In today’s competitive market, builders must differentiate their products and services—both from their competition and within their own portfolio—in order to be successful.  From overall home styles to floor plan options to interior design selections, more choices from a builder mean more opportunities to attract diverse home buyers.

With this in mind, the most successful home builders continue to get creative in how they appeal to prospective consumers, ever aware of shifting home buyer preferences. Buyers are fickle, design tastes change, and style preferences vary from consumer to consumer. That’s why partnerships between home builders and their manufacturers are so valuable—a company that can offer a vast range of styles and price points gives the builder a major selling point with new homeowners: choice.

Savvy builders maintain relationships with mortgage companies, contractors, designers and agents that buyers can use, thus increasing their own value in a buyer’s eyes. Likewise, providers of home decor, cabinetry, flooring, wall coverings and fixtures can all offer the opportunity to add value for the builder.

That’s true now more than ever, as design is playing an increasing role in the new-home construction and buying process. According to a 2012 study from Consumer Insights, design is running neck-and-neck with location as the most important consideration for consumers when deciding to build a new home.

Offering Increased Style and Choices

Large home builders can sometimes be characterized as “cookie-cutter”; providing choices that enable customization and allow buyers to make a home their own sets builders apart. A true supplier partner works with home builders to provide a variety of upgrade options, making it simple for buyers to achieve a one-of-a-kind look that reflects their lifestyle and design preferences.  

To provide valuable assistance, the best manufacturer partners make an effort to constantly gather insights from those who buy, use, and install their products, and they closely examine the needs and wants of both consumers and the trade. Across their product portfolio, these brands will work to deliver the best possible combination of innovation, useful features, and value.

In model homes and design centers, a supplier's commitment can really shine. A good supplier will assist in updating decor, finishes, fixtures, and furnishings on a regular basis to ensure the model home reflects current trends and consumer desires. Suppliers with stellar support networks will aid home builders and their interior design teams by providing additional literature or the latest products for display in the design center quickly.

By displaying innovative products—those that not only provide consumer-pleasing advances in finishes and functionality, but also make it easy to incorporate new technology into the home—builders demonstrate that they are progressive and forward-thinking. Furthermore, physical interaction with the product or technology is a key driver in selling upgrades to the home buyer. By giving potential home buyers the opportunity to get a feel for the most innovative solutions available, builders propel enthusiasm for the selection process.

A Profitable Partnership

The net result of all of this is profitability. Part of that relates to a supplier and home builder partnering for a common cause: delivering satisfied buyers. But profitability also extends to getting buyers to consider options to enhance their new-home upgrades. Offering a variety of styles, combined with quality, innovation and value, will make buyers more willing to invest into the design of their new home.

When considering the right partners, home builders should look for suppliers who simplify the design and specification process with the right portfolio of offerings. The best suppliers will provide benefits in terms of support, resources, and profitability that remain unmatched.