3 minute read

The key to a healthy relationship is communication and setting realistic expectations. Both sound very simple, but in most cases where relationships sour, these two factors have crumbled.  

Establishing good and open communication applies to working relationships between custom home builders and their suppliers. Builders constantly deal with multiple variables that make their jobs difficult due to the uncertainty surrounding those factors.  

Therefore, they prefer to go to a supplier with a proven reputation of trust and knowledge. It’s common for builders to always go to the same supplier, once they have found one they like working with regularly.  

1. Get to know each other

As the saying goes, “trust is earned, not given.” It takes time to earn trust but only seconds to wash it away. For this reason, suppliers should take the time to listen to their custom home builders’ needs and concerns. Listening to their builders will help suppliers deliver stronger service and nurture the relationship.  

A good supplier will ask builders questions to get to know them. These questions will help make an excellent first impression by showing builders that your company cares about them and wants to address their needs and concerns to have a profitable construction project. 

Suppliers need to know how a specific builder likes to work. It also helps them understand the builder’s goals, challenges and budget for a particular project. The answers to these questions will give the supplier a better idea of how to help builders achieve their goals effectively. 

2. Treat custom home builders like partners 

One way to quickly sour a relationship between builders and suppliers is to take a transactional approach. Yes, it is a business, and each party needs to make a profit, but taking that approach will not provide lasting benefits for anyone involved. 

Suppliers and custom home builders need to be open and honest about important factors like budgets, project timelines, client expectations and other things. In the end, it is a chain reaction. Suppose the builder’s client is not happy with the construction project’s timing, materials, or anything related to the project. In that case, the builder will not be pleased with the supplier who provided them with the materials. 

Transparency and honesty are essential. It is inevitable to ensure a customer’s happiness and satisfaction, especially when construction supplies can be affected by many outside factors out of anyone’s control. Because suppliers cannot control variables like prices and inventory, they should be proactive rather than reactive. 

Builders see suppliers as subject matter experts in construction, so providing them with helpful insights of how a current situation might impact a builder’s project, will go a long way in strengthening the bond. Builders appreciate diligent proactivity. They have a million things on their minds and sometimes cannot be aware of everything going on in the world that might impact supply inventory and prices. By being proactive, builders will see their supplier genuinely cares about them and might even see them as an extension of their team.

3. Embrace technology

Ask any custom home builder, and they will tell you that communication can get messy between them and the pro dealer. Email inboxes can get cluttered, and conversation threads can go on forever, causing potential conversation mix ups and making it hard to find emails later if needed. It can also be tedious to go through several steps of uploading plans, attaching them, resizing them if they’re too big to email, etc. 

Buildxact’s estimating and project management software is an all-in-one tool that allows builders and suppliers to streamline communications and collaboration. Streamlining communication on the platform boosts efficiency by keeping everything in one place, with easy access to information, in case anyone involved needs to reference anything. 

Supplier integration in the platform makes life easier for both custom home builders and suppliers. It provides transparency into suppliers so builders can make informed decisions and communicate directly with their suppliers whenever convenient to them. 

Effective communication is the cornerstone of healthy and strong relationships, and it helps build strong partnerships that last a long time. 

Learn more about how suppliers can communicate and collaborate with builders to increase sales, lower costs and build loyalty.