Builders Helping Builders: Fighting Goliath

Filed in Business Management by on January 11, 2015 6 Comments

businessracersBuilders Helping Builders is an interactive blog post that allows members to tap into the vast knowledge and experience of the entire Federation in one convenient location. Each week, a new question—submitted by an NAHB member—will be featured in the Monday Morning Briefing and here on the blog.

Last week, members responded to the question: What New Year’s resolutions do you have for 2015?

Stephen Robinson, of R. E. Construction& Maintenance Services, Inc., New Castle, Ind., said he plans to:

Rededicate myself and my family to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ and conduct all my affairs both personal and in business in a manner which brings glory to his name.


Here’s this week’s question: My market is dominated by large, public builders with seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. Any tips on how to compete?

To submit an answer or ask a question, post in the comments below or email communications@nahb.org.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Armando says:

    Attitude, Education, Innovation and Execution. I teach builders how to build high-performing homes, mostly zero energy ready homes, for ZERO extra dollars ($0). Most builders say it can’t be done, but there are plenty of builders that have figure a way out. Now is up to you!

    First, all starts with changing builder’s attitudes, believing that it can be done. Hire employees and contractors that have experience in high-performing houses, or at least, they are willing to learn a new way. If someone tell you it can’t be done, hire someone that CAN DO.

    Second, builders need to educate themselves, not just taking NAHB classes, which they should, but also going to IBS and other conventions, taking every class available about high-performing homes. There are many websites dedicated to educate our industry, read them and participate. There are thousands of manufacturers that offer FREE webinars and videos about their products, etc.

    Third, learn about new techniques and products. Stay ahead of your competition by offering something your competition is not. For small and custom builders, there is no way to compete in any market on price, so unless you learn to separate from your competition, all you are doing is hitting your head on the wall till it hurts.

    Forth, learn how to apply those techniques and what best products to use for your budget. Don’t be afraid to experiment, to get duty, to fail and to try it again. Use effective marketing, because if you are not selling your product correctly, you are wasting your efforts and your money.

  2. dwayne gafford says:

    I did a market study and found that over a 3 year period their (The Goliath”s) homes did not increase in value at all. But, my homes in a comparative market (price point) increased in value 8% over the same 3 year period. I point this out when I show my homes and have open house. I ask which home is a better investment.

  3. Court says:

    My advice is to fill a niche market. While the large builder can offer a great value through repetition and buying power, you can be more flexible and adaptive to meet that corner of the market that they cannot. Second, don’t worry about glossy advertising, amazing websites, etc. Big dollars and huge repletion make those possible for the large builder. Focus on the service you and your team provide and the personal involvement you have with your product.

  4. Sam says:

    My advice is to get the most talented individuals around you. If you have someone constantly analyzing the market, constantly marketing, constantly finding new land, constantly attending to everyones need then you will be successful. Although I do think it would be interesting to see what each company thinks their best strength is.

  5. Anne Ladewig says:

    Here’s a great article from NSMC’s Sales+Marketing Ideas magazine about making the most of your marketing budget:
    http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/2aa482a9#/2aa482a9/16

  6. Bill Schoen says:

    The best way to compete is to have good management processes in place. That is what the large national builders have that smaller builders almost always lack. Custom Builder Management Solutions has a great management template that fits the need.

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