If this is your first time going through the residential construction process, then you're probably feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the decisions and unknowns.

Don't worry, we've got you covered. As a homeowner, it's important to understand the five stages of customer awareness so you know what to expect at each step.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the awareness journey from start to finish so you can feel confident and in control of your building experience. By the end, you'll have a solid understanding of the key milestones, the types of content you'll encounter, and how to prepare for what's coming next.

Let's dive in!

What Is Customer Awareness?

Customer awareness refers to the process potential customers go through when deciding to purchase a product or service. For home builders, it means guiding prospective homeowners through the five stages of awareness:

  1. Problem Recognition: Homeowners realise they have a need for a new home and begin researching options. Content like blog posts on why to build vs buy an established home can help raise awareness of your services.
  2. Information Search: Homeowners actively search for details on the building process, costs, floor plans, and more. Provide informative content on your website like project overviews, design inspirations, and estimated build costs.
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives: Homeowners compare options from different builders to determine the best fit for their needs and budget. Share client testimonials, complete project galleries, and outline what sets you apart.
  4. Purchase Decision: Homeowners select a builder and sign a contract to begin construction. Builders will try to ensure their sales process is transparent and educational to give homeowners confidence in their choice.
  5. Post-Purchase Evaluation: Homeowners experience the build process and final product. Builders need to exceed customer expectations by maintaining open communication and high-quality workmanship throughout the project. Happy clients can become brand advocates.

Understanding these stages allows builders to anticipate homeowners' needs and provide helpful information and resources at each point in their journey. By guiding customers through awareness and delivering an exceptional experience, builders should aim to create a lasting relationship and a reputation for quality that fuels business growth through word-of-mouth and repeat customers.

Stage 1: Unaware - Make Customers Aware of Your Brand

At first, you’re unaware of the options and where to start. Builders will aim to raise brand awareness through marketing like:

  • Website content, blogs and social media promoting their services
  • Advertising in local newspapers and on radio
  • Hosting industry events, seminars and workshops

The goal here for the builder is getting on your radar so when you start researching, their brand is familiar. Don’t worry, you’re not committing to anything yet. This stage is all about you discovering what and who is out there.

Stage 2: Problem Aware - Educate Customers on Their Needs

Once homeowners realise they have a problem that needs fixing or improving, they enter the “Problem Aware” stage. At this point, you now know you need a new home or major renovation, but may not fully understand the options available or the steps required. This is where builders and marketers will aim to educate you about them.

As a homeowner in the Problem Aware stage, you'll want to learn about the different types of homes and renovations available, costs involved, timeframes, how quality will be managed and the processes required. Builders will provide informative content on their website and social media in the form of:

  • Blog posts explaining the pros and cons of different home designs like townhouses, duplexes, kit homes or custom builds. Discuss cost factors, sustainability options and key steps from design to completion.
  • Videos interviewing past clients about their experience, virtual tours showing different stages of construction, or clips on new products and materials available.
  • Downloadable brochures, eBooks or whitepapers helping homeowners understand what questions they should be asking and what decisions need to be made. Discuss budget, design, sustainability, timeframes, and selecting the right builder or architect.
  • FAQ pages addressing common concerns like costs, time required, deposit amounts, contract details, council approvals, and quality assurances. The more homeowners understand upfront, the more confident they'll feel to proceed to the next stage.

At this point, the builder's goal will be to educate and reassure potential clients, not sell to them. They will provide value by giving you the knowledge and resources they need to make the right choice for their situation. They will try to be transparent, helpful and willing to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Homeowners in the Problem Aware stage simply want guidance and expertise to solve their dilemma, so builders will focus on how they can support them through your content and customer service.

brown tree
Photo by Neil Thomas / Unsplash

Stage 3: Solution Aware - Present Your Brand as the Solution

At this stage, you’ve identified the problem you want to solve—building a new home—and now you’re looking at options for how to solve it. This is where building companies and brands come in, presenting themselves as the ideal solution for your needs.

