Customer Service: Essential in Building Your Dream Home

Customer Service Essential in Building Your Dream Home

Show Notes: Customer service does matter when designing and building your new home!


Steve Tuma: Yes, we get to know our customers well, we talk, we spend time on the phone, we talk about details, whatever questions they have we’ll take the time and through that, you get a great understanding of what people do.

Interviewer: Hello everyone and thanks for joining us for episode 51 of the panelized prefab kit home-building show. With me as always is the president and founder of Landmark Home and Land Company, a company which has been helping people build their new homes where they want, exactly as they want, nationwide and around the globe since 1993, Mr. Steve Tuma. Steve, how are you, my friend?

Steve Tuma: Life is good, it’s another good day. You know I was listening to this, he said around the globe since 1993, we’ve been doing this 30 years.

Interviewer: Yeah, you’re just babies in the industry.

Steve Tuma: Actually, we’re one of the oldest, but it’s amazing, I’ve helped every single customer since 1993. Every single one? Every single one. Wow. And many of them come back and build another one or help a relative or a friend and it’s just kind of amazing to think, you know, all the stuff that we’ve done, the different people we’ve helped, different places around the country, different styles homes, different budgets, it’s an amazing situation.

Interviewer: That 30 years man, that’s a landmark, that’s amazing. So in the industry, and we were joking around earlier, but are there any other panelized companies out there that are as old or as seasoned and experienced as Landmark?

Steve Tuma: I’m not sure that there are any that do exactly what we do, you know, with the complete service where we work with our customers, you know, from the inception of the design, their architectural design, the structural engineering, the energy codes, the site planning, working with the building department, working with the customer on their exact needs to develop their plan. And then actually manufacture, oh, sorry, back up, get them the plan so they could submit for permits, work with them through the complete permitting process, and then also go through and supply the panelized package that matches the approved plans. It’s an incredible amount of work that I know of, we’re the only ones that do it because it’s an incredible amount of work. A lot of details goes over many, many disciplines, and I guess we just enjoy it.

Interviewer: Yeah, well, I mean, if you’re doing something 30 years and you don’t like it, you probably would have gotten out a long time ago.

Steve Tuma: Oh, well, this is fun because we’ve developed a system that works pretty well so we can help a customer with the one-stop shop idea. And that’s what’s really cool about it. Someone could call us and say, hey, Steve, I want this house on that lot, how do we do it? Instead of saying, well, you’ve got to call 20 people, and by the way, coordinate them, it’s kind of like lining kittens up, good luck. It’s hard work with us, we’ll be able to work with someone to make it easier for them and have fun doing it. So we want to work with good people, build cool houses, and have a good time doing it.

Interviewer: I want to get to that one-stop shop idea that you were just talking about later in the podcast. Because I think it’s really important that people understand exactly what the services are that Landmark provides. But for today’s episode, I thought we might bend your ear regarding what types of situations come up with your customers from time to time when they need help that they may not even realize at the beginning of a project that they need help on. People walk into these things like, oh, I can build a house, it can’t be that hard. But you guys probably have to step in a lot. Are you psychic? Are you able to ascertain? How do you ascertain a customer’s needs even when they themselves can’t express or articulate their desires because they simply don’t have the knowledge it takes to build a new home?

Steve Tuma: Well, this is kind of interesting because a lot of customers do understand the building processes, whether or not they’ve done it. And then you’re right. Some people are like, I’m going to do it. I’ve wanted to do it. I’ve never built a birdhouse, but I want to build a house. So we’re able to do it. So there’s different ranges of what people can do. Some people, we’ve had families that actually work together because they’re in the trades. They know how to do all the work. And then other people are more kind of managing it. So it becomes more of a project management situation. So in a sense, you don’t necessarily need to know the details of how to pour a cement foundation. But if you understand how to find a good person, work with them, go over a good set of plans with them, coordinate it, it becomes more of a coordination situation. So we’ve had a lot of people that have never swung a hammer built a house.

