Top 6 moments from the Building Better Summit construction conference
Whether you missed this virtual event or want to recap what you learned, check out the best insights from the first-ever Building Better Summit
Held April 27, the Building Better Summit is in the past … well, not quite. After all, this virtual event was all about the future. So, even though the big day has come and gone, the insights shared during it still ring true.
That’s why we’re looking toward a brighter tomorrow for all construction pros by sharing the top tips from each summit speaker. Whether you missed it or just want to refresh yourself on lessons learned, this post is for you.
Amid COVID-19, the last 15 months have been extremely challenging. Yet, for many, it’s also been the best year of business due to rising demand. But how do you continue to improve as a professional? What do you need to grow as a company? How will you be inspired to boost your skills, processes and confidence?
That’s what this construction conference was all about – and the reason more than 2,500 pros signed up. Straight from our speakers, here are six of the best next moves you can make for long-lasting success.
You heard it here first.
Homes that last: How to talk to clients about high performance houses
Presented by Buildertrend, the Building Better Summit virtual event got off to a strong start with Matt Risinger, owner of Risinger Build. He discussed building safer, healthier homes that withstand the test of time. The key takeaway? Higher quality should lead to higher profit, too.
When building with quality in mind, Risinger stresses clients should see the value in this investment – and pay appropriately for it. That’s why contractors need to communicate clearly from the very start. He does this through the Risinger Roadmap. Even before work begins, this document spells out what’s going to be done and how it’s elevated beyond standard building requirements.
“These are our goals: We want better houses. We want healthy, durable, comfortable and efficient homes. When we bill that through, that means reduced warranty, no legal issues, lots of good referrals and ultimately no more bidding,” Risinger said.
Understanding your building environment
As the president of Arizona’s AFT Construction, Brad Leavitt is an expert when it comes to building in unique environments. In this construction conference session, Brad shares how he overcomes unique challenges, such as cactus relocation, on a daily basis.
“It’s important to understand your building environment. It’s not only going to impact your success as a contractor, as a builder, but also the cost on the project,” Leavitt said.
No matter location, he said it’s important that all builders work within whatever confines a suburb’s homeowners association have laid out. That might mean the house requires three water fountains or the crew can only work on certain days and times. All of this can, of course, add duration time and costs to the client.
Processes for maximizing your efficiency and profits
More efficiency. More profits.
Joe Christensen of Cardinal Crest Homes can help you obtain both when you tune into this session. It all starts with better processes. Although every home and client are unique, it’s established workflows like sales, slot scheduling, pre-construction, production and warranty that create a consistent quality outcome.
However, processes are more than just a means to getting something done.
“Processes enhance the customer experience because the customer experience is linked to your experience, which is then linked to your bottom line and profits,” Christensen said.
Return on relationship: How investing in human connections pays off
What’s the backbone of any successful construction business? According to Melissa Hryszko of Veranda Estate Homes, it’s all about relationships.
Your subs. Your team. Your clients. The best contractors form meaningful connections with all three parties. When it comes to subs, the team at Veranda Estate Homes has found a winning formula. Over the past 20 years of business, they’ve successful kept 90% of their trades.
How? Sometimes it’s as simple as giving fair compensation, remaining transparent and showing appreciation.
“It’s crazy to think that a few simple words can go such a long way to nurture a relationship,” Hryszko said.
So, are you building meaningful relationships with your clients and trades? If not, you should be – and Hryszko can teach you how it’s done.
Leadership skills to fuel a more powerful team
What does it take to be a leader? Can anyone be a leader? Frank Blake of The Home Depot shares personal stories and discusses the leadership challenges he’s faced throughout his career.
His definition of leadership is simply: vision + direction + motivation. Leadership is defining where a team is going, how they are getting there and why anybody should care and listen to your direction.
One thing leadership is not? Management.
“There is a difference between leadership and management. You can’t manage a team to greatness. That’s going to take leadership,” Blake said.
To learn more about this difference and what makes a great leader, check out Blake’s full session.
How to foster your team’s creativity and craftsmanship
Whom you hire defines your company. They are your most valuable asset. So, shouldn’t you want to push your team to be the very best versions of themselves?
That’s what Nick Schiffer of NS Builders uncovers in this session of the Building Better Summit construction conference. It’s all about inspiring creativity and quality craftsmanship. One key lesson he discusses is the importance of mistakes. Because sometimes the best work comes from the worst slip-up.
“We have to make the best decisions at any expense. I challenge that with my guys – to have a rip it out mentality,” Schiffer said. “Often times, we will get far along in a project then we look at it and say, ‘Is this the best we could have done?’ If it’s not, we have the opportunity to redo it.”
It’s from those do-overs that creativity really takes hold – but that’s not the only way. Watch Schiffer’s session to learn how else it’s done.
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