Creating homes for our customers

14 May 2018

As we move rapidly towards a manufacturing mindset we must continue to put customers at the centre of our thinking.

Jonathan Emery

Managing Director, Property, Europe

With construction in the residential industry shifting towards pre-fabrication, offsite manufacturing and an increasingly systemised approach to building, there is a real opportunity to give customers not just a better product, but also an altogether better experience.

Currently, it is only at the luxury end of the market where customers really get the chance to interact with the design and construction of their homes - beyond choosing the colour of the carpet or the kitchen appliances as an upselling opportunity.

The majority of home buying is an experience that falls a long way short of other industries.

We should be looking to the retail industry, which continues to redefine the customer experience. Fast-paced clothing brands work across traditional shops and online whilst managing to overcome the barriers of product and logistics economies, and changing customer tastes. 

Why can’t we do the same for residential?

There have been many attempts to bring mass manufacturing to housing. Post-war Britain saw an explosion of system-built homes, most of dubious quality and short lifespans with few still standing today. People still talk about ‘pre-fabs’ in a derogatory way. We must look at the next generation of housing as an opportunity to shift perceptions.

With an abundance of talent in our industry and a pressing need to deliver more quality, affordable homes which put the experience of our customer first….  surely, we can crack it this time?