Category Archives: Case Study

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

The New Home Company - Larry Web and Team

The New Home Company Team: (from left), Fabienne Smolinski, VP, People, Larry Webb, CEO, Joan Marcus-Colvin, Senior VP Marketing & Design, and AJ Jarvis, President, Southern California. Photo: Mike Cunningham, The New Home Company (via builderonline.com)

Who are we? and What do we want to be?

Every member of The New Home Company team asks themselves these two simple questions when they step into the office or the job site. The answers are the same: We are how and where our customers want to live. And we want to continue to be that.

For CEO Larry Webb and the management team at The New Home Company, these daily questions drive a culture that has created one of the fastest-growing public builders of the past decade. Impressive, especially for a company that incorporated in 2009.

These two questions drive The New Home Company’s culture in everything they do: across divisions of hierarchy, geography, discipline, and focus, these questions pull everyone together. They fuel the team and focus them on a common goal. They are measurable and actionable. These are the keys to authentic corporate culture in any industry – and The New Home Company is a perfect example.

Continue reading about The New Home Company’s culture via builderonline.com.

 

The New Home Company has been a Constellation partner since 2010, utilizing our NEWSTAR Enterprise software solution to manage their business behind-the-scenes. From sales management to home production to customer relationships, NEWSTAR empowers The New Home Company to communicate and manage projects across their functional teams and construction divisions. Ask us how.

The New Home Company was recently recognized in Inc. Magazine Founder’s 40: some of he fastest-growing public companies that continue to act like startups.

Join The New Home Company’s management team at the 2015 Housing Leadership Summit May 11-13 in Miami. In attendance: Larry Webb, CEO, Fabienne Smolinski, VP, People, Joan Marcus-Colvin, Senior VP Marketing & Design, and AJ Jarvis, President, Southern California. Constellation is the digital sponsor of the event, and our management team will also be in attendance – join us!

The New Home Company was recently recognized at the 2015 Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Awards. CEO Bob Mirman presented The New Home Company with “The Eliant” award for Best Overall Customer Experience for a multi-divisional builder. Constellation was a proud gold sponsor of the Homebuyers’ Choice Awards. Congratulations to The New Home Company and all the award winners.

The New Home Company rang the closing bell at the NYSE on February 5, 2015. NEW HOME (NYSE: NWHM) became a publicly traded company in January 2014.

Posted in Awards, Blog, Case Study, Customer Service, Events, Media Coverage, NEWSTAR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Evans Coghill Homes

BUILDER magazine asks Alan Banks, Owner and CMO of Evans Coghill Homes in South Carolina, how and why they chose BuildTopia to manage their homebuilding operations.

Selecting the right construction management software is a crucial but often overlooked step in the home building business. Builders often end up patching together a variety of systems to handle everything from payroll and accounting to scheduling and sales. This ends up creating extra work instead of helping the business to run smoothly.

“Now that the market is improving, we were looking to wrap [our software and processes] up in an end-to-end solution” says Alan.

Q: What should builders keep in mind when setting out to evaluate their software?

A: First off, determine why you want a change. Is it for higher profits, improved customer service, to cut down on administrative costs, or enhance staff communication? Whatever your reason, realize that there is no magic bullet–unless you are willing to write your own software, you have to fit your company’s operational needs into the parameters set by the software company.

Find the right solution by coming up with your list of non-negotiable “must-haves” and shop for those. Don’t get lost in promises that aren’t important to you or your brand. In other words, if online selections are not important to you, then don’t buy a solution because it has that feature and you believe you might use it.

…continue reading via BUILDER magazine

Learn more about BuildTopia

Request a demonstration of how our solutions can help with these goals.

Posted in BuildTopia, Case Study, Customer Story, Media Coverage, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

 

DSLD Homes Logo

DSLD Homes is one of the fastest-growing and most-profitable builders in North America, jumping eight spots on the Builder 100 list to #29 in 2012. Since 2008, DSLD has built unique high-quality homes in Louisiana and Mississippi, with NEWSTAR Enterprise powering their business.

