There’s an incredible number of Small to Medium Enterprise builders dotted around the British Isles though I must admit, at least locally here in east Norfolk, I can only name two, yet can pinpoint the sales sites of Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Charles Church, Bovis, et al, without resorting to a Google search.
It seems though, judging by a news article published today that we need more SME builders:
BUYERS are much happier with the quality of their home if it was built by a small builder, research suggests.
Among people who have bought a home in the past five years, some 36 per cent say they are very satisfied with the quality of their new-build home if purchased from an SME house builder, according to a study by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Just 17 per cent said this about homes from one of the UK’s top-20 large builders.
According to the FMB, there is a common misconception that new-build homes are poor quality, compared to period properties that were built to last.
You can read more here.
Given that 36% claim to be satisfied with the quality of their new-build from a SME builder, I wonder what the percentage figure would be for the large developers I named in the opening? Presumably, these figures aren’t available?
It’s clear too why a smaller builder would have have higher ratings from my point of view and experience.
I’ve bought three brand new properties since I stepped foot on that ladder.
The first was in a cul-de-sac of 12 homes in Waterhouses, Staffordshire, built by a local man Colin Amos, whose dad Bob even bought one and lived opposite us in 2001. The attention to detail and after care was exceptional. A wooden floor which scratched badly shortly after moving was replaced the next week, a leaky hardwood window was sealed the same day, any small snags were done without a call centre and a log, but a call or text to Colin himself. We had a full choice of paint finishes internally.
He cared about his reputation and his homebuyers so much that problems were immediately cured.
We then moved to Scunthorpe and bought a new Ben Bailey home, which was a good experience again but you could see the differences in customer care. Logging and waits for small fixes became the norm, as they do now with Persimmon. The builder with a great reputation there was Mell Homes, I can still recall.
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not anti big corporations at all; I’m the first to use Amazon and am impressed with Persimmon and would even rate myself as “very satisfied” but judging by the complaints on the estate Facebook page, I don’t think 36% would claim to be happy.
I think what all developers – small, medium or big – need to do is something quite old-fashioned: put the customer at the heart of its philosophy.
You don’t see people taking to social media to attack John Lewis do you?
They’re a byword for service and a customer-centric focus.
The big property companies perhaps need to look at the Colin Amos and Mells of the industry, as well as others, and analyse what they do differently and how they can gain satisfaction ratings to match.
What do you think?