Today, everybody talks about customer service and satisfaction. What does it mean when you are buying a new home? What does a home building company really mean when it says, "We are service oriented"?
In a nutshell, it means that the builder puts you, the customer, first. The company is building your home and working to satisfy your needs. The builder strives to make each step in the buying and building process easy and worry-free for you and your family. And you will still be treated as a valued customer long after you move into your new home.
The size of a company has little to do with service. Large or small, today's building companies work hard to provide personalized service to each and every customer. Here are some thoughts on what you can and should expect.
Expect the builder and/or sales and site staff to be:
- Open and upfront-good service begins with honesty, trust and good communication.
- Knowledgable-good service depends on in-depth product and process knowledge.
- Prompt and efficient-good service sets and respects realistic timelines.
- "On your side"-customer-oriented builders and staff work for you and with you.
When you first visit the sales office or model home, expect the builder or staff to:
- Be interested in knowing your housing needs and wants: style, size, features, amenities, price range, location and timing. That way they can show you the most suitable homes and options.
- Take you on a tour of the model home(s), or give you detailed descriptions based on scale models, maps, drawings and blueprints.
- Explain the company's approach to design and finishing, and your opportunities to customize.
- Be able to tell you about the development and the area in detail-a profile of who has bought to date, amenities and features, schools, transportation, shopping and so on.
- Provide you with helpful information to take home.
Once you are ready to buy, expect the builder or staff to:
- Give you a clear explanation of the entire process-who is responsible for what; construction and payment milestones; what's needed on closing; after-sales service and warranty.
- Give you an idea of closing costs-what's involved, and general cost ranges.
- Provide you with a detailed written contract.
- Respect your wish to think about it and not pressure you to sign a contract.
- Appoint a contact (e.g., the builder, the sales manager or the salesperson) who will always return your messages promptly and never be too busy to deal with you.
- Make arrangements for your site visits during construction.
- Give you regular progress updates.
- And of course, deliver what they promised, when they promised to.
Once your home is completed, expect them to:
- Explain what is covered by warranties, for how long, and how to request after-sales service.
- Explain what you can expect the first year, and a schedule of contact and check-ups.
- Ask you about your experiences with their company and your satisfaction with our new home, so they know what they are doing right and where there is room for improvement.