Modern Home Builder - Fall 2017 - 87
says, is to deliver what the customer wants. "We leave our ego at
the door," he notes. "We're not here to build our homes; we're here
to build theirs."
Dobson Homes works only in Virginia and usually within 25
minutes of transportation hubs such as I-64, U.S. 250 and U.S. 29.
The proximity to major highways enables Dobson and his project
manager to keep close tabs on jobs. "My job is to judge and qualify
our work and that construction meets standards to what we've
built and sold," Dobson adds.
To ensure construction methods achieve those standards, project managers and subcontractors are each given a checklist of 30
quality measures. Subcontractors must turn in a signed checklist
before they can be paid for their work. Subcontractors perform
most of the construction, but Dobson Homes also has two master
carpenters on staff who help with tweaks and punch list items so
that subcontractors don't need to be called for minor fixes.
Dobson Homes' attention to detail and its personal level of service
have earned it strong praise from past customers, driving its word
of mouth business. "He's [Dobson] on-site almost every day for the
ones that are really close to town and he has a project manager onsite every day," sales agent Sasha Farmer says.
Dobson's close involvement with his customers impressed
Farmer and convinced her to represent Dobson Homes. She notes
Dobson strives to know customers' families and lifestyles before
work begins. "That makes him particularly good at foreseeing what
you want and knowing what you want before you do," she says.
Even the way Dobson Homes' determines its cost is centered
on providing better value to the client. Instead of calculating price
by square footage - a challenge for period homes that tend to feature extensive moldings - the company works off a cost-plus percentage formula that takes into account the construction timeline.
Every other aspect of the project, from the materials chosen to the
kinds of cabinets and appliances installed, are done at cost.
As a result, Dobson never tries to advocate for a higher-quality
flooring or more expensive stove as a way of upselling the customer. "It allows me to establish that credibility right up front because
my advice is sincere," he says.
Those interactions put customers at ease and give them greater
confidence that their vision will be realized with quality. "Building
a house should not be stressful; it should be fun," Dobson says. )
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