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Are any of your designs conventional? I did not realize you were designing passive solar , pv friendly stuff. That is a niche market for sure and a very small percentage of the total housing market. Try advertising in places like Mother earth news or websites dedicated to off grid living, prepping, solar, etc. For a specialty product you must target market. Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Are any of your designs conventional? I did not realize you were designing passive solar , pv friendly stuff. That is a niche market for sure and a very small percentage of the total housing market. Try advertising in places like Mother earth news or websites dedicated to off grid living, prepping, solar, etc. For a specialty product you must target market. Lee
They are a conventional in a sense that they can be site built or done pre-fab in a factory. I have just changed the roof to a mono-pitch and added more windows on one wall of the house to increase light and passive solar.

However, I am going to look into Mother Earth News and other sites too.
 

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Mono pitch roofs are not very popular in this market and would be definitely considered specialty. Beauty and functionality sells the majority of houses. Try redesigning a few of your plans with solely the form and attractiveness in mind. Lambos are not very fuel efficient but beautiful and sexy. So why is your goal a lambo not a tesla or prius? Would you rather have the most beautiful house on the block or the most efficient? Would you rather date a supermodel or an overweight homely girl that is a great cook and housekeeper. Why not find a very fit ,smart somewhat attractive woman with many talents. THAT is the same mental processes you need to apply to your designs. I would have to say that beauty and functionality are 1 and 2 with efficiency down the list about 4 or 5. There is a small segment of the population that puts efficiency first but will still pick a beautiful home over an average or unattractive one if they are close in efficiency. Only a very few true die hards will pick for pure efficiency. Look at all the people that espouse energy efficiency and are living in mansions. It is easy to talk the talk but much harder to walk. How many mono pitch roofs do you see in Hollywood ???? Try redesigning a few and make them stunning. Ask a bunch of random people what they think without telling them it is your design. If you get a lot of wows and positive input then you have something, if not then back to the computer and redesign. Architecture is like art ,if it is beautiful everyone wants it. Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
363 emails have been sent out and am finishing up a deal with one business. Also in talks with others.
The plans are desirable which is helping the business, however I wish the email response rate would be higher. I get a lot of "no answers" which I need to follow-up on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
363 emails have been sent out and am finishing up a deal with one business. Also in talks with others.
The plans are desirable which is helping the business, however I wish the email response rate would be higher. I get a lot of "no answers" which I need to follow-up on.
 

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Most builders get tons of email spam. We are usually too busy to look at them and just delete or say no. Try calling them or visiting in person. When you go by a jobsite , the subs will usually tell you when the builder comes or how to reach him. When you call, get straight to the point ......I am xxxx and design houses for builders. Our price is .50 per sq ft. Do you ever need design services? You will probably get a pretty good response. Don't try to call and say Hi how are you today or some bs like that.......(we know the sales is coming). Be direct, to the point and respectful if they say no. These guys are busy but also looking to save a buck. I used to make at least 100 cold calls a day and would land about 10 customers. Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Stating that one plans equals one home should make sense, if I am offering quantity to businesses, right? For me it makes no sense to sell a plan for say $500 dollars that could be re-used 1000 or more times, since end of the day the builder makes 10 million plus and I only made $500 off that deal.
I am reaching businesses decently, but I am not getting the response I want. my emails have a 43% open rate and generally get a 5% response rate from that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Lee - what would figure a fair price for a plan that could be use indefinitely to build the same home over and over be?
I have an Unlimited options (similar to above), a price break (6-figures) and then 30 cents a sq/ft multiplied by how many builder wants to re-use said plan.
 

