DANIEL ZINMAN, GENERAL manager for Markham, Ontario–based Constellation HomeBuilder Systems' new BuildSoft group, is quite aware of what he's up against in reviving the old guard software brand.

“When we acquired the company from HomeSphere last December, we also acquired a group of unsatisfied customers,” he says.

Recognizing that BuildSoft customers had waited five years for some action, Constellation gained some good will in March by publishing a newsletter and releasing a patch that made BuildSoft run more efficiently on Windows XP and included enhanced job cost and accounts payable reports. Additional newsletters and patches will follow later this year.

“We also launched an online client care center where we published a list of FAQs—something so simple that was never available,” says Zinman, who explains that Constellation aims to position BuildSoft for companies building less than 75 homes a year.

Anne Lodes, an accountant and technical support person for The Meyer Co. in Chesterfield, Mo., says even the modest fixes are a welcome change.

“Within six weeks of acquiring BuildSoft, the new owners sent out a survey and I thought to myself, ‘here we go again,'” she says. “But I'm impressed. Not long after that, they sent out the newsletter and the first patch,” she explains, adding that even if the updates are small, it's far better than the past five years of little or no development and poor communication. “My hope is that we've weathered the storm and are ready to move forward now,” Lodes concludes.

Constellation is planning a BuildSoft user's conference in Las Vegas this October. Visit www.buildsoft.com for more information.