Homebuyers today have higher expectations regarding the quality of their homes. They also expect builders to address any issues promptly and provide excellent customer service. This ongoing relationship is vital for customer satisfaction and the reputation of the builder.
Housebuilders therefore need to adopt a customer-first mindset and focus on long-term relationships with buyers. With that mind, here’s how resident portals like Spike Living can play a part in enhancing communication and experience for owners and the benefits they can bring to housebuilders.
Simplifying the Snagging Process
Typically, the reporting of snagging issues is cumbersome and difficult for owners, with 45% of homeowners dissatisfied with the snagging process according to research by the Homeowners Alliance. More often or not, owners use emails, WhatsApp messages or text messages to report issues. With sporadic messages and the use of different channels, this makes it difficult for housebuilders to keep track of what’s been submitted and even harder to keep owners updated on the progress. Not to mention making it almost impossible to track against SLAs and performance metrics for response times.
Having a portal like Spike Living in place can speed up the reporting of issues in these instances, with owners able to quickly provide staff with a clear picture of the problem, and even attach photos so staff can diagnose the fault ahead of time. This increases the likelihood of fixing the issue in their first visit and reduces response times by 30%. Housebuilders can also benefit from Spike Living’s powerful reporting module, allowing them to spot any wider issues to do with material defectives or poor workmanship such as faulty taps or leaking showers.
Sharing of Documentation
When a new owner moves into a property, they are often confronted with mountains of paperwork which can easily get misplaced or mislaid. By using a resident portal like Spike Living key homeowner documentation such as policies, certifications and appliance guides can be digitalised and shared directly and securely with owners. This helps reduce the amount of printed paperwork and provides an easy way for owners to keep up to date with the latest versions.
Housebuilders can also share Frequently Asked Questions, providing useful information for homeowners such as where to find the stopcock or bin collection days. Having all this information readily accessible means that more often or not, owners can find the information they need themselves, whenever they need it.
Focus on Long-Term Relationships
It can be hard for housebuilders to maintain connections with owners once they move into a property. Resident portals like Spike Living enables housebuilders to continue a dialogue long after owners have moved in. This allows them to nurture the relationship and start to promote other developments that they are building or have launched, ensuring that if there is a future need for the owner to upsize, downsize or relocate, then they are more likely to consider your development over others.
What’s more, Spike’s partnership with HomeViews allows owners to share their experience and leave feedback about the housebuilder and what it’s like living in a particular development. With research revealing that 95% of today’s consumers read reviews before they make a purchase, having positive feedback from owners can go a long way in promoting the development.
Facilitating Community Engagement
Unlike high-rise developments where people naturally meet in lobbies or lifts, with traditional housing developments there is limited or no communal space which can make it difficult for neighbours to get to know one another. Therefore, it’s no surprise that loneliness can be more of a problem for newcomers moving into houses.
Resident portals like Spike Living provide ways for these owners to meet their neighbours in the virtual world first, via various online clubs and forums, then organise real-life events if they so wish. This can be especially helpful for young parents who may feel isolated. This digital community-building enhances the sense of belonging, encouraging owners to become active participants in shaping their communities.
Resident portals also serve as a virtual town square, allowing owners to voice their opinions and preferences regarding local initiatives. This can make communication between owners, housebuilders, and local authorities much more transparent, helping to build trust and ensuring that residents are informed about ongoing placemaking projects.
In addition, the ‘what’s around me’ feature in Spike Living can highlight local shops and services, reducing the anxiety around moving to a new location and provide much-needed visibility to smaller businesses, encouraging owners to explore what’s on their doorsteps. Housebuilders can also partner with local retailers to offer owners exclusive discounts and incentives, all promoted via their residents’ portal.
Spike in Action
Spike recently worked with Baxter Homes to roll out a resident engagement portal across their developments. By utilising Spike Living this has enabled Baxter to streamline its approach to customer service and reduce its reliance on paper-based systems. By providing its purchasers with a one-stop app, owners are able to easily and quickly report defects and snagging issues, access key information in a centralised and secure place, receive important updates from across the development, as well as communicate directly with the aftercare team.
Owners also have access to an interactive social hub where they can get to know their new neighbours and the local area, helping them to settle in much quicker.
Resident portals offer numerous advantages to housebuilders by improving communication, enhancing operational efficiency, and increasing owner satisfaction. For homeowners, it can help take away the stress in what is often considered one of the most stressful experiences in a person’s life, allowing them to meet their neighbours more easily and helping them to settle in much quicker.