A survey of home buyers shows that spec-home customers are much less satisfied.

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A survey of home buyers shows that spec-home customers are much less satisfied than those purchasing “to-be-built” homes. Customer-satisfaction expert Charlie Scott offers tips for driving referrals from your inventory home buyers.

By Charlie Scott, Woodland, O’Brien and Scott – August 7, 2011 – HousingZone.com

In a market where every house sold is critical, many home builders unconsciously make choices that cost them at least three to five sales annually for every hundred homes sold. Even more frustrating is the fact that generating those “lost” sales costs no more than what builders are currently spending.As a home builder, I knew there was something significantly different about a customer buying a “to-be-built” home versus a completed-inventory home. Now, after 20 years of pondering this issue and armed with a new study from our database of well over half a million customer surveys, the truth can be told: there is a difference, but it’s not the customers. The difference is the builders. That’s right, while builders are well accomplished at building homes, they’re not quite as skilled at building relationships, especially with buyers of completed-inventory (aka spec) homes, losing 30 percent of their referring activity.

Even in today’s capital-restricted market, many home builders still rely on completed-inventory sales for profitability — selling 10 to 30 percent of their annual volume in pre-started (planned or cancellation) homes. A recent study of nearly 4,000 new-home buyers by Woodland, O’Brien and Scott revealed the undeniable fact that customers of to-be-built homes are significantly more satisfied than customers who bought a completed-inventory home. Why? Click here for 3 reasons.

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