In some markets, notably areas of California, designers are in position to pick and choose their builder clients. Because familiarity with each other's style saves time, costs, and headaches, many are latching onto a handful of key builders who know and trust them. What traits endear a builder to his design firm? Not these: 1. Wants extremely low contract rate.

2. Wants extremely low bid on the model.

3. Is unorganized, both internally and in the field

4. Cooperates and communicates poorly.

5. Has low regard for buyer satisfaction

6. Has low regard for the trade partnership. (To them, the tradesperson is a "sub.")

7. Pays slowly or not at all.

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Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, August 2002