Chevrolet produces many models of vehicles and all but one has the company name mounted to the vehicle exterior or interior. But it is the most recognizable car by sight and sound. Every day at the Bowling Green, Ky., Chevrolet plant, hundreds of Corvettes roll off the assembly line as a marketable product. The Corvette design team has carefully packaged their product to cause young boys to dream about driving it and cause grown men to purchase it to fulfill their dream.
As we read and learn in this issue about how other design/build companies produced high-quality design with outstanding award winning projects, we should ask; Have they produced a marketable project? Did the sales team set up realistic, obtainable design and financial expectations? Did the design team listen to the homeowner’s needs and wants and design a project within their financial investment range? Did the production crew meet the homeowner’s needs before, during and after the project was completed? Did the sales team post-sell the project to obtain valuable information from the homeowner regarding the entire design/build process? Finally, did the project cause neighbors to come by to see it during and after construction?
The attraction of design/build for most company owners is having complete control of the design and build process. The goal of a design/build company is to obtain the referral from the next customer. Yes, I know we have to provide a great design, and build an outstanding award-winning building, but if the homeowners don’t feel comfortable referring your company, the design and build teams have wasted their time. Like the Corvette, an eye-popping project will get people to look at it and comment how beautiful the design is, and about the quality of the craftsmanship. But will that overcome the roofer whistling at the homeowner’s daughter while she’s sun-bathing? Perhaps the laborer forgot he shouldn’t use the homeowner’s toilet?
Producing great-looking projects is not an easy thing to do, and I know firsthand what it takes to make it happen. For those who are being honored and for those who are not, I congratulate the design and build teams that were involved from start to finish in producing great projects.
Your company has the ability to produce a Corvette-like finished product that can stir up people’s emotions, but how do you show it off to others? Website? Mailing? Open Houses? Parade of Homes?
Your product may satisfy people’s needs and goals, but did they enjoy the entire design/build process from start to finish?
Can you count on them to refer you to their friends and families? Did your company meet or exceed their expectations?
Winning the award is important and a great accomplishment, but at what cost are you winning and what are you losing at a greater cost?