DSLD’s successes are impressive, and stem from a solid strategic foundation and adherence to a rigid set of rules. Saun Sullivan, CEO of DSLD, shared some of his winning strategies with a large audience during the 2014 International Builders’ Show. Saun discussed five key principles that set DSLD apart from their competitors.

  1. Cycle Time
  2. Trade Partner Relations
  3. Customer Satisfaction
  4. Land Acquisition
  5. Back Office Management


CYCLE TIME

DSLD practices even-flow production, adhering to a 43-day cycle time from frame to finished product. With this strategy, DSLD starts and closes the same number of homes each week. The weakest link sets the pace of construction and timely communication with trades is key. DSLD follows this plan, even when it means reacting to changes slowly and cautiously. Opportunities – no matter how great – that do not fit the mold must be turned away.

NEWSTAR Enterprise allows DSLD to track all of this, and tightly manage construction schedules with front-line builders and trades.  Over the years, we’ve worked with DSLD to make enhancements to NEWSTAR that make this process more efficient.

“Without NEWSTAR, we could not meet these targets,” says Ryan Nash, Director of Operations with DSLD, “The more we integrate our schedules, documents, checklists, etc. with NEWSTAR, the more efficient we become.”


TRADE PARTNER RELATIONS

DSLD has made it their goal to become the builder of choice for local trades. How? Clean job sites, clear scope of work, effective scheduling, timely payments, and no back charges.

A clean job site is a sign of quality – a safe site for builders and a desirable home for prospective buyers. A well-defined scope of work combined with training videos ensures accuracy and quality of the final product – the first time. The workflow functionality of NEWSTAR Enterprise allows DSLD to keep trades instantly informed and on track. NEWSTAR’s advanced accounting pays trades on time via direct deposit, eliminating trips to the bank.


LAND ACQUISITION

Land developers are valuable partners to homebuilders. Establish solid relationships with developers, and always follow through on commitments. Homebuilding is a small world.


CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

The most important advertising is earned, not bought. Customers are your most valuable asset and must not be forgotten at closing time. Make them feel like a part of the family.

Ask your customers for their opinion! Have an unbiased third-party perform a closing survey to gauge customer reactions to their new home and the construction process. Don’t call them on closing day, or you’ll get inflated opinions from rosy-eyed customers.


BACK-OFFICE MANAGEMENT

Organizational alignment is critical to ensuring strategic success. Your back office is as much a part of the team as any superintendent. The back office builds houses too! Cross-train your team to reduce monotony, and have them visit your work sites. Bring those NEWSTAR reports to life.


Saun Sullivan will be a panelist at the 2014 Housing Leadership Summit. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the digital sponsor of this event.

DSLD Homes, LLC builds unique, high-quality homes in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Posted in Blog, Case Study, Customer Story, NEWSTAR | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit with a client and was pleasantly surprised.  The Sales Manager explained that they weren’t currently using all of the features in their new home sales system to capture all the sales information, but then she explained that they did use it for many important functions.  She explained that even though they didn’t use it to its fullest extent, it was still a very helpful tool, and she excitedly described how it recently helped her land a very important sale.

A husband and wife had come into the sales office one day and told her that they had visited and taken a look around a couple of years ago, and liked what they saw, and they were getting closer to being ready to buy.  The Sales Manager welcomed them back, and invited them to take a look around the model, and politely excused herself, saying that she needed to take care of something in her office and that she would be back in just a moment.  She rushed back into her office and pulled up their names in their CRM system, and was able to refresh her memory by reading all of the detailed notes she had recorded during their earlier visits.  She returned to her buyers, and created opportunities to work the pieces of information that she had gathered from their visits 2 years ago, into the conversation.  The prospects felt very special and thought it was absolutely amazing that she remembered so much about them.

The Sales Manager told me that she ultimately closed a sale with them, and that the prospects mentioned they were very impressed with her ability to remember them.  While she recognizes that there were many other factors that impacted the final purchase decision, she was also confident that her effort to enter additional prospect information in the new home sales and CRM system played a large role in landing the sale.

Posted in Best Practices, Blog, Case Study, Constellation CRM, Constellation Web Solutions, Customer Story, New Home Sales, Sales1440 | Comments Off