What do home owners really think about the new home build experience?


It is an insightful snapshot of how the different segments of our residential industry interact with the new home builder (our clients), and factually records things such as the initial builder selection, right through to how maintenance or defects were handled.

Its authors, Matthew Curtis and David Norman, have done a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the decision-making process and subsequent build experience across a number of broad based but relevant questions.

Expect to see more refreshing relevant research from these young turks at BRANZ.

If you are serious about staying in business and doing well, whether you are a one-off builder, volume builder or have a franchise, there are valuable lessons to be learned from reading this document.

It is an independent report card on the attitude and performance of our nation’s new home builders, and fills a gap in construction industry performance measures that previously went unmeasured.

Sobering statistics

It aims to find out from the owners of new homes how they thought their builder performed, which it certainly does, with some sobering statistics.

The main findings of the report are as follows:

Surprisingly, 73% of the homes completed needed a call back to fix defects. As builders we all know that maintenance is a normal part of the construction process.
However, our current method of dealing with it is obviously not meeting clients’ expectations.

Clearly, there is some work needed in this area, as that is an unacceptably high number. Whether it is better processes that are needed, further education of the owner about the build process, or both, it needs addressing.

This is likely to be explained by builders being under pressure to deliver, and struggling to get suitably qualified staff and subcontractors.

Of significance is that during the past three years builders are providing less service now than before. This is a trend which needs to be turned around or the attraction of building new will start to dissipate — along with builders’ livelihoods. 

Quality and reputation are still largely — at 77% — the main reason why a potential home owner would choose to build with a certain builder, followed by fixed price certainty at 46% and a timely completion at 38%.

It is not surprising that these well-known fundamentals will be the hallmark of the successful builders in your area.

I strongly suggest builders read the report, and to use its findings to help build a good reputation, protect that reputation at all costs and complement projects with great after-sales service.

Correspondingly, builders will have an awesome business, and those satisfied clients will repay them handsomely by continuing to recommend them for years to come. 

The full New House Owners Survey (Study Report SR308) can be downloaded free at http://www.branz.co.nz/cms_display.php?st=1&sn=92&pg=12560.


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