Builder reputation is the most critical element that informs a home buyer's purchase, once the criteria of affordability, appeal and perceived quality are satisfied. It's important because builder reputation is a positive indicator of past performance, which is the best predictor of how a builder will perform for you in the future.
One method of assessing builder reputation is to search online for builder reviews and ratings, but few sites have much local Ottawa information, and for those that do, the content is genrally unreliable.
Rather than reviews and ratings being based on objective data, they appear instead to consist primarily of subjective opinions, cautionary tales and angry invective. Evidently people are far more likely to register complaints than they are compliments, and websites that collect anonymous and unverified reviews and then calculate ratings are willing to do so based entirely on this skewed and tiny sample, making their results inaccurate and unreliable.
In order to create a builder ratings system that is factual and therefore of use to home buyers, we formulated an objective methodology that uses real, verified builder performance data collected by authoritative third-party organizations such as the Tarion Home Warranty Program and the Better Business Bureau.
Using their raw data backed up by further research and analysis, we are able to calculate a consolidated Pro Builder Rating for each of Ottawa's major home builders, comprised of three significant components: Builder Quality, Customer Service, and Social Engagement.
You can view the Builder Ratings below, or read about our methodology
The Pro Builder Rating is comprised of an aggregation of performance data sourced from the Tarion Home Warranty Program to assess a Builder Quality score, the Better Business Bureau to assess a Customer Service score, and further research and analysis to assess a Social Engagement score. Metrics are updated semi-annually.
To create a builder ratings system that is sufficiently credible to be useful to home buyers, based on real builder performance data collected by authoritative third-party organizations, enabling home buyers to properly assess home builders' historic performance before doing their own research to arrive at an independent conclusion.
A consolidated Pro Builder Rating should be comprised of three unequal components - the quality of the builder's work, the nature of their customer interactions, and the degree to which they transparently interact with the community. To reflect the reasonable priorities of home buyers, we weight these components 50%, 30% and 20% respectively.
The Tarion Home Warranty Program publishes up to ten years of performance data for each Ontario home builder. This data captures builder longevity, output, the number of reported deficiencies and defects, and the cost. We make five individual calculations to arrive at a Builder Quality score.
Significantly, we factor-in the builder's total output when weighing the number and cost of deficiencies. For example, the builder currently with the most deficiencies has a prodigious output that, when factored into the calculations, serves to enormously reduce the impact of these deficiencies on the total score. We also factor in how long each builder has been in business, and has therefore developed their professionalism and is able to demonstrate its consistency over time.
The Better Business Bureau serves in a capacity to help resolve disputes between home buyers and builders, and publishes performance data for those home builders who fully engage with the mediated process in a spirit of goodwill and transparency. Those builders who have been or are unwilling to engage in such a process with the organization to manage disputes are scored accordingly.
Degree of social engagement signals the extent of a home builder's willingness to conduct their business in a transparent, fair and responsive manner, and this includes engaging in open dialogue with the community about the community's interests and concerns. We factor in six individual signals to arrive at a Social Engagement score.
Significantly, while we factor-in a Facebook and Twitter presence, we don't attribute an enormous amount to it because these platforms are used generally to broadcast marketing content rather than to actually engage in genuine dialogue. We give more weight to a builder's proactive engagement with platforms such as Google My Business, Avid Ratings or this one.
These platforms provide and disseminate business and consumer information of a higher veracity, as well as enable builders to engage with a democratic and visible customer review and response process, signaling the builder's willingness to be transparent and to consistently engage in dialogue with the community. Builders who have been or are unwilling to engage in such a process with these platforms are scored accordingly.