Customer Care Resolutions for NHQB Compliance in 2023

Customer care should always be high on the agenda for home builders.  Enhancing your customers’ experience is a sure way to elevate your brand, receive rave reviews and subsequently secure more buyers and tenants for your properties.  

And this year the introduction of the New Homes Quality Code (NHQC) means that the customer experience is an even more essential consideration in your sales processes.  With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the five most important customer care resolutions you can make, to ensure you’re compliant with the new Code.

So, whether you think you might need to up your game at reservation or simply boost your impressive sales and handovers with some top notch customer care, you’ll find something here that you can implement in 2023.

Resolution Number 1: Open and Honest Communication with Buyers

Ensuring your customers know what to expect from the homebuying journey will not only fulfil one of your obligations outlined in the new Code, but will also lead to better relationships with your buyers, while working to increase their trust and commitment to the purchase.

Right from the moment a potential buyer enters one of your sales suites, the language used verbally and in writing should be plain, easy to understand, and not misleading in any way.

At the point of reservation, you should provide your buyers with all the information they need to understand your specific buying process.  Their buying journey should be an exciting experience, where they feel in control of any decision-making or actions required of them.

Another important expectation to manage for your buyers is the timescales for the various aspects of the build and buying processes.  An educated buyer is more understanding in the case of delays or problems along the way.

Reservation manuals, such as those we provide, allow you to provide comprehensive information in jargon-free language, and they work as a step-by-step guide to the whole buying process, while our award-winning residential portal, Spaciable, can be used to issue instant notifications and build progress updates.

And remember, if you’re registered with the New Homes Quality Board, this must be stated in your sales and marketing materials.  The new Code logo must be displayed prominently in your sales suite and any physical spaces related to the sale of one of your homes, as well as in sales brochures and online.

Finally, the Code itself must be available in an accessible format to any buyer who wishes to read it.  

Resolution Number 2: Avoid High-pressure Sales Tactics

You can provide all most the helpful information in the world, but if your buyer feels they were hard-sold one of your homes, or pressurised into making a decision before they were ready, their buying experience will not be something they regard positively or promote happily to their friends and family.

You are also not permitted to use high-pressure selling techniques if you are registered with the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB).  To give a couple of examples from the NHQC, these include implying there is another party interested, or an imminent price increase when neither is true, or offering a financial incentive for an immediate decision on reservation or sale of a property.

For some sales professionals this stipulation of the new Code might bring worry and doubt about whether they will manage to meet their usual sales targets.  However, a sale that has been made after deliberation is far less likely to fall through.  Not only that, but a customer who has enjoyed the process of reserving and purchasing one of your homes will be naturally enthused in their conversations about buying one of your homes.  This makes for a great bit of free marketing for your brand!

Resolution Number 3:  Cater for Vulnerable Customers Fairly and Appropriately

At times, you may be called upon to provide suitable advice and assistance to a buyer who is classed as a vulnerable person.  The importance of being ready for this situation and acting appropriately is imperative to comply with the new Code.

The first action required in order for you to fulfil this obligation, is to ensure you always identify a vulnerable person.  Often you will be made aware of a potential buyer’s vulnerability from the get-go and can act accordingly.  

However, where there is a person who you suspect is vulnerable but has not declared their vulnerability, it is the responsibility of you or your team to clarify whether the individual is in fact a vulnerable person, from either themselves or their representative.

This can be a delicate situation and the conversation must be respectful.  As stipulated by the NHQC, the enquiry must be ‘considerate, inoffensive and non-discriminatory.’  

It is advisable to provide additional training to any team member who might find themselves having to query the vulnerability of a potential buyer.  It is important for employees to know the manner in which you wish them to make this type of enquiry, and to remember that the tone and method of this communication will have an impact on the perception of your brand and your ability to treat a vulnerable customer with care and respect.

The Code advises ‘that employees do not make assumptions about the degree of knowledge that a customer has.’  Providing your customers with the comprehensive information included in our Reservation Manuals would mean they leave with a step-by-step guide to the whole buying process in user friendly, jargon free language.

Resolution Number 4:  Make Completion Day Exciting and Informative for Buyers

The new Code stipulates that legal completion can only take place on a ‘Complete New Home’, meaning once the home complies with all building regulations and meets all applicable building safety requirements for safe occupation, as well as having a New Homes Warranty issued in relation to it.