As a homeowner, you’ll start to explore the different builders and options in your area. The builders that do the best job of positioning themselves as a solution for your goals will rise to the top of your consideration set.

Build Trust Through Social Proof

Builders will focus on building trust and credibility at this stage. Features like customer testimonials, reviews, case studies, and examples of previous work establish them as a safe and reliable choice.

Highlight Experience and Expertise

Builders will emphasise years of experience, awards won, and credentials of key team members. This is to demonstrate to you a proven track record of success and the knowledge to get the job done right.

Share Examples of Your Work

They will often provide photos and details of previous projects similar to what you want to build. This allows homeowners to visualise what their finished home might look like and gives them confidence in the builder’s abilities. The purpose here is to remove your objections against using them so that you see clearly that they are the best fit for you and your needs.

Focus on Benefits, Not Features

At this stage, builders won't just list features and specifications, rather they will turn features into benefits. Features will be explained to you in terms of benefits and end results for the homeowner. They will speak to how they'll solve your problems and be able to satisfy your needs. They will try to "help you" understand why their solution is the best choice for your goals.

Be Available to Answer Questions

Builders will make it easy for you to contact them with any questions about their service, experience, or process. At this stage, you will get the best service of your life! They will respond promptly and be willing to provide more details or examples as you request from them. Recognise this stage and note the effect that it has on you. This is proof that builders are truly capable of providing a stellar experience when they want to. You will find that builders will be willing to answer your questions thoroughly as they will be trying to build your trust in their brand.

Homeowners in the solution awareness stage are evaluating options to determine who can best deliver the end result they want. Builders that position themselves as a credible, trustworthy solution through social proof, expertise, relevant examples of work, benefit-focused messaging, and responsive communication will make the shortlist.

lit candle
Photo by Anne Nygård / Unsplash

Stage 4 & 5: Product Aware and Most Aware - Build Trust and Loyalty

At this stage, you’re deep into your building project and the end is in sight. You’ve built a solid relationship with your builder and subcontractors over many months. But the job isn’t done yet - now is the time for your builder to cement your loyalty and trust to ensure you’ll recommend them to others down the track.

Communication is Key

Constant communication is critical in these final stages. Your builder should provide frequent updates on the construction timeline, any delays, and a realistic completion date. They should be on-site often to answer any questions you have about the progress. You should feel like a valued customer, not an annoyance. If communication starts to slip, speak up - your builder will likely appreciate the feedback.

Quality and Safety First

The final construction stages are when many of the fixtures, finishes and fittings come together. Your builder must maintain high-quality craftsmanship and safety standards. Things like properly installed wiring, plumbing that doesn’t leak, windows and doors that are properly installed to open and close properly, and high-quality fixtures and flooring are what turn a house into a home. Don’t be afraid to point out anything that doesn’t meet your standards - it’s much easier for your builder to fix issues now rather than after you’ve moved in.

Move-in Support

The final step is ensuring a smooth move-in process. Your builder should conduct a final walk-through with you to identify any remaining defects or issues to be fixed. They should also provide guidance on properly ventilating and running the home, operating any installed fixtures or systems, and who to contact for any follow-up support. Providing this level of post-handover service is the best way for a builder to build goodwill and turn satisfied customers into loyal advocates.

Following these steps will ensure your building experience ends on a high note. While the project itself may be finished, you'll feel confident in recommending your builder to friends looking to build because of the care, communication and support they provided, even after the job was done.


Now you know what to expect, you can go into the process with your eyes open.

Don’t feel pressured into decisions before you’re ready, take your time to understand each stage and make the right choice for you. While it can feel overwhelming, especially when the bills start rolling in, remember why you’re doing this.

You’re building a home, a place where memories will be made and life will be lived. Stay focused on the end result and be mindful of the details. If at any point you feel out of your depth, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your builder wants this to be a positive experience for you.

Before you know it, you’ll be turning that key in the front door for the very first time. How good will that feel! This is your home, your investment and you should feel 100% happy with how it’s all coming together. If not, speak up.