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2011 Eliant Homebuyer's Choice Awards Announced

January 26th, 2011

Olson Homes Wins 6 Eliant Homebuyers Choice Awards

Even in a difficult market, many builders remain focused on delivering an extraordinary customer experience, homebuyer survey reveals

SAN CLEMENTE, CA – Many home builders are finding that the best way to stimulate sales is to create referrals from delighted customers. The building industry’s “new breed” has learned to deliver an extraordinary purchase and ownership experience to their customers, thereby generating up to 35-40% of their sales from referrals, according to Robert Mirman, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eliant, a ‘customer experience management’ company that has been surveying buyers of new homes for 27 years.

In partnership with Newport Beach, CA-based Real Estate Temps, Eliant has announced the results of more than 55,000 surveys which were administered in 2010 to all recent home owners from over 190 major homebuilders across the nation.

The surveys were used to determine the winners of the 2011 Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Awards in which 134 builders received a sufficient number of surveys to qualify for this 14th annual competition.

Mirman, whose firm was the first to systematically conduct nationwide surveys of new-home buyers in 1984, said that the survey results confirm the growing commitment of home builders to the delivery of an extraordinary customer experience.

“No one understands more about a home’s quality or the customer service experience than the people living in the new home,” Mirman said. “Based on our survey results, these recent homebuyers are increasingly pleased with the quality of their new homes and the level of service they received from the homebuilder’s representatives throughout the first year after move-in. In order to develop a competitive advantage in their markets, homebuilders are developing new ways to truly delight homebuyers so they become ‘customer advocates’ who actively promote their new neighborhood to their friends.”

The best-performing builders based on the survey results were announced on January 18 by Eliant. Although 41 different builders or divisions were identified as being the best in the industry, this year’s awards were dominated by Richmond American Homes (based in Denver, CO, with operations in 10 states; 16 awards); Pardee Homes (based in Los Angeles, CA, with divisions in two states; 8 awards); Rosewood Homes (Scottsdale, AZ; 6 awards), MBK Homes (Irvine, CA; 6 awards) and The Olson Company (Seal Beach, CA; 6 awards)

Mirman said each Eliant Homebuyers’ Choice Award category was divided into three volume-segments based on the size of the homebuilder: High Volume Builders, which included companies and builder divisions that sold more than 250 homes a year in 2010; Large Builders, which sold between 101 and 249 homes; and Medium Builders, which sold less than 100 homes.

Lynda Lane, CEO of Real Estate Temps and a long-term partner with Eliant on this award program, said: “We were pleased to note that the scores of this year’s winners are even higher than last year, confirming that home builders are not just promising a wonderful home buying experience, they are delivering on this promise. Moreover, these surveys show the size of the builder and its status as a public or private company has little to do with the successful execution of that commitment.”

Mirman added: “In fact, one of our shining stars again this year is Rosewood Homes, a medium-size privately owned builder headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. Rosewood Homes ranked number one in five of our seven categories in its volume- segment, a tremendous accomplishment regardless of size. Rosewood Homes is the undisputed leader in the delivery of an extraordinary customer experience.”

For the second year in a row, Rosewood Homes is this year’s recipient of the “The Eliant”, the “Best Overall Customer Experience” award for single division builders.

The other recipient of “The Eliant” for “Best Overall Customer Experience” in the multi-divisional builder segment was MBK Homes (Irvine, CA). While this is the second consecutive year in which MBK has won this top award, this firm has developed legendary status based on its high ratings on Eliant’s surveys during the last 15 years. Of all multi-divisional builders, MBK Homes was ranked by homebuyers as delivering the highest rated “Purchase Experience.” MBK also received second place awards for “Home Quality” and the “Customer Service” experience.

Of all multi-divisional builders, one of the clear customer-favorites was highly rated Denver, CO-based Richmond American Homes. Three of its divisions (California, Phoenix, and Nevada) were ranked number one in several key categories, and the company won 16 of the 63 total awards. Mirman pointed out that “With five of Richmond American’s divisions winning awards and another three divisions receiving ‘Honorable Mentions,’ this firm has demonstrated an uncommon level of consistency in delivering outstanding customer experiences across many regions and differing buyer segments.”

Pardee Homes (Los Angeles, CA) earned its way into the top echelons of the industry with eight awards being captured by its divisions in Las Vegas, San Diego, and the Inland Empire. The Las Vegas division won four awards in the High-Volume segment, including the number one customer satisfaction rating for its nationally acclaimed “Customer Service” program. Pardee Homes’ San Diego division was ranked number one in the all-important category of “Percent of Sales from Referrals”, with 36% of its sales coming from home owner referrals and local word-of-mouth.

The Olson Company (Seal Beach, CA) garnered awards in six categories, including a number one ranking for the “Design Selection” experience. Within its segment, the firm also ranked second or third for delivering an incredible experience during the Purchase, Construction, and Customer Service phases, and ranked second for “Overall Quality” and “Sales from Referrals.”

“We are honored to have received 6 Eliant Awards for 2010 as this is a testament to the dedication of The Olson Homes team and the commitment to our home buyers,” said Scott Laurie, President/COO of The Olson Company.”

Other builders with strong customer satisfaction ratings were William Lyon Homes (Newport Beach, CA; four awards) and Greth Homes (Reading, PA; three awards).

Explaining the value of an award based on the customer experience, Mirman said “In essence, each survey represents a direct vote that the homebuyer gives to their builder. These award winners are not being selected by a panel of industry judges, but have been identified by their customers…the ultimate judges. The builders who ranked high in this survey have every right to be extremely proud of this achievement.”