America’s Home Builders Beginning to Market Safety and Energy Efficiency
When single family home builders talk about customer service, they focus on how to make the building process smoother, how to speak to customers so that they understand, and how to mitigate problems and delays.
Last year in a presentation at the 2015 Avid Conference in Madision WI, CR Herro, VP of Environmental Affairs at Meritage Homes, noted that the quality of the product is a customer service in and of itself.
Most developers and builders say it’s all about location, floor plan, and price, Mr. Herro says that if you get those right, then all it means is you did not screw up. And if you do not get these basics right, then the homes will not even make it to the Top 5 of a customer’s wish list.
A buyer’s core priorities emerge when 2 housed are in the same location with similar floor plans and similar pricing.
Mr. Herro cited a recent survey that showed the core buyer preferences: After ‘single-family detached’ and ‘better home layout,’ consumers said an energy efficient home is the most important aspect, beating out considerations such as new interior features, a large private yard, storage, and a bigger home.
Now, with recent innovations in building science to improve home performance, some consumers do not know what they can have in a new home, which is where Mr. Herro says builders must move to reset customers’ expectations, letting them know they can have the latest in construction technology, from energy efficiency to protections from Fire and Flood aka Safety.
“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs starts off with ‘I need to feel safe, I need to know that you’ll be there’fundamental customer service, but then it also includes, ‘I want the most I can have,’” says Mr. Herro. “And when you’re resetting customer expectations, it should be ‘I want you to take care of my family’s health, I want a better investment, I want the best thing I can find.’”
Home builders need to update the conversation around the benefits a new home can provide a family.
According to JD Power and Associates, the Top 5 reasons consumers buy green or make Green improvements is cost savings on power and heating, reduced use of water, reduced impact on environment, improved air quality, and increased home value.
Consumers, when buying a new home, should expect that an more from the builder. Safety and energy efficiency are Key.
“We want to exceed their expectations and reset what a good quality of life feels like, what should your home be able to do, what should your lifestyle be,” said Mr. Herro.
It is really all about the benefits, consumers aspire to safe, healthy living and financial gains.
To that end, builders must create awareness, validate the innovation, and show the financial benefits. If consumers are not aware of new technology and advancements in home building, they should be exposed to them, and taught them, presented all the new options and what they can do for a home’s performance.
Then shown their performance through building science learning centers that physically prove the difference between standard windows and low-energy windows.
Then, monetize the performance to prove the financial benefits they can gain. Compare energy bills between 2 homes, a standard home and a high-performance home, where one bill is $250 while your home’s is only $5.
After seeing these valuable innovations when the customers look at 2 similar houses in the same location and in a similar price range, they will realize the builder really cares about the families who will be living in these homes to live healthier, smarter, safer and better.
Live safely, Live efficiently, demand the latest building technology in your new home.