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Business Advisor

Position Yourself as an Expert Eco-Builder: Deliver Great Value

7 steps to successfully setting yourself apart from the pack

Rapid changes in the residential construction industry are providing new profit and diversification opportunities for builders. Those who see and understand these opportunities can position themselves as experts in the field and provide exemplary service to gain an important edge in the marketplace. Knowing where you stand in relation to your competition is paramount. Educating and communicating that position to prospective customers is equally important.

Part 2 of a 7-part series

2: Deliver great value

Make it easy for customers to put you on a pedestal. Focus on the baseline specifications that will resonate with your ideal customer. Create a concise and easy-to-read list of the construction specifications, highlighting the benefits that your ideal customer wants. This is why it is important to understand your ideal customer; you cannot tailor information to everyone, and once you know whom to focus on, the rest is easy.

Review your specs, and make sure they provide value relative to your competition. For example, radiant-barrier roof decking is great, but if it is a common building practice in your market, consider other differentiators.

Keep your specifications list concise. Go through every one to make sure it belongs on the list. A list of 20 specifications that makes you the world’s greatest builder will be hard for any prospect (or salesperson) to remember. Condense your checklist to five to eight “Super Specs.”

Study what others are doing to distinguish themselves from the rest of the builders. Pulte Homes, for example, installs displays in its model homes that help homebuyers understand the value of a high-performance home ( Because your prospects may not fully understand the benefits of your baseline specifications, don’t just list features; explain the benefits.

Green certifications are important and valuable specifications for homes you build or remodel. Check with your local homebuilders association to see what green building programs are available in your area. Study the National Green Building Standard created by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the International Codes Council (ICC). Educating your prospects on any green building programs that you employ will help them further appreciate the benefits you offer.

Many builders do not realize that they are already exceeding minimum standards for green homes. Find a certification program that fits your construction practices, and get your homes certified. Don’t forget to include any professional designations you may have earned, such as NAHB’s Certified Green Professional. This shows you have gone through training and that you stay abreast of green building practices. Magnify the value of the things you put into your homes and the efforts you personally make to keep up with your professional education.

Next week: Listen to your customers

Last week: Identify your ideal customer


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