, that may be in their own home after they’ve had the opportunity to discuss it with family, or they may want to sleep on their decision.

E-signatures allow you to simplify your home sale transactions with secure documents and forms, aiding your sales team, legal team, and of course your customers.

4. Create a Digital Design Center Experience.

After a sale is completed, the option selection and design process are high priorities for all parties. For the buyer, this is a fun and important step in customizing the new home to their unique taste. For the builder, it is both a revenue opportunity and a critical operational step.

Traditional design studio appointments can be long, difficult to manage, and confusing for your customers. They can even rely on disconnected or outdated information, causing the buyer to make choices that don’t fit with their specific elevation or are no longer available.

A digital design center has many benefits, like:

  • Streamlined workflows for your design center agents
  • A chance for buyers to browse and make selections at home
  • Interactive floorplans to help buyers visualize their choices
  • Improved sales contract accuracy with real-time information that syncs back to the sales agreement

The modern design studio is a winning solution for your team, business processes, and your customer experience, making it a common choice on a builder’s new year wish list.

5. Enhance Customer Engagement During Construction & Warranty.

Despite all the excitement of the new home buying experience, buyers often feel discouraged during the lengthy construction process and frustrating warranty period.

Like many other aspects of their journey, buyers today expect digital tools to improve communication and problem resolution.

A homebuyer portal can go a long way to solving these challenges. It can offer:

  • A simple way for builders to keep their buyers updated on construction timelines
  • A digital channel for the builder and buyer to message each other
  • Tools to track and manage warranty requests
  • Access to important homeowner information like documents and manuals after move-in

It’s no wonder that top-rated homeowner portals are proven to cut a builder’s costs while improving customer satisfaction rates.

Are any of these solutions one of your New Year’s resolutions?

Reach out to our team of homebuilding technology experts today to ask for advice, see a live demo, or learn how these tools can connect with your ERP system.

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Building Lasting Relationships with Condo Buyers

From Handover to Happiness: Building Lasting Relationships with Condo Buyers

Building lasting relationships with condo buyers is crucial for several reasons, all of which contribute to the success and sustainability of your homebuilding business. Some key benefits include gaining repeat business and referrals, fostering a positive reputation and trust, enhancing customer loyalty, insight into preferences, ability to adapt to changing market conditions, facilitate open and effective communication, build a strong brand, plus an investment in long-term growth and stability for your business.

The homebuilding industry is not just about transactions, it’s about building connections that lead to successful outcomes for both buyers and sellers. Long-lasting relationships not only benefit your business in the short term but also lay the foundation for continued success in the years to come.

Importance of Customer Relationships

Understanding the Importance of Customer Relationships

Customer service vs customer experience—these are closely related concepts, but they focus on slightly different aspects when it comes to the homebuilding industry.

  • Customer service refers to the support and assistance provided to customers before, during, and after their homebuilding journey. It involves addressing specific needs, inquiries, and concerns of customers promptly and effectively. Customer service includes:
    • Communication should be clear and timely throughout the process.
    • Problem resolution—address issues or challenges quickly.
    • Contractual matters—be sure customers understand the agreement, terms and legal aspects of the building process.
    • Coordination of architects, trades, suppliers, and materials
    • Quality control to ensure the home meets the agreed-upon specifications and quality standards.
  • Customer experience encompasses the overall journey and emotional connection that customers have with the builder. It goes beyond individual interactions and extends to how customers feel about their entire experience, from the initial contact to the final product. Today’s homeowners demand a customer experience tailored to their needs and includes:
    • Positive emotional connection by understanding their aspirations, needs, and preferences.
    • Personalization by matching their preferences and lifestyle to bring their dream home to life.
    • Design and aesthetics to ensure they match the customer’s vision and expectations.
    • Streamlined process to minimize stress and inconvenience.
    • Create memorable moments and milestones throughout the process.
    • Post-construction care that continues to engage customers and offer ongoing support and assistance.
  • Recognizing the value of customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. Long-term relationships are built on trust, communication, and a genuine understanding of your clients’ needs. When buyers feel valued and understood, they are more likely to remain loyal to your services, even in a competitive market.
  • Benefits of repeat buyers and referrals for long-term business success. Satisfied condo buyers are more likely to return to you for future real estate transactions, such as upgrading to a larger unit or investing in additional properties. They can also recommend your services to friends, family, and colleagues who are also in the market to buy condos.

Leveraging CustomerInsight for Effective Communication

Now that you understand the importance of creating the best possible customer experience, it’s time to utilize the power of customer relationship management (CRM) tools such as CustomerInsight to push your company to the next level.

