Don't Let your Home Building Business Be Sears in an Amazon World

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How does a business compete in a fast-paced world of giants? Does it seem as if the world is turning faster these days? Certainly digital communication and rampant technology advances have made it all easier in some ways, but buyers are more demanding. They want more transparency and require constant communication and immediate response. 

There are lots of new ways to do business. There are also many new things to worry about.

But let's analyze what's happening.

Some Business Principles Remain Constant

There's a reason some decades-old businesses fall on hard times, just as there are reasons for the success of newer, rapidly-expanding ventures. At the heart of it all, success is measured in terms of both product excellence and excellent service. But customer loyalty trumps everything else. Those firms that adapt and respond to changing needs write their own success stories for the future. Being in the forefront of change may be dazzling, but shooting stars shine brightly for just a moment. Businesses must be built on customer satisfaction, and from that continuing satisfaction comes lasting loyalty.

Some firms manage to seize on the opportunities inherent in new ideas. Others continue down the path of "business as usual," and once-loyal customers move in another direction. Online shopping, quick response and delivery and almost instant gratification are the hallmarks of a new age, exemplified by Amazon. While Sears pioneered the concept of catalog shopping and home deliveries, Amazon has lifted it to new heights. But it involved some false starts, several detours, and much risk.

Today's building professionals -- especially home builders --  must also adapt to new ways in order to attract new buyers. In our connected world, being a part of the larger community and the connected marketplace through social media and greater "transparency" with clients is vital. Eschew those shared experiences at risk of becoming outdated and irrelevant.

The New Year's Promise

As we count down to the new year, it is only natural to look ahead to the changes 2018 will bring. Here at Aterra, we believe we are on the path to greater achievement. More alliances with architects, designers, builders, electricians and other trades bring us additional contact with new home buyers. The benefits accrue to all. We are better able to assess buyer desires and to respond to those needs; we can communicate them to architects and builders. We learn from designers and manufacturers about what's new in technology; we modify our electrical designs to conform to those requirements, and we communicate the nitty-gritty details to the electrical contractor who assures that the wiring is done right.

That's the promise of 2018! 

There are some pitfalls as well, and "bigness" may be one of them. But it is a fact of modern life. If, as at least one builder has indicated, that bigness is to become reality during the coming year, we want to be a part of writing that story. How about you?

When the home is completed, the new buyer has every right to expect that "Alexa" will respond to every request that is issued. And, by working together -- all of us -- from the time when the home was just a jumble of lines on the computer screen, we make it reality.

There may be too much of a tendency to compare the business models -- and the recent successes and failures -- of Sears and Amazon based on the personalities of their founders as well as the business strategies they employ and the money they throw at new ventures. But it's also fascinating and enlightening.

As this year ends, all of us at Aterra move on to exciting times, and we look forward to an interesting future, continuing alliances, much success, and satisfied customers!

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