Tips For Choosing a Home Builder

Once you have decided to build your own home, the single most important decision you will make is what builder you hire to complete your project. Many of the advantages of building a new home versus purchasing an existing structure will be wasted if your builder does not listen to your desires or have the ability to complete the project to you satisfaction.

Since many people who want to build a home have little experience building houses, the experience may seem incredibly frightening. You will have to evaluate builders and decide who is capable of handling your project, but you may not feel confident enough to ask appropriate questions. In order to start the search for your home builder, follow these tips.

Start a List of Possible Builders

Since you likely will be paying for the results for many years to come, you will want your builder to be experienced and reliable, but knowing where to find quality builders can be perplexing. Although you will have to put a lot of thought into hiring your builder, here are a few tips to help get you started.

Contact the home builders’ association in your area to compile a list of local builders. Although this listing will not give you any detail or depth about the prospective builders, finding names will help ensure you know all the choices available to you so you can make an informed choice.

Ask your local real estate agents if they have any experiences with local builders, positive or negative. Few people will know the local housing market like them, so any information they have will give you a better picture of who is actively building homes in your area.

Research your Builder’s Reputation

Once you have completed your list of potential builders, you will need to decide which one will be the best fit for your project. You will need to consider their price, reputation, and past experience in order to determine if you want them to work for you. Try to discover the details of their operation, such as whether or not they have a habit of finishing late or going over budget.

Request a list of recently completed projects so you can view their handiwork in person. Reputable builders will be happy to show what they have built, so any builder does not give you a list of specific projects should raise a red flag.

Talk to as many home owners as possible who used the builder you are considering. Ask specific questions, such as how closely the builder listened to their desires, whether the project went smoothly, if there were many delays, etc. The more people you can reach, the clearer the picture you will develop of your proposed builder.

Luxury Home Builders Can Help You Build a Unique Home Filled With Style

It’s been said that there’s room in the marketplace for all buyers, so why not think about indulging in a bit of luxury? If you’ve already worked so hard to save up for your home and made sure that you have things moving in the right direction, there’s no one that can stop you from getting the home that you’ve always wanted. While most people tend to buy a house that’s already been built, there’s nothing that says that you have to follow suit. If you truly want to get a house that reflects your own unique sense of style and practicality, then it’s up to you to pursue a home builder. However you don’t want to just go with any home builder, naturally. You want to make sure that you’re going with luxury home builders that can really transform the space that you have to work with.

There’s benefits to working with luxury home builders. The biggest benefit would be that they tend to use higher level materials to really give you the house that you’ve always wanted. While its’ true that this doesn’t have to be obscenely expensive, you want to make sure that you’re focusing more on value and long term profitability within your home rather than whether or not you can get the cheapest builder. It goes without saying that the cheaper builder in the market usually will not be the best builder in the market. It also means that you will get a strong guarantee on what work is actually done on the property. Builders that serve the luxury home market know that their reputation is on the lien with each and every house, as people looking for this service definitely tend to talk.

If you’re going to get a great builder for your dream home, you want to make sure that you spend a lot of time during the initial consultation really getting to know them. You will have to work closely with them during the construction of your home. Keep in mind that they will undoubtedly have questions of their own. One of the top questions asked is whether or not you’ve already secured property for your home. If you haven’t, finding the right piece of land will definitely make a difference. The rest is just speculation. You can get a piece of land secured ahead of time, and then go to the builder with our ideas.

You can bring in photos of other homes that you like, as well as clippings from magazines. The more insight you can give the builder into what you’re looking for and not looking for, the better off you will be in the long run.

There is a time and a place to be hesitant, but the world of home building isn’t really one of those ventures. In other words, you need to trust in the creative vision of your home builder. They will want to set up a contract to protect the both of you, but this will also let you know where you will stand during the entire length of the project. Check out an upscale home developer today for a house that’s truly yours in every single way! Good luck!