A lot of single moms are great at multitasking and coordinating 20 things at one time. We’ve had people that are professional builders after they retire, they work with us on their own homes. So it kind of runs the gamut. So what we do is we fill in and help customers where they are. You bring up the, you know, joking, I’m sure you said, are you guys psychic? I don’t know if it’s psychic, probably not, but it’s more of a situation where we’ve been doing it so long where we could kind of see patterns. So sometimes people will say, you know, say in the design stage, you’re like, I don’t know what I want. Well, sometimes they know what they don’t want. And sometimes they do know what they want. They just haven’t thought it through or haven’t been questioned. So someone might go through and say, hey, I want a nice kitchen. And they’ll be like, but Steve, can you help us design a kitchen? And I say, well, we’ve got designers that can do all the kitchen layouts and everything. But what are you intending to do? Okay. So sometimes you kind of back into it.

Some people say, well, like we had a customer in Prescott, Arizona. His wife loved baking pies. She had to have double stoves, windows overlooking the yard to see the grandkids, certain amount of countertop space. And you know, she had her layout because she’s been baking pies for 40 years. Other people are like, you know what? It’s real simple. I just want a simple galley kitchen. It’s a small house or an ADU. I just want something where one person can quickly put a meal together. Maybe it’s two people living in the house, one person, something different. And then other times people be like, hey, when my family comes over, they come over. You know, the kitchen needs to be by the great room, which has to be, you know, I got to be able to put a table for 14 there. We’re going to have two TVs and music going and there’s got to be a pool table. You know, so that people have an idea. So they may not know exactly how they want it, but they know what they’re trying to achieve and how they want to enjoy the house. So that’s how we’re able to do it. And typically it’s most people know, but if they don’t, it’s just a little conversation. I get a couple ideas based on that conversation. So we listen to our customers and what they tell us.

You know, we may ask some questions back, get some details, and we make some suggestions to the designer. They draw the house up with the kitchen or bedrooms or bathrooms or garage, whatever it may be. And then a set of plans shows up, which becomes kind of the basis. It comes a starting point of a black and white drawing that you can look at and see exactly what’s there. And then you make adjustments from there. And by the way, we’ve had varieties of customers. I bring up kitchens because people relate to it. We’ve had people that have to have family rooms, theater rooms, guys that want man caves, they restore cars, they work on cars, father, son projects, you know, whatever it may be. There’s people, equestrian properties, they wanted kind of a small tech room in the house. So there’s a variety of situations. And then there’s other people that just have a view and they want to be able to sit down, soak in the view, enjoy nature, watch a fireplace, listen to music. So there’s a variety of different ways that we can do. So sometimes it’s not specific, like, hey, I want the best kitchen for baking pies. Sometimes it’s like, I got a beautiful view and I just want to soak it in. So we get into, you know, different windows, how the windows are angled, where the views at, how the house is positioned on the lot. So it gets pretty interesting. And I think that’s something where people really appreciate it because it’s not just the house. We’re helping them create an environment that will change their life and allow them to live the best life that they choose.

Interviewer: And I think it’s funny because that’s, you know, we’re talking about people not maybe not knowing exactly how to explain what they’re looking for and to have that experience that you guys have where you go, oh, I know what you’re talking about. And they may go, hmm, I don’t even know what I’m talking about, you know. But this goes back to like plan details. You guys have a lot of plans, sort of plan templates on your website and people can go on there and pick and choose. But everything, what I think is special about Landmark Home and Land Company is your ability to be so adaptable, you know, and so not all plans are equal. And you guys have to sort of navigate people through that whole process of what what plan they really want and what’s going to give them the most bang for their buck and the most bang for their emotional need. You know, it’s a home. It’s important.

