Category Archives: Blog

It’s a visual world – develop your product from the inside out

This content was co-written in collaboration with Kim Bianchi, leading Décor Studio Manager at OPUS Homes

A home is where memories are made; where homeowners spend time with friends and family. These moments are the backdrop of a successful builder. Your buyers are increasingly sharing experiences online with builders for better or for worse. Social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and increasingly Houzz – are all giving homeowners a precise picture of the final product and service you are offering. Make your homes visually appealing – your builder product and brand will speak volumes in the market. What strategies are you taking to ensure your décor centre is assisting company growth?

Tip 1: Customize homes without sacrificing growth

Offer your homeowners the ability to add the final touches to their home’s interior. Do this in moderation. Successful builders understand that building custom homes from the ground up is contrary to scale. Allowing your homeowners to choose their interior selections involves you spending personal time with homeowners, allowing for interior finishes means you can increase the valuation of your homes sold. This too can be an opportunity and a differentiator amongst builders looking to secure a “premium” builder brand.

Tip 2: The homeowner is always right – interior décor demand is a sales opportunity

Customers need confident validation from the builder that interior décor is the right option for their investment. The trick to interior décor as a builder is to position the design studio experience as an educational session on their home. By now, if your customer is considering décor finishes, they must have already selected a house model. Ensure that your décor appointments follow guidelines of what fits best with their selected product. Smart builders give enough choices to their homeowners while strategically controlling what’s possible for each type of home model in terms of installation. Builders are also implementing online design portals based on each homeowners style and capabilities within the each selected home.

Tip 3: Get personal at décor appointments – ditch the paperwork and go digital

Décor Studio Manager, Kimberly Bianchi of OPUS Homes shares the value of an integrated design centre solution. “Design Studio Manager is easily customizable for our growing décor selections. The software provided us with an efficient and logical workflow for our appointment sessions”. OPUS Homes clients have the opportunity to access an online portal, before meeting with Bianchi to complete their décor selections, where they can view available finishes options for their particular model of home and save any “wish list items” to be further discussed the day of the appointment.  Bianchi carries a tablet around the décor studio which allows her to be mobile with her clients while she educates them on their finishing options.  She is logged onto the design agent portal and utilizes it as a tool to guide the homeowner through the décor studio’s product library. Each client takes home a detailed document of all selections added. This method provides OPUS Homes with meaningful real-time data. In the future, Bianchi is excited to implement the floor plans module which allows for digitally integrated redline floor plans that communicate back to NEWSTAR for drafting contract addendum items.

Tip 4: Integrate décor appointments to all your departments

Great software ultimately should ensure customization in a manner that is logical, that brings efficiency out of décor appointments and integrates the customer data to all other departments. OPUS Homes design studio software pushes the data out to their accounting platform for updated production costs, warranty information is logged for interior selections for possible future claims, trades are also notified and their schedules are customized so the interior selections can enter the home after the initial build so there are no damages. It is always costly when materials are installed incorrectly or worse, products must be destroyed and re-added if critical infrastructure is yet to be set up.

Tip 5: Join the décor studio expert panel on modern design studio appointments

Hear from builders how new technology is improving the design studio experience. We are hosting a free webinar with a panel of sales, marketing and design studio managers will discuss how Design Studio Manager has transformed their customer’s experience of the design studio, as well as preliminary impacts on sales of options and upgrades.

WHY: Hear 3 Builders Share The NEW Design Studio Experience

WHEN: April 25, 2PM EDT / 11 AM EDT

Register NOW

The Verdict

Interior customization in moderation can make you a more profitable builder if integrated correctly, reap higher margins and position your product as premium in the market. The right software allows options available for the homeowner that is pre-established for each home model. The right system allows your homeowner to get creative and become part of your building team. Select software that showcases your selections in a logical order that reflects the building process once the interiors are ready to enter the home. Finally, Your décor software should tie all departments back to everything that occurred at the décor centre. Accounting should have an accurate amount of the home price, the warranty department needs the selections information logged in case of future incidents, and trades need their schedules set out in accordance with the selections and the building process. Homeowners expect high-end products, a standardized décor studio process is key to meeting this demand.

Source: Custom Builder Talks Design Centers and Trends That Sell | Builderonline.com – Leah Demirjian

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Case Study, Customer Story, Events, Media Coverage, New Features, NEWSTAR | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Innovative yet practical land development and acquisition strategies for up and coming builders to meet the shortages and challenges of your market.

Acquiring land is the starting point for all builders, and is often a major issue. Regardless of size, land acquisition will dictate your volume of builds, the market size and demographic you can sell to, and can change the way you finance a new community development.

What The Experts Say

“Small to medium sized builders were crushed during the recent land depression in the recession, and a lot of their equity base is just gone so they don’t have the cash to close or the equity that is now required for a lender,” says Richard Guerard – Illinois attorney. Guerard’s legal expertise is in real estate transactions, he recommends that growing builders “compete with big builders by developing their own lots based on their specific strategy”.

To understand the effects on land development during the recent recession, also try – Land Pressure: Combating “Zombie Subdivisions”

Top 3 Land Acquisition Tricks for Rising Builders in 2018:

  1. Approach Land Acquisitions with Multiple Payments – Establish a purchasing schedule to buy the land gradually while selling homes to clients
  2. Band Together with Smaller Builders – Unite with other local builders and establish your presence and buying power as community members in acquiring land together in strategic locations
  3. Begin Small, then Build Up – Local builders have an advantage over giant production builders by harnessing local relationships – automate your purchasing capabilities as you focus on acquiring more land in strategic locations

 

To reap the benefits of these tips for land development, builders need a level of commitment to standardized work process. Bonus Tip:

  • Investment in Technology is an Investment Towards Success – these tips cannot be implemented with spreadsheets alone. Prospecting various land packages, and working with other local builders, requires an advanced land acquisition and development software solution.

