Home builders providing better customer service

Homearama 2009According to a JD Powers customer satisfaction survey, Canadian home builders last year have been more attentive to the needs of their buyers. Now that the demand for new homes has decreased, buyers have benefited because builders have more time to ensure quality and want to build brand loyalty.

According to the 2010 survey in the Greater Toronto Area, 20% of new home buyers received a defect-free home as compared to the previous year when only 8% of the buyers were satisfied their new homes were perfect. Builders want to salvage new home sales, and although they try very hard to keep the prices consistent with homes that have already sold,  builders are offering buyer incentives that are luring new buyers away from the complicated short sales and a seemingly endless wait for the bank sales to be completed. Instead builders are now coming in with their checklists, and making sure that every complaint is addressed, hoping to motivate more buyers once the word gets out about the exemplary product delivered at closing.

JD Powers has been known primarily for their automotive research, but now looks to housing as another major purchase that consumers research extensively.

In the United States, builders are getting busy again and are also luring new buyers with incentives and promises of better products. With the work force and supplies less expensive now because of the economic downfall, Americans buyers have also benefited with thousands of dollars of extra options at no cost and an improved product because the builders have more time to finish the detail work.

Although there are no statistics available in my community built by Toll Brothers, their two-step pre-settlement inspection was designed to provide customer satisfaction with a 360 item checklist as a guide. The following week all repairs on the checklist were to be done by the builder. When our home was built during 2002, the market was booming, and the customer service we received was mediocre at the best. For new buyers moving into our community, although no surveys have been done, word of mouth at social functions indicate Toll Brothers now to be much more attentive to defects and warranty claims.

Let’s just hope the new awareness with improved customer service will continue with builders. It could even be a plus for the still staggering housing market.

photo credit: merfam