Steve Tuma: Right. How it fits on the land, how it’s oriented for zoning issues, you know, whatever it may be. But it’s not just that. There’s also the issue of plans of the physical information in the plan set. So in certain parts of the country, people will just build a house. They’ll go find some local guy that won an award in high school and he’ll draw a set of plans. And you know what? Their plans are good conceptual plans. You could look at it. You can see what the house looks like. You can see the different bedroom sizes, the living room sizes, and this and that. And in some areas, people will get permits on that. And then it’s up to the builder to interpret what that plan is. And then hopefully it lines up with what the customer wants. Right. So generally on plans that are real simple, even though they might be accepted by a building department, you know, who knows how deep the building department is actually looking at them. But the details may not be there to make sure that the customer gets what they want. So it’s not a generic situation. It’s not a gallon of milk where you could say, hey, I want a gallon of vitamin D milk, whole milk. And generally, it’s done to a certain standard, to a certain degree.

Plans aren’t like that. There’s details that need to be there, sections, insulation details, connection details, foundation details, ceiling height, wall heights, ceiling details, eave overhangs, and a lot of things. So sometimes people don’t understand this and they’re like, well, I got a set of plans from the local guy. Then he did this. He does a great job. He does it for everyone. And then I say, but how tall is your wall? They’re like, I don’t know. How tall is your basement? I don’t know. Is there a cathedral ceiling here? I don’t know. And they start to understand that it’s good to have it because a plan set, the way I look at it, is really a communication item between the customer, us, the building department, the contractor, and any financing sources that might be involved. So it needs to be clear as far as what’s there. Sometimes people say, hey, you know, I heard that construction goes over budget. I’m like, yeah, it can, but it doesn’t have to. And sometimes the over budget or off schedule is more a result of bad plans. So someone looks at the plans and say, well, it didn’t say that you wanted a cathedral ceiling here. So the builder just puts a flat ceiling.

You walk in your house and it’s like, I wanted a cathedral ceiling. And he said, well, it’s not on the plans. Well, I told you about it eight months ago. You should have remembered, you know, type of thing. And with our set of plans, we have the details. We show the sections so people can see how a house goes together. They can see the ceiling heights, wall heights, get a lot of details on the windows, basement, foundation situation so they could see how it’s put together to minimize and hopefully eliminate the chance of the what ifs and the oh calls at five o’clock on Friday where someone’s sitting there going, what do you mean by this? How big of a window instead of big window, you know, have a specific window detail. So that’s that’s what we’re able to do and make sure that a plan set is is is detailed so everyone in the project understands it. And it makes it easy because I’ve seen it. People sit there and they talk to a builder and they’re talking to him saying, I want this and I want this and I want this. No one writes it down, you know, and I don’t know who has that type of memory to remember stuff over every detail over six months. So with the plan sets, we’re able to keep things clear and one final set of plans so everyone could refer to them and everyone knows what’s being built. Just makes it easier. You can control your budget, you can control your schedule, and the nicest thing is you can help control your headaches. Right.

Interviewer: So two things in what, you know, that what that list of things you just were talking about, two things that I gathered from that right off the bat is first, how much of a collaboration it is building a house between you at Landmark and the customer. I mean, that’s a huge, big thing. And then also listening, you were talking about, you know, you listen to the customers and I’m sure even if the customer can’t exactly articulate a need or a desire or whatever, just by listening, do you think that you have the ability to foresee problems or foresee changes down the line, you know, with just by what they’re talking, you know, how they’re expressing their desires for what their house should be?

Steve Tuma: Yes, we get to know our customers well. We talk, we spend time on the phone, we talk about details, whatever questions they have, we’ll take the time. And through that, you get a great understanding of what people do and how they live and their outlook on life, and what’s important to them and what isn’t important to them. So through the process, the listening, the paying attention, conversations, the evolution of designing a home, you know, we don’t expect them to give us everything and we draw the perfect set of plans the first time. We work towards it. But even if we draw exactly what they asked for, sometimes people say, hey, now that I see it, I thought about it a little more and I need a little change. So we don’t rush the development thing to make, you know, we want to make sure that they have it. And yeah, it’s a listening thing. This is kind of a partnership. Even though it’s our customer’s home, we kind of consider it to be ours. It’s representative of our efforts and desires to help a customer build, you know, what I just say is a cool house.

