Ensuring customer satisfaction

Welcome to “The Better Way: A podcast by Buildertrend.” Here you’ll learn to simplify and establish processes that will make meaningful changes to your company and help you achieve your goals. Because there’s a better way. The Buildertrend way. Tune in this season as host Zach Wojtowicz, a corporate development strategist at Buildertrend, and our experts and consultants to teach best practices for sales and lead management.

The last episode of this season highlights strategies to ensure your clients are satisfied.

Listen to the full episode to hear from Megan Montoya, construction project coordinator at Better Choice Homes in Gilbert, Arizona, and learn how they’ve used software to enhance their customers’ building experience.

HOW DID YOUR TEAM IMPLEMENT BUILDERTREND WITH CUSTOMERS?

“We do as our leader does, right? And so, if we aren’t willing to actually try and use the different areas of software, how can we ever expect our clients to? And that’s something I really encouraged our team here at BC. We need to start first. We need to stop emailing them from our Google account, and we need to always email them out of the job. So we have to change some habits, change the mindset so that they will do as we do. And so that’s the biggest thing that it was just kind of been a mindset change. And as they get comfortable with those, and we add more areas in, and so it’s kind of been piecemealing it together. We didn’t jump in and have everything available all at once.”

WHAT RESULTS HAS YOUR TEAM SEEN SINCE ADOPTING BUILDERTREND?

“Part of our mission as a company is to not be like a stereotypical builder because, unfortunately, the industry kind of has a stigma that communication doesn’t even occur. And so we’ve been trying to break that. And I think that what this has helped us do is show that communication is important. We do it often, and what you have to say matters, and we’re listening. And I think that that’s probably a bigger piece that what gets shared with our clients than anything. As an example, we had two homes that just recently ended, and they’re good-sized homes. They were 4 to 5,000 square feet, over a million-dollar projects, and we just recently got a referral for a client that is actually in for permitting right now. It’s a $2.5 million home.”

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Megan Montoya | Better Choice Homes

Zach Wojtowicz:

Welcome to “The Better Way,” a podcast by Buildertrend. Here, you’ll learn to simplify and establish processes that will make meaningful changes to your company and help you achieve your goals. There’s a better way to run your construction business, the Buildertrend way. Tune in this season as our experts and consultants join me to teach best practices for sales and lead management. On today’s episode, get expert tips from ensuring customer satisfaction from Megan Montoya, construction project coordinator at BC Builders in Gilbert, Arizona.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Welcome back to “The Better Way.” Zach Wojtowicz here with you as always, and today we have a new guest appearing with us on “The Better Way” today. It’s our first time, I believe, on a podcast. Megan, is that correct?

Megan Montoya:

That’s correct.

Zach Wojtowicz:

This is Megan Montoya, who is a former Buildertrend employee. However, she has now moved on to work with a construction company, and we thought it’d be a fascinating story to explore that experience. So Megan, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, your company, and what you do for them.

Megan Montoya:

Awesome. Thanks, Zach. Really appreciate you guys reaching out to me and including me. I’m excited to be a part of the podcast day. So as you already know, obviously, I’m Megan Montoya. I am currently the job coordinator for Better Choice Homes. We are located in Gilbert, Arizona. So it’s nice and warm out here most of the year.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Little Toasty.

Megan Montoya:

I love it. If you like heat, it’s great. If you don’t, don’t come. But we love it. And basically, what I do for them, I do a lot of different things for them. I handle the permitting. I’m very involved in client interaction from the point of, “Hey, we’re interested in buying some land.” All the way to the point of moving into their home. So I help with figuring out their plans if they don’t have any, any alterations, working with a draftsman, working with engineers, working with the county, and then meeting with the clients, making sure that everything is exactly the way they wanted it to.

Megan Montoya:

Actually, I just left a meeting. We were talking to some clients, making sure their driveway was in the right place. Do we have an AV closet? Do you have the right outlets in your home? Are there enough lights? Those sorts of things. So we kind of go through all the nitty-gritty with them, and then I help coordinate within the office to their project manager, who is actually going to help run the project physically onsite along with accounting in office and our selections coordinator in our office. So I kind of have my hands in it the entire time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Sounds like you wear a lot of hats.

Megan Montoya:

A little bit. Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Do you have a favorite part that you, I mean, that’s asking to put you on the spot here, but what’s your favorite part of that construction process? You get to see the whole thing A to Z.

Megan Montoya:

I have always loved in construction, actually seeing something paper come to life, seeing a vision of a homeowner and actually watching them, watching their excitement brew and grow as they actually see their home. Kitchens are focal points. See their kitchen come to life and actually see it realistic and the excitement just continue to grow over that entire process. I think it’s a really cool process to see, and I will always love that.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I love it. How many customers are you guys working with a year, and as far as your job volume?

