The Housing Chronicles Blog: March column for Builder & Developer now online

Friday, March 18, 2011

March column for Builder & Developer now online

My column for the March 2011 issue of Builder & Developer magazine is now online. For this issue, I reviewed how the nation's builders continue to improve the quality of their products and services to home buyers. This is crucial in order to compete against both heavily discounted foreclosures as well as fairly new homes they themselves built just a few years ago. In fact, the results from the 2010 JD Power survey were the highest since the company started covering new homes in 1997. An excerpt:

During the boom years in new home construction, by far the largest challenge to builders was maintaining build quality and customer service to a dramatically larger customer base – an issue which continues to hit the bottom line of some the country’s larger builders with increased costs to address warranty issues and defects. But as boom turned to bust and new home starts plummeted, builders refocused on improving their entire production chain to great effect.

According to the most recent J.D. Power & Associates survey in 2010, customer satisfaction with home builders has risen for the third year in a row to 826 on a 1,000-point scale – the highest level since the study was started in 1997. The 2010 survey was based on responses from over 16,400 buyers of newly built, single-family homes in 17 different markets. Most buyers had lived in their homes for four to 18 eighteen months.

Not surprisingly, the most important takeaway from the survey was that those builders who actively listened to what customers wanted and were sincere about building ongoing relationships have endured the best. Alternatively, those companies which lost this consistent focus either had to scale back operations or leave the marketplace entirely...

Click here to read the entire article.

Click here to read the entire magazine in digital format.

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