Brett Lott Homes
Improving Project Logistics with Buildertrend
About Brett Lott Homes
Brett Lott Homes is a home builder servicing the Tri-Cities area in Washington, building customizable homes for clients as well as building and selling speculation homes. Despite being a second-generation home builder, Brett Lott, the founder and president of the company, never imagined he’d go into residential construction. It wasn’t until he designed and built his own house in 1991 that he decided to start his own home building business.
Overcoming Scheduling Conflicts
As president of the company, Brett oversees two full-time employees and 15-20 sub-contractors at one time, while also managing the ins and outs of the business, including sales, marketing, finance and operations.
With multiple responsibilities, Brett needed a solution to help him manage logistics for the company. “As the amount of projects increased, my day planner no longer made the cut,” said Brett. “We use the same sub-contractors on a number of different sites, so scheduling multiple home builds at one time became a logistical nightmare.” At times, Brett recalled projects stalling, because he didn’t give subcontractors enough advanced notice when a project’s timeline shifted. “I knew there had to be something better than my day planner to manage it all,” Brett said.
To overcome Brett’s logistical challenges, he searched online for a solution and also sought advice from his personal network. “After doing research and making calls to different construction project management providers, there was no other solution that measured up to Buildertrend,” Brett said. “Once I got on the phone with the Buildertrend team, they were extremely knowledgeable about the residential construction business, understood the challenges that I was facing and quickly earned my trust.”
Improving Project Logistics with Buildertrend
After learning and mastering Buildertrend’s Scheduling tool, the team used other project management features, including the Plan Markup tool, Warranty, Buildertrend’s unlimited file sharing for documents and photos, the Messaging tool and Change Orders.
“Before, I managed Change Orders manually, and it could take anywhere from a couple of days to even weeks to complete,” Brett said. “With Buildertrend, I’ve been able to complete Change Orders in a matter of minutes, because customers receive real-time notifications on their phone and can respond quickly.”
“Since using Buildertrend, we’ve been able to take on larger, more complex projects which has increased our profitability.”
– Charielle Sowers, director of business development, Owen Homes
In addition, Brett was able to utilize the platform to streamline communications with his internal team. “Before Buildertrend, I’d usually spend hours answering phone calls to answer subcontractors’ questions or to share updates on shifted timelines,” Brett said.
“Now that all of the information is available on Buildertrend, the number of work related calls has decreased significantly, allowing me to focus on meeting with every homeowner we build a house for and growing my business.”
Not only did Buildertrend help Brett with scheduling projects, but it also impacted subcontractors’ attitudes. “Since using Buildertrend, I’ve noticed that subcontractors are more accountable for their work timelines,” Brett recalled. “For example, subcontractors’ schedules were somewhat up in the air and negotiable before Buildertrend. Now that subcontractors have visibility into a project’s schedule, they aim to complete their work on time since they know that any delays will impact another sub-contractor’s schedule.”
Doubling Home Construction Projects with Buildertrend
Brett Lott Homes has completed 85 homes using Buildertrend. “Before Buildertrend, we’d only be able to take on six homes at one time,” Brett said. “Today, the number of homes that we’re able to complete has more than doubled.”
After running the company for more than 29 years, Brett credits the online project management platform for improving his company.
“We wouldn’t be able to take on this many projects today without Buildertrend,” Brett said. “In times like these where expectations are heightened, Buildertrend has allowed us to plan projects more seamlessly, quickly react to shifting timelines and communicate internally more efficiently.”
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