7 lessons learned in the efficiency shift

How technology can help homebuilders illustrate an array of efficiencies

Nikki Duke

The building plans of the future have been drawn up to include the tracking of efficiency and energy costs in the residential homebuilding process with help from technology. The efficiency of a home now has a known value before the homeowner ever moves in. As homebuilders increasingly rely on digital technologies, the transformation in calculating performance is being completed as each homeowner decides options within the home. This is one of the hottest trends in 2015 for new luxury homes.

Massive hype will be forthcoming on this topic, as the importance of looking at efficiency versus effectiveness is still developing in the building process through the application of digital technologies. Mainstream awareness is being built throughout our communities. While it seems as if digital can be applied as an adjective to every movement or trend, the methodology in which builders work (working with certifying organizations such as Earth Advantage) can lead to the transformation and creation of new business models and can create a company culture that embraces digital technologies.

Homeowner experience in the digital age requires a shift in thinking. Those who are leaders in homebuilding must prepare to move ahead of these social, organizational and technological shifts or be left behind.

There are seven lessons that I can share in becoming a fast follower regarding this shift:

1. Deliver continuing interactions. Homeowner experience in the digital presentation is not a one-time event in your main office. It’s still the sum of all good and bad interactions that drive the overall impression of how you incorporate technology into the homebuilding process.

2. Shift thinking from simple engagement to experience. So often we want to know that we’ve connected and formed a relationship with the homeowner whose house we are building, yet the data collected by the clicks and choices of our customers must be transformed into useful information throughout the whole process, not just when the homeowner decides to build a home. Analytics can help that process. Be sure to have a professional designated on your team who will help turn the numbers into something useful.

3. Be present everywhere in the process. Technology allows interactive models that should not be moving in different paths, but rather should allow for all subcontractors or project leaders to continually connect in the communication process that is driven by technology.

4. Let the homeowner take part in mapping their own process. Technology allows interactive design so that the homeowner can see choices and results, which can include updated timelines for their changes in windows, walls, floors and other areas. Energy efficiency is calculated while they make the choice. Working with a certifying organization helps this communication process become seamless.

5. Payments can interact with the multi-level steps of the building design. Identifying where you are in the building process through technology and allowing the homeowner to self-identify with progress takes the hassle out of the building process and banking communications.

6. Let the homeowner choose the delivery. How often do we “tell” instead of seek input? The delivery of decisions can be based on the locations, times and process.

7. Invest in people. This is still a relationship business. We are still building through people. Include technology discussions in every meeting.

Homebuilders are succeeding in the era of technology because it is simpler to show efficiencies in homes being built. Effectiveness is based on measuring experiences and outcomes. We don’t sell the homes we build; we are keeping our brand promise.

Nikki Duke is the vice president at Legacy Restoration and Sam Vilhauer Construction [SVC].
She can be reached at 360.852.2035 or at NDuke@LRestore.com.

For more information, visit www.LRestore.com.

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