Today, 87% of homebuilders expect to compete on customer experience. The benefits of construction management software such as CustomerInsight has been proven to increase customer experience, reduce warranty costs, drive brand recognition and referrals.

By utilizing CustomerInsight to gather and organize customer data throughout the build process, you can provide a unique, end-to-end customer experience. Use of “Voice of the Customer” surveys during construction gives valuable insight that is then analyzed and recommends operational strategies to improve future action.

Once a customer completes the homebuilder customer satisfaction survey, personalized communication strategies can be established based on buyer preferences.

ERP for construction provides powerful customer communications platforms for continued one-on-one relationship building.

Enhancing the Handover Experience

Enhancing the Handover Experience

As construction nears completion, you’ll want to ensure a smooth a memorable handover process. To do this:

  • Make sure the property is clean, inside and out. Invest in professional cleaners to show the condo in the best condition possible. Make sure to pay attention to the exterior too, by removing any debris in common areas, hallways, lobbies, and other condo spaces still under construction.
  • Provide comprehensive orientation sessions for new condo owners. During the walk-thru, highlight any deficiencies you are aware of to help establish trust.
  • Create an electronic record (included in residential construction management software packages) of issues identified during the inspection with estimates for when the work will be completed and updates on when it is done.
  • After handover, address any post-handover concerns promptly and effectively. Use of a homeowner portal (also provided with ERP for construction software) is the easiest way to facilitate communication between condo developers and homeowners.

Nurturing Post-Move-In Relationships

The customer experience doesn’t stop at turnover, so implementing a proactive approach to customer engagement after occupancy is critical.

Standard options like phone, email, or in-person contact can still be utilized, they all have drawbacks that frustrate customers and erode relationships. Here, a homeowner portal allows you to share updates and a method for homeowners to ask questions directly to the condo management. Issues can be easily tracked to maintain a positive relationship, offer personalized services, and reduce costs for callbacks.

Collecting and Acting on Customer Feedback

Gathering feedback throughout the customer journey with a construction customer satisfaction survey provides a better understanding of how your processes directly impact the customer experience.

There is no better time that when it’s happening to capture the buyer insights. Utilization of CustomerInsight’s feedback tools provides the data necessary to identify and implement rapid quality improvements.

From Handover to Happiness: Building Lasting Relationships with Condo Buyers

Building a Sense of Community

Building a sense of community within a condominium complex is essential for creating a positive and harmonious living environment. It not only enhances the residents’ quality of life but also contributes to the overall value of the property.

  • Organizing community-building events and activities—host regular events like holiday parties, barbecues, fitness classes, workshops, and cultural celebrations.
  • Facilitating connections among condo owners through social platforms—create social media groups for the condo community to discuss common interests, share resources, engage in conversations, and announce upcoming events.
  • Encouraging participation in resident-led initiatives and committees—establish committees such as security, landscaping, events, or sustainability where residents can share responsibility for the community’s well-being.
  • Support community causes—through organized events that can provide a sense of purpose and unity among residents and make a positive impact beyond the community.

Addressing Warranty and Service Requests

Maintaining a positive customer experience means that it’s critical to streamline the warranty process. Use CustomerInsight’s powerful homeowner portal to efficiently identify, process, and resolve service requests quickly.

Help your buyers self-serve through a portal with a Q&A section, builder messages, information about appliances and technology in their condo, and even provide automated maintenance reminders. Exceed buyer expectations by giving them a faster and easier information platform and streamlined customer service.

Warranty and Service Requests
Value-Added Construction Services

Offering Value-Added Services

Offering value-added services is an excellent way to differentiate your condo development, enhance the overall resident experience, and create a strong sense of exclusivity and added value for buyers. Try these ideas:

  • Provide exclusive perks and benefits tailored to their lifestyle and needs. Amenities could include fitness centers, swimming pools, rooftop gardens, or concierge services.
  • Collaborate with local businesses to offer discounts and special offers. This could involve nearby restaurants, cafes, fitness studios, spas, and other relevant services. This would benefit the residents and support the local economy.
  • Emphasize unique features and advantages of condo life such as advanced security systems, smart home technology, green spaces, convenient location, or stunning views.
  • Implement eco-friendly initiatives within the complex, such as recycling programs, energy-efficient appliances, green spaces, and automobile charging stations to appeal to a growing popularity of sustainability initiatives.
  • If your complex is pet-friendly, consider offering services such as pet grooming, dog-walking, or even a designated pet play area. Take this one step further by incorporating pet packages to the condo units such as dedicated pet showers, food stations, built-in pet beds and designated wall-free crates.

