The Value of Trusted Associations

You can tell a lot about someone by his or her associates, and that’s as true for businesses as it is for individuals. Every successful business understands the value of ongoing trust-based relationships with other industry professionals.

Take the example of builder trade partnerships. If a builder has top-notch trade partners working on its jobs, it’s a sign that the builder is top-notch as well. Birds of a feather do, in fact, tend to build together.

The rewards that come from partnerships between highly professional companies go to everyone—builder, trade partners, and clients—in ways that are obvious and also not so obvious.

dave packer custom builder

First, the obvious. A builder who has a trusted cadre of great trade contractors and vendors—and who treats them well—earns the best value and the finest customer service they have to offer. The builder’s clients enjoy fair pricing and timely work. Builders are really no different than homeowners in this respect: once they find a painting or landscaping company that consistently gets things done right and on time, without the need for micromanagement, they use that company again and again. It’s smart business.

A reliable trade partner can also be trusted to take care of the client without the builder having to act as an intermediary. Consider the process of choosing decorative lighting. Our clients are best served by meeting directly with the lighting vendor’s salesperson who has the experience and training in the current lighting design trends and space planning.  The ability of the lighting store to manage the process also makes scheduling easier and helps control costs.

Less obvious but equally important payoffs have to do with continual improvement. A trusted trade partner won’t be afraid to tell the builder if something can be done more efficiently, and vice-versa. In fact, good builders schedule meetings with their trade partners throughout the building process for the specific purpose of sharing feedback. Over time, everyone becomes more professional and efficient, and the clients reap the benefit of well-managed projects.

Julia Fisher Designs photographed by Simplee Focused

The best builders also go beyond their market. For instance, professional builders belong to a trade association that keeps them up to date on trends in design, construction, codes, and business management. Some participate in the local chapter of a large organization like the National Association of Homebuilders, which provide further opportunities to advance their home building knowledge. Others join networking groups with companies from non-competing markets who work together to help one another strengthen and grow their businesses. By sharing what works and what doesn’t, each member company becomes more successful and better able to serve its customers.

Membership in a trade group is a good sign. That’s because these groups don’t attract builders out to make a quick buck. Rather, the willingness to pay (often steep) membership fees and to participate in the organization’s activities is the mark of a company that is serious about adhering to professional standards and even helping to develop them. It’s a company that wants to improve the industry as a whole for the benefit of everyone. These are pros who treat homebuilding like the profession it is, and who take great pride in that fact.

Warm Regards,