Todd Usher, founder of Greenville, S.C.-based Addison Homes, says building high-performance homes has helped the company transform its relationship with homeowners.
The home builder is launching home monitoring features for appliances, HVAC, and other home systems as a "health check" for clients, to enhance its home warranty program. Usher says that building high-performance custom homes and building science training have helped him realize the value of offering monitoring services for his business, including product improvements, marketing strategy, and extending the relationship with clients. Says Usher, "The feedback we've gotten from homeowners is all positive." Usher recently joined The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance's (EEBA) board of directors, and seeks to grow his company's annual volume to 30 or 40 homes in the coming years, fueled in part by customer referrals.
It's the seed of what will eventually grow into a long-term warranty program that will benefit his buyers and bring in extra revenue. What has given him confidence to offer such a program? He gives much of the credit to ongoing training in high-performance building for himself and his employees. Usher got the monitoring idea from the auto industry. "GM sends me monthly updates on my truck's health and tells me when it needs service, so I thought 'why not do that for homebuyers?'" He realized that, done right, monitoring and notification could help him build and maintain brand loyalty.