Building Materials

Sell Hidden Upgrades with EWPs

Hidden behind the walls and under the floors, premium framing, subflooring and sheathing materials aren’t always an easy sell. Many homebuyers would rather splurge on the pretty things they can see like high-end countertops, fixtures or finishes.

Hidden behind the walls and under the floors, premium framing, subflooring and sheathing materials aren’t always an easy sell. Many homebuyers would rather splurge on the pretty things they can see like high-end countertops, fixtures or finishes.

In reality, homeowners should care about the framing just as much as the faucets; after all, the quality of the materials used to build the home’s structure will make the difference in how that home performs over its life—and just how long that life is.

Part of the solution lies simply in education: buyers need to be taught and shown how the products in their walls and floors impact the performance, durability, quality and day-to-day nuances of their house.

If you sell premium materials to builders to improve the quality and performance of their homes—from engineered I-joists to radiant barrier sheathing to subflooring—here are strategies to help get them on board:

Make quality your calling card

Nearly every dealer sells wood products, so how can you stand out? By emphasizing that your premium materials help produce quality homes. Help customers understand how walls and floors built with high-performing products and systems can translate into fewer callbacks and more referrals, and then help them clearly educate their buyers on what those products mean to them.

 Sell a lifestyle

A higher-quality subfloor means a better living experience—a more solid feel underfoot, less likelihood for squeaks, less chance for rattling dishes, and an overall better performance of the floor alongside the luxurious soaking tub and exquisite outdoor kitchen.

 Leverage your displays

Create mockups of floors and walls featuring upgraded elements and systems—and what those features mean for the long-term value of a potential home. Allow builder customers to send buyers to your store to see these displays themselves, and make sure your sales staff understands how to properly explain them to consumers. Don’t have the space? Work with your customers to create cutaways in a section of the wall and the floor in their model-home sales centers.

 Build a model floor

The reduced deflection, bounce, and noise of a premium floor system is hard to explain in words. Seeing is believing. Work with your builder (and supply the materials) to construct two floors side-by-side where buyers can feel the difference for themselves.

 Update sales materials

Work with customers to update their collateral—if it doesn’t discuss their high-performance framing systems and how they impact the quality of their homes, it’s time to update. Use layman’s terms and clearly communicate what it means to the buyer.

 Hit up manufacturers

Your engineered wood and panel manufacturers have ample information at their disposal, including videos and case studies you can share at your facility, in presentations, on your website, and via social media.

Simply put: If you supply high-performance wall and floor systems, and your customers are putting in the extra work and money for them, it’s vital that homeowners see the added value. Helping builders educate their clients can help make the sale and leave a lasting impression for you both.

 

Marcelle Lacy

Marcelle Lacy is senior corporate manager for LP Building Products. Visit www.lpcorp.com for more details.

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