The Verdict

Having the right strategy alone may not be sufficient enough to outpace the big players in the industry. Always look for innovative technical solutions for purchasing and land development. Our Land Development software – LandDev automates lot planning while integrating financial data with established enterprise resource management platforms. Investing in an integrated land development solution will take care of resource allocation and vendor contracts to maximize profits. Cost efficiency means you can start planning your next big land purchase for new communities!

Content Source: Land Strategies for Small Builders | Brian Croce – BuilderOnline.com

Join Us at The 5th Annual Real Estate Private Equity Forum

Increasingly, today’s market is about catering to millennials as first-time homebuyers, ensuring creative – yet cost-effective homes are tested and taking advantage of niche markets. Join our Director of Professional Services at The 5th Annual Real Estate Private Equity Forum. Bob Swainhart will cover:

  •         Innovations in homebuilding and condo products
  •          Appealing to the modern homebuyer
  •          Effective building strategies for cost savings
  •          Testing new home designs and taking advantage of niche markets

Event Details:

The 5th Annual Real estate Prive Equity Forum on Land,

Homebuilding & Condo Development (East)

April 10-11, 2018 | Four Seasons Miami, Miami, FL

Register here

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Constellation News, Events, FAST, LandDev, NEWSTAR | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

75 of the 2016 Top 200 Builder Use Software Built by Constellation

The Builder 100 list has been released, and we would like to congratulate all 75 Constellation customers named to the Builder 100 & the Next 100. Five of our customers joined the list for the first time – and one is in the top 100!

From D.R. Horton at #1 with 36,736 closings to GHO Homes at #200 with 120 closings, each builder deserves kudos. The top 200 builders built and closed 261,372 homes in 2015, with a total revenue of $99.3 billion.

Builder Magazine ran an article listing the 10 Builders That Increased Sales the Most Year-Over-Year, and six of those 10 builders are Constellation customers. The top three showed truly impressive numbers: AV Homes grew revenues 83.63%, The New Home Co. grew 77.9%, and UCP in its second year on the list grew 62.27%.

Congratulations again to all 200 builders named to the Builder 100 & the Next 100. Homebuilders across the country look to you for best practices and inspiration. The best part? Each of those 261,372 homes represents a family’s dream come true.

From the Constellation team – thank you.

 

Click to see the interactive graphic

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Enterprise Resource Planning from Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

 

You’re a homebuilder…

Homebuilder with too much Software

You’re great at building homes, communities, and condominiums. But the peripheral requirements of homebuilding can become a complex mess of estimates, options, upgrades, schedules, contractors, contracts, financing, cost allocations, warranties, and much more. Not to mention your trades need access to their schedule and your customers need a copy of their dishwasher warranty.

You understand this problem because you live it every day – managing the internal and external teams that are required to build a home. Our solution is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Manage your resources – people, materials, time, and money – throughout the homebuilding process with one software system.

Let’s walk through the process of building a home with powerful software:

It all begins with your customer, relaxing on the couch, browsing your available communities and models pulled right from your ERP and displayed on your website. Your prospective customer completes a form to request more information: it looks like we have an interested buyer!

Prospective Buyers at HomeA personalized, automated message invites your prospective customer to visit your sales center. Your sales team finalizes options and upgrades with the customer, and the contract is signed immediately – or at electronically from anywhere in the world.

Takeoff immediately as purchase orders are pushed directly to your approved vendors and trades. Trades access schedules, documents, and purchase orders in the field – and receive automatic notifications of any changes or updates.

Meanwhile, land developers can acquire and develop land with tight controls over schedules, changes, and costs – tracked and costed through to the completed sale.

Construction hits a milestone: framing is complete. Once checked by your superintendent, electronic payment is released, or the trade is notified of exceptions. Notify your customer to keep them excited – they will want to tell their friends!

“Welcome to your new home!”

Home is Complete!A welcome message invites the customer to one of the happiest moments of their life. Walk them through their brand new home, complete the inspection and signoff immediately.

Track your revenue with specialized accounting features for homebuilders – and dashboards to monitor the entire process.

One partner. One solution. Powerful software.

Watch the video below for the full story – then request a live demo of our software solutions. Our team of homebuilding software experts can provide a consultation of your business needs and recommend powerful software to maximize your resources.

 

 

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Data Never Sleeps - Every Minute of Every Day...

How much can first-time homebuyers afford? Where is the best state to build my next community? Are condos or single-family a better investment? How much financing do I need? What kind of kitchen upgrades should we offer?

You wouldn’t answer any of these questions without crunching the numbers, and the first step towards answers is gathering your information in one place. NEWSTAR Enterprise manages your business from sales to warranty in one software solution from Constellation.

397 actions per minute.

Every minute of the day, our customers perform 397 actions in NEWSTAR Enterprise. That’s a lot of homes being built, a lot of paper being saved, and a lot of information at your fingertips.

This is NOT a competition! Our builder management software is designed to make your life easier – not increase your click count. Powerful software manages your resources – people, materials, time and money – throughout the homebuilding process. Bringing your data into one software solution is just the beginning – making it available to stakeholders is the key to unlocking your data’s power.

At every stage of the homebuilding process, customers, developers, managers, superintendents, lenders, vendors and trades have access to the information they need, when they need it. Your customers have access to their sales and warranty information, your trades have access to their purchase orders and schedule, and your bank has up-to-date lot and community data. These are the real benefits of powerful homebuilding software.

In a world of clicks, actions and shares, powerful software makes your life easier. We’ll show you how.

3-Minute OverviewRequest a Demo

 

Sources: builderonline.com and domo.com.

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