The homebuilder should attempt to devise a system whereby the jobsite construction staff and the customer service field staff can work together as a team rather than as adversaries.
An adversarial relationship occurs when the construction leaves mistakes and loose ends for the customer service crew to fix, and the customer service field crew refuses to accept these incomplete units…making repairs and solving problems that should have been handled during the construction.
One way to motivate people to work together is money. A financial bonus system can be created…where both the construction staff and the customer service field crew share in the dollar amount if homebuyer walkthroughs result in few customer service complaints.
Suppose, for example, the builder sets up a bonus program of $300 per house…split between three superintendents and three customer service repair persons…on a housing tract of 50 new houses. Assume in this bonus system that each person will receive $50 for every house that has 10 or less combined repair items as listed on the homebuyer walkthrough and any subsequent repair request letter…within the first 60 days of occupancy…not counting subcontractor repairs such as electrical, plumbing, or HVAC performed directly by the subcontractor.
This would equate to an incentive of $2,500 per person to aim for…for this hypothetical new housing tract…by working together as a team to produce units that have low-item walkthroughs and few or no call-backs.
For low to medium priced new houses and condominiums…this achievement would certainly involve the upfront investment of man-hours in the field getting the subcontractors to complete their work as well as possible…and some man-hours during the final prep phase doing the last final touches in preparation for the homebuyer walkthrough.
If, for example, $3,000 is the line-item for customer service per house in the project budget…spending $300 in a bonus campaign that improves quality, lifts moral among homebuyers on the project, improves word-of-mouth recommendations about the builder that helps the sales staff, and potentially reduces the chances that the entire $3,000 budgeted per house will actually be depleted…then an incentive program that creates a team effort on the construction site between construction and customer service…may achieve quality and economy.