Proposal A New Model for the New-Home Market
Not making much headway with builders? Maybe it's time you partnered with one—as in, joint venture
By Ira Friedman
If you're looking for a way to "get in with the builders," consider selling them your company.
Working with large builders presents a host of challenges. Foremost among these is the builder's knowledge that offering his buyers a control system, A/V gear or networking doesn't help sell houses.
No buyer says, "I love this new home. It's in a great neighborhood. It's got everything I want. It's priced right. But there's no provision for distributed audio. I think I'll keep looking around."
Just because we want to pre-wire before sheetrock doesn't mean it's the last chance to put in a system. Both the homebuyer and builder know this. A/V isn't like a basement. There's plenty of time to put it in after the house is completed.
So why would a builder go through the trouble of providing control or A/V?
Fact is, most don't.
Though some pioneering builders feel A/V helps distinguish their projects, there are too few such builders to build a business around.
It's true, too, that some builders are indeed pressured into A/V systems by their clients. But these are specialty builders that build custom homes one at a time. Again, this is not something you can easily build a business around.
And while there's pressure underfoot for builders to begin offering more control and A/V options—because some buyers simply expect these elements in their new homes—today's offerings tend to be limited, standardized and of low performance.
But there's an interesting movement in the builder community to partner with their subcontractors in order to influence more control over the building process and reap additional profit. Some progressive builders see the inevitability of A/V and control systems in their homes.