We have spoken in a previous article about the increasing demand from homebuyers to have more control over the design and appearance of their new-build home. Developers are under increased pressure to offer more freedom in property customisation for buyers. But doesn’t this just further complicate the already Daedalean process of new-build property development?
Customisation in new-build property has been, until recently, very limited and often reserved for luxury developments. This was because the added cost and resource consumption required meant that developers could not justify the expense, especially for affordable housing projects.
Today, however, things have changed. Today, we live in the Digital Age and technology is becoming more sophisticated, frictionless, and accessible by the day. As such, the paradigms in which we talk about customisation have shifted.
Technology has removed all of the obstacles that have previously stopped developers from being able to offer true customisation to buyers. But it’s not just the buyer who benefits from customisation tools; every stakeholder in the property development process, from the sales team trying to convert leads, to the site-workers digging the foundations.
The sales force is responsible for identifying potential leads and converting them into sales. Under ever-increasing pressure from market competitors, it’s essential that they be provided with the best possible tools to help them do this vital job.
To this end, customisation and individual property visualisations are probably the most powerful technological innovations a sales team can have in their arsenal. Enabling them to showcase properties in virtual reality greatly improves their ability to sell the potential buyer a new lifestyle, even a new life, rather than simply bricks and mortar.
In the face of great competition, this ability to show buyers exactly what their new home will look like, and demonstrating how they can customise various aspects of it, can be the difference between closing a deal and losing out to the competition.
Equally, customisation of elements of the property offers sales teams a golden opportunity for upselling. Those added extras (a choice of worktop finishes, styles of internal doors, and so on), not only get potential buyers excited about their new home, the delight and engagement from having that input has a positive effect on shortening sales cycles.
Once a buyer has committed and signed the dotted line, the process of customisation can begin in earnest. With mobile applications and a dedicated cloud-based portal, the buyer can handle, alongside their customisation preferences, every aspect of the buying process.
From any computer or mobile device, the buyer can proceed through a virtual model of their new home and customise it, from the colour of the bedroom walls to the finish of kitchen cabinets. Upon selecting and confirming their choices, platforms like GBuilder are now able to send those choices, in real-time, to the other stakeholders who need to quick access to that information – suppliers, subcontractors, etc. From here, all communication between the customer and other stakeholders is easy and reliable thanks to a secure direct messaging feature. In the same vein, all of the necessary paperwork and documents are stored in one place to ensure that everything is available to those who need it.
While their home is being built, the customer can use the BIM-created 3D model and virtual tour to start planning their move-in. They can start looking forward to life in their new home, free of worry or concern that things are out of their control or knowledge, .both common contributors to new-build fall-through rates.
Construction staff and subcontractors
For the site workers, the concept of customisation could easily add stress, expense, and increased risk to a construction project. However, modern technology is changing this by providing absolute insight and transparency, and efficiency to the project.
All of the necessary print-outs, documents, order forms, and checklists are available for all to see at all times. No more loose papers or bulky folders are needed on-site, just a mobile device.
This means that everything can be double-checked on-site as the property is being built. From material quantities to order forms, all complete with electronic signatures, ensure that mistakes are kept to a minimum and projects are completed on time..
Importantly, all information is updated in real-time, eliminating the chance of miscommunication or delayed understanding of vital changes within the project.
With access to a platform like GBuilder, those responsible for ongoing project management and back office processes have all of the information they need in one easy to access place.
With a vast array of tools at their fingertips, such as the Digital Twin, a stakeholder communication hub, digital contracts, and real-time due diligence checks, project managers can be confident that they are in complete control over the multitude of moving parts involved in building and filling new homes.
Fulfilling customer demand for control and customisation is fast becoming a necessity for property developers of all kind, and the process of doing so affects all of a project’s key stakeholders. If just one of them is out of the loop, or if one piece of information is miscommunicated, the repercussions can be profound. Thankfully, innovative technology now negates the risk of giving control to the customer by ensuring that communication is swift, information is accurate, and that processes throughout the project lifecycle are frictionless and efficient.