Continuously Improving Customer Relationships

CustomerInsight analytics tools can help identify areas for improvement by analyzing customer data and trends such as:

  • Customer segmentation—based on criteria such as demographics, behavior, or purchase history. You can tailor your products, services and marketing strategies accordingly. This can also help clarify differences between lifestyle groups and their expectations related to product offerings—Millennials might expect high-tech standard features, while Baby Boomers prefer low-maintenance living like included exterior and landscape maintenance.
  • Identify customer pain points—data analysis can pinpoint specific issues like product quality, customer service, website usability, or other aspects of the customer experience.
  • Benchmarking—compare your company’s performance to industry standards or competitors. This can highlight areas where you need improvement or special services/products that set you apart from your competition.
  • ROI assessment—customer analytics can be used to assess return on investment (ROI) for various marketing campaigns and customer initiatives. This helps allocate resources effectively and focus on strategies that yield the highest ROI.

The customer experience will be constantly evolving and your staff must be up to the challenge by refreshing their skills through regular training and development programs. Be sure offer in-house programs as well as and opportunity to attend webinars targeted to improving the customer experience.

Adapting and evolving your strategies based on changing buyer preferences and market trends is essential for staying competitive and meeting the evolving needs of your target audience. Use residential construction management software to continuously gather data on market trends, buyer preferences, and competitive offerings. Stay informed about changes in demand, emerging technologies, and evolving lifestyle preferences. Stay open to adopting new technologies, features, or services to align with changing buyer preferences.

Conclusion

Building lasting relationships with condo buyers takes a commitment to providing the best customer experience and customer service. Recognize the value of customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth, the importance of repeat buyers and referrals, and the benefits of construction management software such as CustomerInsight to increase customer experience, reduce warranty costs, drive brand recognition and referrals.

Through the use of one platform, CustomerInsight can provide valuable insight from customer surveys to enhance the handover experience, nurture post-move-in relationships, build a sense of community, address warranty and service requests, and offer value-added services. Establish a customer portal to continuously improve customer relationships long after the turnover process.

The real estate market is dynamic and buyer preferences can change rapidly. By staying informed, remaining flexible, and consistently focusing on meeting the needs of your buyers, you can ensure your strategies will remain relevant and effective over time and that your customers’ experiences will be exceptional.


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 homebuilding 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 construction 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.


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.

CustomerInsight

Proven Strategies to Dominate the Customer Experience Space

Customer experience leaders weigh in on the best methods for tracking and improving the homeowner experience. 

When 87% percent of home builders expect to earn new business through word-of-mouth referrals, excellent customer experience is not only a company attribute, it’s a success metric.

The homeowner journey is the logical and emotional perception your buyers and homeowners have of you during the sales, construction, the home closing process, and long into home ownership. This means that customer experience is a team effort that needs to be planned and measured for effectiveness with your sales teams, your construction teams, your internal members, and your warranty agents.

Understanding Your Homeowners at Critical Moments

Every company handles surveys and uses that information to learn more about themselves, their brand, and the product. Homeowner surveys are excellent ways to understand the complex and long process of bringing a home to market from the customers’ eyes. Customer experience professionals recommend at least 3 surveys: a survey during the construction process, a survey a few days after the home closing day, and a survey 1 year after a home closing.

The reasoning behind this is simple, the survey during construction is set to understand the worries homeowners might have about the plan for construction and your company’s overall sales performance. A survey after home possession is far more accurate than the day of home closing since it illustrates a genuine critique untainted by the excitement of getting their new home.  The final survey is set far into the future after a home closing, to get the homeowner thinking about you collectively and about how you handle warranty claims. By gauging your homeowners at the moments where they are most vulnerable, you can expect to get a true reflection of how your organization handles those key home-building milestones critical to production. The image below helps illustrate the varying levels of homeowner satisfaction throughout their journey. Advanced home builders are indeed measuring their success by the weakest links in their process where the homeowners are most vulnerable.

 

Analyzing your Customer Care Performance and Automating Processes

All team members should work together with the goal of “making your homeowners’ dreams a reality”. As a company, track and learn from comments in the surveys discussed earlier to gauge your employees. Great comments should be celebrated, and negative comments should be learned from and used as motivation for future sales and interactions. As leadership, making the customer experience a discussion or a “nice to have” in your company culture isn’t enough. You need to implement a quantifiable way of measuring each member’s performance through customer satisfaction surveys, as well as reward the key performers by giving them a higher stake financially within your company based on that performance. Instead of rewarding sales representatives who bring new business, realize all employees act as facilitators of the business relationship with homeowners. After all, your homeowners are likely interacting with many team members outside of your sales team.

