Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Four Biggest Mistakes Builders Make When Choosing a Modular Home Factory

MISTAKE #1 – You pick a factory based solely on price!
The old adage is really true. "You get what you pay for". This is especially true in the modular housing business. If you want to be a good builder you should decide to deal with a factory because of the overall value you receive, NOT because they are the lowest priced.

Here's why...
Value = Quality + Service + Price
Just like in your construction business, you hire the best people and buy the highest quality products – consequently you have to charge more for your services.
Total Value is all three. Quality, Service and Price!

The 3 most common problems YOU WILL have when you choose a factory that only offers the lowest price:
Dirt cheap modular home factories don't usually stand behind their work if there is a mistake. Sure, other factories might deliver a home for a little less money, but how will they treat you if there is a mistake with your home? To give the cheapest price, they usually have low-wage, inexperienced employees that have not been adequately trained. They also cut corners by using cheaper materials and lower quality products. You get what you pay for. The little bit of money you saved ends up costing you more in the long run. Believe me, this is a little saying you should take to heart: "The good feeling of a cheap price is long gone before the stench of poor quality is ever used up."

The lowest priced factory also tends to offer the lowest quality. Your home is YOUR IMAGE. It directly reflects on your professionalism and the standards of work you are willing to accept. If you hand over shoddy houses it rubs off on your company image. Plainly said, "Shoddy or low quality homes because of cheap price makes you look bad." No amount of savings is worth this. You've worked too hard and spent too much money to build your company image. Why throw it away for the few pennies you save on a lowball factory price?

And the third reason why choosing the cheapest factory is a problem is that you will get charged extra for things other factories normally include in their quote in the first place. You'll be charged extra for such things as additional fees, surcharges and design work.

Cheap factories will nickel and dime you to death. What seemed like a good price actually ends up costing you more in the end. This is just a tactic some factories use to get you in the door.

MISTAKE #2 – You think all factories are the same.
Every factory is different. No two factories are really the same, even the ones that have multiple factories. Every factory has a different layout and different employees who know how to do certain kinds of jobs well. Every company has a different number of employees, each with different abilities, and different lead times to complete your house.

Factory home building is art, science and craftsmanship combined. Most people who buy houses don't truly understand that despite all the technological advances, factories still use a lot of the same techniques as thirty years ago.

Contrary to what a lot of builders think, factory construction is not just running lumber through an assembly line. It takes craftsmanship to turn out quality homes. You must have great design and organization before you build. Factories then have to adjust scheduling, purchasing, line moves and purchase materials before they can send a home to the production line. Then, they have to do all the finish work such as cutting, fitting, wiring, drywalling, plumbing, trim, wrapping and shipping.

MISTAKE #3 – You always have three or more factories competing with each other for your homes.
You may think this is a good way to do business. And it is to some extent. But here is why it usually isn't a good way to deal with factories.

A good factory has enough loyal builders that they don't have to deal with price shoppers.
Once you find a good factory, you must be loyal to them. If you flip-flop from factory to factory, a good one won't be motivated to keep YOU as a customer.  Price is important. But price should not be more important than good quality and good service.

Every modular home factory sales rep expects to bend over backwards for their loyal customers now and again. He or she might have to work all night, quote a super rush job, or pull off a miracle. Provided the builder is loyal, the factory rep will do all he can to help you meet the builder’s demands.

All good factory reps will be loyal to you if YOU are loyal to them. Loyalty doesn't come instantly but is built over time. It's like a savings account…if you add to it continuously, it will be there when you need it.

MISTAKE #4 – You don't give your factory enough time to do your job properly.
Mistakes happen when you rush!

When you're in a hurry, you may forget to tell your factory rep certain instructions. Or you might make a mistake on your original floorplan because you were concentrating on getting it done, instead of getting it done right.

Before you work on quoting your next home, talk with your factory rep. Get your factory involved from the beginning because there might be a more efficient way or cost-saving way to finish your project on time that you don't know about.

You can save time, money and headaches from the very beginning by communicating with your factory!

Why do most people do the opposite of this and wait until the last minute to talk to the factory? Because everyone takes the factory for granted. Everyone thinks the factory can easily take care of their work. Most everyone thinks the factory is sitting around waiting for their job to come through the door. This isn't the case.

You should think of your factory and factory rep as your "project partners". Consult with them. Let them know in advance what your customer wants. Ask them if there are any tips they can give you to make this project go smoother.

You are not the only builder your factory has. When you walk in the door saying you NEED IT NOW, a factory can't always help you. You need to work together.

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