Builders work hard for every sale. They invest a lot in marketing to draw in more new homebuyers. They also invest in sales people, training, model homes and sales centers.
With all this money and attention placed on sales and marketing, why do many builders let an internal person sabotage their sales efforts? If an internal person is sabotaging the builder’s sales efforts, that person is likely to be the construction manager.
Is the home builder construction manager also the sales prevention department?
The reason that the construction manager might be sabotaging a builder’s sales efforts is multifaceted, as construction managers have a very challenging job. They have to make sure materials and labor are coordinated in order to get each home built in a timely and profitable fashion that pleases the buyer.
They are dealing with materials and all the problems that go along with the territory—problems like delivery times, shortages, incorrect orders and more. It takes a tough no-nonsense person to deal with product issues and suppliers.
Construction managers also have to manage the labor as well as the subcontractors in order to ensure that they show up on time and do it right. It takes a tough no-nonsense person to accomplish this.
The Marine-Drill-Sergeant qualities that make for a strong construction manager are the opposite of what is needed in sales and customer service. Because good construction managers are already hard enough to find, it’s even harder to find ones who can switch to touchy-feely when they’re dealing with a difficult homebuyer.
Thanks to the Internet, today’s home buyers are harder to deal with than ever before. They educate themselves about products and construction practices and can try the patience of even the most patient construction managers.
The two ways construction managers can hurt a builder are:
1. Your sales staff begins to get a bad attitude. Good sales people get to know and like their home buying customers. They don’t see their customers as stupid. If they are in close proximity to the construction manager, they may hear all kinds of nasty things about their customers.
This causes the sales people to start to look at their customers with a more negative and adversarial attitude. If the construction manager calls them stupid, then maybe they are stupid. This is especially likely to happen when the construction manager is more experienced than the sales person.
Consumers can read the body language of a builder’s staff, and builder’s don’t want them getting a negative reaction.
2. The customer is unhappy. An unhappy customer has a bigger voice today. Thanks to the Internet, an unhappy customer is much more likely to voice their displeasure online to a wide audience of potential new homebuyers. Even though it probably starts with a problem in dealing with construction management, the homebuyer takes it out on the builder. They won’t say, “The construction manager was difficult”; instead, they’ll say, “Acme Homes builds terrible homes, don’t buy from them.”
If a builder is lucky enough for a new shopper to consider them after reading a negative review, the sales team is the one who has to deal with it. If this happens frequently enough, the sales team may start to doubt the quality of the product, and no one wants their sales team to believe that they don’t build the best home.
A builder may or may not have this problem, but it is something they need to closely monitor and deal with quickly before it becomes the routine way they do business.