HomeSphere Leadership Series: Q&A With David Sacchetti, Builder Sales
March 23, 2021
Welcome to our HomeSphere Leadership Series where we showcase the different expertise of our HomeSphere team members.
Home builders are fresh off a historic 2020 with a promising 2021 ahead — though there are definite cost and supply-side concerns — and there are few team members within HomeSphere who are more familiar with how home builders operate than our Builder Sales team, led by David Sacchetti.
Today, we’re sitting down with Sacchetti to discuss builder trends, how home builders have responded to the pandemic, what’s on their minds right now and how HomeSphere’s team of in-market specialists can help builders with supply-side issues. We also talk about how communication is so important right now for building product manufacturers.
Tell us about your role with HomeSphere as the vice president of builder sales.
I oversee our builder-facing side of the business, from our HomeSphere Rebate Program to our Direct Rebate Management Program. Builders enroll in these programs for several reasons: to get access to rebates and a platform to manage those rebates, to connect directly with manufacturers and distributors, to offset price increases and improve margins and to access to our regional market specialists, just to name a few. My job is to make sure we’re not only doing these things but also finding new ways to bring value to our builder customers.
How did you get started in the residential new construction industry?
A friend introduced me to the building industry about eight years ago. I did some research and realized I would really enjoy this type of industry and that my previous work experience would translate well. I started working as a sales rep for CPG Building Products (AZEK/TimberTech), which was my first stop in the industry.
On home builder concerns:
"One common concern is rising prices and lead times on materials. Last year had a major impact on those two things and they are still feeling the impact today and could be for an extended period of 2021."
Based on your conversations in the field, how are small- to medium-sized builders feeling right now? What are some common concerns, as well as areas of optimism?
We’re getting mixed feedback from the builders depending on where they are located and what their current business situation is. Some builders are very optimistic and confident that demand will remain high. Others are cautious as they see new home prices rise and demand remain so high. One common concern is rising prices and lead times on materials. Last year had a major impact on those two things and they are still feeling the impact today and could be for an extended period of 2021.
Have you seen a shift in the way home builders are procuring building products?
We’re not necessarily seeing a shift, but they’ve had to be more flexible given the supply issues and rising costs. We’ve seen builders exploring new brand options, new suppliers, contractors, etc.
Advice for building product manufacturers:
"This is a time to overcommunicate and speak to your customers as often as possible."
Do you have any tips for manufacturers on how they can be most helpful to builders right now? And similarly, how builders can work with manufacturers through these issues?
For manufacturers to help builders, communication is so important. We’ve seen some instances where a builder was switching brands because their supplier had told them they couldn’t get something, yet when the manufacturer was made aware, the manufacturer did have a solution available. Communication to distribution and their key builders can help avoid losing business. This is a time to overcommunicate and speak to your customers as often as possible.
Builders should use all resources available to them. Using a HomeSphere regional market specialist is a great place to start. They can connect builders directly with manufacturers to discuss product availability, distribution, explore new brands, etc.
Do you think the changes you’re seeing among builders will last post-pandemic?
I do. Anytime businesses are forced to operate differently for a period of time, like the COVID year we’ve had, I think some of the new methods/processes will stick. It might’ve been something they were hesitant to do in the past and now realize it can be effective, like virtual showings, virtual settlements, virtual meeting, etc. Those might not become the norm for a builder, but they won't hesitate to do it now if it will keep a sale going or speed up the buying process.
On rising popularity of construction tech:
"We are seeing more builders adopt construction tech. More and more tech resources are becoming available to them..."
Where do you see the residential new construction industry heading over the next several years? Are you seeing more adoption of construction tech out in the field?
We are seeing more builders adopt construction tech. More and more tech resources are becoming available to them and as those companies gain more visibility, more builders are seeing the value and paying attention to them. Consumer demand for smart products and home technology has also increased builder awareness to the options in the industry.
What’s something about HomeSphere you think our builders should be taking advantage of more?
Builders should definitely be taking advantage of our regional market specialists for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Builders can use our team as a resource to connect them to the manufacturers or local trades that they have relationships with. Our specialists can also help them maximize the rebates or get them out of a jam with a supply issue by connecting them to the correct person.
What would you tell a builder thinking about joining HomeSphere?
I would highly recommend it. There is nothing to lose and only cost savings and valuable connections to gain.
Not yet a HomeSphere partner?
HomeSphere connects residential construction builders with building product manufacturers to facilitate long-lasting relationships through our award-winning software platforms, My HomeSphere® and HomeSphere-IQ®.