Thinning the Herd

One of the big stories in the new home industry news recently was the Pulte & Centex merger. The merger was marketed as an opportunity to increase the ability to service their customers.
As I read the article, I scratch my head. Has any merger ever truly been able to increase service to the customer? As I look thru the latest edition of an industry publication it appears to me that many struggling builders are seeking to be snatched up or better word “acquired” by another firm just to stay alive.
As I take personal inventory, I have to admit that all builders these days are sucking wind as we go from the happy and fat feasting days of yore to lean and mean famine days of the present. We builders indulged in bad habits only to be rewarded handsomly.
What were some of the bad habits we builders were able to get away with during the good o’le days? (I’m sure you have many more you can share with me, I’d love to hear about them)
  • No negotiations
  • Little flexibility
  • Poor customer service
  • Poor warranty
  • Unprofessional sales people
  • Poor building practices
All these poor habits stemmed from being able to go on to the next client because there were more clients than any of us could service. The new challenge is tightening the proverbial belt, before all the fat from the good o’le days is gone and we move on into history….
I don’t see the strategy of merger really helping the customer out. What is your solution for the surviving builders? I would love to hear it. The reality is this correction in the market will make help make the customer the true winner for many years to come. I’d love to hear your perspective on it. Send me your comments.