When it comes to systems of mass construction, few can compare to the speed and quality of today’s modular building systems. A factory in action, where talented craftsmen use the very latest labor saving tools and equipment, is a modern marvel of technological achievement. Unlike the repetitive nature of factory lines that produce appliances, automobiles or computers, each home constructed by the craftsmen in a modular factory is typically a one-of-a-kind design.
Does your client want a large two-story foyer with granite countertops in the kitchen and radiant heat in the floors? Not a problem with this system and it can deliver it to your client in a fraction of the time that it would take to site build.
Want in? Ideally modular manufacturers look for builders, developers or entrepreneurs who are financially stable and who already have a strong reputation in their building communities.
The products and support programs offered by modular manufacturers can vary greatly within the industry. Some manufacturers want builders to only offer their product in exchange for extensive training, support programs and technical help. Others may only shrug if their builder also offers a competitor’s product from time to time.
Manufacturers rarely charge any kind of franchise fee for becoming a modular builder. Many, however, do sell a “builderâ’s kit” the cost of which is often reimbursed on the first home order. A kit usually contains marketing materials, buyer contracts, subcontractor contracts and product samples for buyers to select design options.
Many manufacturers encourage builders to invest in one or more model homes. The prevailing reality in the industry is that builders can’t sell from the back of a pickup truck anymore and be effective. The investment in a model home can vary from $50,000 to more than $200,000 depending on your market and any model program discounts offered by the manufacturer.
Under-capitalized modular builders sometimes use spec homes as models, exhibiting them until they sell and repeating the process until they have the volume to support a full-time model home. (Recommended volume for a model: 10 or more.) Successful modular builders report that a well-decorated model home can quadruple sales.
Modular producers often reward their top producing builders with paid vacations and other prizes. Before you go shopping for manufacturers, realize that some focus on affordable homes exclusively; others offer a wide range of sizes and plans, and still others only target the upscale custom home market.