Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Constellation OnLocation-Warranty Video Posted

Friday, October 15th, 2010
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We just put the finishing touches on the latest OnLocation-Warranty customer experience video.  The video describes our mobile solution for paperless PDI, inspections, and warranty walkthroughs.  Home builders can capture electronic signatures on a tablet device and immediately send deficiency information to the back office system in real-time to create a work order and process backcharges with fewer errors in less time.  Additionally, the signed customer copy is archived in the system for all authorized users to see. This new home warranty and customer service walkthrough software solution for homebuilders is available for NEWSTAR Enterprise.

Constellation OnLocation-Warranty Highlighted in Constructech

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
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We have known for a long time that warranty and customer service are extremely important aspects of the home building process.  Constructech highlights this with an article about the benefits of using technology to reduce the time it takes to resolve home owner PDI and customer service issues.  Specifically, home builders can use OnLocation-Warranty to easily track deficiencies and create work orders in a paperless process.  Combined with a powerful back-office system, deficiency tracking and supplier/trade quality control comes to life as well with detailed reports and the ability to backcharge easily. The result is an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and improve quality in the eyes of the home owner.

Join the Customer Experience Discussion

Thursday, September 9th, 2010
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Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is pleased to invite you to our first Customer Experience Discussion webinar on September 22nd at 2:00 PM EST.

– Click on the enroll now link to register

This webinar is an open forum discussion for you to share your ideas with several key benefits:

  • Learn how other builders improve the customer experience and increase referrals
  • Learn how different customers perceive quality (trades, home buyers, and employees)
  • Expand your network by connecting and building strong relationships
    with other home builders

Host and Speakers:

  • Brad Brickman, General Manager of Constellation BuildSERV
  • Chip Pennington, Director of Customer Services at Shea Homes
  • Brooks Powell, Home Advisor, Powell Custom Homes & Powell Renovations
  • Charlie Scott, Partner at Woodland, O’Brien & Scott
  • Craig Schweikart, Professional Consultant

Additional Online Resources:

In addition to this online webinar, a new online customer experience discussion forum has been created.  We encourage customer service professionals to login and share best practices and real work experience.

Constellation 2010 Virtual Customer Conference

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
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We have a great virtual customer conference planned for May 10-14th.  This is our largest virtual customer conference ever with over 30 sessions, guest speakers, industry experts, Constellation staff and many opportunities for builders to learn from their peers.

We’ll cover many recent enhancements in our home building software solutions and offer product training sessions as well.  For a detailed agenda and registration information, please click on the link below.

Register Now

Shea Homes Selects Constellation BuildServ’s Ownership Guide To Boost Customer Satisfaction To Higher Levels

Monday, December 14th, 2009
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Markham, ON, December 14, 2009 – Constellation HomeBuilder Systems, the largest provider of software for home builders, helps Shea Homes of Walnut, CA boost customer satisfaction to higher levels in 2009 by helping them monitor and improve the new home buyer experience from contract to warranty.

Constellation BuildSERV’s Home Ownership Guide, the 2009 Innovative Housing Technology Award Winner, is used by Shea Homes to enhance home builder-to-home owner communications using  content management services, online messaging and warranty management software solutions throughout all phases of the new home construction process to keep new home buyers informed and engaged both during and after construction.

In the recent 2009 J.D. Power New Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study reveals that customer satisfaction and new home quality has improved dramatically from 2008.  Shea Homes, Walnut CA performance in this survey was enhanced and strengthened through the company-wide implementation of BuildSERV Ownership Guide.   Shea Homes ranks 1st or 2nd in customer satisfaction in all 5 markets where they competed (Phoenix, San Francisco Area, Denver, Inland Empire, and Orange Co/San Diego), and ranks highest in Shea Trilogy Active Adult communities where they compete in 6 U.S. markets.    Year over year, Shea Homes places in the Top 10 for number of homes built each year with approximately 2,400 homes being sold this year.

Shea Homes expanded their commitment to utilize BuildSERV throughout their 11 regions with built-in milestone notification e-mails and web-based appointment scheduling.  Shea Homes expanded from 3 to 11 regions for three principal reasons.  Firstly, BuildSERV helps Shea Homes internally by allowing everyone to upload, share and collaborate regarding the same documents and information for consistency and unification of their branded image in all locations.  Externally, they’re able to proactively communicate with home buyers using milestone-based messaging and appointment scheduling to keep homebuyers informed and positively engaged.  Secondly, Shea Homes tracks and monitors home owner activities and warranty performance with activity timeline reports giving them a clear picture as to how the home owner is learning and using the system while helping Shea Homes meet their legal obligations.  Finally, the implementation process is quick, easy and cost effective so they save time, money and resources.

