Operating a business presents daily challenges and requires hard work. America’s home builders know this, as you struggle with supply shortages, price increases and rising mortgage rates. Despite these problems, it is important to remember the reason you went into business in the first place—to make a profit—and to focus on how to remain profitable. We believe we can help you simplify your effort to stay in the black.
The modern world is complex. Every day we are deluged with useful and not so useful information. One way to navigate the clutter of the internet age is to organize our thoughts by making a list. A list seems unremarkable, but lists have many positive effects like reducing anxiety, increasing productivity, creating accountability, improving organization, and strengthening memory.
You probably have discovered the power of the list long ago and may already have a collection of lists on your desk. One way to make a more important list stand out is through alliteration—using the same sound to start multiple words in a sentence—a device used in children’s rhymes and tongue twisters. (Note how most people can tell you the green vegetable that Peter Piper picks and what the little girl sells by the seashore.)
We have a list that uses alliteration and reminds us how to make our company profitable. Procure profits from planning, people, products, performance, and protection. We believe this simple sentence is a recipe for success in any business.
Planning. Many people have great ideas for how they can make money--the aunt who wants to open a coffee shop, the friend who can improve the product his employer makes, and the cousin who thought of Amazon’s business model years ago but never got around to developing it. The world is full of these kinds of dreamers. But dreams are not plans. Successful business owners take hold of their dreams, plan how they can accomplish them, and work hard to bring their dreams to life. Planning does not end when a business starts, but continues with every new housing development, shift in the market, or change in competition. Wise business owners regularly refresh their plans, checking if their pricing is right, their products are hot, and for other ways to make even more profit. Effective planning leads to better use of resources, realistic timelines, seamless growth, and a path to profitability.
People. One of the most rewarding and at times frustrating aspects of running a business is the human factor—our employees. Good employees help a company be great. Conversely, employee problems distract management from focusing on the bottom line and can cost a company business and profits. Successful companies reward good employees, drop employees who are a drag on the organization, and let their employees know that ownership, management, and workers are on the same side, pulling in the same direction.
Products. Drive around most towns and you’ll see the history of American home building--stately Victorian homes, rowhouses, Cape Cods, bi-levels, McMansions, ranches, and now even tiny houses, to name a few. Each type of home was the hot item in the marketplace—for a while. But then people wanted something different. Profitable builders stayed in tune with the changing tastes of their customers and gave the people what they wanted.
Performance. For better or worse we live in a world that moves quickly. Studies show that consumers are very concerned about the speed at which they get what they have purchased. When building a house, it is important to stay on schedule or to fully explain any delays and then stick to the revised schedule. A new home is usually the most expensive item your customer has ever bought. Expectations will be high, and builders who hope to be profitable should deliver a quality product and complete any call-back work timely and professionally. How you perform with each customer can affect what they tell their friends and family about you, which can lead to increased sales or to disappointment.
Protection. Once a good plan is crafted, competent workers are hired, and the right models of homes are sold and well-constructed, profits should follow. To keep the money it has earned, a well-run building company protects itself from risks that can bleed a company dry. Well drafted sales agreements together with appropriate liability and other insurance are part of that protection. Successful builders who hope to be profitable should also place an express warranty on every home they build, preferably one with a mandatory binding arbitration provision, a team of warranty professionals who can help resolve disputes and the best insurance backing in the industry.
RWC has four decades of experience in the home warranty business, covering more than 3.7 million homes! We offer a wide variety of warranty options, from the standard ten-year warranty to our Day 1 coverage warranty and from our extended appliance and system warranties to our specialty warranties for remodeling projects, detached garages, and commercial construction. Only RWC has developed and offers its members a customized state warranty that mirrors each state’s statute of repose and accommodates other state-specific issues. All RWC warranties provide clear performance standards that help create realistic expectations in your homeowners and provide a road map to resolving even the stickiest customer complaints.
At RWC, every guarantee our warranties make is backed by Western Pacific Mutual Insurance Company, RRG. Western Pacific has an A- rating from A. M. Best and only insures home warranty and similar new home construction risks, like builders’ general liability, which can be offered through the RWC Insurance Advantage program to RWC members. No other warranty company has an insurer with this kind of strength solely dedicated to covering builders and their homes.
If you want your company to succeed, procure profits from planning, people, products, performance, and protection, and remember that the best protection you can get is an RWC warranty on each of your homes!
Have a great Spring and Summer!