Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Career in New Home Building Awaits You!

It seems like every modular home builder views themselves not as an entrepreneur or being in the building profession but rather as someone with a career.


Being a new home builder, either as a site builder buying raw materials from the local Lowe’s,as a prefab builder having all the wall panels, trusses and floor panels delivered to the job site or being a modular new home builder, means you have chosen a career in one of the last industries where you totally control your future.

So why do I say a “career” and not profession? The definition of career is the progress and actions taken by a person throughout a lifetime, especially those related to that person's occupation.

That defines almost every new home builder I’ve ever met. Their business grows through their personal dedication to learning every aspect of constructing a new home. Years of going to work where each day is a different learning experience.

I was a new home builder before I went to work for Champion’s Genesis brand as a sales rep. Even though I wasn’t actually building new homes myself I was able to understand the builder’s needs and help those builders that chose to use modular construction methods to build homes for their customers.

The transition to becoming a new home site builder usually follows the same path for all builders. They work for a site builder after school or college, worked hard to learn all facets of home building as they went from laborer to foreman and probably moved into management. At that point they might be ready to strike out on their own.

A good career path for them to become a site builder.

But what about those whose career path started in management and after a few years realized they were never going to do anything to advance in that company? Or maybe you were a Veteran returning home after 3 tours in the Middle East like my son with no training in real world occupations or a Real Estate agent looking to become a new home builder and not just selling everyone else’s house. There are so many people looking for a career in something who wouldn’t consider new home construction as the next step in building their future.

And that’s one of the best kept secrets of modular housing. A career in building modular homes doesn’t require quite the same skills as the site builder who must do everything themselves or pay someone to do every single part of building a home.

We’ve all heard that 70% or more of the finished home is completed in the modular factory and the modular home builder is more a management and sales professional than they are a true site builder.

That 70% only refers to is how much of the finished home, from the sill plate up, is completed on the factory’s production line.

The sales part of both the site builder and modular new home builder from the first meeting to ready to create a floorplan is very similar in both time and knowledge. The sales side is both the hardest part and the usually the quickest part of the process. What happens after that is where the site builder and modular home builder take slightly different paths to the finish line.

One of the most often overlooked aspects of being a modular home builder is freedom. Let me explain.

If the actual sales part of the process is the same for both, the next stages take completely different paths for the majority of what's left to accomplish.

Site builders have to become involved in all aspects of the entire house from creating working floor plans to take-offs through ordering materials, coordinating subs for every single part of the home and code inspections for every stage of the home.

Meanwhile the modular factory takes on a lot of those responsibilities normally assigned to the site builder. Plan drawings, inspections, ordering materials including those nasty special orders every customer seems to want and of course building up to 70% of the home.

I hear a lot of modular builders complaining about how long it takes for their modular factory to process and produce their homes and honestly it really does seem like a long time but would you, as a builder, rather spend your time doing all those tedious chores your modular factory does or would you like to use that time for scheduling appointments and selling a couple more new homes?

This secret is missed by a lot of people when they decide it’s time to start a home building career.

A career as a modular new home builder is not without problems but through training and help from the factory or franchiser, you will soon realize the freedom modular construction can bring to your business.


Gary Fleisher is a housing veteran, editor/writer of Modular Home Builder blog and industry speaker/consultant. Contact modcoach@gmail.com

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