The relationship between a builder and the buyer is a lot like the relationship between husband and wife. Sometimes the buyer is telling us exactly what they need in their new home, and we are just not listening. I could take you down the humorous and trite path of male-bashing, such as the tendency of men to leave the toilet seat up. And I could even imbed some branding by highlighting some of our great manufacturer brands, such as Kohler, into it. But this really is not about the inadequacies of the male species! (Though this topic certainly does need to be covered, it’s probably not appropriate here.)
Here are some high level analogies that do seem worth considering:
- Buyers are often about “how they feel” whereas builders are often all about schedules and quality tolerances. How often do we say to a hysterical new home homeowner, “But that crack is within tolerance, Maam.” Meanwhile, the buyer is replaying scenes from that movie “The Money Pit” in their minds and thinking that their lives are going to end in a complete disaster of bankruptcy and divorce… all due to that crack. And yet it’s not even about that specific crack at all.
- Eggshell and Cream are not just shades of white paint for buyers, but rather the single pivotal decision between a beautiful designer home and living in the trailer park of their childhoods. So builders need to give them all of the tools and time (and that does not have to be “our time” …use Envision for goshsakes!) to make those decisions.
- As is often the case between husbands and wives, buyers love the “experience” of shopping and designing their new homes, whereas builders are often just concerned about how quickly they can get back on schedule, sort of like how husbands are trying to get out of the mall and back to the football game.
- As in many relationships, builders are great in the “dating phase.” They are attentive and on time and send special little love notes. But as soon as that contract is signed, they often become lackadaisical and take the relationship for granted. Suddenly their spouse (the buyer) is discontented, and no matter how hard they try, the builder can do nothing right. Hmm…sound familiar?
So, as you go through your day today, treat that buyer as you would the love of your life on your honeymoon, and see if your satisfaction ratings don’t go up!