Chris Ledet Homes
Providing customers a next-level experience not possible without smart software
There’s nothing more important to Chris Ledet homes than a happy client. After almost four decades in business, they have a reputation of going above and beyond. Every client. Every interaction. Every time.
However, exceeding homebuyers’ expectations in today’s world looks different than it did in the early ’80s. So, Chris Ledet Homes needed a way to modernize and revolutionize the client experience. Buildertrend’s Customer Portal was the way.
Chris Ledet Home Design
Two generations with a singular commitment to quality
Besides beignets, there are few things better in the Bayou than Chris Ledet Homes. Just like the sweet pastries synonymous with southern Louisiana, this custom homebuilder has a storied history in the area. Founded by Chris Ledet in 1983, the Thibodaux, La.-based company has prided itself as a business that’s driven by experience, quality and integrity.
It’s now in its second generations of leadership under Chris’ son, Paul. After 37 years and building more than 400 custom homes (and counting!), the company has remained committed to three simple values – respect for people, respect for the environment and hard work done well.
“We’re built on a base of delivering great customer service,” Paul said. “It’s simple. We do what we say we’re going to do and make things right.”
Chris Ledet Homes living room design
Maintain outstanding client relations while modernizing
According to Paul, the secret to becoming a great builder is … chicken sh**.
“Nobody remembers the million-dollar home if it’s got a million problems,” Paul said. “It’s all about taking care of the chicken sh**, the little things, that land you more jobs in the future. Ultimately, we’re in the business of positive word of mouth, and we don’t want to be remembered for something as small as a squeaky door.”
Chris Ledet Homes has been a company that’s always prioritized clients’ needs, right down to the last squeaky hinge. However, Paul realized taking care of the chicken … well, you know … has started to look a lot different now. The old way of getting things done might not be as tried and true as they once thought.
Budgets were filed but reports were 40 days old. The office manager was scanning hundreds and hundreds of invoices or bills a month. Paper processes were weighing them down.
“It was just a total disaster,” Paul said. “We knew we needed a cloud-based system that could bring everything together.”
An online portal where clients stay in touch and stay connected
When it comes to cloud-based systems, there’s average project management software and then there’s Buildertrend.
This powerful platform comes with a full suite of features for every stage of the building process, including all the tools Chris Ledet Homes needed to level up from pen and paper to the type of experience today’s digitally-savvy consumers expect.
The Louisiana builders were first introduced to this homebuilder software at the NAHB International Builders’ Show about five years ago. Since adopting it, they’ve taken advantage of the unlimited support to learn how to continue their commitment to quality service. That support included Onsite Consulting and twice attending Buildertrend University, a two-day educational conference held at Buildertrend’s Omaha headquarters.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a million-dollar home or $200,000 home, we learned Buildertrend helps us treat every customer the same,” Paul said.
It all starts with the software’s Customer Portal. This feature gives Paul’s clients unparalleled access to their projects. From a unique login, clients can check progress, make payments, see the job schedule and communicate with the Chris Ledet Homes team – all in one place.
With the Customer Portal, everybody is always on the same page. If there are any questions or concerns, a client is able to ask in the system and Paul can answer and rectify the situation much quicker than before. To provide even further clarity from the get-go, Paul adds daily logs with images, so clients always know what’s happening with their build on any given day.
“With the Customer Portal, I find that I am getting less questions with the same satisfaction customers yearn for,” Paul said. “It’s become a much more pleasant build because everything is right at their fingertips, whether they’re at work, home or wherever.”
Working alongside the Customer Portal is the Selections feature. These two tools are the Batman and Robin of improving customer relations – a super duo that defeats inefficiency in an instant.
With Selections, clients can make design choices right in the Customer Portal while keeping track of their running total. Chris Ledet Homes is even able to let their subcontractors communicate with clients to make selections right in the system.
“The transparency and organization with the Selection feature is really beneficial for us,” Paul said. “It’s helpful to keep the communication going without days of pausing or leaving customers in the dark.”
For Chris Ledet Homes, Buildertrend’s Customer Portal is the cutting-edge tech they needed to be a cut above the rest.
“It’s the total package,” Paul said. “We’re light years beyond any builder around us. Plus, with us, it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be easy.”
More happy customers, less manpower to make it happen
Today, Chris Ledet Homes provides a more modern and seamless client experience even as business grows. It’s just Paul and his office manager – with Buildertrend rounding out the team.
Still, they’re now able to complete 13 homes a year, opposed to eight prior to Buildertrend. Paul said he was able to keep a leaner team but add more work because the tech solution gives them at least 40 hours per week in time savings.
“I think customers want to go with someone that they trust, and Buildertrend allows us to deliver that with its transparency,” Paul said. “I’m able to say to customers, ‘Now look what I am doing here, follow along, let’s track your numbers and budget together.’”
“It’s become a tool to make people more comfortable with us even if they don’t know us. It sets us beyond the average builder that’s keeping a paper trail of snail mail and invoices written by hand.”
Let’s get started!