But your obligations do not end here.  Upon completion, developers registered with the NHQB must have provided a pre-completion inspection and a new home demonstration, to explain how all the appliances in the new home operate.

Alongside these face-to-face requirements, developers must also provide full details of any guarantees and warranties that accompany the new home and its appliances, as well as details of the New Homes Warranty, including the extent and duration of what is covered and the exceptions, exclusions, limits, excesses and conditions that apply to their warranty cover.

It is also essential to detail the complaints procedure to buyers at the point of completion, and provide a Health and Safety File for the new home and a Building Regulation Completion Certificate.

Now, if this sounds like a lot of documentation to provide at handover, you are not mistaken.  However, we have been providing Completion Manuals that fulfil all of these obligations for over 25 years.  

We create beautifully bound folios and document boxes, made bespoke in your colours and branding.  Alternatively, the content can be presented as a printed booklet or digitally, on our Spaciable portal, which features an interactive library to house certificates, policy documents and user manuals.  Each Completion Manual is plot-specific and includes all of the information required to fulfil your completions’ documentation requirements, as well as fully detailing your complaints procedure, as required by the NHQC.

Resolution Number 5:  Provide an Excellent After-Sales Service and Complaints Resolution

The new Code requires all registered developers to facilitate an after-care service that extends for a minimum of two years past the date of completion.

Your aftercare procedures must be clearly stated in writing upon completion, as well as the actions your customers need to take in order to report any snags and defects during their first two years in the property, as well as describing what they can expect from you in terms of dealing with those defects.

Guidance on timescales must be provided for your buyers, as well as the option for homebuyers to categorise their issue as a complaint if they are not happy with your proposed approach.

There should be details of what issues are classified as an emergency and how you will deal with them.  This classification must include issues that have the potential to impact health and safety or could lead to injury or loss of life.

And of course, it is essential to detail issues that are regarded as normal maintenance and ‘running-in’, which are the responsibility of the customer.  Ensuring that these details are included not only helps you comply with the new Code, it also leads to a reduction in calls to your customer care or after-care teams for issues that you are not in fact responsible for.

Again, our Completion Manuals comply with each of these requirements, as well as making an attractive addition to your buyers’ new homes; an addition that will be seen by their visitors and goes the extra mile in demonstrating your dedication to being a conscientious developer.

So, if you need any help or advice on the written documentation you must provide for your customers, you should get in touch with us.  As suppliers of NHQB accredited content, we will be happy to help you start 2023 compliant with the new Code.

More Blog Posts

Ten Sustainability Tips for Homebuilders and Their Home Users

We have compiled a list of ten sustainability tips that can be easily implemented both in the home for your buyers, but also for you at work, to lighten the carbon load while saving money wherever possible.

Customer Care Resolutions for NHQB Compliance in 2023

With 2023's introduction of the NHQB, we've compiled a list of the five most important customer care resolutions you can make, to ensure you’re compliant with the new Code.

A Classic Folios Christmas Carol

Ethel Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Customer Care Past, Present and Future!

A Classic Folios Christmas

We're all getting in the festive spirit - from trees and snow globes to Christmas markets and glittery luchadores!

The Day of 8 Billion – What Does It Mean for the Property Industry?

On 15th November 2022 humanity reached a significant milestone: a population of 8 billion. What impact will this have on the property industry?

A Classic Folios Christmas Playlist

Enjoy a mix of festive favourites that are sure to get the office excited for the holidays!

Celebrating Our Women in Construction

All the way from the entry level position employees through to the Chief Operating Officer, women are at the helm and making big decisions about the direction we steer the company.

Monthly Quiz Answers - September

How did you fare in this month's newsletter quiz?

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard Has a Leader and a Clear Mission

Former Chairman of UKGBC (UK Green Building Council) David Partridge brings his sustainable experience to the Governance Board for the Net Zero Carbon Standard, as claims of net zero carbon status are set to be regulated by the new initiative – the latest in a series of signs that the property industry is recognising that it is time for action.

London Property Was on the Rebound for Overseas Investors - Now It Could Be an Open Goal

London property is back in vogue amongst international investors, but how will this be impacted by the pound’s plummet and should developers gear up their marketing to overseas buyers?