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Most designers charge a one time fee for being able to use the plan over and over. I think if you were to charge 1.00 per sq ft for the plan allowing multiple use would be fair say up to 10. You could license it based upon number of uses for unlimited might be 1.50 per sq ft. Maybe up to 5 times for .75 sf. However if you have to make mods for them , I would charge per hour or per change or per sf. If they buy unlimited, you could give them a certain number of changes for .10 per ft. Make them package deals. Ie 1 time use., 1to 5 with x per ft for changes then 1 to 10 with x and unlimited with x . Make it cheaper each time the price and quantity go up . That way you encourage the buyer to spend more money up front. Even if they buy unlimited, they may only use it 5 or 10 times so the idea is to make them spend as much as possible up front. Don't worry if they use it forever. Make it easy for them. Get your customer base started and many more will follow. There are thousands of potential customers. Don't loose sleep if your first ones get a way better deal than future ones. You are trying to get the ball rolling. The hardest part in any business startup is to break the stone loose and get it rolling. Momentum is much easier to maintain and increase than to start from a dead start. Go outside and push your car in neutral. It takes a lot to get started but once rolling is not that difficult to maintain. That is the most common mistake of many startups. They make the rock so large they can never get it rolling. If I taught a business class, the first day I would make everyone push a car from a dead stop, Try a heavy one first like a truck then a small light car. The smaller one is much easier to get rolling but does not have the same amount of momentum as the large one. The next exercise is for them to stop each size car. Same principle just reversed. When I start up a development or new commercial venture, I always cut special deals in the beginning to encourage early activity. Then I can tell other buyers better not wait....... I contracted 3 lots last week. When they see other people buying it encourages them. Almost every major corporation uses this strategy unless they have a product everyone wants. Look at the online music services and Ebay. They used to be free and are now multibillion dollar companies. Don't get caught up in trying to hit a home run your first time at bat, Just get on base. Home runs will come later. Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 · (Edited)
considering my plans and that I started at $1/sqft and have since dropped my pricing to 30 cents/sqft, it would not look good on me to raise pricing back to where i started.
I do however, like what you are suggesting.
Would
30 cents a sq/ft, reducing to 25 cents and 20 cents work? and use larger quantities to make up the difference in price? I am thinking on making my unlimited 200 times (considering I had it way more currently).

Also I would like to do a referral program. For the non-unlimited orders it would be simple to give them an increase in the amount they are able to build for a successful referral. However, what could be given to a business that has bought the unlimited?
 

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What I was talking about is 1 per sq ft allowing 10 uses off 1 purchase. If it is 1000 sq ft. They can redo the plan 10 times without paying any extra. If they pay $1000 that is it until they need more than 10 . Another possibility would be a monthly subscription with auto renewal where they can use any of your plans. Did you make any more of the plans more conventional with regular roofs. ? The referral program is less important than good beautiful houses. Most builders do not want to share their plans with competitors. Might work on homeowners but probably not very well on builders. Many just do not share. As far as price, look at what your competitors are selling plans for. I think you can buy many stock plans for 300 to 500 dollars. Are yours in line with that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
I do like the idea of the subscription, however sorting out how to do it with the corresponding software is a slight challenge, as referrals will not work as you said.
My plan pricing is from $144 to $360, the most expensive plan I will have will be $450.

Going to be working another set of plans shortly with conventional roofs to increase current inventory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
I have gotten recently into designing multi-unit multi-story buildings but am wondering Lee, do you know any builders who would be interested in these larger plans? Either to build to sell or to build and hold to gain equity and rental income off the tenants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Making some progress. Networking with developers and government about my multi-story plans and getting a lot of interest.
Also have started last week designing my conventional style of homes.
Restoration has been busy too, hope to get two clients thru in the early new year and be able to take on more shortly thereafter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
A lot has happened in the last four months.
I have been networking since January and have made over 75 connections so far. I have 3 people helping me with sales for commissions. On Good Friday I was published regarding what I am doing with my floor plans. My multi-family plan is getting a positive reaction and I am able to reach developers.

Call me Crazy but I am pushing to get my Lamborghini before the first weekend in May as there is an exotic car rally I want to be part of in Vancouver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Lots of changes over the summer. I took out more debt and also got my first auto loan. Businesses are picking up and I am downsizing my classic car collection to free up capital.
Getting active into real estate investing as well. Pushing to reduce debts increase credit score and be able to finance my dream car in the next few months before the end of the year.
 
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