10 Big Ideas for Builders to Consider in 2013

With the future for the housing market looking bright as we begin a new year, builders must continue to think about the next homebuyer. It may be daunting to take time to step back and think of innovative ways to reach buyers, but here are 10 big ideas to consider in 2013 as you begin to think about your business outlook for the next 12 months.

Big Ideas to Consider in 2013


1. A smart start means a lower cost completion.

Subcontractor mistakes and missed deadlines cost you money and homebuyer satisfaction. Find partners with their own platform for delivering high quality, on-time and complete jobs. Ask about worker training, processes, supply chain and quality standards.

2. Seeing is selling.

It’s not easy for homebuyers to visualize an upgrade – you need to display it in your model home. Take the time to install that CushionClose Hinge and add organizational features inside cabinets to showcase what you offer buyers in a new home.

3. Green is now a mainstream selling feature.

Costs for adding sustainable living features to a home have come down, and the payback is attractive. Today’s homebuyers want to do the right thing, and you should too by going green in your building and in the features you offer, like solar panels and Energy Star appliances.

4. Go with the (open) flow.

Open spaces with fewer hallways maximize usable living space. Not only does it feel bigger – it is.

5. Keep appliances out of view.

With the trend for uniting family and kitchen spaces, long clean lines of wood cabinetry extend the living environment.

6. Build for a family affair.

There’s no denying multi-generational living is on the rise with one third of adult Americans living with another adult generation. Create space for each generation living in the home— a second master bedroom and bath, maybe with a mini kitchen, provides private space.

7. Create a drop zone.

The mud room goes upscale as the stop for keys, briefcases, backpacks, and shoes. Favorite features? Built-in storage (cabinets or cubby holes), benches, a charging station for cell phones.

8. Technology lives here.

Big screen TVs, music systems, video games, computer centers, home
office, home control devices – reinvent the media room. Built-in cabinets keep them close at
hand and out of sight.

9. Get back to nature.

Homebuyers want natural elements like fireplaces that put heart in a home. Don’t waste any opportunity to capitalize on a view or a feature to make a home really stand apart from others.

10. Made in the USA means more than ever.

Renewed interest in our own economy is just the start. Consumers appreciate the craftsmanship and sense of security about safe, quality materials. For a builder, American-made means a shorter, surer supply chain.

Are you considering any of these? What are your big ideas for 2013? Share them and/or your successes from 2012 in the comments below.

3 Tips for Good/Better/Best Pricing Options

It turns out that the human brain is wired for good/better/best pricing options.  We like choices, but “option overload” paralyzes us.  We all want an editor to help us narrow things down to a manageable number.  If you’re not offering tiered choices to customers, you’re disappointing them – and sending business to the competitionThe New American Home 2000

Here’s an objection you often hear in the industry: Research shows about 2/3 of buyers choose the mid-price product.  So why not just offer that most popular one? Simple – A premium product establishes your credibility.  It shows you recognize and offer top quality, creating a halo effect for your other products.

  • Buyers need comparison to establish value. How often do they buy a new home? How can they know what shingles or bath fixtures or cabinets cost unless you let them see the facts?
  • Customers can “comparison shop” without leaving your office.  If you don’t offer choices, they’ll find them elsewhere.
  • Don’t underestimate what customers want.  Don’t let the economy or ompetitive pressure convince you that people want bare bones homes.  Buyers will upgrade in areas that matter to them – but again, only if you give them the option.

3 Tips for Good/Better/Best Pricing Options

  1. Show, tell and sell

    Buyers need to experience differences, not just hear about them.

  2. Create an at-a-glance way of showing each tier’s features

    A simple chart as a reminder of the hands-on demo.

  3. Offering an upgrade path

    Consider whether the mid-range or premium product be combined into a value package that saves money over the individual prices.

If you’re worried customers will think this is just a pushy sales pitch, relax.  Research surveys find most buyers appreciate knowing about new products or features.  When you approach customers with good/better/best pricing options, you’re always giving them your best, plus helping them make the best choice for their new home.