In my opinion, if you’ve got to work as hard as we do to make a living, I think you should pull up to your house every day and go, this is cool. I like it. Mm hmm. Instead of, oh, I wish I made the window better. Oh, I should have had a two-car garage or I should have done this, you know. So what we want to do is work with people to kind of prod ideas, get conversations going, let things flow so that we can work with them to get help develop the ideas if they don’t have it. And then on the other side, we’ve had people that have come in and know exactly what they want. Right. You know, they want this and this and this needs to be here and this needs to be this size and they’re detailed to that degree. And that’s also cool as well.

Interviewer: Do you prefer that?

Steve Tuma: You know what? It’s it’s all it’s all kind of fun after 30 some years, 30 years right now of doing this. We just look at it as let’s get them the cool house, the house that they want. Right. Even when someone knows exactly what they want, there’s always a deeper detail we need to work out. There’s always something here. Sometimes you have it and they still want to make a little change or they’re like, hey, what about this? Or, hey, I was at the store and I saw this window. So suddenly my dream window is out. Now my double dream window is in. So it’s always an evolution. Some customers get into different types of materials, different finishes, different situations where we’ve really got to look at it. You know, let me just take, for example, car guys. You know, the guy’s got to have his man cave. He kind of doesn’t worry about the house. He just wants his garage, right? So a guy will be like, well, I want to lift. OK, so what are you doing with this lift? Are you storing cars or are you lifting vans up and pulling transmissions out of them? It’s a different wall height and it’s a different ceiling system. Sure. So even though a guy might go, hey, I want to lift, I know exactly what it is, I got to put my classic muscle car in here. It’s like, but wait a second, what are you doing? You know, so that’s what we’ve got to look at. And then you start working on electrical layouts where the windows are sometimes security, you know, make sure that, you know, the people’s assets are protected. So it’s always kind of fun because I think we’ve been able to help someone even if they think that they’ve designed every square inch of the house. There’s always something that through a conversation we can help them work out. Or sometimes in the design phases, there’s just little details that until you’re deep into the design, you couldn’t possibly think of.

Interviewer: It must be kind of fun to drive by a house that you’ve designed and helped someone build.

Steve Tuma: Every once in a while, I’ll just go on a road trip and look up on the sign and say, oh, there’s that town. We did a house there last week, two years, 10 years ago. And it’s kind of amazing. And it’s amazing of how customers keep in touch with us. One customer from 24 years ago called back and said, hey, this is Rich up in Ann Arbor. Remember me? And I’m like, yeah. You know, and it was just kind of cool. And then we helped as one of his family members build a house. So it’s something where we’re helping people get a house, but really, you know, kind of affecting their life, helping them get the house they want for the price that they’re choosing to pay at the place that they want to build. Right. So it’s pretty cool.

Interviewer: To be a company like yours, and in 30 years, I’m sure this is also one of the cool aspects of being around for a while, but you know, to help like even generationally or just people coming back to you guys to build their second and third house, that’s got to be a great feeling.

Steve Tuma: Oh, it is. It is. It’s kind of like your old pal coming by. We have some customers we’ve been working with in Florida for a couple of years. We’re on 10 or 15 houses. I think they started a little business and it’s pretty cool. They call up, say, hey, Steve, I need this. Hey, Steve, I need that. And a shout out to Bill and Clifford because I know they listen every once in a while. But it’s kind of interesting. Then we’ve had customers that do 20 homes, five homes, two homes, you know, whatever it is. Sometimes we’re actually getting, the company’s been around long enough where we’ve done the starter home, the kid’s home, and now we’re getting into the retirement home. It’s just, you sit back and go, wow, you’ve seen the evolution of a family. Three decades is a long time. It’s kind of interesting.

