NRS 2006 Customer Satsifaction Award Winners

NRS reports its annual Customer Satisfaction Awards. The 2006 NRS Awards presented by Professional Builder recognizes builders based on the results of surveys completed by home buyers across North America.

By Paul Cardis | October 31, 2006


Who Are The Best in Customer Satisfaction?

NRS reports its annual Customer Satisfaction Awards

Without happy home buyers, referrals dry up along with future profits. So it goes to reason that any home builder who consistently wows customers and exceeds their expectations deserves attention. The 2006 NRS Awards presented by Professional Builder recognizes such builders based on the results of surveys completed by home buyers across North America.

The following pages take you inside the eight winning companies and provide insight into their best practices. We hope their stories inspire you to reach the next level in customer delight. As the winners referral ratings prove, creating avid customers is the surest path to success and longevity in the marketplace.

The Power of Caring About Improving Lifestyle

In last year's NRS Award study, we discovered genuine caring was at the core of builders' performance. Since that time, our team has shared these results with hundreds of companies and helped them focus on this key component of satisfaction.

But one key question keeps coming up: what are we caring about and how is the best way to go about it? This year's program digs deeper and shows a key factor about caring that appears to be critical to answering this question.

This year's winners all have in common the ability to instill high customer loyalty and delight by caring. In fact, it's the key to their success. But what are they caring about? Is it the home? Is it the buyers' well being? The answer is a very powerful concept most builders find germane: lifestyle. In essence, companies that actively care to truly enhance their customers' lifestyles appear to achieve greater customer delight.

To see this in action, one needs to look no further than our NRS Diamond Award winner, The Green Company, which strongly believes in such a strategy. As Dan Green, vice president and principal, succinctly puts it: "The company is selling a lifestyle, and the house comes with it." This same philosophy can be observed in many other of this year's winners, who have placed increased emphasis on providing all of the lifestyle extras in a community that make it an experience that lasts beyond the first 30 days.

Customer satisfaction boils down to perceptions minus expectations. The value proposition of improving one's lifestyle is part of pushing customer perceptions beyond expectations. Customers' lifestyles are a big part of what builders need to care about.

The Green Company builds award-winning communities for empty nesters and supports a new way of living through community activities, designed green spaces and creative services. Clear across the country, Farnsworth Development (No. 1 in Phoenix) targets a similar customer base with a well-designed community that includes an activities director and expansive community facilities. These amenities have customers raving that being a part of the communities has improved their lives.

Individual profiles in this issue detailPulte, Del Webb and Mayberry — more builders who offer ways to impart a better way of living.

Ultimately, a builder can offer expansive facilities such as tennis courts, pools and activities directors and still not have much impact on customers. The difference comes with caring that these amenities actually improve the customers' lives.


The Right Kind of Caring

Are you offering the right kind of caring in your communities? More importantly, are you caring about your customers' lifestyle and trying to improve it in creative ways? If not, your competitors might be ahead and ultimately winning the battle for referral sales.

Read the profiles of this year's NRS Award winners on the following pages to learn about the customer-focused strategies these companies use to get ahead and stay ahead.

This year's winners clearly show how caring — when combined with great amenities and service — is the wow factor that delights buyers in 2006.


Who Are The Best in Customer Satisfaction?

This year's awards program was based on a survey of 107,376 home buyers who closed on their homes in 2005. These customers represented 320 production home builders throughout the United States and Canada. For the first time in the four-year history of the program, a local market focus was taken in addition to the industry-wide comparison. The local market program examined Phoenix, one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the United States. This NRS Award—Phoenix study is the first of many markets that will be explored to help builders understand customer satisfaction from a local and industry-wide level.

The 2006 NRS Awards are given in the following categories:

North American Awards:

  • NRS Diamond Award — No. 1 Customer Experience in North America:
    The Green Company
  • NRS Award 50–99 Closings — Best Customer Experience among 50–99 Closings:
    Mayberry Homes
  • NRS Award 100–499 Closings — Best Customer Experience among 100–499 Closings:
    The Green Company
  • NRS Award 500-plus Closings — Best Customer Experience among 500-plus Closings:  
    Mattamy Homes — Halton Division

Local Market Awards:

  • NRS Award Phoenix — Best Customer Experience in Phoenix Area:
    Farnsworth Development
  • NRS Award Phoenix Top 5 — Among the Top 5 Customer Experience in Phoenix Area: 
    Del Webb Communities and Pulte Homes
    Shea Homes
    T.W. Lewis

Congratulations to the following Winners for 2006:

North American Awards:

  • NRS Diamond Award & NRS Award 100–499 — The Green Company, Newton, Mass.
  • NRS Award 50–99 Closings — Mayberry Homes, Lansing, Mich.
  • NRS Award 500-plus Closings — Mattamy Homes, Halton Division, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Local Market Awards:

  • NRS Award Phoenix Best Customer Experience — Farnsworth Development, Mesa, Ariz.
  • NRS Award Phoenix Top 5 (listed in alphabetical order)
    • Del Webb Communities, Phoenix Division
    • Pulte Homes, Phoenix Division
    • Shea Homes, Phoenix Division
    • T.W. Lewis, Phoenix


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