Giving your team members the right tools to serve customers is also crucial, the right to earn a homeowner’s referral is fermented long after the home is sold, built, or owned. Homes today carry a hefty price and therefore homeowners mandate the builder be involved in fixing it for cases that are related to its manufacturing. Leaders in customer experience are known to have implemented technology solutions such as online homeowner portals for assistance with warranty claims. Popular with developers in the high-rise condominium business due to the volume of potential warranty claims in a smaller setting compared to a residential neighborhood, the concept can also be applied to detached communities and everything in between. Homeowner portals not only simplify your organizational method for warranty but also allow you to help your homeowners help themselves first with an online manual.

Competing in Customer Experience

A little healthy competition doesn’t hurt! Getting together with your peer builders is an excellent way to exchange ideas and to further understand the different techniques home builders are using to make their clients’ dreams come true. The CustomerInsight Home Owner Mark of Excellence Award is an event that allows homeowners to publicly assess their builders and trades and recognize the best of the best. Although a company should strive to improve amongst itself, awarding the best of the best allows builders to share ideas, celebrate wins, and provides an industry benchmark to aim for year over year.

The Mark of Excellence Home Awards

The H.O.M.E. Awards is an annual competition that celebrates excellence in the homeownership experience. Each year, the industry’s top home builders and trade partners are honored by their customers at this prestigious event. Winners of these awards are builders who strive to not only build beautiful homes for their customers but to ensure the best possible experience every step of the way. These builders represent excellence in both products and services in the residential building industry. The Awards are named after those who matter most, the Home Owners.

Click below to attend this red carpet event and learn more about customer experience with your peers in homebuilding.


Top 3 Hidden Secrets to an Immediate Customer Experience Boost

87% percent of home builders expect to compete in their market based on customer experience, here are immediate tips to align your company mission correctly for increased referrals.

The Case for Improving Your Customer Experience

With 87% percent of home builders expecting to earn new business through word of mouth referrals, excellent customer experience could be the new frontier for home builders to improve the way they do business. Although there is a surge in new home sales demand and the home builder’s willingness to compete through customer experience, how well equipped are home builders in handling homeowner demands? Citing a popular study from The North American Homebuilders Association, it is evident that while home builders have made investments in technology to improve their overall operations, the same can’t be said for tracking customer satisfaction with home builders at an 18% adoption rate nationally. On the other hand, giving homeowners the ability to monitor their home construction is also at a low 22%. Read the following tips to immediately change how your company handles the homeowner journey and improve company ratings.

Home Builders Implement TechnologySource – NAHB.org

1.  Focus on The Customer’s Lifestyle Instead of “Selling”

This first tip is powerful as it can be implemented into your sales and customer care process immediately. While a concrete sales process from outside sales to interior décor upgrades is critical to the bottom line of your business, training your realtors and sales on a human approach is key to winning their hearts and earning their referral. NAHB also cites that a homebuilder’s referral market often constitutes 80 percent of their new sales. Therefore, the way we approach potential home buyers needs to be optimized. Train your sales team to build a rapport with new homeowners, keep them in check during all steps of the building cycle, and answer their calls and requests promptly. For example, during the sales and decor appointment, train sales to understand the type of family or homeowner they are selling to, understand their budget, and what they are comfortable with in terms of upgrades. For example, if they are a young couple looking for their first home, perhaps these homeowners are willing to sacrifice home space but will opt-in for better amenities such as high-end appliances. Another example is serving a family with children, this type of prospect might look for upgrades around the home that revolve around family gatherings such as a kitchen island, child-friendly appliances or perhaps more lot space altogether. All this will improve the products you serve them, and the amount of time second-guessing is reduced in your sales discussions. Consider creating content for your new home models with applicable home interior upgrades to allow your homeowners to create a mental Wishlist of what to expect when buying from you, try to build these upgrade packages based around your ideal types of homebuyers and sell that lifestyle. A home reflects the owner’s desires and lifestyle, by closely reading what selections they are gravitating towards in the décor appointment, you can make educated guesses to the styles they may also prefer. At any given moment in the sales process or at the design center, always prioritize the comfort of the customer based on their desires.