Interviewer: Let’s get back to the sort of customer service aspect of Landmark Home and Land Company. One of the big things is people are going to more than likely have to deal with building departments in their area and getting permits for their build and things like that. Landmark never just lets people just off on their own. You guys just don’t set people off without a rudder. You actually do a lot of work in that department helping people with permit issues, et cetera.

Steve Tuma: Yeah, because building departments are interesting. A lot of people look at them as like the benchmark of knowledge and make sure the house is right. Well, building departments each look at different details. It’s not a universal, all-complete check. So you can go in a little town and you might be able to walk in, pay 25 bucks, and leave with a permit. They don’t even look at plans. Sometimes you go in places and there’s three plan checkers, each with three totally different opinions as to what needs to be in your plan set. And you know what? If it’s a day on Monday when they woke up on the wrong side of the bed, your plan check requirements might be a little different than if it was Friday and they woke up on the right side of the bed. And then there’s other places that are very sophisticated that give you a complete list of every single detail. And even if you fulfill every single detail, they may come back and ask further details. Kind of one question, you give them an answer, and that leads to two more questions. The point about it is, is we’ve been doing it long enough and we have a personal interest and kind of excitement in working through the challenge of building departments that every customer that we’ve worked with has gotten the permits for the plans that they’ve submitted.

Yeah, that’s a good track record. So that’s whether, you know, we hear a lot, oh man, I’m building in this town and it’s just the worst building department ever. And I’m like, oh really? You know, let’s check this one out and everything works out. So and then there’s other places where, you know, places where there’s earthquakes, hurricanes, high snow loads where they really, really want to do it. And a lot of people think that it’s us against the building department. It kind of isn’t. The building department is just making sure that you don’t do stupid things that other people have done. You know, they’re kind of safety, a lot of them call building and safety. So I agree, I’m not into the whole big brother thing. But on the other side, they’re just double checking and make sure that you’re doing it right. Right. You know, so I’ll agree every once in a while they ask questions where you scratch your head and say, I’ve never heard of this, but you know what? We get through it. And we’ve had some interesting situations in some areas, occasionally they’ll lose a building inspector and nothing happens and then the new guy comes up with a new attitude. But the bottom line of it is we’ve done so many plans and so many different building conditions below, you know, you get to almost below sea level or at sea level up to places in Colorado that, you know, Leadville, 11,000 some hundreds feet up above sea level. It’s the highest populated town, hurricane zones, earthquake zones, all these different situations where there’s just a lot of details. We’ve done it. So the chances of someone coming up with something that just kind of stumps us is extremely remote. But if by chance you’re the customer that has that one question, we’ll get the answer. And what’s nice about it is I work directly with the customer, the building department, the checklist items to make sure that it’s done. So we’re not just giving answers to push the process. We’re giving answers to solve the question, to work towards obtaining the permit. So it’s a pretty interesting process that we have. It’s actually kind of cool. Customers at first might be a little like, oh, the building department, I’ve heard about them. But when they get into it, a lot of them have said, this is pretty cool. And they learn stuff because people want to build their own home. It’s not just to save money, control the cost, get the house they want, kind of a life experience.

Interviewer: Sure. And it’s a journey. Building a house is a journey. Not, you know, it’s you can look at it that you’re bumping into walls with building departments and permits or whatever. And you can just look at it and look what I’m getting and learn educational-wise out of dealing with speed bumps or whatever might come your way. What about, I know you’ve mentioned in the past that customers sometimes will, during the construction phase, will look and go, you know what, like, I’m not sure I want those windows there anymore, or that side of the house just doesn’t work for me. What’s the process that you go through to helping people get through the adjustment of maybe their plans aren’t quite working the way they thought it would visually and emotionally for them when they’re just looking at the house build?

