Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?

 
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:55 PM   #1
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Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


I have a meeting tommorrow with a custom home builder. He wraps up all the landscaping with the purchase of the homes. I have never worked for a builder before.

I know the most important thing to emphasis is how I plan to make him more money. I have hands down better quality work then his current guy. Its not even questionable.


I think the main thing I need to sell him on is how we can design several different plans for each home to show homeowners whats avaible out there. Then list upgrades. I think I need to make it the same process as designing a house. Pavers x amount, blue stone +xx, marble +xx. If the homeowner knows all the choices avaible I am sure they will spend more money. These are 1-3million dollar homes.


Any advice?
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


One thing to keep in mind is you will not be doing the caliber of work you have been promoting on here that you have done in the past, it almost non existant, what you specialize in is people who now live in the house and know what they want, builders don't provide that to their clients.

FWIW, keep doing what you are doing and be more satisfied, you are doing an upper end quality finished product.

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Old 08-27-2008, 06:30 PM   #3
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


If you decide to proceed with this avenue for a different style of business, I would not impress him with how much money you can make him.

What would be more important to me, as the Custom Builder.

Ask him what his biggest problems with previous subcontractors has been.

Right there, if he will be up front with you, he will provide the answers you need to key in on.

I would "Assume" that design of the projects and multiple variations to fit various budgets would be prudent to prepare for.

Knowing your options on how to build to budget or how to minimize the hit on the finances or how to dress up your projects so that they are a one and only original concept will provide your inherent Good, Better and Best scenarios, even with the builder.

How will you NOT add to his time management problems? How can you prove timeliness under pressure of sooner than expected deadlines?

How can you be his predicament solver rather than add to his mental frustrations?

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Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 08-27-2008 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Ed the last house he did in the devlopment was in the 400k range for the landscaping a pool.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:41 PM   #5
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


ed hit the nail on the head, after i hire you, get it done, solve problems, dont bother me with every small detail. keep the jobsite neat, i will write the checks, you get it done...
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:48 PM   #6
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


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Originally Posted by ruskent View Post
Ed the last house he did in the devlopment was in the 400k range for the landscaping a pool.
Ruskent,

I think your reply would be more aptly correct if you were addressing Chris Jonson's post.

He is high end and custom.

His clientelle still have varying budgets.

Does he currently source out or in house to the design wotk?

Can you? (Remember to get paid for that aspect if you get it)

How can you be the contractor that he desires to use?

Will you be the $ 400,000 lanscape and pool builder that he has to make sure you get off of another job to complete his deadline?

I am sure you are not, but how does he know? What is your strategically implemented plan to ensure his work life and customer satisfaction is 100% taken care of?

Ed
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


You guys have giving me some things to think about.

What I would really like to do is get the excavation/landscaping combo. Then dirt gets moved once. We know exactly what we are building on to minimize overdig situations. We'd like to be involved with the house placement to maximize space, curb appeal, and landscaping. I am dealing with a new construction owner builder right now that could of saved 60k if the house was 30 feet closer to the road on a 11 acer lot with a 1500 ft driveway. House placement is everything, and most of the time its left up to the engineer who doesn't look at the entire picture.


Every new house we do we end up digging down to the basement footing and bring in stone to make sure we are on a solid base. Or the patio ends up considerbly lower in 5 years. If the house was backfilled properly from the start money is safed.

Last edited by ruskent; 08-27-2008 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:08 PM   #8
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruskent View Post
You guys have giving me some things to think about.

What I would really like to do is get the excavation/landscaping combo. Then dirt gets moved once. We know exactly what we are building on to minimize overdig situations. We'd like to be involved with the house placement to maximize space, curb appeal, and landscaping. I am dealing with a new construction owner builder right now that could of saved 60k if the house was 30 feet closer to the road on a 11 acer lot with a 1500 ft driveway. House placement is everything, and most of the time its left up to the engineer who doesn't look at the entire picture.

not a great idea, imo, first of all my foundation guy likes to dig, if there is a problem , as the builder i wont have to listen to the foundation guy blaming the landscape guy who dug the hole, your doing the foundation you dig it, form it , pour it water proof it, i like one guy to be responsible. also, all that planing to prevent overdig and moving dirt once , and taking the landscaping into consideration, while its a nice idea, it usually gets tossed out the window once the mayhem begins, if you are working with a new builder / homeowner, he may be open to some of your ideas, good luck.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:22 PM   #9
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


I don't know why I think Rusket, the gross numbers fascinate you as they should. When it is the profit numbers that count.

You are way ahead of the game for a guy your age and very receptive to critique.

I could careless how much is job is worth versus how much money that job can make me.


Example I have had 100K kitchens with more profit in them than 400K house remodels.

Homeowners to me would be more profitable than work for a homebuilder so what does he have to offer you??? How much profit will you make off his jobs?

Forget the gross numbers, will he add to your cash flow or impede it.

Don't think larger gross dollars amounts translate to more profit. It sometimes equates only to more headaches and less money for the effort
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:28 PM   #10
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbsremodeling View Post
I don't know why I think Rusket, the gross numbers fascinate you as they should. When it is the profit numbers that count.

You are way ahead of the game for a guy your age and very receptive to critique.

I could careless how much is job is worth versus how much money that job can make me.


Example I have had 100K kitchens with more profit in them than 400K house remodels.

Homeowners to me would be more profitable than work for a homebuilder so what does he have to offer you??? How much profit will you make off his jobs?

Forget the gross numbers, will he add to your cash flow or impede it.

