February 22

Article

You’re building your dream home because you want to give the people you value most — your family — a comfortable place to grow and enjoy spending time together. To make all of this happen, you choose the biggest contractor in town with the best reputation for getting the job done on time.

You tell the contractor exactly what features are important to you, and everything seems fine until the drawings come back. Unfortunately, the contractor says that there are only 4 options available to you. They are track homes that cost more than you anticipated, and don’t contain the jacuzzi or other features you were looking for.

Even though the contractor claimed they could “build anything”, what they didn’t tell you was that the designers of the 4 track homes they showed you actually pay them — behind your back — to promote their homes. What they also didn’t tell you is that it is much easier and profitable for them to build you a cookie-cutter track home than the custom home you dreamed of.

But since they’re one of the “biggest” contractors and have been in business for decades, you figure they must know what they’re talking about and select the best of the 4 mediocre options they showed you.

The home was built quickly, and once your family is moved in, you discover a few things:

  • The cost was more than you anticipated and it’s preventing you from investing in your children’s education and other things you used to enjoy. 
  • Every year, major repairs need to happen, and this is not only costing you time, but money. 
  • Your family doesn’t really enjoy spending time at your new home, and they end up staying with friends whenever they can. 

Every so often, you talk to your contractor about these issues, and they reassure you that this is normal. In fact, according to the benchmarks they showed you, your home is holding up better than most of the homes they have built in your area. 

You feel like you have little control over and are not happy with the situation. But because you’re so busy with work and a million other things, you go along with what the contractor says and keep your family in the home — which is costing you more and more money every year. 

Over time, you feel a little disconnected from your family and wish you could afford to take them all on vacation. But that’s not going to happen because you haven’t even been able to save money for the college they want to attend. 

You wish you never bought the home. 

Metaphorically speaking, this is exactly what happens to many employers when building benefit packages for their employees. They hire the largest insurance broker with brand recognition to help them build benefit packages without realizing that the broker doesn’t have the financial incentives to recommend or build best-in-class solutions for their group. Instead, they present employers with 3 or 4 cookie-cutter products that don’t have the features their employees want and cost more than what anyone can afford. 

Dissatisfied with the cost and probably a few other things, employees voluntarily leave the company, and this not only costs the business money, but undermines its ability to grow.

If you want to break the cycle and build the “home of your dreams”, you need to work with independent employee benefits firms whose financial incentives are aligned with yours. Only then will you receive the objective advice needed to build best-in-class employee benefit solutions that fit your needs and cost less than the off-the-shelf products many brokers peddle. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to find an independent brokerage firm whose incentives align with yours, sign up for an advance copy of our Buyer’s Guide which will be released in March, 2021. 

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