WHEN INVESTORS or owner occupiers purchase off the plan, they can often feel left in the dark throughout the construction process.
Clearly, it is important to keep your buyers informed, updated and as happy as possible… because the reputation of the Builder and Developer is what people remember.
At the same time, the project team can (and should) assist in providing some of the communication.
Things to Consider
- How much information is too much information?
- Monthly newsletters or flyers can provide a visual update.
- Bullet points of the construction process including photos.
- Bubble diagrams of the different phases of the project.
- Agents contacting the purchasers regularly updating on projected completion time.
- Maintaining 1 point of contact to ensure information is consistent.
They Want to Know What is Going On
Purchasers will invariably request detailed floor plans, information about products, request site inspections and generally do not understand what ‘buying off the plan’ actually means.
If you are developing multiple Units, issuing this detailed information can be confusing. And for that many people, undertaking site walks during construction can pose safety risks and time delays.
Furthermore, these additional requests takes a lot of time and resourcing away from actually running a project, which can be avoided.
It is crucial for the sales team to provide purchasers with all this information at contract signing.
You need to make clear the risks associated with changes.?Purchasers should also be clear on any items that require their input or approval, and fully realise the time-frames for the construction process.
If they understand the building development cycle, they are more able to cope with delays and other issues during the construction process.
Open Communication is the Key
Purchasers should know what to expect and when to expect it; plus you should pre-empt their questions.
This will minimizes the phone calls and queries when the project is in full swing. And this will save everyone’s time later on.
Some developers/builders have caught purchasers trespassing on developments, because there has been limited to no communication during the sales process.
The only way for these purchasers to know the state of their investment is arriving on site and trying gain their own unauthorized access or talking to someone on site.
Providing contact details to purchasers, pre-advising them of the process and conditions of contract are easy ways to set some “guidelines” for purchasers.
Good knowledge and service from a sales team is crucial to maintaining a developer’s reputation.
Therefore, the sales team must thoroughly understand the development.
Its a Team Effort!
The project management team and developer must work closely together to get information out to purchasers, via the respective sales agent.
It is understandable that purchasers want to see “bricks and mortar” for their capital outlay.
But, contractually, they have only purchased an indicative plan — which they gain access to a number of weeks prior to settlement. And that is as far as it goes.
BOTTOM LINE: Poor communication during the sales and construction process breeds uncertainty and angst. Keep your purchasers informed, in order to keep them as happy as possible.
The communication path starts with “the sell” and should end with an informed happy customer — unfortunately, more than often, this is not the case.