Builder Program Guide

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Clare Builder Program Guide

The Clare builder program is a unique program designed for dealers who wish to strengthen their relationship with their current customers and profitably expand their business by driving product sales and RMR contract volume.

Why engage national home builders or large regional builders?

  • In a word, contracts. Typically national home builders and large regionals do not build fewer than 300-400 homes in a city or region.  Perfect your model, and you will see contract close rates in excess of 30% or 120 contracts per year with a typical builder.
  • Contracts drive equity value into your company. It is a well established fact that companies with strong RMR portfolios command valuations many times greater than product sales companies.

The Clare program is founded on a few key principals:

  • Reducing customer acquisition costs for the dealer by forging a strategic partnership with a builder who is interested in using the demand for Smart and Secure features to help market and sell homes.
  • Providing the dealer with builder facing marketing tools and training to help their builder partner capitalize on their investment in the Smart and Secure home with our dealer.
  • Provide your users with an enriching experience that helps drive your top and bottom line by increasing option sales and recurring monthly revenue.

Additional key points regarding the Clare program:

  • We do not and will not sell to the builder. We sell through an authorized dealer network exclusively through SnapAV.
  • We do not tell the builder what they should pay for base home or option packages. We can guide you with advice based on our experience with national home builders. Your Clare Sales rep has experience with home builders, builder program do’s and don’ts, and core value propositions you should leverage with Clare.
  • We do not have minimum up-sell requirements. We strongly encourage our dealers to use Clare to drive RMR. We do not punish you when you don’t hit a minimum.

1. Let us know you want to join the team

  • Go to clarecontrols.com/builder-program-registration to register.
  • Once you complete the form, your Clare sales representative will be notified and contact you. They will personally walk you through the program and provide you with assistance and guidance.
  • Further, those that register for the program will be the dealers to whom we refer builders when builders inquire about Clare.

It’s that simple.


2. Builder Program: Supporting Materials and Programs

Sales Collateral 

  • Clare Builder Playbook: The playbook covers the value proposition behind your company and Clare to the builder.
  • The balance of collateral we have to support your sales and marketing efforts are located here.

Model Home Discount Program:

  • SnapAV offers discounts on a variety of devices for your model homes located here.
  • Relevant model home marketing collateral can be found here.
  • Often, builders will allow you to use the video on televisions in the model home or design center as a digital sign. Feel free to download and use Clare's Video found here.
  • Clare offers different types of dealer discounts geared towards the builder channel and include free alarm forwarding services to dealers:
    • Builder VIP's and builder employees
    • Qualifying model homes and design centers (cannot be combined with SnapAV model home discounts)
  • Complete the registration form located here to initiate Clare discounts and services.

***Please Note: You can contact Acadian Monitoring Services at 844.652.3093 to discuss utilizing their services. They will provide free model home services to Clare dealers.


Branding:

  • The ClareHome mobile app includes a smart watermark feature that allows you to brand your company logo within the app.

3. Builder Program: General Guidance

If you have a lot of experience with home builders, you can skip this section. However, if you are new to home builders or specifically large regional or national home builders – you may find the following information useful.

  • Understand your builder: large home builders are very different from custom builders. Think production cars vs. a kit car - it is that stark. Key things you need to know:
    • What is the price range of the homes sold by the builder – all in.
    • Do they offer options?
    • How are options sold?
    • Is there a design center?
    • Does the builder have different series homes (starter, step up, active adult, etc)
    • What percentage of the builder's homes are built on spec?
    • Are they being asked about Smart Home?  A great place to confirm that is at the model home or sales center.
  • Understand the builder's processes:
    • Model home sales staff sell homes (think: real estate agent) and need to know the key talking points regarding smart home and NO MORE. They typically do not sell options.
    • Design Centers sell options. If you are participating in the option sales process, you will be likely be at the design center.
    • Lastly, builders do not change offerings often – know when to strike: at launch of a new development and annual business reviews.
  • Be strategic and realistic about your goals:
    • The national average option sell through for large home builders is 9%. A $300,000 house will generate on average, $27,000 in option sales. That’s all in – cabinets, counters, floors, landscaping – everything.
    • Home buyers in this market have real budgets. Most are borrowing and cannot spend more than they’ve been approved for by the bank.
    • The designer at the design center ultimately controls the spend. Not you. Make sure your relationship with the design staff is very good, that you are supportive and responsive, and make sure they are being paid on your option sale.
    • Most importantly understand the builder is your customer. Everything you do reflects on the builder. You are selling a Smart and Secure solution to drive home sales and for no other reason (as far as the builder is concerned). 
  • Key factors drive technology purchase in this home segment and they are different than the custom home segment.
    • Virtual presence is a key selling factor.  Video, remotely controlled door locks and garage doors and knowing who is coming and going.
    • Safety and security.  Depending upon the location of the home (you should know the crime statistics in the area), travel lifestyle of the homeowners, family dynamics and a host of other factors drive demand for this service.
    • Convenience and comfort.  Scenes that shut the house down at night, remotely controlled thermostats, lighting on schedules - all are great selling features and have a high value to these homeowners.
    • Oddly  enough, traditional entertainment system control integrated into the smart and secure home experience is not a highly valued feature for this segment of buyers - so do not lead with it, ever.

