Other Builder Initiatives

Welcome To The Expanded And More Robust Builder Partnerships

Our program is not just about the rebates. Builder Partnerships helps explore ways in which builders can work with manufacturers to add real value to the builder's organization, and increase both profits and customer satisfaction. Some of the other programs that we are working to develop include:

Model Home Rebates

Many manufacturers offer special discounts to builders for specifying their products in their model homes. Builder Partnerships works with the builder to pursue these special discounts or free materials that are often available for use in model homes. Manufacturer requirements will be documented and communicated to builders: these may include signage specifying their products, brand placement in brochures or advertisements, or special displays in models and sales centers.

Opportunities for Co-op Advertising

We will negotiate cooperative advertising opportunities to enable you to share the costs of your advertisements with the manufacturer associates. As with model home support, manufacturer requirements will be documented and communicated to you for implementation.

Design Center Display Rebates

Many of our manufacturer associates are interested in working with you to ensure the most favorable display of their products in your design center. Builder Partnerships identifies the specific manufacturers offering design assistance for your model homes and sales centers. We will promote the use of resources provided by the manufacturer to allow your designers to incorporate the latest in product demonstration and placement and to optimize your selection displays.

Sales Training and Selection Centers

Sales training is a well known service manufacturers can provide, but frequently, builders do not take advantage of it. We encourage our builders to invite a manufacturer to meetings with sales staff, to conduct brief training sessions. This can be done for standard products as well as upgrades. In fact, knowing your products is essential for selling upgrades and is clearly beneficial for both parties.

Joint Product Development

Builder Partnerships members are encouraged to meet with product manufacturers to discuss working together on specific product or system development programs. This is a good way to gain insight into new products being developed by the manufacturers and to enhance your leadership position in the market by offering cutting edge products. Through this program, manufacturers can also learn from builders, such as how to practically install new products in real time, and in real world situations.

Market Research Assistance

Many different types of manufacturers, including appliance, flooring, carpet, window, door, insulation, plumbing fixture, roofing, etc.; conduct consumer research and focus groups centered on their products. We work towards involving our builders by making these studies available to Builder Partnerships members. This information can help our builders make better informed decisions regarding selection of products.

Once this relationship is in place, we will encourage other Builder Partnerships members to actively participate in upcoming research programs that include questions pertaining to home production. In some cases, we may assist in assembling a builder group to do so.

Product Installation Assistance

Builder Partnerships encourages builders to work with key manufacturers on training field personnel and trade contractors on proper installation of products. Many manufacturers have elaborate installation training programs, of which builders may be unaware. Some even have certified contractor quality programs, complete with installation videos and quizzes for builders and their staff. Both manufacturer associates and builder members will benefit when key people are well trained, as it will minimize quality issues and reduce costs.

For example, a large regional builder had the manufacturer train his production staff on installation procedures. This helped the builder communicate with his contractor about proper installation; and resulted in fewer callbacks and increased customer satisfaction.

Value Engineering

Builder Partnerships promotes cooperation among its membership, both builders and manufacturers, to produce new homes more efficiently and effectively. One way to accomplish this is through the value engineering process. Many manufacturers can assist the builder by engineering framing systems to minimize the amount of framing lumber used in homes. Many builders have reduced lumber costs substantially, and provided enhanced energy efficiency by utilizing 2" x 6" framing, 24" O.C., as a direct result of a value engineering study.

Construction Visits and Technical Plan Reviews

The level of cooperation between builders and manufacturers through Builder Partnerships is unprecedented. We encourage builder members to invite manufacturer associates to visit jobsites at the time of product installation. The manufacturer can show your team any problems they may see with improper procedures. In addition, they can point out issues with any construction details that could adversely affect the performance of their product, and/or your systems.

Technical plan reviews are similar to construction jobsite visits, but have the added feature of allowing the manufacturer to review all of the builder's plans. Here, the manufacturers' technical staff reviews your plans and specs, and makes recommendations about how to improve the performance of the home and the specific product.

Public Relations Assistance

Builders and manufacturers are encouraged to work together to develop a strong partnership, and to leverage their relative strengths. For example, the manufacturer usually has a powerful and effective public relations agency which develops press releases for both builder and manufacturer, and incorporates the information of both parties. The builder promotes the manufacturers' brand in their market, and in return, can leverage the manufacturers' clout for industry publications, which can lead to more and better placement of articles in trade magazines.

Why Not Aim for A 12%+ Net Profit Return For Your Company? With Builder Partnerships on your team you can!

Charles C. Shinn, Jr., PhD