Once BuildSERV is delivered to the home buyer by CD ROM, web or e-mail, Shea Homes receives campaign management results with reporting on recipients who’ve received, responded to and are using their information and services.  “In essence, instead of delivering the Home Owner’s Manual as a paper 3-ring binder that gets shelved, BuildSERV delivers twelve copies of their Manual electronically during their first two years in their home using BuildSERV’s milestone messaging and web-based Home Ownership Guide”, Chip Pennington, Corporate Director of Customer Service, Shea Homes.

“The next generation of home buyers are expecting more information online, and BuildSERV delivers the effective communication tools they’re looking for with a comprehensive, web-based Home Owner Manual, providing quick and easy access to regular updates about their home and enhanced information services to create better home buying experiences,”

- Robb Pigg
Corporate VP Operations
Shea Homes

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the largest home building software supplier helping builders manage their information technology costs with cutting-edge, integrated software solutions to run their businesses more effectively.   Constellation continues to invest in new products and services, while providing regular updates  to keep builders current with today’s technology trends. 

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems (“CHS”) is a division of Constellation Software Inc. (“CSI”), and is a publicly traded company.

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, vendor portal solutions, and web site solutions designed exclusively for the home building industry.

Media Inquiries
Cathy Kotsopoulos
(888) 723-2222

The Facts about HST

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
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With the HST announcement by the Ontario government in March the great unknown was how this would affect our clients?

I have attended the various seminars and workshops put on by the OHBA and BILD hoping to get definite answers to all my questions as to how the HST will be applicable to Homebuilders.  At these sessions there have had experts from both the private and public sectors.

I did get some information but all the rules have not been defined by Canada Revenue Agency or the Ontario Finance department.

Things You Should Know about HST – HST will be implemented on July 1, 2010

According to the Ontario Ministry of Finance the HST will be revenue neutral.  It will reduce the amount of tax paid by Ontario businesses.  That prior to the announcement there was a 2% o 3% RST (Retail Sales Tax) component already factored into the Home Sales price.

To take the Ontario New Housing Rebate the house must be the Primary residence.  The same rules and conditions as the GST rebate.  If the sale is “grand- parented” then there is no Ontario New Housing Rebate.  The Ontario New Housing Rebate can be claimed by the Home Buyer or can be assigned to the Builder.

For the HST rebate calculation the existing GST rebate remains unchanged.  For the Provincial portion of the HST the rebate will apply to the first $400,000 of the purchase price.

With the “Grand-parented” sale the Home Buyer does not pay the HST only GST.  But the Builder is able to claim the Input Tax Credits on all costs paid after July 1, 2010 related to the house construction.  The Builder will pay 2% of the selling price times a factor based on percentage of completion on July 1, 2010.

One of the changes with the HST implementation that the Builder must be aware of is Disclosure.  What I mean by this is that the Builder must disclose if the Agreement of Purchase and Sale was signed between July 19, 2009 and June 30, 2009, whether the 8% Provincial component of the HST applies and if the purchase price is net of the New Housing Rebate.  If this disclosure is not made then the Purchase Price is deemed to include the 8% Provincial component of the HST.

A builder is considered a large business (annual sales above $10 million) then the PST component for the Energy (i.e. Gas, Electrical), Telecommunications (excludes internet services), Vehicles and  Food, Beverage & Entertainment  will be restricted from applying for the Input Tax Credit on the PST portion only.

Constellation User Conference – Online Homeowner Warranty and Maintenance

Friday, April 24th, 2009
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Now that the housing boom is behind us and the entire industry is dealing with a new reality, managing warranty and service costs is very important. In this session, we’ll show you how many builders have reduced their warranty and service costs, and improved customer satisfaction and referrals with small investments in online homeowner manuals, maintenance guides, newsletters and service request portals.


Slides

Audio

Video

Constellation User Conference – Small Builder Roundtable Discussion

Friday, April 24th, 2009
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Similar to the Large Builder Roundtable this group provided an inside look at small and medium sized builders discussing the recent stimulus programs, selling new homes, doing more with less, implementing software systems, working with trades and suppliers, vendor portals, home builder websites, and the impact of green building on home builders. Each builder describes their experiences dealing with conditions in their market and how they use technology and processes to do more with less.







