A friend told me years ago that in his previous life of producing widgets they aimed for 95% success as 100% was unattainable.

Got this in the email the other day:


Update 12 April 2011:

Ben Davis with Ryan Homes sent me this email after he and I talked.

“It was great speaking with you on the phone today.  As a long time reader of RealCentralVA I wanted to provide some follow up information regarding your post on 3/28 “100%”.  The email was a great visual representation of satisfied Ryan Homes homeowners.  However, you are correct in that it did not provide any raw data to back up the claim.  In a short and to the point marketing piece it is hard to show raw data in the piece without compromising the visual appeal.  I sense from your posts that you and I both enjoy looking at data and proof sources, so I’ve attached some data that does back up the claim in the email.  The data shows the results of our “Customer Satisfaction Survey”** that is sent to every customer approximately 60 days after settlement.  The ratings are on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest.  I’ve crossed out the name of an employee that is no longer working in Charlottesville since I do not have their position to share this information.  You’ll see on the far right hand side the % of customers who would recommend Ryan Homes to a “Friend or Family Member”.  I speak for our entire Ryan Homes Charlottesville team when I say we take customer service/quality very seriously and are proud our survey results.  It’s pretty remarkable that out of the 43 results shown, not one employee has an average below 9.2 out of 10.  The numbers represent the 43 customers who returned their surveys within the past 3 quarters not every customer that has moved into their home.  We encourage every customer to return a survey (Secured email to the customer); however, not everyone returns a survey.  In the attached data sample 43 of the 80 customers who closed on their home during this time period have returned a survey as of this morning (4/2/2011).

We are all very proud of the level of customer service and quality that we provide while serving the Charlottesville Area market.  I guess what the headline should have read was “100% of Ryan Homes Customers who moved in their home and returned their “Customer Satisfaction Survey” by time the ad was created said they would recommend a Ryan Home to a friend or family member.”  I’m being facetious here, but I get the point of your post.  We’ll be sure to add an explanation at the bottom of similar emails in the future.  You have my number and email below, I’m happy to provide you with any information that I have available in the future.  I encourage you  to post the attached results and/or this email as a follow up to the “100%” blog entry.

Thanks again for your time on the phone today.  I look forward to speaking with you again soon.

Take care,

**The survey is our “Report Card” on how well we served our customers in the Charlottesville Area Market.  They get a chance to rate their experience with our sales staff, production team, quality of construction, completeness of the home at the final walk through, and whether or not they would recommend Ryan Homes to a friend or family member.  To ensure that the home lives up to our quality standards they also get another survey at 10-12months after our 30day and 10month scheduled service appointments.  As you know, all new homes will acclimate to its surroundings in the first year due to expansion and contraction of the main building material: Wood.  For example, a door may become tight, a window may become hard to open, and there may be “nail pops” in the drywall.  It happens in virtually all new homes so we offer our customers a 30day , 10 month service,  as well as  a one time drywall and paint touch up at no added cost.”
Customer Survey Score Results- Ryan Homes CVL.JPG

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  1. Handy man March 29, 2011 at 13:19

    As a person in the Charlottesville area that provides a hangy man service to many ryan Homes customers, I can say unequivocally this is false advertisement. What a shame the public is so gulliable.

    1. Jim Duncan March 30, 2011 at 13:07

      Thanks, Handyman.

  2. Vsheldon62 April 2, 2011 at 16:02

    Hello, I am searching for a home for my daughter right now so came across your blog and was quite taken back as I own a Ryan Home in Greenecroft and definitely support the ad above. Sandy Hobbs built my home and Ben Davis was my sales rep and they truly proved to me that their systems were efficient and more organized than any other home purchase I’ve made. I was also a real estate agent in Texas before retiring and so find it extremely devastating to our profession that you would blog or in essence steer those who look to us for factual knowledge.

    1. Jim Duncan April 2, 2011 at 16:32

      vsheldon62 –

      Thank you for your comment and for stopping by. By what were you taken back? I was very clear in my not expressing an opinion about the ad; I save specific opinions about builders for conversations with clients.

      All I implied, but will say clearly now, is that statements of “always” or “never” are absurd. All I would have to do (and I haven’t done for this post) is find one customer of Ryan who was dissatisfied to disprove their statement.

      If they had said, “100% of the people we quote below would recommend a Ryan Home” that would be defensible. Saying 100% of Ryan Home customers in Charlottesville are satisfied is a bold statement.

      This post is devastating? I’d be happy to point you to some posts in which I actually have expressed an opinion that would be more likely to be considered “devastating” (but I really don’t think I’ve written anything “devastating” in 6 years).

      Curious – in Texas, were you an agent or a Realtor?

      Thank you again for commenting; I appreciate your taking the time to do so.


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