In February, a member of our very own Builder Guild, Jim Schneider of Schneider Custom Builders, spoke at the 75th Annual International Builders Showin Las Vegas, presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Building Professionals from all over the world were in attendance, the biggest exhibition in the housing industry.
Jim Schneider, owner and founder of Schneider Custom Builders of Norfolk, VA, was tapped to speak at the session, “Building a Better Customer Experience.” We spoke with Jim recently about his talk and how he ensures a positive customer experience.
When asked about his favorite kind of home to build, Jim’s answer speaks volumes: “It’s not what I like, it’s what my customer likes,” he says. “I build the home my client wants, and it’s my job to listen and carry out their wishes in the best way possible.”
One way he helps clients create the home of their dreams is to lead them through the process step-by-step, from the very beginning which is one of the points from his Builders Show session.
“Building a home is a process, not a ‘transaction.’ It’s often someone’s biggest investment. Feeling comfortable with your builder is key,” Jim explains.
“My team and I build homes every day. But for many of our clients, this is new and it can be stressful. They’re getting to know a new builder; they’ve often just moved to a new place… So helping them understand what we do and how we’ll take care of things is a great comfort if they’re feeling stress.”
Stress, Jim explains, is not intrinsically bad. “Even good things can produce stress: a wedding, planning a family, a new job,” he says. “We like to help our clients know where they are in the building process, what’s coming next and assure them that the result will be what they’re dreaming of. We want any stress that may occur to stay on the positive side of the ledger!” laughs Jim.
Another point he shared in his Builders Show session: how to help clients understand the multi-faceted nature of building a custom home. “When you work at a custom level, you’re creating something that’s one-of-a-kind. Some home plans we work with have never been built before,” says Jim, “so we approach that in a highly custom way.”
Jim and his team enjoy working with custom plans. They also help clients embrace the special nature of the custom-building process. Using his expertise and decades of experience in building, Schneider can offer flexibility when an architect’s plan needs adjustment.
Schneider takes customer satisfaction very seriously. He explains that the essence of a positive home building experience lies in these key factors:
- Setting up proper expectations with your clients at the very start of the project
- Maximizing your customer’s comfort with frequent status updates to eliminate the unknowns
- Ensuring that all members of the building team, whether on the job site or in the office be fully engaged with the customer
- • Ensure that customers understand common issues that may arise during building and how the team will take care of them
“It all comes down to communication, a good relationship, and ensuring expectations are set and met,” says Jim.
When the process is followed, both the client and the builder arrive happily at the same destination: the client’s dream home…beautifully built, and ready to enjoy.
Thanks to Bay Creek Builders Guild member, Jim Schneider of Schneider Custom Builders for sharing with us the big ideas of his talk at the International Builders Show about ensuring a successful home building experience. With more than three decades in the industry and impressive portfolio of completed custom homes, we think he’s definitely on to something!
See more about Jim and Schneider Custom Builders online »
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Some of Jim Schneider’s certifications and recognition:
National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB):
- Certified Aging in Place Specialist
- Certified Graduate Builder
- Graduate Master Builder
- Master Certified Green Building Professional
- Best of Houzz Award
- Member, Bay Creek Builder Guild