Luxury Home Construction Executive Dean Buescher Shares 4 Ways Builders Can Differentiate in a Competitive Marketplace
The home building industry is highly competitive, and builders are realizing — or have already discovered — that if they do not focus on differentiating their brand and offerings, then they will end up being perceived in the marketplace as a commodity. And when that happens, all that buyers care about is getting the lowest price possible, which for builders is a race to the bottom.
According to acclaimed luxury home construction executive Dean Bueschner, who is currently the manager at Vintage Estate Homes in New Braunfels, Texas, here are four ways that builders can — and frankly, must — work to differentiate themselves in competitive and crowded marketplace:
1. Be obsessed with homeowner experience.
It is not enough for builders to merely pay attention to homeowner experience. They must be obsessed with it and make it the guiding principle that informs their strategies, processes, programs and workflows.
Dean Buescher: “At Vintage Estate Homes, ensuring a positive homeowner experience starts from the first touch point, and continues well beyond the transaction. To build loyalty and generate invaluable referrals and recommendations, we provide white glove service that cultivates and elevates customers into enthusiastic brand ambassadors.”
2. Have an outstanding website.
Many builders — including those that build multi million-dollar luxury residences for highly sophisticated buyers — have mediocre, or just plain amateur and in some cases awful websites. This is a major mistake and, in many cases, a fatal flaw. Dean Buescher states that websites must be carefully designed to give buyers what they want: clear information, stunning photos, and a solid sense of the professionalism and values they can expect from working with a company. A website is an extension of a brand and is often the first impression that a potential customer has about your company.
3. Identify and own your niche.
Some builders — particularly newer ones — struggle to articulate and convey their brand signature, simply because they don’t yet have one. Instead, they try and be all things to all buyers, which is like a one-size-fits-all shirt: it doesn’t end up fitting everyone well enough. Builders need to clearly understand their strengths and core value propositions, and then deepen their expertise with every new build.
Comments Dean Buescher: “Our company is renowned for homes that use fine quality building materials and reflect exquisite attention to detail. This reputation wasn’t built overnight, and there have been ample opportunities over the years for us to change direction and generate some significant short-term wins. However, we have always remained true to our core values, which has enabled us to create a great deal of brand equity. Our name is our most asset.”
4. Hire and retain the best people.
While technology is obviously a massive piece of the puzzle, ultimately the ability to differentiate and build relationships — not just with homeowners, but allied professionals such as real estate agents — boils down to hiring and keeping the best people. According to Dean Buescher, builders need to find professionals who are wired to lean forward and over-deliver, a dedicated workforce will continue to improve their craft and will raise the bar daily.
Dean Buescher’s Final Thoughts
Differentiating your business is an essential practice that all successful companies do, regardless of the industry. Home building is extremely competitive, which means that businesses must be excellent at showcasing what makes them unique and worthy of a customer’s business. Dean Buescher believes that the best practices for home building businesses to differentiate themselves are to be obsessed with homeowner experience, have an outstanding website, identify and own your niche, and to hire and retain the best employees. Implementing any of these practices will help to differentiate your business, but the most effective strategy is to master each of these practices.