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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Builders Update?
  2. How is Builders Update different?
  3. Is Builders Update a substitute for a listing in a Multiple Listing Service?
  4. How does Builders Update save time?
  5. Can I show my available to-be-builts as well as properties readily available (quick move-ins)?
  6. Can an agent allow their clients to use the search tool to identify homes they are interested in?
  7. What is My Search Assistant?
  8. How does an agent use My Search Assistant?
  9. How do I benefit from Buyer Registration?
  10. What is My Incentives? How does it benefit me as the builder?
  11. How do I use the "My Incentives" functionality?
  12. What will it cost me to use Builders Update?
  13. How much does it cost to display my properties on Builders Update and on thousands of associated private agent websites?
  14. Why is an agent lead more valuable to me as a builder?
  15. How do I download a W-9?
  16. Will my Builders Update account expire at some point?
  17. Is there a usage limit?
  18. Will my email account be shared with others?
  19. How is accuracy assured?
  20. How do I sort data on Builders Update?
  21. How do agents inform their clients about the homes that they have found?
  22. Can agents email data to their clients?
  23. How do I speak with a real person?
  24. How do I send you comments and feedback?

Answers

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    What is Builders Update?
    Designed by real estate agents for agents, Builders Update is the #1 online source for new home inventory. We use the latest map-based search technology to bring the most comprehensive and accurate listings of new homes, to-be-built homes and condos directly to real estate agents and homebuyers.
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    How is Builders Update different?
    First, while anyone can search on Builders Update, the most complete data is available only to licensed real estate agents. Second, we are exclusively focused on new homes, to-be-built homes and condos. Since we’re Web-based, our data can be accessed and updated 24/7 from just about anywhere at any time (unlike print media). The data is consistently updated for accuracy in real time. Our mapping features allow agents to search the same way a homebuyer does, making the agent’s job faster. Our patented system and online collaboration tools feature an industry-first Buyer Registration process that brings new levels of transparency and accountability to the agent-builder relationship. Basically, we have all of the data and functionality an agent needs to facilitate selling new homes.
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    Is Builders Update a substitute for a listing in a Multiple Listing Service?
    Absolutely not. A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is associated with local agents in the market area who provide a higher level of service usually associated with a particular agent working through a brokerage firm. That agent is providing key marketing services to help meet a builder’s specific needs per an extensive marketing plan. The local MLS, paired with a top agent, is the most powerful tool individual builders can avail themselves of. Builders Update is the best way to augment an individual agent’s marketing plan, provided their builder adds their inventory data into the Builders Update system. In many cases, Builders Update has partnered with local MLSs to augment their existing inventory of new, and to-be- built, homes to make the data readily available to agents using 'single sign-on' capability.
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    How does Builders Update save time?
    Agents and builder representatives now have a single site loaded with everything the agent needs to be able to sell a property. No more “phone tag” trying to get questions answered, or having to search ten different websites. All of the details can be acquired online in one spot: Floor plans, directions, contacts, prices, a map with directions, incentives—it’s all here, available 24/7.
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    Can I show my available to-be-builts as well as properties readily available (quick move-ins)?
    Absolutely! A unique feature of Builders Update is the ability to view an accurate listing of either quick move-in properties or properties that will soon be available for purchase in any given area.
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    Can an agent allow their clients to use the search tool to identify homes they are interested in?
    Yes! Agents use the "Invite Homebuyer" functionality to invite buyers to use their New Home Spotlight™ tool on their private website. When they find a home they like, they will email the agent the homes they wish to see. Also, agents are able to monitor their search activity and narrow down the home search criteria they really want (vs. what they may have told them that they want), saving both you and the agent a great deal of time.
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    What is My Search Assistant?
    My Search Assistant is a tool that makes sure an agent never misses new inventory that a builder just added… in real time! My Search Assistant will automatically conduct searches for the agent and notify them the moment we find inventory that matches their criteria. Agents can create up to five Search Assistants.
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    How does an agent use My Search Assistant?
    For each Search Assistant, agents specify their search criteria, such as the geographic search area, subdivision, school districts, builder brand, property type, price range, square footage, etc. Then, the agent selects how often they want their Search Assistant to email them when properties that match their criteria come online. Agents can view search results and review or change their Search Assistants’ search criteria any time from the Manage Search Assistants page.
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    How do I benefit from Buyer Registration?
