Customer insight guides new range
They are the self-described ‘quiet achievers’ of south east Queensland’s dynamic home building industry. Planbuild Homes Managing Partners Robert Thomson and Andrew Dean joined forces in 2003, launching from their HQ in Kedron where they still reside today. The company prides itself on maintaining its’ professionalism, reliability, and sound reputation as one of the most trusted names in the industry.
Both Robert and Andrew work in the front-line of the business, dealing directly with potential buyers, clients and trades people daily. It is this hands-on involvement of the directors that gives Planbuild an edge when it comes to meeting the needs of their buyers. “By maintaining hands-on contact with clients, we gain invaluable insight into the building experience from the customer’s viewpoint. “It’s something no market research report can replace. We find that we are continually using these insights to improve the way we communicate, and to evolve our product to cater for our current buyers’ needs”, says Robert. Andrew Dean overseas the construction side of the business, and he adds “From the client’s point of view it is very reassuring for them to know the owners are here – in the office or out on the site, day in and day out. And we enjoy the human face of our business. It’s emotional, it’s exciting, it’s hard work for both parties. But it reminds us that we are not just selling bricks and mortar.” It is this genuine commitment to customer focussed outcomes that sets Planbuild apart from its’ competitors.
“We try not to focus so much on competing against other builders. We get better results by focussing on our customers and their needs.”
Such is the competition these days that it is not uncommon for a buyer to be comparing four or five builders’ prices at once, according to Mr Thomson. “Even with my background as a building estimator, I acknowledge that it can get confusing when you’re trying to compare ‘apples with apples’, Mr Thomson said. “We were one of the early pioneers of the ‘Turn-Key’ home package, but today we need to provide more flexibility as buyers are more involved emotionally and creatively. In response to this insight, Planbuild created a ‘hybrid’ which Robert describes as sitting somewhere between today’s ‘base house’ price and full turn-key. Now all Planbuild home prices are presented in this simplified fashion with fantastic value included in the advertised price with the new ‘Signature’ range of inclusions. Highly desirable items such as stone kitchen bench tops, extra-wide designer front doors, Colorbond roof, alfresco areas with slab and ceiling fan lights, just to name a few of Planbuild’s ‘Signature’ inclusions. “We do our own comparisons, and we’re very confident that our value will match or exceed the majority of our competition. So we made a conscious decision to communicate this as straight forward and simply as possible. “Let’s face it, no one wants to buy a ‘base house’. So we just took a few steps forward, and I think our customers will appreciate the time this saves them in calculating additional costs for upgrades and add-ons that aren’t always flexible. Another customer focussed initiative by Planbuild is their commitment to presenting Display Homes as a realistic reflection of ‘what you see is what you get’. “It might not win us any awards, but it will put our customers in a better position to make an informed decision and that’s what is important to us.”