The #1 New Home and Remodeling Sales “Killer” and WHAT You can do to keep it happening to you

Have you used it too?

I was reading a comment to a question posed on the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and saw a response that blew me away. As I gave my response, see below, I wondered how many home builders, remodelers and new home sales specialists have uttered this response too. If you have, my friend, the end may be near…

This was the question…

“We’ve all heard the phrase ‘it’s the economy

stupid’. But is it really or have we all created

some of our own hurdles to overcome as well. If

so what?”

This was one response…

“We all contribute to the state of the economy, and as consumers we are now keeping us in this situation by expecting to pay 30% less for everything we want. We need to be willing to pay a fair price for goods and services; until we do, companies will not be profitable, which means they will not grow; hire or spend money.

I actually heard someone say that they thought they had been ripped off last year because they paid more for something they bought again this year for less. 30% is the difference between just paying the bills and being profitable for many businesses. Offering huge discounts cannot go on for ever; it is not a sustainable business model.”

Here is the answer (I believe) we all need to hear but don’t want to…

Actually offering huge discounts is a sustainable business model- and the largest company in the world, Wal-Mart, uses it. I’ve studied Wal-Mart (read the Wal-Mart Effect and Made in America for an in-depth look at this company ) and have followed them through this recession. They’ve been able to maintain sales (and grow) plus keep their margins.

What we all need to realize, as consumers, is that we seek out the cheapest reliable alternative. As soon as we find a company that will provide a “commodity” product or service (think Wal-Mart) that we feel is reliable, we look to pay the cheapest price.

I’ve found that most remodelers and home builders believe what they do is special simply because their name is part of the company. The fact is consumers don’t see the distinction and many markets have a lot of very good remodeling/home building companies to choose from. When consumers find 3-4 “reliable alternatives” the point of differentiation is price.

Many products and services we’re 30% overpriced in years past because the market didn’t challenge us to innovate (plus money was cheap and people thought they couldn’t go wrong putting it into real estate). If you think consumers will go back to paying 2006 prices just because they want to make sure your business turns a profit- you better get in the bread line.

The only way to make our margins and grow our business in this economy is to be the “orange”. That is, provide a product or service that can’t be compared to the “apple” competitor. Specialists always make more in every industry.

Example: One of my clients opened up a specialty business that focuses on providing high design, high service remodeling projects in a 10 day period. Through simple internal innovation, they reduced the project time by 66%, cost by 58% and increased margins by 5%.

Most design/build firms don’t want these small projects and out of work builders can’t provide the service and design appeal these customers demand. It’s a niche. Not every consumer wants it but those that do make their choice based on factors outside of price.

If you can’t explain your market position/unique selling advantage to your prospects in one sentence you will always be compared to the cheapest reliable alternative.

To answer the original question, how many remodelers and home builders are as good at marketing as they are at building? If we’re going to make it in this economy it’s up to us. “If it is to be it’s up to me!”

Unless the remodeling and home building activity in your market has gone to zero, every remodeler/home builder has the opportunity to position their companies to take a part of that market. Many old markets HAVE dried up but just as many new ones have opened up.

Get some great ideas on how to do this from my free e-guide, 6 Secrets to Maximizing Your Sales in Any Economy Revealed. Click here to download it>> (it’s free!)

Prosperous times conceal genius. Adverse markets reveal it. Now go out and make it happen!

Happy Selling!


Rick Storlie has been helping home builders and remodelers reach their sales goals since 1992. Visit to get your free e-guide 6 Secrets to Maximizing Your Sales in Any Economy Revealed