    Use Buyer Registration to avoid the difficulties of determining if an agent actually has earned their commission. Before bringing a buyer to see your property, the agent will send you and the buyer a time/date stamped email with the buyer's name. This is the Buyer Registration request. Once received, you can either accept or deny the request. If you accept, you set the number of days the agent has to bring in their buyer to your office for a full registration, or else they forfeit their commission. If you deny it, you indicate a reason why (for example, you may already be working with that particular buyer). Every time an agent emails a property detail sheet to a homebuyer, they can pre-register that buyer with the builder. This greatly motivates an agent to show your properties to prospective buyers if they know their efforts are protected. Buyer Registration notification emails are always date/stamped and sent to the agent, the homebuyer and the builder so that everyone is in the loop about the process.
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    What is My Incentives? How does it benefit me as the builder?
    My Incentives is a tool that automatically emails an agent any builder incentives that match the criteria and frequency they choose (daily, weekly, or monthly) and stores them so that when they log in, the incentives are readily available for their review. Builder incentives are organized by metro area. It's important to upload all your incentives so that agents have access to them when they have a buyer in their car, as that's typically when they will be looking for them.
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    How do I use the "My Incentives" functionality?
    Incentives are organized by metro area, so start by selecting the metro area (s) where you have incentives to place. You can further sort a metro to the subdivision level. Then, simply upload your incentives as PDF documents. Agents will be able to browse through the incentives to preview them, print them, or email them directly to a homebuyer. Builders Update can also notify agents the moment that you add new incentives.
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    What will it cost me to use Builders Update?
    Absolutely nothing… unless you wish to access our premium features and spotlight your homes above your competition. We offer builders the ability to upload their data completely free. There is a fee for use of our enhanced tools and reporting functions. To allow you to see the benefits of these enhancements, we offer builders a free trial period to use the enhanced tools and features. Just ask your Builders Update builder support agent for access. When the free trial ends, there is no obligation for you to purchase any services, and you may continue uploading your data for free as frequently as you can. This assures agents that Builders Update will have the most up-to-date and complete inventory for them to review, all in one place.
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    How much does it cost to display my properties on Builders Update and on thousands of associated private agent websites?
    We customize each builder’s payment plan according to factors such as the number of subdivision claims, your business needs and other factors. Best to contact Builders Update directly at (512) 901-9899 for an exact quote.
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    Why is an agent lead more valuable to me as a builder?
    If an agent is viewing your properties on Builders Update, it’s because they have an active buyer. Our ratio of leads to contracts is close to 20%, far exceeding the 1% conversion rate offered by traditional online direct-to-consumer advertising strategies.
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    How do I download a W-9?
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    Will my Builders Update account expire at some point?
    No. As long as you are registered as a builder or builder’s representative with active inventory in the system, you can access the system.
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    Is there a usage limit?
    No. You have unlimited access.
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    Will my email account be shared with others?
    Absolutely not! We respect everyone’s privacy and do not sell your data or personal information. Frankly, this is why we do this as a subscription model, so we can control the system and not be influenced by anything other than building a very efficient system.
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    How is accuracy assured?
    Our data is only as good as the data provided to us by the builders. Our patented system time/date stamps every detail page so agents (and the builders that supply the data) can verify how fresh the data actually is. Typically, data is uploaded, re-verified, and updated if necessary every 24 hours.
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    How do I sort data on Builders Update?
    After initiating a search, you can modify your search criteria to reduce the number of properties show to a manageable list of properties. Properties are presented in a list format that can be quickly sorted or grouped by categories. Search results are automatically sorted by price from high to low, and can be sorted by categories, such as builder or square footage. Prices sort in numerical order. Subdivisions group homes by subdivision in alphabetical order.
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    How do agents inform their clients about the homes that they have found?
    Once they’ve created a list of properties of interest, agents email their clients a special link to the property detail pages allowing the buyer to view the images, floor plans and mapping from their searches.
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    Can agents email data to their clients?
    Yes! The system allows agents to send clients a link so that they can access specific property data and images. They can send data to multiple addresses at a single time, and also pre-register their buyers with the builder at the same time.
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    How do I speak with a real person?
    Call us at (512) 901-9899 between 8 AM - 5 PM CST and we’ll get you fixed up. Or you can e-mail us at buildersupport@buildersupdate.com and we will get you an answer.
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    How do I send you comments and feedback?
    Please email us at buildersupport@buildersupdate.com. We’d love to hear from you!