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Is Best Selling the Best Quality?

"We're #1!" or "The Top Selling Community" are the headlines and billboards that scream for attention. If Builder X is the top selling builder, that's where you should go .. or is it? Sometimes the top seller is the national organization with the largest marketing budget and the best trained sales force. Occasionally the best selling community is the result of quality and reputation. It can be hard to know the difference, especially if you are not familiar with the area.

In Coastal Delaware, we have seen both. Back when the real estate market was hot, it seemed that every National builder was buying up the land and announcing new luxury communities. When the market came to a screeching halt in 2007, many of those builders pulled up stakes and moved out. What's the difference between a large, public national builder and a quality builder? Here are a few things I have learned:

  • Public companies have to report earnings and are quick to cut costs to show a profit
  • Large national builders almost always hire the lowest cost subcontractors
  • Pretty brochures and elegant decor do not equate to highest quality building materials
  • True energy efficiency requires more than Energy Star
  • Meeting building code is the minimum acceptable standard

Does that mean that all local builders are good and all large national builders are bad? No, but the tendency of a growing local organization is to bend over backwards for customer service after the sale. After all, the owners and management belong to the same local organizations and shop at the same local stores. You might actually run into them at the grocery store!

In summary, the advertised #1 Builder may simply have one heck of a marketing and sales organization. A reputation, however, is earned over time and takes quality and consistency.

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