Will Rising Rates Hinder Interest in Stamp Duty Cuts?

The mini-budget announcement will have piqued the interest of the property market, with the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) being permanently cut – but will it have the same impact as the SDLT Holiday in 2020, or have soaring interest rates already put a dampener on the announcement?

September Round-up - Interest Rates, Stamp Duty Cuts, Overseas Investment and Net Zero Carbon

The only certainty is uncertainty, as the mini budget has chaotic impact on the property market. Meanwhile, the UK's first Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard looks to establish continuity and reliability for sustainable developers.

Monthly Quiz Answers - July

Who performed these home-based songs?

House Prices Rise but Slowdown Looms

Rightmove report shows increases across the board: Average prices up 9% - Number of sellers up 13% - Completion time up 50 days - So how do we achieve a harmonious market?

Bellway’s Future Home Could Be the Blueprint for Eco Living

Bellway has started work on the experience Future Home, being built in an environmental chamber that can replicate over 95% of the world’s climatic conditions.

July Round-up - Climate Change, Future Homes and Customer Care Culture

Soaring temperatures have prompted plenty of talk about climate change, while first time buyers continue to be outpriced. But there is reason for optimism!

Five Top Customer Care Tips for New Homebuilders

With 86% of buyers willing to pay more for a better customer experience, it has never been more important for homebuilders to deliver excellent customer care.

Monthly Quiz Answers - May

Name the TV shows these famous homes appeared in.

May Round-up - ESG, Net Zero and the Spaciable Spread

From ESG Conferences to the spread of PropTech, Managing Director David Graydon shares his thoughts on the key issues facing the property industry this month.

The Proof is in the Postcodes

As Spaciable sweeps the nation, we decided to map out all of the developments on our award-winning portal to show our reach from Elgin to Plymouth, and Donaghmore to Norwich (and everywhere in between)!

Five Key Takeaways From the Resi ESG Conference

The Resi ESG conference took place in London at the beginning of May. Here, we have outlined five of the most significant messages from the conference, supported by alarming statistics, showing that immediate action is needed from everyone involved.

Achieving Net Zero on Your Next Site

With so much talk of sustainability, pushing your ESG credentials and how the UK government wants to achieve net zero by 2050, now is the time to take action and make sure you’re paving the way for the future.

Monthly Quiz Answers - March

With the Oscars recently in the bag, can you name the films that starred these iconic houses?

Neighbours vs Coronation Street – Property Prices of Soap Streets Compared

Property platform Boomin has identified the soap with highest property price growth, as well as which resident stands the best chance of becoming a property mogul!

UK Property Market Continues to Defy Logic

Average UK house prices mark the fastest rising rate since 2007, with the year-on-year increase the highest in almost 40 years.

Rural Hotspots Are Getting Younger!

Forget Last of the Summer Wine – villages are competing to become First of the Summer Jäegerbombs, as homebuyers moving to rural areas are younger than a decade ago.

Homebuyers Prioritise Sustainability According to HBF Research

In the course of seven years, homebuyers’ priorities have changed from location to sustainability, with conscientious customers swotting up on EPCs.

Monthly Musings - March

Straight from MIPIM, Managing Director David Graydon shares his thoughts on the key issues facing the property industry this month.

How to Approach Climate Tech in the Office

As vital as it is to give home users the tools they need to make the most of the sustainable features in their home, it is equally important to practice what you preach, and ensure your offices are as efficient as the homes you build.

Monthly Quiz Answers

Check here to see how you fared in this month's brain teaser!

Monthly Musings

Managing Director David Graydon shares hot topics for the month ahead - from lorries to space houses!

Stop Hitting Snooze on Sustainability

After decades of hitting snooze on the wake-up call that is global warming, 2021 seemed to be the year we finally stretched our arms and rolled out of bed.

How Will Materials Shortages Affect 2022?

Effectively putting numerous projects on hold, the heightened interest in home improvement during the pandemic, a deficit of around 100,000 lorry drivers in the UK, increased labour rates and the continued impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on imports have met in a perfect storm of disruption, giving homebuilders costly headaches. But will it continue in 2022?

What Will Happen with PropTech in 2022?

Crunchbase has drawn on their data to highlight what PropTech trends we could see in 2022, helping developers and investors get ahead of the game.

