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Archive for May, 2011

Nothing to Fear

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

 Do you know what most often hinders the success of a new-home project? Fear. Fear of the unknown, of unscrupulous contractors, shoddy materials, of somehow getting caught in a money pit and ending up holding the bag.

This high-level of concern is understandable. Often our clients’ home is their largest single investment. For many, this is their first experience building a home. And for all there is a lot to learn about new home construction.


As professional builders, we understand and respect our clients’ concerns. Our job is to demystify the building process, help our clients identify and understand their concerns and overcome them quickly and confidently.

In addition to being good listeners and problem-solvers, professional builders operate on solid business principles and practices that alleviate the majority of what clients often fear about the homebuilding process, including:

Reliable partners. We seek out, work with, and retain top-quality subcontractors and materials suppliers. Our trade partners possess similar philosophies and approaches to running a successful business and are committed to the same high level of construction quality and standards. This helps mitigate disputes, foster cooperation and produce better-built homes.

We constantly review our trade relationships to ensure that their pool of subs and suppliers consistently delivers high-quality work at a fair price. That diligence protects your investment and helps remove the fear of poor workmanship and unreliable performance.

Record keeping. The best builders are diligent (some say obsessive) about documenting their new-home projects to make sure costs, schedules and progress align and meet their standards of quality and those of their clients.

For the same reason, professional builders demand similar diligence and reporting from their trade partners — not so much to keep them in line, but more to enable their own accounting processes to be complete, accurate and current.

As such, professional builders can present completely transparent and reliable reports at any time to their clients to ease concerns about whether their new home project is on track.

Protection. People having a new home built for them are often afraid that they’ll somehow be on the hook for unpaid work or materials once the job is over and their builder has moved on to his next house. It’s a legitimate fear and an all-too-common reality.

These concerns are easily managed by professional builders. As part of their standard business practices, they pay their bills on time and only from each project’s budget. In addition, they routinely collect lien releases from their trade partners upon satisfactory completion of their work.

Collecting lien releases on a timely basis (as the project progresses, not just at the end) removes the chance that a subcontractor or materials supplier will make a claim for payment against a new home; in fact, the best builders provide copies of those lien releases so that owners can rest assured that the bills have all been paid.

Sophisticated builders practice “fear management”. They take a professional approach to their business and are sensitive to the concerns of their clients. They help clients manage any anxiety from project inception through final walk-through. The key, as always, is communication. Helping clients manage their fear goes a long way to keeping communication lines open and promote a satisfying experience for all.

 Brian Gentry – Landed Gentry Homes & Communities

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