Megan Montoya:

Currently, right now we have 12 custom homes that are being built right now. I have four clients that are actually in for permitting. So they’re close to breaking down. Hopefully, our permitting process takes a little too long, but six weeks to three months is a little slow out here.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Shout out to bureaucracy out there.

Megan Montoya:

Oh, Maricopa County takes a while. I mean, I love there’s great people there that do awesome work and that help us out big time, but it takes a long time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I think a lot of our listeners empathize with this. This part of the construction, the permitting.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah. So it’s always hard to tell your customer, “I’m not sure how long that’s going to be, but we’ll let you know when it’s here.” So that’s never any fun, but it’s true. Let’s see, tell me your question again, Zach?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. Well, I think the point of this season on “The Better Way” is really focusing in on kind of the sales strategy and sales processes. So your experiences of your seeing the whole conception of the pipeline to close is going to be really relevant. And when you joined your company coming from Buildertrend, I imagine one of the places that they wanted to have you focus on is the sales side. It sounds like you’re involved pretty much. So when you first got there, what were their processes for referrals from clients? What did that look like on their end before? And then after that, you can speak to, how did you change things? What were your strategies? Where do those things kind of come in?

Megan Montoya:

Yeah. Good question. So, one thing that’s really unique about Better Choice is that it’s a family-run business. So there’s one brother that actually has the GC license. There’s another brother that’s the accountant, another brother that’s the IT team, and then another brother that actually oversees sales. And so the one brother oversees sales, he really managed everything, and he is a go-getter, high energy type of person. So it was really heavily word of mouth, and however quickly he could keep up with it and how much he could push it. So it was really dependent on him and his time and his ability, which obviously long-term that’s not sustainable. So the biggest thing that when I first started working for them is I really asked a lot of hard questions to them. What is our mission as a company? What do we want to be known as? And started to develop a program around that mission of how we can actually share that with our community.

Megan Montoya:

So part of our mission is called Elevate Together. So utilizing what we’ve learned. I mean, Better Choice is more than just a custom home builder. We have a couple different brackets of our company. We have investment. We have a plumbing. We have wholesale and all sorts of things. So we’ve learned how to do those things because it was the needs of our clients as well. And so that’s how we’re elevating together, being able to give back. And so be able to integrate that into our marketing has actually brought people to us. And so we’ve started to market, obviously, through social media. Utilizing Buildertrend, Buildertrend has helped us in this route because we have now an elevate meeting, that’s what I just left, where we actually introduce our team to our clients. We introduced the software, and then we use it the entire time and utilize it, and we give them ways to be able to refer and share their process of building their home with their friends, with their family.

Megan Montoya:

We’ll keep it running; whether it be through photos, we’ll actually give them their own sign-in as well. So they can see what’s going on if they’re out of state. So now we’ve just kind of put… It still very heavily word of mouth based on the clients that we’re working with, but we’ve accelerated that opportunity to let them help us more. And then we can still document it where we couldn’t before.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. And obviously, for our listeners, different companies are going to have different goals as far as their volume. But I think a lot of the tactics are still relevant regardless of what type of building you do. Right?

Megan Montoya:

Absolutely.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I just am curious. I’ve never actually gotten the pleasure to be around our builder’s clients, like our clients’ clients. And what’s the reaction when you set up the team meeting, you introduce the software from the customer’s perspective, like the homeowner perspective?

Megan Montoya:

I mean, it’s very good. I mean, I think the biggest thing about utilizing software and introducing it is that they come into a meeting expecting that we’re the expert, and we say, “Well, this is how we do it.” They just accept that that’s part of how we do it. They don’t necessarily see a surprise, but they’re like, “Oh, that’s cool that it’s on one place. And, oh, there’s that too!” And we’ve recently introduced a gift that we actually give them an iPad with their Buildertrend already set up on it with their selections.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Ohh!

Megan Montoya:

We release their selections to them right before the meeting. We show them where their documents are, and we literally give them a tour of their portal so they know how they can communicate with us. I think because our standpoint is that we come in confident and show them how to use it. They have the expectation that this is how it is, and they don’t think anything else, which I think is a huge benefit to us.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. You’re setting the expectations.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And so the customer, they’re only going to hold you to whatever you set the expectations at, right?

Megan Montoya:

Correct.

Zach Wojtowicz:

When you were introducing the software on the customer side during this kind of initial processes. I mean, did you try to implement the entire Customer Portal at once, or did you pick certain things that you thought would be more beneficial? I’ve talked to a lot of people, and I know you had as well during your time with Buildertrend. So what was your strategy to get the homeowner portal kind of off the ground?

