HBF Survey News

In March, Home Builders Federation (HBF) published the results of their ‘National new home customer satisfaction survey’, which reiterate the need for considerable improvement in customer service.

As a starting point, consider the fact that only 52% of those surveyed would be considered promotors of their developer.  The remaining 48%, who are either neutral or detractors, represents missed opportunity. If almost half of the residents on a development are either keeping quiet about their experiences or even speaking negatively about them to friends and family, it is unlikely that the developer will secure much, if any,business from referrals.  Conversely, research by American Express found that one happy customer can lead to up to nine referrals.  With this in mind, 48%of non-promotors adds up to a lot of lost business.

Improving customer service is one way of acquiring more promotors.  According to the survey, the level of service and information provided between reservation and handover can be improved upon.  In fact, only 53% claimed to have been ‘very satisfied’ with the service provided during the buying process.  When one considers that the NPS model that was used to determine promotors for the statistic above only considers scores of nine and ten to constitute a promoter, it could be surmised that even ‘fairly satisfied’ customers are not necessarily promotors.  This makes it all the more important to ensure the percentage of ‘very satisfied’ customers is much higher.  The buying process sets the tone for the customer experience and if this is found wanting, it may shape the customer’s ongoing perception of the developer and whether or not they become a brand advocate.

The importance of customer service continues to play a key role in the homeowner’s experience at the point of handover, where only 59% were ‘very satisfied’ with the handover process and 57% were ‘very satisfied’ with the information provided at handover.  The proximity of these figures suggests the two are closely linked, with a lack of information feeding directly into dissatisfaction with the process.  It is understandable that if a customer has just purchased a new build home and is not provided with adequate details on operating systems, maintaining fixtures and fittings, and who to contact for aftercare issues, it will have a detrimental impact on their assessment of the handover process.

The percentage of ‘very satisfied’ customers after moving in drops to 48%.  While this may be the result of a lack of information or communication, it is also worth noting that 99% reported problems after moving in.  While snagging issues are commonplace in new homes, a lack of information may exacerbate this figure, as issues that are easily resolvable or considered a normal part of settling in to a new home may be mistakenly reported as problems.  The fact that the number of ‘very satisfied’ customers is lower after moving in than during the buying process and at legal completion also either implies that customer care is seen as a lower priority after handover or customer service teams take a reactive, rather than proactive, stance.  This should not be the case, as this is the time when the most queries are likely to arise.

Ultimately, these figures point to the fact that more needs to be done in terms of customer service to ensure homeowners can enjoy the best possible customer experience and become promotors of the brand.  This is where Classic Folios can help.  There is a reason Classic Folios is the market leader in providing handover solutions, having dedicated over 20 years to binding the relationship between developers and their customers.  Our handover solutions fulfil the dual purpose of providing the homeowner or tenant with key information to help them make the most of their new home, as well as demonstrating a willingness to go the extra mile, reflecting their value to the developer.

Bespoke homebuyer, homeowner and tenant manuals, and a comprehensive property management portal provide ideal platforms for conveying information at each stage of the buying process, while the beautiful, branded folios, tablets and iPads, and the user-friendly portal reflect an investment in the homeowner that would not be achieved by simply providing a pile of paperwork.

Furthermore, an extensive range of welcome gifts can be provided to buyers at handover as a goodwill gesture to start their new chapter in style.

We can’t control everything.  Adverse weather might delay build schedules.  Stock might affect the availability of building materials.  Customer service, however, is something we can control, and Classic Folios is here to help.

More Blog Posts

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.

Hotel Offers Living Space

With Virgin Hotels developing a 40 storey hotel in Miami, 15 floors of which will offer furnished residential spaces, are mixed use, co-living developments becoming a popular alternative to apartment buildings?

Developers Affected By Crossrail

Developers working on projects on the Elizabeth Line can be forgiven for looking through their hands at any news mentioning Crossrail, as positive progress updates seem to be diluted by concerns or threats to the high capacity railway.

Free Money

News from Scandinavia with implications on lenders and spenders rubs off on UK mortgagees, as long-term, fixed rate, low interest loans are offered to buyers. Is this good news for buyers or worrying news for the economy?

A Demand for Affordable Living

Affordable living in London with a long-term outlook? Tenants today, homeowners tomorrow. London Living Rent and London Shared Ownership boosted by new plans.