Immerse Buyers in the Process

Buyers at The Green Co. don’t just buy a home. They enter into what amounts to a planned immersion in home building and home buying.

By Meghan Stromberg, Senior Editor | August 31, 2003
Sales director Pam Burke and project manager Dan Almas unveil information to buyers in digestible chunks.

Buyers are key team members in the planning and building of their home.


Buyers at The Green Co.'s Winslowe's View at The Pinehills in Plymouth, Mass., don't just buy a home. They enter into what amounts to a planned immersion in home building and home buying.

The Green Co. realized early on that setting buyers' expectations goes well be-yond the sale and means more than telling buyers everything, which can overwhelm. It's about unveiling information digestibly, president David Caligaris says.

Dominique Sampson, vice president of sales and marketing, counts 43 planned points of contact with buyers. Some might be as simple as sending a photo of the house or a card, or just checking in by phone, but they make buyers feel involved and appreciated.

NRS Award:
The Green Co.
Headquarters: Newton, Pa.
Communities: 3
Product: Attached homes priced from $350,000 to $800,000
2002 closings: 62
2002 revenue: $33 million
Employees: 50
Chief executive: David Caligaris
Award classification: Production builder, 50-99 units
NRS Index score: 176.75
Homeowner satisfaction: 84.87
Recommend scaled score: 91.88
100% of homeowners "would recommend."
84.1% had made at least 1 positive recommendation.
37.6% had made 1-3 referrals.
12.5% had made 4-6 referrals.
6.3% had made 7-9 referrals.
25% had made 10 or more referrals.
Average referrals per surveyed customer: 4.44
Expectation difference: 0.67 (current satisfaction minus expected satisfaction)

For most meetings, sales directors refer to a checklist of topics, but they don't always strictly adhere to them. Their skill lies in reading people, and if they see that information is not sinking in, they simply save it for another meeting. "We want them to know exactly what they're going into," Sampson says. To do that effectively, she makes sure they hear everything, not bits and pieces.

The builder really puts its money where its mouth is at "slotting" meetings. In a conference room with huge schedules for construction, foundation and framing starts, selections and closings six months out, all buyers see the slotting schedules and learn exactly how their home fits into the company schedule, something The Green Co. can do with confidence as it claims a 100% delivery rate, not including customer delays.


Top Five Difference-Makers
  1. Yard fencing: 87.86 (average: 64.66)
  2. Quality repairs and service (warranty service): 87.50 (average: 64.43)
  3. Adequately cleaned after work (warranty service): 91.67 (average: 69.07)
  4. Kept informed of progress (project superintendent): 93.33 (average: 71.64)
  5. Completed work in timely manner (warranty service): 84.17 (average: 63.63)
The Green Co.
Relationship Value - homeowner album (pictures of home buyers
at the sale and of home throughout construction process); Ambassador Program, in which potential customers meet current homeowners at prospect/customer socials and breakfasts
Inoculation - possible issues discussed with buyer throughout construction process, and preventative measures for possible future problems introduced at orientations
Wow Factor - 60-70% of warranty issues handled in-house, with 50% completed in one visit; all warranty issues acknowledged within 24 hours