In Space, No-one Can Hear You…Build?

Co-founder of SAGA, architect Sebastian Aristotelis has taken a starry-eyed approach to his profession, setting his sights on space architecture. But what are the logistics and can they be applied to more down-to-Earth projects?

Top 10 Highlights of 2021

While 2020 was full of uncertainty and angst, 2021 has given us more reason for optimism, and while it hasn’t always been plain sailing, it has produced many highlights – both from a business perspective and on a national scale.

Green Ambitions – Trendsetting Eco Buildings

The built environment could start to look a lot different over the next few decades, as a new era of architecture could be imminent. Take a look at some of the world's leading sustainable build projects.

Time to See the Light with Solar Panels

According to The Solar Trade Association, solar panels have been installed to approximately 900,000 British homes. But with so many benefits, developers should strive to install solar panels on every building – especially when building integrated solar panels can actually save on roof covering costs.

Healthy Eco Homes of the Future – How We Get There

With developers under unprecedented pressure to build sustainably, and many working towards net-zero targets, it can be tempting to prioritise this above all else.

Climate Change and Construction

Climate change is a term we hear regularly but to get to the heart of what we should be doing about it, we need to step back and remind ourselves what it actually means.

Government Allocate £57.8m to Councils for Brownfield Projects

The Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has allocated a share of £57.8 million from the Brownfield Land Release Fund to over 50 councils in a bid to prioritise building on previously developed land.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder – Overseas Buyers Return to London Ready to Spend

After a 16 month pandemic-enforced estrangement, overseas buyers have returned to London in a boost to the capital’s developers, with prices set to rise by 8% in prime central London next year.

The PropTech Inventions Reinventing Property

Royal Palm Companies CEO and founder Daniel Kodsi highlights four PropTechs that are currently changing the property industry and will continue to do so in the coming years.

Five Houses That Ooze Supernatural-Chic

They may not be much good for a decent night's sleep but these five houses feature some inspired design choices that could be due a renaissance in new builds.

Teching the Boxes for Young Homebuyers

“Phenomenal” video tours give Auction House food for thought on approach to technology coming out of the pandemic, as property industry finally realises the potential of PropTech to appeal to young homebuyers.

Large Developers Warned About Increasing Government Scrutiny

Derek Gemmell, Partner and Head of Construction and Property at Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), has criticised the lack of clarity around the proposed new Residential Property Developer Tax (RPDT) on large developers to raise funds to address unsafe cladding on existing buildings, while warning developers that they need to remain vigilant as new taxes, penalties and restrictions are introduced by the Government.

England to Lead the Charge for EV Points

New legislation is set to be introduced by the Government that will make it compulsory for all new build homes and offices to incorporate electric vehicle (EV) charging points that can automatically charge vehicles during off-peak windows, giving developers food for thought when it comes to making parking provisions for new developments.

Artistic Collective Forms Housing Co-operative in a Bid to Become London Homeowners

Artistic collective forms housing co-operative to buy the converted pub they rent. Is this the Gen-Z answer to the housing crisis or a flawed experiment?

Block Management Sector Code Set to Establish Best Practice For Managing Agents

RICS and The Property Ombudsman (TPO) have jointly launched a consultation on the Block Management Sector Code, as managing agents, homeowners and tenants are invited to give input on a series of standards and principles that are designed to improve professionalism within the sector.

From Investment to Adoption – PropTech is Now Driving the Industry Forward

The past few years has seen much written about the potential of PropTech and the significant investment in the development of technology. Now we are seeing the first signs of the property industry’s mentality towards technology having drastically changed. Data showing increases in investment is now data showing increases in adoption, as technology drives the industry into a new era.

Building Safety Bill Introduced in Parliament

Over three years since the Hackett report was published, the Building Safety Bill has been introduced in Parliament to kickstart reforms of how residential towers are built and managed, drawing a mixed reaction from the industry. Building owners who are non-compliant could face criminal prosecution, so action is needed and we can help. Read on to find out how the reforms will affect you, and how we can help you make the adjustment.

1 in 5 Sales Fell Through in Q2 Due to Buyer’s Remorse

Quick Move Now has reported that the fall-through rate in Q2 of 2021 peaked at 39%, making the year-to-date average 38%, with 22% citing attempts to negotiate a lower price or cold feet as the main reason, and 11% highlighting the slow progress of the sale. Daunting figures, no doubt, but don’t fear! Spaciable Legal – the latest addition to our award-winning portal – can reduce fall-throughs by 75%!

