The home closing. Some say it can be more stressful than bankruptcy or divorce.
“At closing, the buyer has so much going on. There is a large sum of money involved, a lot of emotions come to the surface and it can be a time of vulnerability for some,” says Mike Durham, construction manager with PulteGroup’s Southern California Division.
Understanding the stresses involved, the Southern California team decided to emphasize the happy and exciting aspects of finalizing a home closing. And they do it with a simple piece of paper and a photograph.
At every closing, the Division provides homebuyers with a Home Complete Certificate and takes a photograph of them holding the certificate. Both the field manager and the homebuyer signs the certificate, which looks similar to a diploma. Not only does it create a focal point of achievement, but Durham says it also works as a visual aid to set expectations, create a positive experience and reinforce facts about the overall quality of the home.
“The idea is creating a memorable moment and a sort of commitment from our team to the buyer – as opposed to just signing off on a form,” says Durham, who has been with the company for nearly nine years, serving in customer care and construction. “The certificate is a celebration of sorts that brings the focus back to the completion of the home. You are done – congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood!”
The Home Complete Certificate represents Pulte’s “stamp of approval” on the house, reinforcing the culture of delivering a complete home to our buyers. Field managers present it after showcasing the home to buyers, demonstrating the quality workmanship, room by room, and answering questions, Durham says. The photo is often used in a follow-up email to the homeowners.
“It’s a small moment in time, but taking a photo of homebuyers holding the certificate really drives the reality home.”