Charlie Scott has more than 25 years of hands-on homebuilding experience, much of this in senior management positions with an award-winning, nationally recognized Midwest builder. He credits a "Voice of the Customer" firm as instrumental in his homebuilding company's strategic growth and success. Today, Charlie is an owner of that "Voice of the Customer" firm – Woodland, O’Brien & Scott – and helps North American home builders grow their own customer-centric cultures, pursue operational excellence, and increase referral sales. Charlie is an internationally known customer satisfaction expert and has presented keynote addresses in the U.S., United Kingdom and India. Charlie also authored the book, “Construction Knowledge 101” to help builder personnel in all functions understand the nature of homebuilding. He would love to hear you from you at: CharlieS@woodlandobrien.com.
The bottom of the market is clearly in and most builders know it, especially those that attended the International Builder Show (IBS) in Orlando, February 7-11th. At IBS 2012, there were scores of great programs on red hot topics like Social Media Strategies, Marketing Must Dos, Lean and Green best practices, and much more.
Additionally, this year’s networking opportunities were the best I have experienced in my 21 years of attendance. Countless progressive, positive, and future minded builders were in attendance. I personally had very engaging conversations with the last two Professional Builder Magazine's Builder of the Year, six National Housing Quality Award winners, a dozen Builder Partnership Achievement Award recipients in Customer Satisfaction, not to mention countless GROWING builders. All these highly successful builders were slowing down to go faster, by taking time, as Stephen Covey says, to “sharpen their saw” even while new home sales activity was in full swing. Hmm, award winning, high performance, successful builders and commitment to continuing education – the chicken or the egg?
This year’s IBS 2012 energy was positive, the attitudes were cooperative, and to top it all off, almost all builders reported higher backlogs (prepare to benchmark your results) – as in 40% to 150% higher than this time 2011! This begs the question: why attend IBS when your backlog looks so promising? Their answer was easy, staying on top of fast moving topics like “Social Media Friend or Foe: Social Media Meets Customer Relations,” “How to Make Mixed Use Work,” “Design Lean for Huge Profits,” etc., was preparation to double their backlogs again by IBS 2013!
Lastly there was one more very important piece of information shared at IBS 2012 – it was the dates for the return of IBS 2013 to Las Vegas. If increasing your backlog is on your “to do list,” mark your calendars for January 22-24, 2013! There is a rumor going around that the format and topics are going to be even more relevant, timely, and leading edge. I have a feeling it will be one of the best International Builder Shows in years! You really can’t afford to miss it – my hotel reservation is already made!