Here in Houston, TX there are many, many builders of Residential homes building a variety of custom and tract homes. Some of the most well known are KB Homes, DR Horton, Pride Homes, Eagle Rock Custom Homes, Intown Homes… the list goes on for quite a while.
Houston, TX is home to thousands of single family home builders with a wide variety skills and experiences. I’ve been trying to find a more precise number, but there is a long spectrum of differences between them all and should be considered when choosing one for your project. Some difference include whether they are part of the Greater Houston Builders Association or not, here is a link with a wealth of information that would take a while to get through so enjoy. Greater Houston Builders Association
My first experience with a builder was a small builder here in Houston, a small tight knit group with a strong Christian faith in their business plan gave me the promise that they would be someone amazing to work with. I was to be there material take off and project manager, a position with a lot of fun challenges ahead. I was also in sales for this builder due to not enough projects for me to manage and make a decent living, (this should have been a sign for me), and actually when they fired there sales manager, me and one other person began building the sales team. This brings me to my first point:
#1: Multi-tasking employees makes inexperienced builder employees
The same person is doing multiple jobs that doesn’t seem like efficiency is part of the day to day practice. A project manager absolutely cannot run a sales team unless the builder has either no sales team, or no projects underway. A material take off, architectural drawings, engineering, permits, kill services and much more are a lengthy process if the project manager isn’t solely focused on these items. As a customer this would slow down your project, and delay your move in date if this is to be your own home.
To move along with my story on my experience with this builder we had brought in independent sales counselors, had them signed up and educated, they were bringing in leads, we then brought those potential clients to the office. We reviewed the product lines, material boards and drawings, the homeowner is excited and wanting to move in to their new home, (but we have to build it first). Sales Counselor says: “Yes Sir, we will get out there and start building on your lot right away, please just sign here”. Customer says: “Well I want to, but can I see your product first, like where is your model”?
Oh the dread, we don’t have a model, in fact not even our sales team has seen the product yet, item number 2 on what to look for.
#2 No model home from the builder
When you the client whether you are a new wanting to be home owner, or a developer in need of a builder, you have to see some sort of finished product, you want to know that appliances fit cabinets, and that there is actually a patio in the back yard, that the base board trim is not just an inch tall from the floor, and that the granite in the kitchen has a decent back splash, not always granite counters but some decent back splash at least.
And so my story ends shortly after that, the builders could not get the homes closed when we brought our clients to the office, the properties just seemed to be non-existent and we could get them to show us, even the sales team a finished product.
Other things to look for:
#3 A poorly built website with no pride put into it
A common trait that you can find with almost any good home builder, or contractor is pride in their product. They love what they do, they love the finished product, and want you to enjoy it too. A website will show that in addition to the model home, and if that builder doesn’t put much effort into portraying that in a website, they probably can’t afford to do it when they are building as well. Not necessarily a deal breaker, but something you should be looking at for sure.
Thank you for reading , I will be continuing this article next week, so be on the look out for it.