Post-Pandemic PropTech – It’s Here to Stay

PropTech received a surge in interest during periods of lockdown, as contactless solutions became essential. As we prepare for a return to ‘normality’, PropTech seems to have become part of the furniture, having usurped antiquated processes, subsequently winning over an initially resistant industry.

New Homes Quality Board Launch Consultation of New Code of Practice

The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) has shared the details of its new Code of practice, which is designed to address the shortcomings of existing Consumer Codes and is open for public consultation. Find out when it is expected to come into play and how Classic Folios can help you make the transition by reading on.

Are Retirement Villages the Future of the High Street?

What is the key to resurrecting the High Street? More bars and restaurants? Leisure activities, such as crazy golf and trampoline parks? Or is it actually retirement homes? The Audley Nightingale Place is one of a number of retirement villages popping up in cities, where once stood shops and office blocks, and these types of accommodation could be vital to helping the High Street thrive once again

We are very excited to showcase our latest product.

In partnership with WeCOMPLETE, SPACIABLE LEGAL, which is a digital conveyancing tool that will revolutionise the conveyancing process and reduce fall-throughs by a whopping 75%.

CLASSIC FOLIOS LAUNCHES NEW PRODUCT TO ENABLE A FASTER CONVEYANCING PROCESS

Within the industry, we are all collectively aware of the pressure on the conveyance process which has increased by 12% last year due to the extremely high level of transactions in the housing sector over the past year. To digitalise, streamline and enable a faster sales process, at CLASSIC FOLIOS, we decided to create a new effective solution to relieve some of the strain that the housing market is facing in these challenging times.

Planning Reform Included in Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech signalled a major shake-up of processes in the property industry, with ground rent and building safety reforms being somewhat overshadowed by the controversial Planning Bill, set to modernise the planning process. But not everyone is on board.

Land Ahoy! Developers Competing for Limited Residential Land Supply

A shortage of land has led to developers getting increasingly competitive for medium and large scale schemes, with a number of developers citing the availability of land as the most pressing issue for the next quarter.

Stamp Duty Holiday: An Alternative Take

Knight Frank highlights data from OnTheMarket that shows a 30% rise in properties going under offer in England and Wales in March, compared to the same month in 2020; however, the smallest increase seems to come from those with the most to gain

More, More, Mor(tgage)

Financial Reporter has highlighted figures from Twenty7Tec that show a 26.7% increase in searches for standard residential mortgages, between February and March, offering more evidence of a strong post-pandemic market.

Energy Efficiency Figures Show Two Sides of the Coin

Inside Housing has reported that between October and December last year, 84% of new builds in England and 87% in Wales, received an energy efficiency rating of A or B – the two highest grades, while only 3% of existing buildings in England had a rating of B, showing the chasm between new builds and those predating energy efficiency regulations

Record-breaking Bitcoin Investment to Help Blockchain Become Blockbuster

Dubai-based Khurram Shroff, chairman of IBC Group, has invested 100,000 Bitcoin (currently worth an eye-watering $4.8 billion) to create the Miami 2.0 Blockchain Strategy Foundation, among other joint ventures, marking the biggest Bitcoin investment in history.

Trees to Grow Out of Concrete Jungle

Eindhoven social housing development blooms with vertical forest, just one of the project’s numerous sustainable features, setting a new standard for affordable housing.

Rightmove Report 9 Million Reasons for Optimism

Home Tours Go Viral

London-based property developer, Avanton, embraces Tik Tok to market apartments to a new generation of buyers.

New Home Quality Board to Set New Standards for Housebuilders

The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) has been launched to introduce a new code of practice on how “homes are built and sold and how customers are treated”. So, what does this mean for the Consumer Code for Home Builders?

The Wonderful Wizard of Conveyancing

The conveyancing stage can be frustrating for buyers at the best of times, largely due to the work seemingly being conducted by a mysterious wizard behind a giant curtain, such is the lack of transparency. With some buyers waiting up to 40 days for local searches to be carried out and conveyancing costs doubling, Spaciable Legal pulls down the curtain to give buyers real-time updates and speed up the process.