Steve Tuma: Well, that’s an interesting thing because it’s actually something where the plans are what they want. But in the evolution, as you kind of fall in love with it, get more excited, you know, it’s kind of like unpeeling an onion. There’s certain phases where you think about stuff. So a perfect example is we have a man building a very nice home in Eager, Arizona. Like a 1,500 square foot ranch. He said, it’s perfect, exactly what I want. We’re going through permitting phases and he said something like, Steve, I got a great view out of the side of my house and I realized I don’t have enough windows. So it’s when he’s out there staking the foundation, you know, going, okay, you know, the guys are going to excavate. There was a sunset or something that went on and he was standing where the living room was. And he goes, do I have a big enough window? Now, it’s kind of an interesting thing, but yeah, we were able to go through, re-engineer that portion, get the window in, get everything approved, and he’s getting his windows. We had to jump through a couple of flaming hoops backwards, but I bet you I’m going to get a picture of the sunset through that window, you know when the house is there. So what it is, is, you know, sometimes people run into situations.

We like to avoid things like that, but if we have to, under certain conditions, we’re able to do it. But then there’s also other things which have come up. You know, we talked about building departments. Building departments do what building departments do. They’re not all consistent and every once in a while you’ll have a plan checker approve one thing, but the inspector decides he has a personal issue and he wants something different. Just because in his mind it’s there, even though it’s approved on the plans, he wants something a little different, or totally by chance, you know, maybe there’s a more, I don’t want to call it more legitimate, but it is, they go in and they find something out. Even though you get a geotechnical report or you find, you know, you have an understanding of the soil conditions, you know, the guy’s out there excavating and you believe that it’s, you know, a certain type of soil going down eight feet or whatever for a basement, and they go down and they hit granite in a foot. And suddenly it’s like, uh-oh, how do we change the foundation? Putting a foundation in regular dirt is a lot different than pinning it to granite. So if there is a situation that comes up where someone comes into one of those uh-oh moments, we’re here to help them. Chances are we’ve heard or seen of that situation before, and we can go through and… In 30 years there probably isn’t a whole lot that surprises you, right? I mean, you’ve pretty much seen it all. Right. Until we start building on the moon or Mars, I, you know, I never want to say never type of a thing, but, you know, in most situations we’ve been able to get through, and amazingly this is one of these, you get back to where you said, hey, are you guys psychic? We’re not psychic, but we kind of know the realm of potential issues. So we have a little bit of leeway in the design or engineering. So if something comes up, we, there might be like a standard deviation of things where we can, you know, get through issues just by the way we design and work together.

Interviewer: One thing Landmark is really known for, and this comes back to what you said earlier about you have, you know, over 30 years you’ve dealt with every single home builder, every single one personally that you’ve dealt with. That’s an amazing thing. But one of the things you guys are known for is just being able to get back to people. I mean, your response time to answer questions, you guys are on the spot. It’s like your phones are, it’s almost like your phone is taped to the side of your head. You’re ready to get there.

Steve Tuma: I think it might’ve actually attached to my head. I don’t need the tape anymore. Well, this is, this is one of the things, and it’s, it’s I’m a customer myself. You know, we’ve all called someplace and there’s a leave of voicemail and someone will get back to you in 24 hours. So you look at your clock and say, it’s two o’clock Monday. I should get a call by two o’clock Tuesday, which in my mind is totally unreasonable. But they know they’re going 24 business hours, which goes, okay, there’s Monday to Tuesday, Tuesday, Wednesday, you know, maybe it’s Thursday they think you might call. And then someone calls to register your, your issue, but it’s not someone with knowledge. Now when I call places needing help, chances are I need it now or, or very soon. So what I, you know, my customers, they caught me direct on my direct cell phone, the same cell phone my 80 year plus year old parents call me on. And I have an understanding of the project. So if they’re able to, you know, to get to me and say, Hey, what about this? Or, Hey, you know, we’re thinking of changing the type of cabinet or countertop, does that affect anything? Or, Hey, we, we have a situation, we’re able to get deals on windows. How does this affect thing? Chances are I can answer, I want to say 96 out of a hundred questions right there, right? You know, of course I, you know, some things I got to be in front of a computer, which are during the typical business day. If you call me Sunday at 10 o’clock at night, chances are I’m not sitting there in my computer with your plans up, but you know, I’ll, I’ll do whatever we can. So we’re, we’re, we’re on top of it, but we do encourage customers to call.

