2017 Means More Buyers, More Selections: How to Manage Customization

2017 Means More Buyers, More Selections: How to Manage Customization

Builderonline article, Your Biggest Competition isn’t Other Builders, highlights advantages to purchasing a new home when compared with an existing home sale.  The author, Myers Barnes, highlights 7 key selling advantages.

The second key advantage is customization and that asks a basic but key question:  who wouldn’t want input on design and product selections?  The article suggests reminding home shoppers that a new home will reflect their personal style — not someone else’s taste.

FieldCollaborate: Improve customization processes

And, a reminder: Millennials — expected to be a key 2017 buyer profile — are very keen on customization and personal style!

Some of you might be thinking, “Oh, customization; tried that.  It adds time to our schedule and it’s tough to keep track of all the selections, changes, re-selections. Not even sure they’re profitable.”

But…customization is a key selling advantage for new homes.  How can a builder’s current process be better managed to efficiently offer something that home shoppers really like?

Previous Blogs mentioned the need for simplification and process analysis.  Scott Sedum’s 25 Essential Scheduling Practices article in ProBuilder offers several steps to consider:

(1) Provide only the number of options customers will pay for and can be kept 100% current – revisit annually.  Do you know how many times each option is selected?  If every sale has a particular option, wouldn’t it improve operations to make it a standard feature?

Ask accounting to provide an “options ordered” list and review with sales.  It’s a great selling advantage to have an extensive list; take the time to analyze that all your costs are included and the scope isn’t so extensive to unduly burden the team refreshing the list at the beginning of each year.

(2) Coordinate cut-off dates with sales for option selections and changes — and help manage everyone’s expectations. Sedum mentions, “It takes skilled salespeople, a focused management team and a company-wide commitment to maintain this discipline.” Not maintaining such an approach impacts schedules and costs and can create negatives in home buyer perceptions, as well.  No one wants to hear the neighbor was able to add the granite counter top after cutoff when they couldn’t!

We’ll suggest a third:

(3) Take advantage of technology so your team knows when options are added or deleted — and can easily browse all appropriate documentation including drawings.  CPS’ FieldCollaborate offers scheduling software tools and provides field managers 24/7 data access necessary to keep up with options activity.  They’re able to see what has been ordered on Lot 12 — and when.  It’s possible to view drawings — all from their smartphone and tablet!

Customization is a powerful selling advantage; make sure that your operations are nimble enough to manage the necessary processes. CPS can help you determine what processes will best help you — CPS•CRM manages option selections including cut-offs and FieldCollaborate provides critical 24/7 access to selections, schedules and drawings.

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