We know that a house is nothing without a solid foundation. It’s the most important part of building a home, even if it’s not the most visible: without strong foundations, a house can’t stand.
We like to think of our twelve-step building process in a similar way: without a good foundation, how will we know what the client wants? How will the client know what to expect?
The “foundation” of our build process is the first conversation we have with our clients, which we call a “discovery session.” It’s our first chance to formally meet and exchange ideas, which influences everything that comes afterwards.
“It’s the most important step,” says Jason Halverson, our lead architectural draftsman. “It lays the groundwork for everything else. That’s our moment to become people they like, and the people they trust.”
We know that a house is nothing without a solid foundation.
It’s kind of like a mutual interview: we know you’re looking for the right builder, and we’re listening for clues to see how we can help you in the best way. We call it a “discovery session” because we’re discovering things about each other: we learn about you and what you want in a house, and you’re learning about how North House operates and what we can provide.
If we connect in this first meeting, then the rest of the twelve-step process feels like a breeze.
“It’s blind dating for home building,” said Drew Fleming, North House’s team lead.
We like to lay everything on the table during our discovery sessions: how financing works, when to get bank pre-approval (ASAP!!), laying out how much time you have to prepare, and walking you through the Buildertrend app, among much else. We want to be as transparent as we can before the build process starts, so you know exactly what to expect as we start to build your house – because as Jason says, the planning and building process is very detailed.
Architectural Designer Jason Halverson (left) and Owner and Real Estate Agent Drew Fleming (right).
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” says Jason. “A lot of people don’t know how much they have to select, and how customizable it is. I think this meeting is what sets us apart – the details are important to us. The more transparent we are with the details, the more comfortable the clients are.”
Typically, this meeting normally takes around 30 minutes, but in some cases, we’ve talked with clients for much longer – sometimes, we’ll build plans together for a few hours! It’s common for clients to come in with a general idea of what they want, but leave with new perspectives on what they can afford, based on our advice.
“By the time the meeting finishes, people might be building a completely different house, because they’re like ‘I didn’t know I could do that!’” Jason says. “When the meeting goes long, we’re already getting into next steps.”
We’re proud to say that the vast majority of our discovery session clients stick with us to build their home.
There’s no financial commitment required to meet with us, but we’re proud to say that the vast majority of our discovery session clients stick with us to build their home. We try to provide the knowledge and advice our clients need to make a smart decision, and let them decide how fast they want to move – although we’ve found people normally leave these sessions excited for the future, ready to work as soon as they can.
“The discovery meeting gets people moving… they realize that they can move forward a lot faster than they thought,” says Drew. “It sounds kind of cheesy, but it’s true: once people find out their house is within their reach, they’ll move mountains. They’ll do anything to make it happen.”