My attitude is, Hey, if someone needs help and they need a question answered, it’s better to help them right then and there so that they can keep forward moving forward in their project. Because I know in my own life, sometimes you just need a simple answer. You know, it’s simple, but I don’t have the knowledge to do it in that particular situation and houses I can, you know? So if someone has it, we, we, we can move along. Customers will email me, they’ll text me, they’ll, they’ll give me a call. But what’s really cool about it is after 30 years, we have a pretty good set of plans, a very good set of plans. So most of the answers are right on there. So it’s not something where we have a hotline that’s constantly people constantly there. The calls are here and there because we’ve worked through it with the customer under the customer understands it’s on the plans. So we do a lot to have a very good set of plans and then help the customer understand it so they can move along. But if there’s that time they need something, um, we’re there.

Interviewer: This all goes back to the, what we had begun with, which was the one-stop shop. And uh, I’d like to go back now and just go over that again. Why, why has landmark become known as being a one-stop shop and being able to help from beginning to the final, uh, portion of the build? What do you think has gotten you guys to the point where you’re so well known for being, I don’t want to say Jack of all trades cause you know where that leads to, but I mean, you guys are definitely experts in so much and uh, that must make you pretty proud to have gotten to that point.

Steve Tuma: Oh, it’s a, it’s exceptional. You have a couple of points there, but the, uh, the one-stop shop, it was actually an evolution of, we realized that customers needed help, you know, no matter how many homes you’ve built or how many shows you’ve watched, or maybe you’ve never built anything. It’s hard in today’s world to get customer service from knowledgeable people that care. So if you go and tie an architect, a structural engineer, an HVAC designer, someone doing site plans, doing energy plans, um, tying all these things together so the plans actually communicate and work together and, and, and have, um, the same information, not conflicting information. Good luck. I mean, that, that’s like chasing grease pigs and having them, you know, line up. I mean, it’s, it’s just the way it is. We actually get a lot of plans from people. They’ll be like, Oh, the award-winning architect and the double award-winning structural engineer did it. And the plans conflict. So everyone says, that’s not my job or, Hey, I did my part. This is what I do. It’s like, well, that’s great, but you didn’t solve the customer’s problem, right? So what we’ve learned and developed over, over the course of time is develop a set of plans that works together. The architectural plans match the structural, the electrical layout is actually for that exact house. Not a bunch of generic stuff that says we’ll figure it out, but stuff that actually applies to that building site, that building department, that customer’s desire, and then our ability to help them. So it’s, we, we’ve developed a streamlined system to tie all of this together and tell you the truth.

It’s just 30 years of work, 30 years of work, 30 years of knowledge, 30 years of experience and, and working with a lot of good customers that, you know, maybe 29 years ago, someone asked us a question and we’re like, well, it’s that’s knowledge. We know that, but realize, Hey, the customer may not. So, so we add that, you know, maybe 25 years ago, someone asked us a question and that ends up being on the plan. So that’s all part of getting the plan set that helps you know, the contractor understand the building department understand. And it’s just easy. Yeah. There’s no, Oh, we’ll talk about it later or Hey, hopefully, it’ll work out. It’s like, no, let’s get it. Let’s get it to work out on paper or PDF, actually, you know, let’s get it to work out so that you don’t have guys on a field guessing, scratching their head going, well, where does this beam go? You know? So that, that’s, that’s what we try to do and that that’s where it is because people are busy. They have kids, they have jobs, they have parents, they have hobbies, they have, um, you know, whatever faith they have, whatever, whatever their lifestyle consists of.

