The HomeSphere Primer: What We Do and Why We Do It
November 6, 2019
Do you know how to describe your job? At HomeSphere we’ve evolved over the years, and so have our services and how we’ve positioned ourselves to customers. But even over 20 years, our goal of being a true partner to both home builders and manufacturers has always remained.
And we’re going to flout the rules of modern marketing (i.e. don’t talk about yourself too much) to explain what we mean. Because, we get it, a “true partner” sounds like a marketing line, and at a basic level, it is. But it’s also central to how we operate and differentiate our business from others.
Isn’t HomeSphere a rebate program?
You’re right, we facilitate rebates. At least that’s part of what we do. But we’ve been in this business for 20 years, and if that’s all we offered, we’d be in trouble.
We take care of the rebate process by negotiating with national manufacturers on your behalf and by creating technology that makes our program accessible from anywhere. That way, you can focus on building. We also learn who you are and what you need as a business owner, and then we help you achieve those goals. No, not every goal — we’re not superheroes — but we can help you compete in the industry and give you a voice with national brands.
Our President and COO Greg Schwarzer puts it best: “Until HomeSphere arrived on the scene, rebates only flowed to top national builders. Through our program, we allow our builder segment to become much more competitive and enjoy cost saving benefits like a large national builder would.”
For building product manufacturers
We help you increase your share within the residential new construction market. “We are a direct conduit to 2,700 builders who collectively complete over one quarter of all residential new construction in the U.S. yearly,” Schwarzer said. “With feet on the street across the country, and a powerful platform, simply put, there is no better way for a manufacturer to gain access to this highly valuable builder segment.”
So we help you do just that. But we’re not just talking new customers. We’ll also help you keep the customers you have by helping you reward their product purchasing loyalty — not only through rebates but by giving you the tools to really get to know your customers. This includes how they build, what their needs are and how you can step in and address those needs.
Defining true partnerships
If you aced your lit classes in high school, you might pick up the theme that we’re all about relationships here (otherwise, we apologize for referencing high school). Fostering great relationships between builders and manufacturers is our foundation.
And great relationships are healthy relationships that turn into lasting connections. That’s where we come in as a true partner.
This means we don’t play favorites. Our customers are both our builder partners and our brand partners. It doesn’t benefit us to play one against the other, and it won’t benefit anyone else in the long run, either.
As a true partner to builders, our in-market specialists (aka “feet on the street”) work with you to find brands that make sense for you. That means we offer you choice within our 1,500+ strong brand catalog without insisting you pick from a small list of manufacturers to qualify for rebates.
As a true partner to manufacturers, we help you identify who your customers are and where they’re building. We also connect you to builders (and by extension, homeowners) who are the most likely to continue, or start, using your brand. One-off customers are a nice boost, but that’s not where long-term profits are.
Not yet a HomeSphere partner?
HomeSphere manufacturer partners have access to the largest community of home builders in the United States.
Services that benefit everyone
We’ve organized our program to benefit both builders and manufacturers, and here’s how we work to accomplish that.
Listening and using feedback
In a customer survey we conducted, 60 percent of HomeSphere builders said that they prefer to report their closings quarterly, so we give our builders the option of choosing when they want to report. Because they know what works best for their business. It’s not about what’s convenient for us.
We also provide a reasonable amount of time for manufacturers to validate the rebates we send them, and their feedback has influenced how we design and update HomeSphere-IQ®, our online platform for manufacturers.
Our bundled rebate offering is unique in residential new construction.
For builders, we don’t take a flat processing percentage from every individual rebate our builders claim. Instead, enabled by our technology, our rebate processing costs decrease as the number of eligible products that builders claim per closing increases. Builders are our business partners so we share these efficiencies with them. “This also means that even adding a small product to the bundle a builder uses can have an outsized impact on their rebate earnings,” Schwarzer said.
For manufacturers, their individual rebate offering is enhanced when paired with rebates from the other manufacturers on the HomeSphere platform, allowing all our brand partners to offer collective maximum savings to the builder. Many builders now strive to achieve specific rebate returns, and when manufacturers work together to help builders accomplish business goals, they’re rewarded with increased loyalty. Our bundle also helps manufacturers fight the race to the bottom on price and protect their margins.
Providing tools to perform better
Our award-winning online platforms, My HomeSphere™ and HomeSphere-IQ, for builders and manufacturers respectively, exist to provide customers a richer experience with us.
My HomeSphere allows builders to track their rebates, upload closings and see what other brands they could add to their construction projects to earn even more back — all in one place. It’s also the easiest spot to update us on their latest projects (via a dynamic company profile), so we can make sure we’re all working toward the same goals.
HomeSphere-IQ allows manufacturers to track who’s using their products down to the very neighborhood where their products are installed. Users can explore our builder base to find smart sales opportunities and find the information they need to maximize their customer relationships.
And we’re constantly looking for ways to improve the user experience in both platforms. (If you currently use one of our platforms and have an idea, let us know!)
Is that all?
We’ll stop here, because we know we’ve talked a lot about ourselves in this post. We just think it’s important you know who we are as a company and why we operate the way we do.
If you’re interested in getting to know us better or if you’re one of our current customers, always know our door is open and we’re here to listen.