BRANZ national survey provides insight for builders to improve customer satisfaction

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The annual survey, undertaken by BRANZ since 2011, measures how well new house owners rate their builder, based on the experience of having a home built in the past 12 months.

88% of respondents are satisfied with the overall quality of their new home. Those who had built previously are the most satisfied and scored their builder higher on all measures than those who had never built before.

Owners that chose a one-off design with major/total owner input were happiest with their builder.

BRANZ chief executive Chelydra Percy says the survey demonstrates that the industry is performing well in delivering a home new owners are happy with.

“But there is room for improvement, and BRANZ will continue working with industry to identify how to improve quality delivery,” Ms Percy says.

Overall workloads in New Zealand (excluding Auckland and Christchurch) have increased by about 15%. A positive change in the results compared to last year is that defect call-back rates in Auckland have decreased, despite a 40% increase in industry workload.

However, the survey also highlights that satisfaction scores overall are trending downwards, partly due to increasing workloads, with average scores down about 3.5% from last year.

Christchurch demonstrates the lowest levels of satisfaction driven primarily by the rate of building and the ability of companies to secure quality tradespeople. The Canterbury region scored lowest across every measure compared to the rest of New Zealand.

Measures related to post-occupancy performance of builders were particularly poor. Christchurch represents 20% of housing construction underway in New Zealand, and workload pressures are clearly challenging the delivery of good building performance.

The survey signals that better follow-up by builders is needed for home owners after handover, and to improve communication over call-backs and repair of defects.

Registered Master Builders Association chief executive David Kelly says RMBA members work exceptionally hard with their clients to ensure they have strong communication and information on what to expect during the building process.

For large-scale builders, three top-performing builders significantly outperformed the average. Classic Builders demonstrated best results among large-scale builders across the 12 measures used to determine the overall satisfaction score. The firm was also the most likely to be recommended.

Jennian Homes and Generation Homes came close behind, with second and third-level ratings respectively.

With analysis by building company, group or franchise, the survey helps identify those businesses that are meeting or exceeding client expectations. It covers 31 territorial authorities, from Invercargill to the Far North.

Funded by the Building Research Levy, the survey informs designers, builders and workers in the residential construction industry, as well as people planning to build a new home In New Zealand.

A copy of the survey can be found on the BRANZ web site at www.branz.co.nz.

BRANZ is about to begin work on a project that elaborates on the home owner results. The 2015/16 study will look into why new-build clients who have built previously are more satisfied than those who have never built before.

It will also study how builders can inform those who have not built before with key information to ensure better results.

Some key findings from the survey:

New home owners are happiest with:

New home owners are least happy with: 

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