Megan Montoya:

Great question. So what we do is our meeting that we introduced it is we actually have the people that are meeting and person introduced [inaudible 00:08:56]. For example, their project manager is [inaudible 00:09:02] and show them, and they also introduce photos and show them where they can see them and where they can ask questions on it. Our selections coordinator is in the meeting. She shows them where their selections are going to be, how they can see deadlines, and then she sets up a time to go into more detail because there’s a lot you can do in selections, obviously. But it’s more of kind of a high-level introduction. And then our manager typically goes through like, “Hey, these are different ways we can communicate.” And he introduces messages and shows them. And a lot of times, they’ve already seen what messages are like, because we do use the proposal side of things as well. We’re now just really introducing the full gamut. So we’ve chosen those areas specifically because that’s what we want to use most with the client. So those are the most important aspects for us.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. And would you say that you use the majority of the features, or are there some things that you’re opting to not facilitate with your customers?

Megan Montoya:

We do use majority of them, and we’re trying to implement more areas. The only area we really don’t use right now would be warranty.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Megan Montoya:

But even the surveys we’ve started to implement. We have an elevate survey at the beginning. That’s kind of like the get-to-know-you, where we ask them fun and interesting things about them so that during our meetings we can have a drink at the meeting we already know they like, or I know I have a family right now that they’re really big into family game night. And so, part of our welcome home gift at the end of the build is going to be a new game. And I mean, those opportunities for us to connect with them, to make their experience more memorable, that we actually are paying attention because we do care about them, and we want them to know we care in more ways than just building their house. So we try to integrate that in ways in different areas of the software, and surveys is another area that we’ve started to implement. But I would say we probably use everything but warranty.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I love it. I’m just over here taking notes at how creative you are. I’m like, “Damn. My next home builder, I’m going to be, “Hey! Where’s my survey asking you about my interests, sir?”

Megan Montoya:

Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I have industry knowledge on this.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

That’s amazing. The iPad thing really stuck out to me. Do you guys just give them your own iPad that is already pre-installed with your logo and everything? Are you buying them a new iPad? I mean, that’s really, really creative.

Megan Montoya:

So this is our first time implementing it. It’s been kind of an idea and process with creating a cool experience. We buy them a new one, and it’s a gift to them for building with us.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Oh wow!

Megan Montoya:

And then so we do upload our logo onto it. And then the only thing we have on there is Buildertrend. And then we have their plans that are a PDF on there. And we don’t put anything else on it.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Well, even if you’re using word of mouth, that’s going to spread pretty quickly, right?

Megan Montoya:

Yeah. That’s a pretty sweet gift. Right? Like “Sweet!” I really love that. I’ll take an iPad.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. That’s amazing.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Now, just kind of shifting topic here about something I like to get in front of clients and talk about just to be transparent. There’s always a lot of anxiety with builders when they’re getting the Customer Portal off the ground. I actually had our director of content marketing on in a previous episode, and she talked about the Customer Portal a little bit, and we kind of save some of it, but we got into this topic, and I’d like your perspective as someone who is now in literally building.

Megan Montoya:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Zach Wojtowicz:

Was there any anxiety with your team? And if you know, there wasn’t, great. What would you tell someone who does feel kind of the nervousness of, “I don’t think that Customer Portal is for me?”

Megan Montoya:

There’s definitely anxiety. They were scared that-

Zach Wojtowicz:

Resounding yes!

Megan Montoya:

Yeah. I mean, what if we accidentally exposed them and they weren’t supposed to see. There’s always those questions that come. What if someone actually pushes the owner button, and they get to see it? Well, I mean, we’re still human. There’s going to be mistakes. We’ll just be honest with people.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Thee world will end! The whole company will collapse.

Megan Montoya:

Right. No, it won’t.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We all know it.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah. And so the biggest thing that I encourage people to do, even still today, that they’re like, “Well, I don’t know if they’ll do it.” I tell people, “You know, what? If you want someone to use a software, they’re only going to use it to the extent in which you do.” And so, I mean, we do as our leader does, right? And so, if we aren’t willing to actually try and use the different areas of software, how can we ever expect our clients to? And that’s something I really encouraged our team here at BC, that hey, if this is something we want to encourage? Our team, do we want to have a better communication with our clients? Do we want them using the software?

Megan Montoya:

Well, we need to start first. We need to stop emailing them from our Google account, and we need to always email them out of the job. So we have to change some habits, change the mindset so that they will do as we do. And so that’s the biggest thing that it was just kind of been a mindset change. And as they get comfortable with those and we add more areas in, and so it’s kind of been piecemealing it together. We didn’t jump in and have everything available all at once. We just kind of started using pieces at a time. That’s where we started from.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Was there a moment where you could feel the dynamic shift where people started to buy into Buildertrend a little bit, and you talked about-

Megan Montoya:

Oh, big time!