How Great Customer Service Can Save You Time and Money

Improving your customer service is one of the most impactful ways to save time and money, while enhancing your market position. There are a number of ways to do this and we can show you how.

Proptech Set to Shine in 2021

PropertyMe has collated Proptech predictions for 2021 from five experts, noting that with Proptech start-ups benefiting from over $43 billion in funding since 2012, it could be set for a defining year. So, how can Proptech kickstart a tumultuous decade?

The UK Still Has (Post-) Brex Appeal

Even after a tumultuous year, research by DLA Piper suggests the UK is the global hotspot for overseas property investment. But does this help or hinder the local market, and could it price out first-time buyers?

The Great Migration

The living nightmare that was 2020 saw people (sometimes literally) running for the hills, with Londoners leaving the hustle and bustle, in favour of open spaces. New figures from Hamptons and Rightmove help us identify where people are moving to en masse, and which regions and towns developers may want to keep a close eye on.

The Season for Giving

London and Home Counties-based developer Fairview New Homes pledges to donate £10,000 to buyers’ chosen charities when reserving a home at the Welcombe House Collection.

2020’s Lockdown and 2021’s Bounce Back

MakeUrMove has recently published a report on the changing needs of tenants in the wake of the pandemic. While the report focuses on rented accommodation, many of its findings can be applied to the property industry as a whole, giving insight into what can be expected in the coming months and years

Help to Buy 2.0 Open for Business

First-time buyers can now apply for the new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, to get on the property ladder with a new-build home, with the new scheme building on recent Government efforts to create more homeowners.

How to Add Value to Your Homes

What are the biggest turn-ons and turn-offs when it comes to home design? Hammonds Furniture has delved into the question of what adds value to a home and revealed some interesting results.

GoodBuy Generation Rent

Boris Johnson has elaborated on his plan to create new homeowners through long-term fixed-rate mortgages, as first proposed in last November’s Conservative election manifesto, in a bid to change ‘Generation Rent’ to ‘Generation Buy’.

Protection from Paint

Usually when we are thinking of decorating our homes, we pick up paint swatches from our DIY store, so we can decide between various shades of the same basic colour, all with names like ‘Emerald Blanket’ and ‘Lizard’s Tail’. Now, we may start selecting our wall paint based on its health benefits.

How Ethical is Ethical Investing?

Home REIT, a real estate investment trust, is planning to let accommodation on 20-30 year leases to charities, housing associations and other regulated organisations that receive housing benefit from the local or central government to provide accommodation for the homeless, while aiming to provide a return of 7.5% per annum to investors over the medium term.

The City of Tomorrow

Cities have changed and adapted throughout history, though for many of us, probably not a great deal in our personal experience, save for some beloved chains leaving (RIP Woolworths). But the high street has long been suffering from the popularity of online retail and the current pandemic landed some even heavier blows, forcing a reevaluation of how cities can benefit us and vice versa.

Pandemic Makes PropTech Impossible to Ignore

Just as FinTech companies cashed in on the uncertainty, distrust and anger at established financial systems in the wake of the 2007-08 crisis, PropTech companies could be set for a similar redefining role in the post-COVID property industry.‍

We find ourselves in a defining moment for urban transport.

With the government greenlighting rented electric scooter trials ahead of schedule, we may be taking the first steps towards the electric vehicle revolution sooner than expected.

The Price of a Stamp

This month saw the announcement of The Great Big British Stamp Duty Holiday (at least I think that’s what its formal title is?!).

Building Towards a Better Future…In Principle

It’s clear that the property industry is going to be integral to the post-COVID recovery.

COVID-19 Summary for Businesses and Next Steps

I hope this finds you well in these trying times. We all like to think we are well-prepared to deal with the challenges thrown at us by the business landscape but then something like COVID-19 tears up the rulebook

Turn Customers Into Salespeople – Pass It On

Planning for the People with Place Score

We all want to feel like we are part of a community, but how often do we feel our voice is really heard? Enter Place Score: a groundbreaking tool that captures human-centric data to help governments, local authorities and developers design neighbourhoods with the residents’ input at the forefront of decisions.

