Monday, September 16, 2013

Working with the Gen Y Small Home Builder

Finding young contractors is hard.  Finding young contractors willing to build modular is even harder.  Not many Gen Y people are taking up the contactor sword and heading out to challenge the dragon. Many of the Gen Y builders come from family run businesses and hope to take it over sooner rather than later.

Being their own boss excites some to try being independent small home builders but not as many as Gen X and absolutely not as many as Boomers. They are social animals that follow each other’s vacation news with as much interest as they do their customer’s needs. But with that said, they were taught to be individuals that need recognition for their accomplishments.

Don’t waste their time. Stopping in without an appointment is a giant Not! This is the generation that isn’t satisfied with 5MB Internet speed, they want the 30 or even the 100MB.

Don’t try to blow smoke. They look up everything on the Web. They use the Web because they just don’t have that much experience with decision making. They want to know everything they can about modular home construction and how it benefits them and their customers. So don’t go in with your stale old sales pitch. Show them where to find information on the Internet to support your presentation and then sit back and wait for their text or email.

Don’t let your reputation get tarnished on social media sites. Gen Y builders use LinkedIn a lot to learn about your factory.

If your factory is owned and managed by Boomers and older Gen Xer’s like most factories are today, you’ve got to get over telling them about all your experience and explain to them why modular home construction is an important part of their future. If you are lucky enough to have a Gen Y builder in your fold, work hard with him/her to help recruit others. Gen Y builders love knowing that they are not alone.

How to work with young contractors:

  • Respond to emails quickly and consistently
  • Be willing to communicate regularly using smart phone, emails and text messaging.
  • Digitize your ordering, plan, quote, delivery and service requests. Don’t just send paperwork by PDF’s. Accountability can’t rest singularly on the rep’s shoulder.
  • Be willing to go to their jobsite when the house is set.
  • Demonstrate that you are eager to work with young modular home builders.
  • Ask them to join discussions and roundtables, either at the factory or by Skype or Webinar.
  • Have a legitimate, no nonsense approach to training the “new to modular” young contractor.
  • They are looking for a partnership, not just a supplier.
  • Make them a part of your organization by sending out a bi-weekly email that offers building tips, new product reviews, changes in the organization, etc, along with pictures of homes on the production line and of their homes.

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