2. Communication Goes A Long Way

Communication is key during the sales, construction, interior decors appointments, and during the big day that is home closing. But the Homeowner journey does not end there, one of our clients Lokal Homes, a builder ranked 138 on the top 200 builders list, has a pre-established roadmap for all their sales and warranty professional abide by.

You will notice that in their roadmap, communication does not break off from homeowners after the home closing, as a matter of fact, their employees are encouraged and incentivized to promptly follow up in a form of a letter or satisfaction survey post-home possession. The moments beyond the home closing are when homeowners tell you the truth about your builder brand and whether you can count on their referral.

3. Provide the Right Tools, Listen, Collect the Data, and Evolve

In the last couple of years, we have observed the home builders leading the way in customer experience pay close attention to their negative reviews first. These builders turn their negatives into a positive to increase their customer rates and referrals. They also have a standardized customer journey assessment process and implement surveys before and after home closing. To get qualitative and quantitative results, they measure success and homeowner’s dissatisfactions over a period and learn from the feedback. This can also become a powerful motivator for your team members, and incentivize your sales and customer care representative to go above and beyond for homeowners. Reward great performance and improve poor performance.

To learn more about how production homebuilders are reviewing, assessing, and reorienting their process to suit a positive homeowner experience, try “Builder Interview with HoneyField Homes”.

Many consumers claim that they are willing to switch brands if they find that the company is unknowledgeable or unable to serve their customers. Home building is the same! But in our industry, failing the customer could mean the loss of a future referral sale. Ensure your team is trained on all your products and that all your interior upgrade packages have warranty information that is easily accessible by homeowners. Some of the clients who are on national heights have even invested in homeowner care portals also found as part of our CustomerInsight suite of solutions. Follow the link to learn more.

The Verdict

Being emotionally involved first with your homeowners during your sales and warranty process is key to attracting and nurturing homeowner relationships that translate to referrals and more sales! Establish a roadmap for your sales, construction, and customer care processes where your homeowner will receive critical updates from a selected representative of your company. Keep your client-facing teams armed with product knowledge and customer first with the right incentives. Track and monitor your performance as a company and on an individual level, celebrate wins and learn to change your process for reoccurring issues. Finally, allow your homeowners to have accessibility, homeowner warranty tools can limit stress on your claims department and allow your homeowners to feel safer and self-sufficient.

Sources

Builders’ and Remodelers’ Use of Information Technology – NAHB.org

5 Smart Business Tactics for Growing Your Building Firm – ProBuilder.com

Businesses Lose $75 Billion Due To Poor Customer Service – Forbes.com


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.


What if a car came with a 2,000 mile warranty?

If it did, you would probably laugh … thus the term the laugh test. But they don’t. Car buyers today routinely get 60,000-mile, and in some cases 100,000-mile warranty coverage. If cars routinely last up to 200,000 miles or longer, this warranty coverage suggests manufacturers are willing to back up their product’s performance for 30% to 50% of its life.

But what does this have to do with home builders?

Before answering that question, first another question: How long will a home last? 30 years? Are we tearing down homes built in 1985? 50 years? Are we tearing down homes built in 1965? Homes built today should last well past 100 years and high-performance homes more than 200 years.

 

Sam Rashkin writes for BUILDER Magazine, and has spent the last 40 years accelerating housing innovation and transforming the homeowner experience.

Why should new home builders warranty new homes? Because their competition – existing homes comprising 85% of the home sales market – cannot. But where do we start? What do we warranty?

Here’s a starter list:

    • specified low energy bills
    • maintaining the temperature within the home
    • fresh air circulation
    • no lead or asbestos
    • no formaldehydes or VOCs
    • no water problems, rot, termite damage

 

Rashkin provides examples of why these simple examples are a good starting point for builders – and how to build a more advanced warranty.

Our Conasys Homeowner Care platform digitally links your homebuyers with their new home. Provide buyers with information about their home at their fingertips – both during and after construction: important dates, operating manuals and warranties, maintenance reminders, service requests, and deficiency review functionality.

Conasys eBook: Differentiation Through Homeowner Care

 

If you decide to provide a home warranty, we can help you make it happen. Learn more about the Conasys Homeowner Care platform by downloading the eBook “Differentiation Through Homeowner Care” below. When you’re ready, request a demo of the homeowner experience 2.0 with Conasys.

