How to Best Collaborate with Home Buyers on Custom Home Design


As the economy improves, it’s becoming more common for buyers looking to custom-design their home—making it vital for home builders to be aware of contemporary design trends and how to effectively communicate with clients to understand their needs and manage their expectations when unreasonable requests arise. Here are a few general tips to help you achieve success.

Knowing What People Don’t Want is Half the Battle

Get to know what your buyers want by performing an interview to truly understand their wants, needs and overall lifestyle. For example, if you are designing a home for a family with young children, their needs are going to change drastically over time. The same goes for an aging baby boomer who may only stay in the home for five or ten years.


Work with a Realistic Budget

Many home buyers aren’t aware of how to realistically budget for design features, materials and other elements that go into building a home. It is important that all members of the team, from the architect to the builder to the bank, work together to ensure that building the home is carried out on a realistic budget. Keeping the client on track is critical to ensuring your own sanity during the building process. This can be done by reminding the client of your agreed plan and budget when they ask for additional design elements outside of the project scope. In addition, recommend that your clients have a contingency reserve of ten to fifteen percent in their home building budget.


Be Aware of Generational Trends

Age and experience make a difference in building a custom home as features will differ between generations. Millennial buyers will gravitate toward smart technology, high bandwidth and green materials, as well as smaller, urban and multifunctional designs. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, may be interested in bigger properties with flatter floorplans that are friendlier to older knees and hips.


Finally, be conscious that building a home is an emotional experience for home buyers. It’s the largest invesment they’ll ever make. By showing the great work you have done on previous projects, demonstrating competence and offering a gentle hand to guide your buyers through the process, building a custom-designed home can be a satisfying and advantageous journey.