A panel of leading home builders on the forefront of innovation has been assembled by the NAHB Research Center to obtain customer feedback on new products and services still in development. This new Product Review Panel is a quick, cost-effective benefit to manufacturers and developers who want a reality check on the merits of their products or concepts before undertaking further development.

Initially, a sponsoring manufacturer or developer decides how many home builders should be on the panel to obtain the best results. This could range from 20 to 100 participants. The sponsor also sets the geographic or demographic criteria for the reviewers.

A detailed description and any relevant drawings of the new product or service are then submitted to the Research Center, and a panel is invited to participate. An open-ended questionnaire is posted on the Research Center’s Web site.

As potential customers, the home builders review the description and drawings of the new tool, machinery, equipment, or service and provide feedback. When the desired number of reviews is received (typically within a week), the panelists’ comments are checked for completeness and forwarded to the sponsor.

As a result, the producers receive insight on possible product refinements and market strategies prior to spending time and money on extensive development.

The questionnaire, based on the Research Center’s experience in new building product commercialization, usually contains 10 questions on topics such as:

  • problems solved by the new product or service;

  • likelihood of market acceptance;

  • possible design improvements;

  • potential code issues and barriers;

  • acceptable pricing;

  • most favored applications of the technology; and

  • tips for marketing, dis-tribution, installation, and support.

Panelists must maintain confidentiality for the product or service they are reviewing. The Research Center pays panelists a fee each time they participate.
Contact the Research Center for additional information at 800-638-8556 ext. 6310.