Don't think larger gross dollars amounts translate to more profit. It sometimes equates only to more headaches and less money for the effort
For some reason gross #s do excite me. LOL

I think the main reason I persued this builder is because the current guy does BAD work according to my standards. This devlopment is right in the area I do alot of work. And it bothers me to see someone do what could be very nice projects but with bad workmanship.

I acctually have pictures of houses in this devlopment in my laptop under 'bad work'. I show pictures to future clients of bad work so they understand why my work is so good.


I am young. I have nothing to do except grow the business. Maybe this will work out maybe it won't. My work is good. The only thing out there that could keep me from closing this deal is if I am substantially more then his current guy. And i might be.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:34 PM   #11
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Trust me I understand the gross numbers game. I did it for 5 years to build up credit, buying power, reputation etc. But it is a really tough game to compete in.

If your office and systems are not in place, one bad step and you are gone.

I saw the writing on the wall and scaled back from a few mil to maybe 500-750k this year.

I will make the same salary on 500-750k that I did on a few mill go figure
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:45 PM   #12
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rbsremodeling View Post
Trust me I understand the gross numbers game. I did it for 5 years to build up credit, buying power, reputation etc. But it is a really tough game to compete in.

If your office and systems are not in place, one bad step and you are gone.

I saw the writing on the wall and scaled back from a few mil to maybe 500-750k this year.

I will make the same salary on 500-750k that I did on a few mill go figure


That is impressive that you are able to have such a high profit margain.


For some reason I think going big is the only way to go. I think my work is so good I want to share it with as many people as possible!!!
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:50 PM   #13
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruskent View Post
That is impressive that you are able to have such a high profit margain.


For some reason I think going big is the only way to go. I think my work is so good I want to share it with as many people as possible!!!

So did I.

But that the spirit. I hope you knock it out the park on your presentation and make lots of money. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:50 PM   #14
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


As RSB has hinted- working for builders should probably be a different division of your company, other than the fact you are still working outside in the dirt, there won't be much similar. Why would you really want to go that route at this time? Stay with your niche and grow your niche.

Any growth in this direction will be at the cost of growth that you could be doing in your current direction.

Last edited by Mike Finley; 08-27-2008 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:58 PM   #15
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


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Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post

Any growth in this direction will be at the cost of growth that you could be doing in your current direction.


Thats a interesting way to look at it. Current direction is going go. Another good referal came in today. We got 2 good leads in the last 2 weeks. Then I got my magazine ad coming out in a Month.


I always tell potential clients that I focus on a certain type of work. And turn down all work that does not fit in that nitche. Potential clients are very impressed by the fact that I only go after a certain type of job. Turn down alot of jobs is either the smartest thing I do or the dumbest. I am not sure.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:55 PM   #16
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Rusk: only two rules for the builders I have met in 25 yrs.
1. Builder makes all the money
2. Screw every subcontractor he can and the good ones twice.
In case of conflict with rule #2 See rule #1
Just IMHO
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:12 PM   #17
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruskent View Post
Turn down alot of jobs is either the smartest thing I do or the dumbest. I am not sure.
It's the smartest.

Ask yourself this simple question - What do all of the broke dick contractors of the world have in common? The answer is they do the opposite of what you are doing.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:28 PM   #18
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


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Originally Posted by Mike Finley View Post
It's the smartest.

Ask yourself this simple question - What do all of the broke dick contractors of the world have in common? The answer is they do the opposite of what you are doing.
On the other hand I look at the companies in my market doing 5 mil a year. They take any type of job. But I guess we do not know if they are all making money.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:36 PM   #19
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruskent View Post
I have a meeting tommorrow with a custom home builder. He wraps up all the landscaping with the purchase of the homes. I have never worked for a builder before.

I know the most important thing to emphasis is how I plan to make him more money. I have hands down better quality work then his current guy. Its not even questionable.


I think the main thing I need to sell him on is how we can design several different plans for each home to show homeowners whats avaible out there. Then list upgrades. I think I need to make it the same process as designing a house. Pavers x amount, blue stone +xx, marble +xx. If the homeowner knows all the choices avaible I am sure they will spend more money. These are 1-3million dollar homes.


Any advice?
One major thought to keep in mind about doing bizz w/ a builder is that 99.99% of the time , the builder is seeking the lowest form of price combined w/ the highest point of Quality A N D Quantity .


And really does not exist.................My Opinion..when bidding ...keep in mind that the street is tight and the lowballers with no overhead , are looking to keep their heads above the water line and not drown .Which means you must KNOW when to keep away from "SILLY " numbersDont get discouraged if your not in the ballpark....9 times out of ten , the project manager is taking spanish lessons! DONT LAUGH>>>IT IS TRUE!
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:29 PM   #20
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Re: Meeting With A Builder In The AM, Any Tips?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ruskent View Post
I know the most important thing to emphasis is how I plan to make him more money. I have hands down better quality work then his current guy. Its not even questionable.
Not necessarily. The quality of your work, how well you play with others, how you conduct your business could all play a part in their decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Johnson View Post
One thing to keep in mind is you will not be doing the caliber of work you have been promoting on here that you have done in the past, it almost non existant,
Quote:
Originally Posted by skymaster View Post
Rusk: only two rules for the builders I have met in 25 yrs.
1. Builder makes all the money
2. Screw every subcontractor he can and the good ones twice.
In case of conflict with rule #2 See rule #1
Just IMHO
If I could offer my humble dissenting opinion...in my very limited experience (3 builders), it's not been all doom and gloom. Yes, they were concerned about price, but they understood quality and safety and the need for it. Not all of them are the demon that's being painted here.

Mac

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