Archive for June, 2009

Constellation HomeBuilder System Recognized as Constructech’s 50 Hottest for 2009

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
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Markham, ON, June 29, 2009 – Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, the largest provider of homebuilding software, is pleased to announce that Constellation was named Constructech’s 50 Hottest for 2009.

Constructech 50 Hottest for 2009 is a listing of the most influential construction technology providers with a strong and ongoing market presence.  The Constructech editorial team considered various criteria which included having a strong product/service aimed at the construction industry, customer satisfaction and growth, as well as industry outreach and educational efforts.

“The Constructech 50 Hottest honors the hard work and dedication that these exceptional companies have shown in the construction space.” said Mike Carrozzo, chief editor of Constructech.  “Though ecomonic turmoil has neen prominent and the construction market has seen struggles, this year’s winners have still found success and are taking part in th emove toward improvement in the industry.”

About Constructech Magazine

As the only publication focused exclusively on the technology needs to the construction professional, Constructech magazine division of Speciality Publishing Co., Constructech advises 30,000 unique builders and contractors in all trades within the homebuilding market on the technology, services, and automated home technology that help improve business and increase margins.  With a specialized focused in the homebuilding space, Constructech uncovers the solutions that are shaping the way homes are built.

About Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

As the largest home building software company in the industry, Constellation HomeBuilder Systems has helped more than 2,100 builders manage their information technology costs with integrated software solutions to run their business from dirt to warranty.  From planning to homeowner services, we have land development software, new home sales and marketing software, production, purchasing, scheduling, accounting, warranty, electronic homeowner manuals, and vendor portal solutions designed exclusively for the home building industry.

PCBC Day 3 Recap

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
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Day three at PCBC 2009 began with a motivating keynote by Seth Godin. His challenge to the home builders in the audience was to figure out how to build a home that will be lived in because the buyers like it, not becuase they will make a bunch of money when they sell it in 6 months. The home is more than the granite countertops, 4 bedrooms, the great room and a nice backyard.  The home needs to be part of the community and that begins with communication.  The builder needs to learn from the crowds that want to buy a home, identify a niche, design a home and a community that people want to live in, one that fits their lifestyle, allows them to live near people with shared interests, and one that people will tell stories about.  It is those stories that will bring motivated buyers into the sales office. Stories that people identify with and stories about the people that will become neighbours.  Telling stories is so much better than simply talking about how many bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, and parking spaces the buyer will have in their new home.

If you are a builder doing something different, post a comment and let us know.

Here is a picture from the event.

Seth Godin at PCBC 2009

PCBC 2009 – Day 2 Recap

Friday, June 19th, 2009
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We had another great day at PCBC 2009 and some very savvy builders visited our booth. Some were looking for home building software, some were starting new businesses, and some were frustrated with their current software partners.

An existing customer that has been using one of our systems for a long time was blown away with how much more they could be doing with our software.  They could be using scheduling better, they could be following up with leads quicker, they could be providing all their warranty materials online, they could be tracking supplier quality better, and they could be using more of our built-in reports.

As a software partner, I feel that we have let them down. They should know that we have been working hard to improve our products and provide them with tools to make them more effective and efficient.  I encourage any builder with a slight interest in wanting to do more with technology to run their business to give us a call.

I’m looking forward to Seth Godin‘s talk on Friday.  Should be fun.

PCBC Day 1 Recap

Thursday, June 18th, 2009
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Constellation had a great day 1 at PCBC 2009. We met a bunch of home builders that are just getting started or looking for ways to improve their businesses with technology. Our online home owner warranty and service guides were a hit, with a few builders learning how to reduce warranty costs, while communicating online with their new home buyers.

We had some great conversations with builders looking for integrated software systems like BuildSoft, Builder 360, NEWSTAR and FAST.  Builders are looking for sales systems as well, so it was good timing when Mike Lyon came by the booth to chat about how Constellation Sales, NEWSTAR Sales and FAST Sales are helping home builders improve their websites and prospect follow-up processes to help close more sales. (starts at about 2:45)

PCBC 2009 – San Francisco June 17-19

Friday, June 12th, 2009
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Just a reminder that we will be at PCBC (Booth 1316 South Hall) next week with several new products and enhancements for home builders. We have had a great year developing award winning software products and helping builders do more with less.

Our sales, production, and accounting systems will help builders respond more quickly to prospects, work better with trades and suppliers, build homes on time with improved quality, and reduce ongoing homeowner warranty and service costs.

See you at the show.

E-mail versus Snail Mail Communication: Best Response Rates

Friday, June 5th, 2009
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UspsletterI am frequently asked about the effectiveness of e-mail/on-line media versus printed United States Postal Service (USPS) letters for communicating important information or for soliciting a response.

While I am not claiming to be an expert in print to draw out all the comparisons, one advantage of e-mail is that it gets past the “gate keeper” who opens, sorts and prioritizes mail, in contrast to e-mail which will often get to the actual intended recipient.  In the same home you could also have multiple recipients recieving the same e-mail message directly to their desktop.

EmailreadingwomanSeveral recent research studies have describe that higher response rates were achieved among certain audiences when using of e-mail/on-line versus paper surveys.  Although customer survey responses are not a perfect analogy for determining the most effective mode for customer interaction; the studies do show a significantly higher response rate for e-mail vs. USPS when recipients are already “on-line” and have been conditioned to use e-mail as the primary means of communication with a particular vendor or service provider.

Certainly more and more home buying customers fall into this “on-line” category….but the most effective way to get a high response rate from this kind of audience is to use a combination of media…e-mail/on-line, phone and perhaps a post card or two.

Here are some helpful blog links on the subject:

E-mail versus snail mail: which ever is better for you

E-mail vs. Snail Mail: Creative Criticism

Marketing – Snail Mail versus E-mail, MoneyBlog

Direct Marketing News, Views and Opinions: E-mail