4.  Builder Program: Selling Recommendations

We cannot emphasize this enough: the builder is using Smart Home technology to help sell homes. You are leveraging that need to reduce your origination cost of a security customer (i.e motivating the builder to make Smart and Secure technology part of the base house - that is, standard in every home). Any product or technology that you market to the builder that does not help drive the intersection of those two goals should be questioned.

  • Lead with "Smart", follow with "Secure" in your pitch. Security has been in and out of builder's base home packages for 20 years. As a consequence leading with security is not likely to motivate a builder to invest in your technology as part of the base house - "Smart Home" will.
  • Emphasize the 'freemium" nature of the Clare offering. The mostly unrestricted free tier is a key selling feature of the Clare system.
  • Emphasize the fact that your solution supports many of the vendors he already uses (e.g. Honeywell, Carrier, Yale, Kwikset, Schlage, Liftmaster and others).
  • Motivate your builder to have other trades install smart products: thermostats, garage doors, door locks, light switches.
  • Emphasize the free factory call support that Clare offers - that service is typically very important to builders.
  • Have Clare provide you with customized builder collateral for the sale - it almost always surprises the builder.

One final point - you are asking a builder to spend money on something he has never spent money on before.  That is, you are increasing the cost of the house which it antithetical to almost every home builder we have ever worked with.  So get creative and look for products that can be cut to make room for your Smart and Secure solution:

  • The first place to look is structured wiring. Question the need for satellite prewire, dual structured wiring runs and yes, even the structured wire enclosure. We are regularly seeing homes built with selling prices exceeding $600,000 with two CAT5E runs, several RG6 runs and no structured wire panel. Nearly everything can be done using wireless technology, so repurpose the structured wiring investment to pay for the "Smart Home" solutions your builder wants. Sell a killer wireless network later on to the homeowner.
  • Walk away from the structured wire altogether. If the structured wiring is a simple a described above, suggest the electrician do the wiring. No low voltage contractor will compete with the electrician in the wiring business. He's already on the job site (no incremental trips) and electricians are very good at managing labor costs.

By demonstrating flexibility and creativity, you will increase your close rates and achieve your core goal - get the builder to pay for some or all of the Smart and Secure solution.

5. Builder Program: The Steps

Find out who the builder uses for low voltage installation and what technologies your competitor is installing as base house standard and as options.  You should also find out what your target home builder's key competitors are doing in the Smart Home category.  Peer pressure works.

NOTE: If this is your first-time marketing and selling a Clare solution to a home builder, contact Clare. We are here to help with any questions you may have.

Assuming you will accomplish the core goal of having some portion of the Smart and Secure offering made standard in every home your builder sells, the method by which you sell upgrades may vary from builder to builder.  The two key factors that will drive selling methods will be the percentage of homes that are built on spec and whether the builder uses a design center.

Home builders that build a high percentage of homes on spec, will likely not have a design center.  In this case, you may not gain access to the customer until post - close.  

Home builders that build fewer homes on spec and allow the customer to select options will likely have a design center.  Typically that is the best place for you to sell upgrades.  

Lastly, figure out when you will install the product.  If you are dealing with a spec builder or you have deferred structured wiring to the electrician, you may be tempted to install and sell post-close.

