Consumers today don’t just look at the price tag or the quality anymore. The company behind the product or service they want to buy has become equally important. Trust is the key here. And you get that trust from customers by communicating clearly with them: guiding them through the purchasing process, advising them when they have to make a decision, and letting them know you’re available for questions and answers even after the purchase. However, this kind of good and transparent communication is often missing in the property development sector.
A 2017 large-scale survey by Ziggu showed that 80% of property developers didn’t have an online environment where buyers could keep track of their building’s progress. As a result, 33% of their customers weren’t really satisfied with the way they were kept informed, and another 18% were downright unhappy with this lack of information. On the other hand, homebuyers who did get access to an online environment to keep track of the building process and decisions to be made, were a lot more content: 45% were pretty happy with the amount of information they received and another 40% was completely satisfied.
We shouldn’t be surprised by these numbers. For most people, buying a house is the biggest purchase of their life. It’s an emotional one, too. We’re talking about their home, after all. The place where they’ll build a life, maybe raise a couple of kids, and grow old. Of course, they want to be kept in the loop. Of course, they want to know what’s what. Of course, they’ll have questions that need answers.
Don’t get us wrong, the price and location of a property are still the two most important factors in a homebuyer’s purchase decision. But if you’re not available as a property developer after the purchase, these homebuyers won’t trust you anymore whenever you give them a proposal for, say, an addition to the home or an extra service. Nor will they trust you to solve issues adequately. Due to this lack of trust, the chances of them choosing you for a second time or recommending you to other people will be very low. Or to say it with a number: according to Ziggu’s research, only 8% of interviewees would work with their developer again or recommend them to family or friends.
Imagine the impact of these numbers in a time where potential customers search for reviews and stories from other homebuyers first.
“New criteria, such as sustainability, innovative services and experiences, have become as important as location”
You get it, a lack of trust from homebuyers is bad for business. So what do you need to build that trust and, in the end, boost your revenue? A continuous homebuyer journey. Don’t leave them hanging the minute they sign the contract. Give them access to information at all times. Offer status updates, documents, financial insights,… during every phase of the building process, and maybe even after. Answer their questions quickly and clearly (better yet, before they even think of them).
But how can you juggle all of this at all times? Well, by setting up a centralized platform, you can streamline this whole communication process. That’s not only fun for your customer, but also very efficient for you. By keeping every form of interaction with clients in one spot and even automating certain tasks, you create more time to advise your homebuyer. Win-win, right?
Luke is Ziggu’s leading man in the UK’s office. His job is to understand the goals of property developers up and down the UK and support them achieve their ambitions.
Walking the talk... At Ziggu we help property developers to become more customer centric, so obviously we need to be top of class ourselves. CEO Yannick Bontinckx explains how "human" elements play a crucial role in that approach.
It’s quite a mouthful, but it’s a sentence that Ziggu’s team is very proud to say. In just three years — the platform was launched in late 2018 — Ziggu has attracted some of the biggest players in Belgium’s real estate world.