There aren’t too many people with an extra eight hours a day, right? Everyone’s busy. So to know that you’ve got a knowledgeable, good crew where you can just send an email and not have to think about it and get an answer quickly, that’s accurate and specific to your question. That’s fine. You call places and you say, Hey, my, my whatever isn’t working on the car and they send you some standard answer that has nothing to do with your question, right? So we’re, you know, we’ve noticed that with the advent of artificial intelligence, you get these kinds of canned answers. Yeah, it’s, you got an answer, but there’s nothing, the substance of the answer for your specific situation isn’t there. And that, that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do. So, uh, we’re trying to work with real intelligence and, and get something like this put together so that if a customer needs help or we see an issue coming up, we can, uh, give them a specific answer specific to their house and their building site.

Interviewer: I think we’re noticing that people are, are a little, you know, they’ll look at a, they’ll look at a company that does things the old fashioned way and it used to be all their dinosaurs. They used to do everything in the old-fashioned way and nowadays people are saying, yes, give me more of that. I want dinosaurs who can get back to me and I don’t have to talk to robots or, or people from, you know, like say 60 other countries that you have to talk to and they just have these pad answers enough to get you off the phone so they don’t have to deal with you. And I think it’s, it’s pretty commendable that landmark, um, is in the customer service department a little bit of a throwback and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think most people want that.

Steve Tuma: Well, I, I, I think it’s cool because no matter what your budget is, where your house is, your house is your palace. So we’ve, we’ve helped people do four or five, 600 square foot ADUs, little, little granny flats, guest houses, and, and there, and that project is as important to them as the person doing the $10 million mansion. Right. And that’s, that’s what we look at and we also, it’s, it’s, it’s really cool to help someone and you know, to, uh, I was talking to one of my friends and I’m an amazing person and, and he said, he owns a company and he says, Steve, do people ever tell you, thank you? I said all the time, he goes never once in my company and someone said, thank you. And I’m like, wow, that’s not what’s going on. I’m like, we, we get it a lot. People are like, Steve, you really helped. I got a couple today. You really helped. This is amazing. We were able to get this building, you know, this, this worked out and, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty cool. It’s, it’s, it’s a good feeling. And I think that that’s why we continue to grow because it’s an excitement of wanting to help someone make, make their house better or make it easier.

It’s, it’s not all just some profit driven thing, you know, to, uh, just pump more houses out. It’s like, Hey, let’s make sure these people really get the house. Like I say, I want them to pull up to the house and build and go, this is cool. That that’s, that’s what it’s about.

Interviewer: All right. So that’s going to do it for today’s episode of the Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building Show. But Steve, before we let you go, um, tell us how we can find you guys and get ahold of you so we can learn more about Panelized Prefab Kit Home Building.

Steve Tuma: I think the best thing is take a look at our website at, uh, L H L Those are kind of the letters for Landmark Home Land Company. It’s actually Landmark Home and Land Company, but just for easy L H L And you can see videos, check out just different write-ups, opinions, ideas we have. Um, there’s also these podcasts, there’s thousands of plans that you can look through and you can inquire through there. You can also just give a call and Mike will work with you at 800-830-9788. Again, it’s 800-830-9788. And Mike will work with you to kind of process what you need, find out what you want, get preliminary discussion, see if you have land, see what type of help you need. And then, uh, you know, once you get going, get some ideas together, he’ll, he’ll, uh, have me contact you and then we’ll, we’ll, we’ll get you taken care of. So we invite all people inquire whether you want to build today, two years from now, you’re just thinking about it, you know, so it’s, it’s never too early. It’s also never too late to call. Well, we’ll, uh, we’ll help you out.

Interviewer: And there you go. Well, thanks again, Steve, for your time. And thanks to all of you for listening in. It’s been fun as always. So for Steve Tuma and myself, have a great rest of your day and we will see you next time. Thanks Steve.

Steve Tuma: Thank you. This was a good one. It was fun. Yeah.

About Landmark Design Team