Builder Marketing Opportunities Are Online – Your Shrinking Audience – Your Growing Opportunity

In new home marketing beware the urge to repeat the proven, regardless of past results. The temptation to continue doing what worked before is nearly irresistible. Whether it’s using your ‘go to’ fishing lure, driving the same route you’re used to driving, or repeating the same series of lucky steps to ensure your luck hunting white tail deer; people have a tendency to stick to the tried and true. Why do some religious systems hold on to traditions and practices that feel so outdated and have no relevance to people today? It’s time to change the way you market new homes.

Builders are no different! Why do we continue to use marketing methods like bulk direct mail that have a dependable failure rate of 99%? Why are we satisfied that our sales team has a failure rate of 95% when it comes to closing sales? Why do we accept that our sales teams generally only follow up with 35%-40% (if your lucky) of the hard-earned traffic you paid dearly for? Why? The Internet beckons for your attention with incredible new opportunities. Are you interested?

There’s an entirely new day upon us. New home marketing has changed so radically that many builders only recognize that their results have faltered, few understand why. What happened? What changed? What do we do now?

Marketing is Changing

I believe the foundational premise behind most marketing has changed! We’ve spent decades crafting messages to deliver to our prospects. Those methods are known as outbound marketing. But guess what, your prospects aren’t listening… unless they want to. We’ve been relying on the interruptive model of marketing, only using mediums we have grown accustomed to: television, direct mail, print, radio, etc. We ask questions like, “How can we make enough noise to be heard?” “What time do we run the ad to best reach our target audience?” “Should we run in the Washington Post?” All legitimate questions, but not always the correct ones. You’re determined to convince prospective buyers to choose your homes. Your marketing is like mining for gold – the assumption is that if you move enough dirt, you’ll find some gold. Makes sense, right?

In this present day of new home marketing, I believe your challenge is to bring the prospective customers to your message, not the opposite. That’s known as inbound marketing. Buyers have many choices and oh do they choose. They have time, information, easy and quick access, and variety on their side. They no longer have a great deal of tolerance for our marketing preference to intrude into their lives. I call it selective marketing and simply stated it means the customer chooses the marketing stimulus they want, when they want it, and how they want it. According to, the average YouTube user watches around 50 videos a month. According to Chad Hurley, YouTube CEO and co-founder, “YouTube’s short-form and low-quality, audience-generated videos are attracting about 20 million unique visitors a month. The average video length viewed is 2 1/2 minutes long.”

Today, consumers choose you… or not.

The prevalence of the Internet over the last ten years took many builders by surprise. Even today, many don’t have websites, let alone take advantage of the many other new forms of marketing opportunity: social media, blogging, portals, search engine optimization (SEO), social media optimization (SMO), e-mailing, online PR, listing sites and broad based sales sites like Craig’s list. Be careful though, the Internet is not an advertising medium in the same sense as the Washington Post or Time Magazine. Actually, when it comes to reaching mass markets in an intrusive manner, the Internet is really bad. But that’s not the best way to use the Internet. That’s like using a GPS system to find something in a city your not familiar with without an address. Like the Internet, GPS systems are much more efficient and capable of finding a needle in a haystack, but only if you know your needle.

Is it time to dump the tried and true marketing methods?

The challenge, as stated in the opening paragraph, is to know when to walk away from the accepted, occasionally proven, traditional marketing methods, and when to run. I once heard a story about a woman who always cut the ends off her roasts before she cooked them. Someone asked her why she did it. “I’m not sure, my mom always did it so I do it,” she replied. Her curiosity piqued, the woman called her mother and asked, “why did you always cut the end off a big roast before cooking it, mom?” Her reply, “my pan was too small.”

Resist the temptation to repeat what you’ve always done because you’ve always done it.

Last summer, a client hired me to write copy for a series of 60-second radio spots we purchased for a three-month, multi-media campaign we were kicking off in July. My initial reaction was the tried and true: get a stopwatch and craft the copy. Done! But then it occurred to me that maybe the 60-second spot was a bad idea. “Why not convert three months of 60-second commercials with lots of fluff into three months worth of 10-second commercials that hit the point, fast, furious, way more often, and dead-on target… wham bam! I did it; I broke the mold and did it differently. You can too. And it worked!

