Keeping homebuyers satisfied
By Howard Bogach
If you’re buying a car for the first time, you’ll do your research – read reviews, talk to other owners of the brand you’re interested in and visit dealerships. But once you’ve made the purchase, your decision on whether to buy that brand again will be determined not only by the quality of the car itself but also by the purchase and after-sales experience.
It’s the same with a new home. If you are a builder, the relationship with your homebuyer may begin in the sales office but it lasts for the full seven years of warranty coverage and beyond. The goal is to have it be an experience that your buyer will want to repeat or recommend to family and friends.
An informed homebuyer has a greater likelihood of being a satisfied homeowner. Many new homebuyers have never bought a pre-construction home before so they rely on the expertise of the builder to help them through the process of choosing a floorplan, selecting finishes and making the countless other decisions required.
As the warranty authority, we have seen disputes arise from what is essentially a difference in expectations over something like tile or breakdowns in communication that could easily have been avoided with better follow-up.
This is where Tarion can help. Education is a key part of our mandate and we offer a variety of education sessions for builders that covers everything from best practices in customer service and Pre-Delivery Inspections to individualized workshops based on homeowners’ survey feedback.
We also offer specialized training on Builder Bulletin 19 and 49 for condo builders, as well as delayed closing and occupancy training.
Builders aren’t the only ones who can benefit from our training sessions. Tradespeople are key to a builder’s quality control and so we encourage builders to invite their trades to hands-on tutorials, like Understanding Tarion’s Construction Performance Guidelines, where, using a model home, Tarion staff walks attendees through how defects are measured and assessed for warrantability.
When warranty issues do arise, it’s important that both homeowners and builders understand how the process works. We have recently created a new warranty process guide that outlines all the steps in the claims process including at what points homeowners or builders can request dispute resolution assistance. This tool is available to builders via our BuilderLink portal and will be incorporated into our regular Tarion overview training sessions.
I often say that a new home is one of life’s biggest purchases – and we want to help builders ensure that buyers are satisfied with both the purchase and the ownership experience. Our Stakeholder Relations Representatives can deliver a variety of current education sessions for you and your trades/suppliers. Contact your representative to learn more about how they can be customized to your needs, or to book a session.
Howard Bogach is president and CEO of the Tarion Warranty Corp