Monday, April 19, 2021

Things That Keep Modular Home Builders Awake at Night

We’ve all had those nights when after being asleep for an hour we suddenly wake up thinking of all the things that have changed around us and how we’re going to cope with them. 

It’s very tough keeping up with the tremendous changes facing our industry.  Lumber and Building material costs are off the chart, your customers are changing and working with your factory has never been more important. 

Today your customer Googles just about every statement you make checking to make sure you are correct. They watch YouTube videos of every part of home building and check on social media to learn if you are a good builder.

As the pace of the off-site business continues to speed up everything is being turned upside down. Everything we thought would last forever from sales and marketing all the way through the construction process is being attacked and improved on an almost daily basis.

Because the economy is good, business is good. But good business brings about changes for the modular home builder they haven’t faced before, especially trying to explain to your customer why the price of their house goes up every week. Lead times are expanding every day for most modular home factories. This is happening because many of the factories are jumping headfirst into commercial, large multi-family and hotel production to keep their lines working continuously and leaving the modular home builder waiting longer to get a home for their customer. 

The factories are running short of lumber and building materials and with prices continuing to climb, are reluctant to stockpile too much.

‘High Tech’ is invading us from one direction, large commercial developers from another and the media keeps pumping out story after story about off-site being the future of not only single-family housing but affordable and homeless housing as well.

Modular home builders are being asked to respond faster to every question asked of them. Get an email at 7:00 AM from a customer and if you haven’t answered it by 8:00 AM another email shows up asking if you got their first email. Someone fills out an information request form on your site and if they don’t get a response from you within 24 hours they are moving on to another builder.

It’s time for every modular home builder to begin thinking about throwing out the trash that is slowing down your business. It could be the way you interact with your customers and prospects, the procedures you use to build a home or it could be somebody on your team that just does what is expected but nothing more. Your trash can could overflow within one hour if you honestly sat down and looked at it with objective eyes.

Related Article: Time to Take Out the Modular Factory Trash

If you, the modular home builder, haven’t been waking up at night asking yourself what you can do differently, do better and how to embrace all the new things attacking the modular industry’s status quo, it may be time to retire or change professions as you haven’t been watching the news and reading this blog.

Disruptive change is coming. This doesn’t mean bad change, it simply means that the modular industry as we have known it for the past 3 decades is about to get a rude awakening to the great possibilities headed our way.

Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. 

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