Just a few crazy thoughts: How about we build the homes our customers’ want, not the ones we want our customers to want? Let’s make our websites a dynamic experience of design, involvement and creativity. If I can go to BMW’s website and build my Beamer with up to 130,000,000 possibilities, why can’t we do it for prospective homebuyers? How about we create a cooperative venture in a new community and allow the homebuyers to become creatively and financially involved and throw in some sweat equity at the same time. Do you think their level of participation and buy-in would go up? Let’s offer to list our potential buyer’s house – the one they need to sell – on our website.

The Internet has opened up new worlds to us. But they’re smaller, more focused, and less tolerant of marketing advances than ever. What do we do? How do we capitalize on this monumental opportunity? The advent of television opened advertising and marketing up to the masses in ways that up until then were impossible. The Internet has introduced us to micro-opportunities that we’ve yet to know how to reach. But, we must not only reach them, we must know what they want, how they want it, and how they want the good news delivered.

Here’s an example of the power of the Internet reaching micro-opportunities. In June of 2007, Neal Schon (Guitarist for the popular rock band Journey) was searching for a replacement for the bands singer, Steve Perry. He was watching videos and viewed a video of the band The Zoo on YouTube. The lead singer, Arnel Pineda, immediately enthralled Schon and he sent Pineda an email for an audition. Arnel Pineda thought it was a joke and consequently ignored the inquiry. It wasn’t a joke! Arnel Pineda debuted as the lead singer of Journey on Feb. 21, 2008. The rest is history.

When you understand the nearly unlimited marketing power of the Internet and begin leveraging it to your company’s value; you will open up a can of marketing whoopee that you will never want to close. The Internet holds the key to recovering the market you’ve lost. Yes, your audience is shrinking, but your opportunity is growing leaps and bounds.

Tips For Selecting the Best Custom Home Builder

If you’re in the market for a new home and you want to build “from scratch,” this can be a daunting prospect — but you can do it. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to build your house and customize it to your needs, instead of building a “prefab” home or buying a preowned home.

Contact your local Home builders Association

The first thing you need to do is to find the local Home builders Association in your area. From them, you can get a list of builders in your area that construct new homes. You can also look through the real estate section in your area (either online or through your newspaper) to see who is building what and where. This can help you find out which companies are building what types of homes, so that you can choose a builder who specializes in a type of home you want. Take a look through these listings and know them down by the type of house you want and then find homes in your price range.

Contact your real estate agent

Your real estate agent can also point you in the right direction of someone who can build your home for you. Your real estate agent should not be the ONLY point of reference you have when you’re looking for a builder, but it can help you narrow down your choices.

Ask friends and relatives in your area

If you know someone who has a house in your area that you just adore (and you want one similar to it), you can ask who built it, as well as other specifications such as price, reliability of the builder, and so on. If the homeowner has a home similar to the one you want and they’re really happy with the price, quality, workmanship, and so on, it’s a good bet that you’ll luck out if you hire the same builder.

Going online for homework, too

Although it’s not the only way you should get your information, it’s a good idea to check each of your prospective builders out by going to sites like the Better Business Bureau ( and checking out a particular company’s background. You don’t want to be left with a substandard, unfinished, or unsatisfactory house because you hired the wrong company.

Narrowing down your choices

Once you’ve got a list of custom home builders in your area, contact each of them and ask them to give you the addresses of some of the homes they have recently built. If homeowners are willing, builders may also be willing to you the names and addresses of those homeowners. You can simply drive by these homes, introduce yourself (or call first, which is a good idea if you want to be polite), and say you’re considering hiring this particular home builder to build a home for you. Most homeowners are happy to recommend a home builder they’ve been pleased with — and most are also happy to give you an earful if they’re not happy with what they got, such that they will warn you away a particular builder.

One last point: Make sure you also ask these homeowners how responsive their builder was to problems that occurred after the home was built. Most reputable home builders will provide a warranty with their work, and will also be happy to fix small, unforeseen problems that crop up after construction is complete quickly; when homeowners are satisfied with the particular construction company, you know you’ve probably got a winner.