Translating the Hidden Value of Zero: Proven Behavior Change Techniques

There’s an easy way to make sure your construction company isn’t doing things just because it’s “always been done that way.” Join this webinar to learn more!

In case you haven’t noticed, behavior change is rather difficult. I often joke that the construction industry is the second-slowest industry to change behind the insurance industry, and I feel l can make that joke because I work in the construction industry, and my wife works in the insurance industry. I have a view into both worlds.

Regardless of the industry, there are people whose entire rationale behind the actions they take or the choices they make is: “That’s how it’s always been done.” That phrase makes me think of two quotes from Mark Cuban:

“Wherever I see people doing something the way it's always been done, the way it's 'supposed' to be done, following the same old trends, well, that's just a big red flag to me to go look somewhere else.”

“When you've got 10,000 people trying to do the same thing, why would you want to be number 10,001?"

Amazingly, the overwhelming majority of homes in the United States have been built the same way for the last 100+ years. Why? Quite possibly because that’s how the previous generation did it, and the one before them, and the one before them.


I’m not just here to pick on builders and/or trades. Home buyers often have their own quirks. What is one of the most common questions they ask? “What’s the price per square foot?” 

That’ll give you an average, but not all square feet are created equal. A closet costs a lot less than a kitchen, and a hallway a lot less than a bathroom. 

My friend Ron Jones, cofounder of Green Builder Media, has pointed out this rationale is very similar to one used in another buying process: purchasing meat at a deli or butcher’s shop. Why then are some people buying a house like they would buy meat?

Instead, home buyers should be asking how much a home is going to save them (in operational costs). They should be thinking about more than just the purchase price. And if they aren’t, then that’s where the builder and/or sales staff should be steering the conversation. 

They should be highlighting the value of the net-zero or near-net-zero home to the buyer. If that value is not effectively communicated, then we are doing buyers a disservice and it will take much longer to transform the housing market. 

For all that we’ve covered in our previous Housing 2.0 seminars, all those wonderful benefits won’t mean anything if builders can’t successfully promote their superior product.

Want to make sure your company isn’t just following in the same old business practices? Watch this video.