A guide to Corporate Responses to COVID-19

With coronavirus having an unprecedented impact on businesses of all sectors and sizes, many companies are having to take unfamiliar measures to ensure they are in as strong a position as possible when normality eventually resumes. We have outlined some tips to help minimise the damage caused by the pandemic.

Coronavirus Hits Housing Market

The wave of momentum that followed the general election and relative closure to the Brexit saga is already feeling like a distant memory, with the coronavirus outbreak wreaking havoc on a multitude of industries.

Tech Tock – Microsoft Set Deadline to Achieve Carbon Negative Status and What It Means for Real Estate

It seems that tech powerhouses, such as Apple, Amazon and now Microsoft are quickly realising that if they don’t put sustainability at the top end of their agenda, buying the latest iPhone, Echo Dot or Surface Pro is going to be the least of people’s worries.

Budding Buyers Buoyed By First Homes Scheme

In a bid to create more homeowners, the Government has proposed First Homes – a new scheme that will provide new build homes for local residents at a 30% market discount rate.

Turn Customers Into Salespeople – Pass It On

Many people would consider a positive review of a company from a trusted friend the most earnest form of marketing.

What’s Smart, Green and Can’t Be Ignored?

It’s more than a buzz word. It’s more than click-bait. It’s more than fear-mongering and the responsibility doesn’t fall at one single person’s doorstep. These statements aren’t hot takes; they are indisputable – that much is all too clear now. Articles published by Unissu and Raconteur highlight the necessity of collaboration in the quest to create a smart, green future. The shared message is clear: the responsibility doesn’t fall at one single person’s doorstep. The property industry can certainly help to set a new standard, but it relies on the application of green innovations from homeowners, tenants, office workers, companies, and so on.

The Roaring Twenties Part II?

‘The noughties’ is plagued by innuendo. ‘The 10s’ just sounds far too abridged to constitute a decade. ‘The Twenties’, however, at least sounds like the millennium’s first era, in much the same way Antony Slumbers suggested ‘the Roaring Twenties was the first real decade of the 20th Century.’ And so here we stand, 100 years later, in the early days of the 2020s, on the precipice of what some scholars, such as Klaus Schwab, are labelling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But should we expect another boom period or heed the warning of history and prepare for the grinding halt that the Wall Street Crash brought the prosperity of the Roaring Twenties to in 1929? In listing 20 changes to the real estate industry to expect in the 2020s, Antony Slumbers suggests we should be optimistic.

Like, Comment and Buy a New House on Facebook

In almost 16 years, Facebook has changed from a way for teenagers to plan trips to town and cast a wider social net than they would know what to do with to a commercial powerhouse that is rife with targeted advertising and occasional photos of people you no longer recognise. Now, users can search for properties to buy or rent through Facebook Marketplace, with property portals such as OnTheMarket using it to advertise homes. With almost 45 million Facebook users in the UK, the expansion of Marketplace from seller of sofas to purveyor of properties is sure to have invited attention from the offices of Zoopla and Rightmove; however, with Zoopla drawing 50 million visits per month and Rightmove 127.5 million, it is unlikely they will be usurped overnight. That being said, developers looking to advertise new builds may feel inclined to embrace the platform to maximise their reach.

Farming at 140ft

At a time when so many sectors are under scrutiny for the detrimental impact their practices will have on future generations, it’s encouraging to see members of our industry embracing creative solutions to combat the environmental crisis, with urban farming proving the sky truly is the limit for sustainable living.

Google Parent Company Receives Green Light for Green Living

TechCrunch has reported that Alphabet Inc.’s urban innovation subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, is set to proceed with its smart city development on the Toronto waterfront, despite backlash from a public wary of the company’s use of personal data. Why? Because Alphabet Inc. is the parent company of data consumer en masse, Google.

A 2020 Vision of Customer Service

As 2019 draws to a close, so too does the window for 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner becoming a prophecy. There are no flying cars, no android war and things still happen during daylight. That being said, Acquire’s forecast for customer service trends in 2020 suggest artificial intelligence is making significant, but thankfully less dystopian, strides.

The Rental Market

The number of homes in the ‘build to rent’ sector are increasing by 20% year on year, with an expected 1.7 million units estimated for when the market reaches full maturity

HBF Survey News

In light of some recent bad press concerning the customer service of some national developers, it is worth reminding ourselves of the value of a customer who feels genuinely cared for.