 


Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Awards

 

Each year, Eliant tallies the results of more than 72,000 homebuyer surveys to determine the winners of the Homebuyers’ Choice Awards. Last week, they presented the flagship “The Eliant” award, as well as medium, large, and high-volume winners from the six core categories of homeowner experience:

  1. The Purchase Experience
  2. The Design Selection Experience
  3. The Construction Experience
  4. First-Year Customer Service Experience
  5. First-Year Quality
  6. Highest Percent of Sales from Referrals

MBK Homes and The New Home Company took home “The Eliant” awards for single-division and multi-division excellence, respectively.

Customers of 128 builders were surveyed, and Eliant honored 43 of those builders last week. As a gold sponsor of the event, Constellation was on-hand to congratulate the award winners. Our homebuilder partners make up a large portion of this list, and we are thrilled to see them maximizing their customer relationship management modules built into NEWSTAR, FAST and BuildTopia. We’ve recently added a new platform that allows for a truly customize homeowner experience: Homeowner Central.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2015 Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Awards!

Benchmark Communities
Birchwood Properties
Brookfield Residential
Castle & Cook Homes
Classic Homes
Foxridge Homes
Gentry Homes
GL Homes of Florida
Grand Homes
MBK Homes
McCaffrey Homes
Minto Florida
Rendition Homes (HistoryMaker Homes)
Robson Communities
Rosewood Homes
Ryland Homes
Sabal Homes
The New Home Company
The Olson Company
Tim Lewis Communities
TRI Pointe Homes
Van Daele Homes
Wathen Castanos Hybrid Homes
William Lyon Homes
Woodside Homes

 

To learn more about Eliant’s Homebuyer’s Choice Award winners and criteria, read the press release and visit their website.


Reduce Risk of a Cancellation

Attitude and service after the sale is as critical as it is before it.

I am every salesperson’s worst nightmare. Whether buying a new car or a home, I am constantly looking for the next best thing. Before the ink dries on my contract, I begin eyeing the house around the corner or the car next to me at the stoplight. I’m human. And that means I am prone to being suddenly drawn away from the products I thought were the answers to my problems only minutes earlier. I’m not unique in this—humans are switchers by nature. It behooves salespeople to know this reality and take steps to prevent cancellations.

One of my most basic (and powerful) approaches in business is to copy successful people. And there’s nobody with a better reputation for creating loyal relationships with buyers than Joe Girard, deemed the “Greatest Car Salesman” by The Guinness Book of World Records. Girard sold 1,425 cars in 1973 and 13,001 individual retail units over his 15-year career. According to Girard, though, he never sold a car—he sold himself. The most valuable products his customers walked away with were Joe Girard and his “service, service, service.” Girard’s principles worked out well for him, gaining him endless return customers and referrals.

If you want to keep your buyers from straying with your competitors, take a lesson from Girard. Never stop selling.

Girard says, “The sale begins after the sale.”

…keep reading via Big Builder.

Customer relationship management by Constellation:

  • BuildTopia’s online Customer Portal engages new buyers: learn more or request a demo.

Constellation Acquires Conasys Inc.

Today we are proud to announce the acquisition of Conasys Inc., a market-leading technology company whose interactive homeowner care platform helps homebuilders to nurture relationships with their homebuyers as they ease into their new home. We welcome the Conasys team to the Constellation HomeBuilder Systems family!

“At Constellation, we strive to provide our clients with technology that will enhance their business and customer relationships. The Conasys homeowner care platform is a perfect example of that,” says Chris Graham, Vice President of Constellation HomeBuilder Systems. “Conasys is the industry’s benchmark – a testament to their commitment to innovation.”

Conasys will continue to operate and grow out of its Vancouver offices, and will continue to develop and enhance its existing product line, which includes web portals for homeowners and builders. The platform allows builders and developers to provide their new home and condominium buyers with an engaging, easy-to-use portal to instantly access the information they need. Constellation welcomes all Conasys customers and will continue to provide world-class solutions and services as a long-term technology partner in the homebuilding industry.

“For us, this acquisition is of incredible significance” says Jerry Bauer, CEO of Conasys. “Being acquired by the largest technology partner in our industry validates the direction we have taken our platform, but more importantly it will also allow us to accelerate our product innovation and market penetration.”

Constellation is your homebuilding software partner, and our team is excited by this opportunity to enhance the construction software solutions we provide to builders and developers across North America.

 

About Conasys: Conasys Inc. is a forward-thinking technology company whose cloud-based homeowner care platform is designed specifically for new homebuilders and developers. Their industry-leading platform includes homeowner and builder specific portals that provide instant access to detailed unit-specific home information. Each portal includes a suite of efficiency and communication tools designed to enhance the understanding, service, maintenance, and management of individual homes and condos.