Audio

Video

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems Virtual User Conference

Monday, March 16th, 2009
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All Constellation customers have received invitations to our upcoming virtual user conference.  If you have still not registered, please do so using the links below.

Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is pleased to invite you to our first ever, Virtual User Conference on March 23 through March 27, 2009.

Join us for this FREE event in the comfort of your office, or any location with an internet connection and a phone.

Hosted by our BuildSoft, Builder 360, NEWSTAR, FAST and Constellation CRM (formerly “CFT”) product families, these series of webinars will include valuable product update sessions, industry best practices, and home builder roundtable discussions.

Delivered by Constellation experts and guest speakers, you will learn about new product enhancements, upcoming events, industry best practices, trends in the customer base, and opportunities to help you get the most out of your software system.

Product Update Sessions

On March 23rd at 1PM EST, we will be hosting the following product update sessions. Please register for the product update session of your choice using the links below.

FAST

NEWSTAR

Builder 360

BuildSoft

Constellation CRM

Industry Best Practices and Guest Speakers

Lead Qualification and Sales Best Practices

Ross Robbins – Shinn Group

March 24th at 1 PM EST

Today’s home buyers are fearful of making a buying decision and consumer confidence is at historic lows. We as sales people must do all the heavy lifting to get them to want to buy. The key to this is repetitive contact and building a trusted relationship to enable them to take action without regret. This means using your system to its fullest to keep in touch with the prospect. None of us can remember all the details and the necessary follow-up schedule. This session will explore the reasons for the fear, despite the great values in the market, and justify the use of valuable tools you may already have to make high tech equal high touch.

Online Homeowner Warranty and Maintenance

Brad Brickman – Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

March 25th at 1 PM EST

Now that the housing boom is behind us and the entire industry is dealing with a new reality, managing warranty and service costs is very important. In this session, we’ll show you how many builders have reduced their warranty and service costs, and improved customer satisfaction and referrals with small investments in online homeowner manuals, maintenance guides, newsletters and service request portals.

Implementing a Purchase Order System

Craig Schweikart – Constellation HomeBuilder Systems

March 25th at 1:30 PM EST

Many builders, both small and large, can achieve cost advantages and improved forecasting using purchase orders. In this session, builders will learn how to reduce costs as a result of issuing purchase orders and paying trades without relying on completion slips and invoices. Even if you are already using purchase orders for your trades, this session will provide additional opportunities for process improvement.

Get the Information You Need from Your Accounting System

Felicia Malter and Steven Hays – RubinBrown

March 26th at 1 PM EST

As a follow-up to our Coping with Financial Distress webinar from last August, this session will help Canadian and US builders identify how to analyze those ratios that are the most important in running their business. Using the information from your accounting systems can help you improve your bottom line and increase your profits. In addition, timely communication to lenders from from their builders will help ensure viable financing solutions. Steve Hays and Felicia Malter, Partners in the Home Builder Services Group at RubinBrown LLP, will also share some information about what financial reporting might look like as we prepare for better times.

Builder Roundtable Discussion

On March 27th at 1PM EST, we will be hosting the following builder roundtable discussions. Please register for the session of your choice using the links below.

Small Volume Builders and Remodelers

Larger Volume Production Builders

Additional Information

Register now, or contact
Cathy Kotsopoulos
via email or by phone at (888) 723-2222 x6140.

Constellation BuildSERV – Featured in December Green Builder Magazine

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008
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The most recent edition of Green Builder Magazine has an interesting article about Constellation BuildSERV and its ability to help builders better manage home owner warranty and service.  With electronic media, e-mail communication, and internet websites, builders can provide better information related to warranty guidelines and home maintenance.  BuildSERV helps builders communicate with new home buyers as generation X, Y and millennials would expect.

“Homeowners using a web-based portal to access information reduces the need for a paper manual and the related environmental costs,” says Brad Brickman. “The exciting story is our ability to use the web and e-mail to build an ongoing relationship with the homeowner – to update and deliver maintenance and product information on the specific products in their home.”

The full article can be found on page 42 of the December 2008 issue.

It can be downloaded from the following location.

http://www.greenbuildermag.com/files/current_issue/gbm_122008.pdf