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HAVE WE HAD BETTER ENDS TO A YEAR?

Well yes, for sure, but let’s not get down about it. It appears that 2023 could be a difficult year for house sales and that just focuses the mind on how to stand out from the crowd when it comes to ‘clinching the sale’.


Like most things, there are several potential differentiators between competitors when it comes to selling, no matter what the product.


Price is the most obvious – cut your price until the buyer says yes – that isn’t the best of strategies because you’re cutting your margin and as profits reduce, surviving a tough market becomes yet more challenging.


Quality is another differentiator. To claim a better ‘build’ is almost impossible as every developer will tell a purchaser how beautifully constructed their homes are.


Specification. Certainly, that can be a strong hand to play – better kitchen and bathrooms are an obvious candidate for enhanced specs.


Room Size. Much has been said to demean new build when it comes to overall size so clever design and generous space will always be a plus.

But here’s one that rarely gets a mention and yet should probably be at the top of your list, because it is the least expensive to provide and can have the most positive impact ….


Service. So many industry surveys reveal how a developer’s attention to the consumer’s needs is excellent during the sales process, but not so hot afterwards, and yet it is the first 2 years following legal completion where a developer can acquire a poor reputation unless they are well and truly on the ball. The press and social media are always keen to build a drama out of any suggestion that a new homeowner has got problems with their property. So, don’t give them the chance – make sure that service is outstanding. Don’t just say it is – make it so!


Great service starts before legal completion, at the point where your site team are telling you that a property is practically complete. That is where your future will be one of two possible outcomes, depending on how you respond to their statement.


Outcome A - Take them at their word and progress to legal completion. You run the risk that there are problems with the property and the first you will know about that will be when a customer contacts you to complain.


Outcome B - Don’t take them at their word – organise for a close inspection and make certain that any snags are itemised on a report and fed back to the site crew to get put right BEFORE the purchaser sets foot over the threshold. This way you’re de-risking the situation to remove the opportunity for a customer to complain.


Having addressed the first stage of great service, your next stop is a Home Demonstration. Don’t just hand your customer the keys and give them a bundle of appliance warranties. Demonstrate the property to them, ‘sell’ it to them all over again. Explain how everything works, give them an opportunity to ask questions. It’s another great example of excellent service.


And finally, arrange for 2 years after care from the date of legal completion, to include out of hours emergency cover. Your warranty provider will expect you to do this, so make it a strong point of difference; promote the fact that you support and care for your customer, make it a strong element in your sales and marketing literature.


If you want to know how to do this - easily, fully, and effectively, we’ll be more than happy to explain how we operate. After Build has been providing fixed price after care and other services for two decades. We work with developers to remove the day-to-day pressure of providing and managing their own after care. Certainly, for a small and medium size developer this can be costly and a distraction to other business. So, we take this away and manage it for you. We take all calls from the occupant. We manage your contractors. Defect diagnosis is handled by our warranty trained Property Coordinator team. We compile and issue the job instruction and organise the appointment. Your costs are fixed and known from the outset. It couldn’t be easier.


Want to discuss your needs further? Call Mark Fawcitt (Director of Customer Development) on 07342 037810 or Email: markf@afterbuild.com)

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