James Stroud explains how the house design process works from how they are chosen, to the ability to make changes to fit the needs of your customer. Stroud Homes continuously create new plans based on feedback from customers.
Ann-Marie: So, I’ve talked things over with my husband, and now we’re interested in discussing the design part of Stroud Homes. So James, are you able to elaborate just how does the design process work?
James: We have a design process. And really at Stroud Homes, we work forward under the assumption that we will always be designing new plans. You’ve got to find out what the market wants. The way that we’ve done that over the years is by literally talking to them when they come into our shops and using what they say to develop great plans. The designs we have might work in a new area, but on the other hand, we might need to develop some new ones. The way it works is that you’re speaking with clients all the time, so you have the best local knowledge. And with your local knowledge and our process to push our new design to something that’s ready and presentable to a client, we can come up with designs to capture market share in your area.
Ann-Marie: Will we have the ability to change the designs for our customers?
James: Absolutely. Our estimating system supports stretching the designs, adding features to them. Part of our clients take the home exactly as it is on the Stroud plan and another part modified. They’ll stretch or they’ll make it bigger or smaller or add features, whatever they want. Our estimating system supports that. At Stroud Homes, our designs need to fit the family’s budget, the family’s size, whether there’s 5 people or 10 or 2, and also the section. We take a lot of information from our builder who has local knowledge. He knows what people are asking for in the area, the styles, the climate requirements, the council requirements. So, with your local knowledge and our design process at the head office, we can come up with some great results
Ann-Marie: So then James, can we discuss what sort of costs are involved in the design process?
James: When you sign up to be a Stroud builder, your computer comes with all these designs on it, and we give you books with all the designs printed out on A3 sheets in color. It’s all included as part of the package. Once we’ve got a design that is right for your customers, then we’ll train your salespeople on how to sell it, on how to tweak plans just that little bit to fit the budget, to fit the family, and to fit the section. Another thing that happens is builders have plans where the beds are drawn smaller than they actually are in real life. So we made a commitment to never sell a house if furniture didn’t work in that plan first. It’s really important to us to know that the furniture is going to work, so the client’s happy with the home, and that’s going to be the best growth for Stroud Homes long term. People often say to us that they feel like home and that’s our tagline. Stroud Homes feels like home. It’s not about the technical data, the size, the numbers, people will know when they walk into a plan whether it feels right to them or not. And that’s what we always go for is that feel. People walk in and go, “This just feels right.”
Ann-Marie: So now I’m keen to know James, what’s the deal with the zebra?
James: Okay, so the zebra is a symbol of our commitment to black and white quoting. It’s like a checklist when we produce a quote. And we’ve had so much feedback from our clients that it’s been an influencing factor for them that we needed to tell people about it upfront. It’s very common for building companies to offer big offers, free stuff, all that sort of thing. But Stroud Homes has always based their offer on doing our job better all the time. And as a result, you have an opportunity to bring your family business into a company that has a great reputation, great tools, and move forward quite quickly. Put the key in and turn it and away you go.
Ann-Marie: It sounds like there’s a lot involved in Stroud Homes’ designs and the process but so much potential and ability to tailor that and make unique homes for our customers in our area.
James: Absolutely. I look forward to working with you.
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