The past several years changed nearly everything about homebuilding: the housing market boomed; the country endured a pandemic; the labor market shrunk; the supply chain was unpredictable; and catastrophic hurricanes, tornados, wind and wildfires changed communities. To keep pace with these changes, you likely need to shift your business plan—let’s take a look at a few ways to navigate this.
While a business model sets the foundation for your construction business, a business plan helps you strategize the way to achieve your goals. For example, if you want to be considered among the top home builders in an area, how are you going to do that? What are the steps for helping you do that?
One way to go about this is to simply think about your market, your competition and your customers.
It may be time to shift your business plan so you can rise above the competition. Wayne Goodall, president of The British Builder, found his pricing strategy was fundamental to setting the stage. “We offer cost price, plus or minus 15%,” says Goodall. “The key for me is to avoid the cost-per-square-foot model. Our homes are one-off custom designs. They are laid out to precisely fit on a downtown lot that is surrounded by existing homes. It is not the same situation as an estate or volume builder.”
One strategy that helped him achieve his goal to stand out among the competition was an early decision to use premium products. “When we used cheaper stuff, it always came back to bite me,” he says. If someone were to ask for the possibility of building something within a set price range, Goodall is honest in his response and always stays aligned with his standards.
In some areas of the country, it’s an ideal time to shift into using premium-quality building materials as more homeowners are expecting higher-quality products to help protect their homes. In fact, resiliency has extended beyond a hot topic or trend into an expectation, and resilient homes now rank as a higher priority for homeowners.
This shift only increases in younger generations, who tend to be more conscious when it comes to sustainability. There has been a trend in homeowners who desire to stay in one home for longer periods of time since it can be a more sustainable option than frequent moves.
So how do you shift your business model to use premium building materials? For Goodall, it’s the company’s philosophy to build solid relationships. “That’s the way to sell the best product.”
Goodall and his team have put together a driving tour map of completed home projects that showcase his custom builds. “When people take the driving tour, they can see the quality of our work for themselves. It sells the jobs for me,” explains Goodall.
When potential clients drive past a custom home with premium materials and keen attention to detail, it elevates the perception of quality built into the home. “When you have a premium exterior, it makes it easier to sell the quality behind the walls,” says Goodall.
The British Builder specs premium building materials from the LP® Structural Solutions portfolio for his renovation and custom home projects. With his business headquartered in Texas, Goodall was an early fan of LP® TechShield® Radiant Barrier. In fact, LP interviewed Goodall a number of years ago about his impressions of the radiant barrier and he often shares the article with potential clients.
Goodall also uses building material supplies from the same company. “I think customers notice when everything is uniform. It shows the customers you are buying a consistent product,” says Goodall. “If the stuff is all mixed up, it indicates the builder is buying whatever is cheap. They get one product from here and another from there because they can save a dollar. Not us. We sell the extra quality the whole time.”
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