We've all heard people complain about how builder's gave bad service. The most common complaints are:
"They didn't do anything for us"
"They couldn't give us a price"
"They didn't get back to us"
For building companies, particularly project builders who deal with dozens of people every day, the salesperson needs to balance people who have land, money and a design ready to go, against the "ice-cream lickers" - people who are just getting basic information.
Here are some tips that will help you get better service from builders:
1. Obtain Finance Approval:
If you walk into a builder's office with absolutely no idea about how much you have to spend, or if you can even obtain a loan, why would a builder even attempt to design a home for you? The first point of call is to see the bank and obtain finance approval.
[Tip - banks will often approve a minimal amount ie $250,000. This is an indication that they do not want to lend you money, but don't want to turn you off using them in the future. $250,000 will barely buy land, let alone a home. This amount is designed to ensure you leave the bank happy, but never get a loan.]
2. Find a Block:
If you walk into a builder's office with no land, or no idea where you are going to buy land, there is almost nothing a builder can do for you, except give you an indication of what homes would cost to build. There is no point designing a home unless you already have a block of land, otherwise the entire home will need to be changed.
3. Be Prepared:
Before building your home, you will need soil tests, contours, BAL assessment information (where applicable), copies of covenants. Obtaining all this information before you approach a builder will be a big step forward in getting great service. It shows you are prepared and ready to build.
4. Be Loyal:
We all like to compare pricing and inclusions to ensure we are getting the best for our dollar. However, jumping from builder to builder throughout the process devalues your own loyalty. If you want 100% from your builder, you need to show them you are 100% loyal to them. Do your research early, make your decision about which builder to use, and stick with them.
5. Keep in Contact:
Builders and salespeople usually make follow-up calls regularly. I have heard so many people complain about salespeople not getting back to them, only to see the salesperson explain how many times they left messages and sent emails (there comes a point where the salesperson feels they are harassing people). You need to keep in contact with your builder. Even if there are hold-ups, or you are not ready to progress, let them know.
6. Contain Your Emotions:
It is easy to get frustrated and angry during the initial process. Building is stressful. There can be mistakes made, communication breakdowns, cost-blowouts... Losing your temper, speaking badly to the salesperson, insulting employees, threatening etc only adds to any issue. If something goes wrong, look at correcting it and move on.
These tips will ensure you received great service, and possibly even a better price, when you start the build process.