Tract Builders & Customer Service

For ten years prior to 2008 many builders were indifferent customer service oriented. They were not particularly cooperative with the potential home owner; not many of them were willing or agreeable to make construction changes during the building process. When the housing market collapsed in 2008 many of the builders (I understand nearly 50%) went out of business and were absorbed by healthier building competitors. The reorganization of the building industry and desperate times meant that much of their construction staff was laid off, tradesmen migrated away from Texas for more lucrative work elsewhere such as oil fields. There were delays in manufacturing and the delivery of building products since everything related to building was cutting back labor and production i.e. lumber, drywall and brick. The quality of the workmanship suffered for about four years since knowledgeable subcontractors were replaced by less experienced subs and builders were running skeleton crews which were stretched out and overworked. At this time builders were NOW on their best behavior. They were willing to make changes, provide discounts, determined to keep the customer happy during the construction process and close the deal. They working out of fear and uncertain how the near future would unfold.

As the building market returned around 2011, home design had become more energy efficient (starting around 2005) and cost of construction and materials increased. Labor cost did not increase much if any across the board. Suddenly builders struggled to keep up with the demand for housing as new employers relocated thousands of their employees to north Texas. Housing demand spiked from 2012 until middle of 2017. The builders seemed to be raising their sales cost per square foot monthly (because of demand and supply) and soon had returned to the prior builder habits – builder first and customer second. They learned that if the customer was frustrated with some aspect of the building, quality, timing, or other that they were ok with terminating the contract with the buyer and then selling the house for more . . . because they could.

The new home market finally hit a wall . . .  it slowed down around mid-2017 since the prices finally got to a point which no longer made sense for the consumer. Many people that relocated were families of two to four in size purchasing 4,000 SF homes with optimism that prices would continue to rise and that they have made a good investment – we will see. Prices have recently dropped, as the market demand has tapered off.

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