When it comes to luxury building, going standard is always a key choice over providing options.
This is, at least, a preference of California Home Builders CEO Shawn Evenhaim. He compares the concept to that of buying an automobile, where all the extra features chalk up costs or getting an airplane ticket and then being charged surplus fees for baggage or even a glass of water.
“It’s like, just charge me extra for the ticket and stop asking me for more money every five minutes!” says Evenhaim.
Putting the Buyer First
Evenhaim believes that rather than bombarding the buyer with option after option (and therefore additional cost after additional cost), including everything as standard and part of the initial price will provide the buyer with less of a headache when it comes to decision-making and, ultimately, a more satisfying product.
“In our view, when someone sees a model, I want them to see what they get,” he says. “It’s in line with our vision that when you buy a home, everything should be included.”
For some time now, California Home Builders has been offering systems such as home automation tech, solar panels and security as standard in the home (see chart below).
But as of recently, it has begun spotting new trends based on what clients are requesting. This has helped California Home Builders implement new standards in its projects.
One of its new standards is supplying USB outlets all throughout the house, eliminating the need to go searching for a wall adapter to charge an iPhone. Clients can just plug USBs directly into the wall. Another new standard is including lights on all staircases, so if somebody gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or get a glass of water, they will not need to turn on additional lights.
Standard vs. Options: An Industry Transformation
Evenhaim sees a head-to-head trend of standard versus options growing in the building industry. Through his observations, he has noticed that builders on the lower end of luxury tend to choose the latter over the former because it provides a better income for them.
“They’re going to want to sell a $3,000 system for at least five grand,” says Evenhaim, who has been challenging this mindset. He has recently seen other California LUX builders beginning to mirror his ways.
“A lot of people, especially here in California, see what we do and then do it. When it comes to the standard, more people are doing it,” says Evenhaim.
Evenhaim says that his company is always looking for new products, and if they’re usable and in-demand, they’ll likely become standard.