Be very careful recommending this approach.  Your communication with the home builder must be very very good and you must gain access to the homeowner prior to close via email or phone or both.  If you don't, you will be fighting the door-to-door sales squads from Vivent, ADT, Guardian and others.  It is almost certain you will lose sales to these companies deferring installation to post close.

You absolutely want a package of some type in 100% of the homes sold – that is, you want to be base house standard. Ideally, it will include the Clare Secure Kit which includes the Clare Cliq.Mini Controller and the Clare Security Panel.

Remember the builder is buying smart home AND NOT security. Essentially you are supplying a ‘need’ to the builder that is complementary to your need – the Security feature.

  • As stated above, have the builder engage other trades to install smart products:  door locks, thermostats, garage door operators and lighting.  These are typically modest upgrades from base products and further drive the value of the Smart Home.
  • Determine your builder's appetite for a base house standard offering.  We have seen base home packages range from $300 to as much as $1,300 in this market.
  • Define very few, highly structured option packages that will be sold in the design center.  Builders want this process to be as simple as possible.
  • Understand that in this market, option packages over $2,000 will almost never sell. Remember your builder margin / markup when designing these.
    • Lead with a security package. If you got the base home right, you are adding a keypad and sensors.
    • Clare can help you with other options, but they will typically include CCTV, networking, lighting and wireless audio.
    • Leverage Clare's marketing templates for package presentation.

 

There is a free tier in the Clare system – forever. Not 36 months, not limited to lights, locks, and thermostats. We have NEVER met a builder that wants a homeowner to receive a bill for a product he installed 30 days after moving into a house.

  • "With the Clare system, I can support the brands you (builder) use; Honeywell, Aprilaire, Liftmaster, Schlage etc."
  • "We (Clare and my company) will support your sales centers and design centers. We will train your people so you derive a benefit from your smart home investment."
  • "We will install a system in model homes you specify and provide professional alarm monitoring services at no cost to you (assuming you the dealer is willing to use Acadian for free monitoring services and ClareNet for free alarm forwarding)."
  • "We have very structured packages and options making it simple for your customer to make decisions"
  • "The homeowner can add devices to the system after they move in – DIY style. I don’t have to be there."
  • "We have excellent post installation support backed by Clare Care’s professional call center."
  • Contact your Clare Sales representative.
  • Train. Train. Train. – sales centers/model homes, design centers. 
  • Talk to everyone in the process (model home, design center, construction staff) about the Smart Home Solution you are providing and remind them that they need to tell the homeowner, “do not sign a smart home or security agreement when you move in, it’s already installed."
  • Have collateral information inserted into the closing binder and ask them to repeat the above during closing.  See a template for this closing document here.
  • Place a ‘call xyz to activate’ sign anywhere in the home you can to encourage the homeowner to call you.
  • And don’t count on it. Get the home close reports, construction schedules, and homeowner contact information from your builder to contact the homeowner at trim, one week prior to close, and immediately after close.

Be prepared to sell products at the doorstep. You will hear over and over again in the design center, "can I add that after close". You will answer yes, so be prepared to offer options after close.

Be prepared to ask for the monitoring contract. There are plenty of training tools online that walk you through how to pitch professionally monitoring systems vs. DIY etc. ESA is a very good source for this training.  

 

 

We highly recommend you use post installation surveys to determine customer satisfaction.  Many times, upset customers will not call you, they will call the builder.  That is best to be avoided.  Various tools exist to automate this process, such as Survey Monkey, Google Forms and others.  Alternatively, you may want to put a customer service rep on the phone while your technician is still on the job site to conduct the survey via interview.

Nearly every home builder has a one year warranty. You are part of that warranty. Make sure you are VERY responsive during that warranty period.


6. Builder Program: Summary

Clare has worked for nearly four years with national home builders helping them understand how to use Smart Home and Security technology to differentiate their homes. We are here to create pull in the channel and you can benefit from that.

  • There is a tremendous opportunity in the market right now to leverage a builder's appetite for Smart Home products and services to drive down your customer acquisition costs and increase security contract close rates
  • The Clare builder program is in place to help you monetize that opportunity.
  • It is simple to get started with the Clare Builder Program.
  • We are here to help:  sales assistance with your builder, marketing tools and general advice.

Click Here to learn more about how Clare fits in the market.

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