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah. Big time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I’m curious if-

Megan Montoya:

I can see it in the owners where they were like, “Wow, that was awesome that I could actually find something.” I’m like, “Amazing, right? It’s right there.” I mean, you could just hit the filter and type and septic, and all of our notes from anybody was there because it works. All of our data logs, whether it was whoever in the field, we could find anything in regards to that specific thing. So yeah, there was definitely a shift for like, “That was so nice to have that there.” There’s always those little light bulb moments that occur that are fun to see.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. That’s awesome. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to see that at times as well with the different companies I’ve worked with, but it can be hard for people who are just getting started to Buildertrend to see that. And it’s a big mountain to climb. Customer Portal, any feature in Buildertrend to be like, “How do I get my people to buy into this?”

Megan Montoya:

Mm-hmm.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And so, I always like to try and get the perspective of people who have done it successfully.

Megan Montoya:

Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And just to kind of see, it is possible, and it isn’t going away. And I used that line quite a bit with customers where it’s like, “Look, tomorrow, unless something dramatic happens, the internet is not just going to disappear.”

Megan Montoya:

Right. Exactly.

Zach Wojtowicz:

This is a way to separate yourself and also kind of get past what you’ve been to where you could be in the future.

Megan Montoya:

A hundred percent, and we’re utilizing a resource that everybody’s always on anyways. We’re not changing. Everybody’s always tapping the glass, looking for the next thing. So they’re not changing the location of where anybody’s looking for information. We’re just making their things accessible to them.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. So what have been the results of that initiatives on the customer experience efforts that you put in when you joined BC? What would you say? Can you measure it, or have you really thought about kind of… I know maybe you weren’t there before, but what do you think the impact has been?

Megan Montoya:

Well, I think overall, I mean, this is part of our mission as a company is to not be like a stereotypical builder because, unfortunately, the industry kind of has a stigma that communication doesn’t even occur. And so we’ve been trying to break that. And I think that what this has helped us do is show that communication is important. We do it often, and what you have to say matters, and we’re listening. And I think that that’s probably a bigger piece that what gets shared with our clients than anything. We’ve had, I mean, as an example, we had two homes that just recently ended, and they were. I mean, there are good-sized homes. They were 4 to 5,000 square feet, over a million-dollar projects, and we just recently got a referral for a client that is actually in for permitting right now. It’s a $2.5 million home.

Megan Montoya:

And that’s a bigger project for us. We want to start working towards that clientele, but we weren’t there yet. And so it’s been great that they’ve been able to say, “Hey, this is what we’ve been using. This is what we’ve been able to communicate with them. It’s made a big difference that we know what’s going on. Anytime we can contact them however we want to X different number ways, three or four different ways. And I have access to five or six different people that are willing to help me.”

Megan Montoya:

I know that’s being communicated because they’ve told us that. So I think that’s made a big difference in helping bring us bigger clients. I mean, who doesn’t want that from a production standpoint?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Absolutely. I guess we’re just about out of time, and we appreciate you joining us. Is there any closing thoughts on the Customer Portal or Buildertrend in general that we can impart our listeners to before we say goodbye?

Megan Montoya:

I think we’ve hit a lot of great things, Zach. I basically spoke about things that I use specifically. The biggest thing I would say is work with whoever’s helping you in your company and start adding in one piece at a time. The biggest thing, there are the big areas of the portal that are used that I don’t have any impact in. I know change orders are always a huge thing for companies. That this is simplified change orders for so many people due to the accessibility and getting it signed off quickly and being able to invoice quickly and get funds quickly to keep projects moving instead of slowing things down.

Megan Montoya:

So I would definitely recommend that if this is something you want to start instituting into your business to make a priority list of what things are most important for your company, and then see how you can implement one or two things at a time. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Don’t try and take everything. Just take the pieces that matter most to your company, and as you get used to them, you can add more from there.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Great advice, Megan. It was really great to have you here on the show. We really appreciate spending some time with us today to talk about your experiences at Better Choice. As I said, going into this, Megan is a former Buildertrend employee, and that experience, it sounds like, has played great dividends. Megan, if you ever want to come back on the podcast, you just let us know this was fantastic.

Megan Montoya:

Thank you, Zach. Appreciate your time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

For our listeners out there, this is “The Better Way.” Thanks for joining us. Catch us next time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Thanks for listening to “The Better Way.” If you’re a Buildertrend customer, schedule training to learn more. All listeners, be sure to rate, review, and subscribe to “The Better Way” wherever you get your podcasts. Visit buildertrend.com/podcast to sign up for the email notifications when the next season drops and explore our original podcasts, “The Building Code.” Thanks for joining us this season on “The Better Way.”


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