When Austin Mac Nab was waiting for his new home to be built in Des Moines, Iowa, he was frustrated by the lack of information he got from his builder. He wanted daily updates on the progress of construction but did not always get them. Instead, he would travel to the jobsite to see for himself.
"Although I enjoyed going to my new home to see the progress, it quickly became a part-time job because I was always left wondering what's next,” he says. “I knew there had to be a better way to keep updated and benefit the builder."
This led the software engineer to talk with his friend, builder Mana Thongvanh, about how to solve the communication problem. The pair worked to found a software startup, Digmaa, to do just that. "As home builders we sometimes don't prioritize the updates to the client because we are so focused on building the home within a certain timeframe. Even if you're already great at communication, Digmaa can help builders communicate and update clients more efficiently while maximizing their exposure,” says Thongvanh.
The Digmaa system keeps clients updated throughout the home building process by allowing the builder to upload photos and videos through the different phases of the build. Buyers receive an e-mail each time new photos or videos are uploaded.
“This gives the buyer some sense of security about what is being accomplished on their home, and means less trips to the job site for them,” says Mac Nab.
Other features of the system include tools such as shared budget files, calendars, and document uploads to further keep their clients in the loop. The builder can invite employees, sub-contractors, Realtors, and other professionals to take part in the file sharing as well. Digmaa comes in three basic plans ranging in price from $49 a month to $199 a month and is available to builders nationwide.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Could a program like Digmaa help your home building business? How do you share files, photos, and floor plans with your customers? Tell us about it in the COMMENTS section below.