A CASE IN POINT: ‘HOW DO WE BUILD BETTER HOMES?’

April 2, 2019
Rachel Colgan

At the end of March, Kathryn and Emily attended The Q Policy Round Table Debate in association with ShowHouse Magazine, at Ascot Racecourse. The debate provided an insight into the construction industry, focusing on the event’s title: “How do we build better homes?”

After a networking breakfast, we settled in ready to hear from the expert panellists, comprising Rupert Bates of ShowHouse Magazine, Keith Carnegie of Bovis Homes plc, Stewart Baseley from the Home Builders Federation, Douglas Cochrane of Lloyds Banking Group, Gordon Piper of Hazeley Developments Ltd and Paul Davies, Chairman of our host company, Q Assure Build Ltd.

We found that the debate offered us a fantastic insight into the current construction climate. The conversation started with Stewart Baseley speaking about how the New Homes Ombudsman will help to drive behavioural change in the construction industry and pointing out that, although the current levels of new homes customer satisfaction are now comparable with world leading brands such as Mercedes and Walt Disney at 87%*, housebuilders should aim to increase this by working on customer communication and the quality of each home.

The most interesting part of the morning for us, was hearing from Keith Carnegie of Bovis Homes about Bovis’s customer experience revamp. Keith emphasised how important it is for housebuilders to “understand their customers and meet their expectations”, comparing an unfinished house to an unfinished car; neither customer should be expected to be satisfied with either product. Having focused on improving Bovis’s customer experience from all sides, including the introduction of a customer engagement panel, Keith’s efforts are truly inspiring. The results released last week show Bovis’s incredible turnaround from 2 to 4 stars, which is a case in point for how housebuilders should be working to “build better homes”.**

After the debate, the panel took questions which included topics such as diversity in the industry and maintaining quality amongst sub-contractors, before we joined the other guests for a pastry, coffee and a chat!

This fantastic event run by Q Build Assure Ltd not only offered us the chance to learn more about the construction industry itself, but also provided an insight into where the industry is headed in the coming years, with intentions to become more diverse, more transparent and better quality for all involved. We also learnt about how The Q Policy, a Structural Defects Warranty, can help housebuilders in the process.

*https://www.hbf.co.uk/news/overwhelming-majority-buyers-happy-their-new-build-home/

** https://www.hbf.co.uk/documents/8389/CSS_HBF_Brochure_2019_with_table.pdf