Many people who have built a new home will tell you that it can be a long, stressful task with a big (beautiful!) reward at the end. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are lots of ways to streamline the build process and foster more positive relationships between builder and client.
Innovative custom home building technology can play a big part in this.
When building a new home, it’s not up to you to be thinking about how digital technology can help you – it’s up to your builder. But it’s important to think about your needs as a client and to understand best-practice, so you know what questions to ask when you’re choosing your custom home builder.
This will help you match up with the right builder and give you a good indication of what to expect during the building of your new home.
Why is custom home building technology important?
Digital technology in the world of custom home building is moving quickly these days – particularly when it comes to software that supports business process and client communication.
Taking advantage of these digital solutions is important. It not only improves business efficiencies (cost savings that builders can pass on to clients) but it also contributes to more timely, effective and transparent communication between builders and clients. You can see how this is appealing to both parties.
Let’s dive a little deeper.
Improving client relationships
Building a new home is an emotional experience but with the right builder it can be a positive one.
Builders that have a strong, cloud-based customer relationship management system in place are generally able to better address your needs and priorities.
This means communication is more targeted to your goals, queries and concerns.
You can tell when a builder is keeping track of the conversations you’ve been having. You won’t have to repeat yourself to different people (so frustrating!) and if you’re expecting a follow-up call, you’ll generally get it.
Early on, you’ll quickly be made aware if home building opportunities (such as house and land packages) become available that suit you and your family. Discussions around budget and design preferences will be carefully monitored. And quoting and reporting becomes a quick, accurate process – so you won’t be waiting around for estimates to get the project moving along.
Streamlining building projects
Once your build project kicks off, life gets really busy. There are loads of decisions to make around budget, design and materials. You’ll have certain expectations about the look and feel of your house. And the schedule will follow ebbs and flows. For our team, there’s always a hundred and one things happening on any one day.
To manage all this, a good custom home builder will invest in project management software. This streamlines the whole build process and shows a great commitment to improving your experience as a client.
At Lekeal we can access our software on any device, so it’s easy to keep track of things when we’re out and about with contractors, suppliers or on site. We can log in to check the job log, schedule, financials, orders or client messages. We can easily communicate with the crew working on each job. Plus we get real-time alerts and updates so that queries or problems get addressed quickly and don’t slip through the cracks.
It’s great to feel like we’re on top of each job. And you can see all this too.
One of the best benefits of project management software is that it provides total transparency to you as the client. Many platforms, such as the one we use at Lekeal, offer a client portal that you can access any time to see how your new home is tracking in terms of the timeline, budget and visuals.
We make sure the financials are always up to date and include any variations that arise along the way. Our software gives you a real-time snapshot which is accurate and easy to understand.
You also have easy access to all the details of your warranty. So, it’s there to refer to whenever you need.
We’ve found that greater transparency makes us more accountable to each job and really develops a relationship of trust with each client.
Allowing better communications
Most people would agree that the more often you are able to talk to your builder, the better. While this is true to a certain extent, it’s also vital to allow the builder time to focus on building your home. Software that allows you to communicate directly with your builder online allows both of these priorities to be addressed simultaneously.
At Lekeal our clients can send us instant messages that we always respond to the same day. This means they can get in touch when it suits them and we can get back to them without disrupting the build process. It’s an open channel that you use when it suit you.
“I’ve been using the app on my iPhone. It was very handy to keep up to date with the ongoing process of our new house,” said Lekeal client Tulsi, who recently moved into her new home. “I could see exactly what happening with up-to-date photos. I could see what stage we were at, what was happening next and communicate with my building supervisor even though I was away and busy at work.”
Another great feature is the ability to schedule meetings with clients through the portal. Because life’s busy, clients love being able to do this while sitting on the couch at night – without having to call during business hours.
We regularly add photos of your custom home as it moves through each stage of the build. It’s exciting seeing it come together from the pouring of the slab to lock-up stage and beyond. Clients always rave about this! Particularly because it means less site visits when you’re busy or if you live far away, like many of our clients who come up from Melbourne for a ‘tree change’.
Improving building efficiencies
When a builder uses streamlined processes and organised approaches, they naturally save time on administration. And this saves money. Builders that operate efficiently can pass these cost savings on to their clients, offering a better service for a better price.
We’ve found at Lekeal that both our customer relationship management software and project management software drive a really streamlined process that has removed double-handling, improved team communication and ultimately saved us time and money.
“We get lots of phone calls every day, which can sometimes make it difficult to stay on the task at hand,” says Lekeal managing director Ken Stevenson. “Our digital technology systems allow us to communicate regularly with our clients, but in a more efficient way. It’s become integral to the way we work now. Our clients love it and so do we!”
Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to more about how we use digital technology to improve customer experience. We’d love to share our experiences with you and hear about what your dream home looks like.