By Noel Hunter OBE, Chairman of Consumer Code for Home Builders
When it comes to marketing your homes, promoting your membership of the Consumer Code can help give buyers confidence that they will receive a good service and that help is available should they need it.
As part of the Code requirements, you must clearly display the Code logo at site sales offices, including those of your appointed selling agents, and in sales brochures, as well as giving a copy of the Code to home buyers who reserve a home. But there’s a difference between complying with the requirements and actively embracing excellent customer service. So, what else could you do to maximise the impact of the Code?
Put a spotlight on your membership:
- Publish the Consumer Code logo on your website in addition to including it on your property sales brochures
- Have a section on your website about how you support customers – include details of your commitment to providing excellent service, backed up by your membership of the Consumer Code scheme
- Publish an example of your reservation agreement on your website, with clear information about any restrictions on returning a reservation fee (remember you must tell the Home Buyer what the range (in monetary terms) of the possible cost retention may be)
- Share the Code’s explainer videos on your website, showing you’re proud to promote good customer service
- Print off our consumer leaflet and include it in your sales packs so every homebuyer knows straightaway what help is available
- Follow the Consumer Code on Twitter and retweet and comment on posts which demonstrate your commitment to providing a great service.
Keep your staff up to speed
Training your staff in the Code – and remembering to do refresher training as staff change, is one of the best ways to help you comply with the Code.
Training is available online and you can even use our free ‘train the trainer’ course material so that training for your wider teams can be led by your own staff.
Why not add a note on your website and social media, and in your sales offices, announcing how many of your staff have completed the training or display the certificate showing the online training has been passed?
Don’t forget your partners – agents and conveyancers
It’s easy to forget that builders can be liable for mistakes made by agents in the selling of new homes, but it can prove costly. When it comes to providing appropriate pre-sales information, and clear and truthful sales material, your agent has a big role to play. Help them to help you by:
- Ensuring that they complete the online training for agents
- Keeping them informed about Code news – especially the Code’s annual report and the independent report on complaints provided by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. The case study examples are a great way to learn dos and don’ts.
- Making sure they include the Code logo on their website and sales offices and that the Code leaflet is given to prospective purchasers.
Don’t forget that training is also available for conveyancers – when you’re working with solicitors, make sure they know about the Code and have completed the training. This can help give your home buyers confidence that any conveyancers you recommend are committed to delivering great customer service and know exactly what purchasers are entitled to throughout the pre-sales, sales and post-completion process.