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By: Guillermo Salazar • 10 November 2023

Closing the Gap: How Home Builders Can Overcome an 11% Drop in NPS in the First Year Post-Possession

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A negative Net Promoter Score (NPS) post-possession for the new home building industry (!) can be attributed to a variety of factors that impact customer satisfaction and perception.The industry average drops 11% in the first 12 months. This is low hanging competative fruit that pays can pay out with a single customer reference. Despite well-intentioned customer experience strategies, the gap between customer expectations and the actual experience can lead to dissatisfaction. Here are some common reasons why new home builders might face a negative NPS post-possession, if you are a builder, take this list & (borrow from covey’s 7 habits) rank what you can control, what you can influence, and what is out of your control:

1. Quality Issues

After moving in, homeowners may start noticing construction defects or quality issues that were not apparent during inspections or initial walkthroughs. Issues such as poor finishing, plumbing problems, or electrical faults can significantly impact customer satisfaction.

2. Delayed Issue Resolution

Homeowners often feel frustrated if their post-move-in concerns, warranty claims, or repair requests are not addressed promptly and effectively. Delays or poor communication during the resolution process can exacerbate this dissatisfaction--so stop that. Today. Please.

3. Unmet Expectations

The discrepancy between the marketing materials or sales presentations and the actual delivered product can lead to unmet expectations. This might include differences in perceived quality, finishes, or even community amenities that were promised but not fulfilled to the expected standard.

4. Customer Service Quality

The quality of customer service post-possession can significantly impact NPS. If homeowners feel neglected, undervalued, or treated as less of a priority once the sale is completed, their overall perception of the builder can turn negative.

5. Warranty and Aftercare Services

The complexity of navigating warranty services or the perception that the builder is unwilling to address valid concerns under warranty can lead to customer frustration. Additionally, a lack of effective aftercare services to guide homeowners in maintaining and caring for their new home can impact satisfaction.

6. Communication Gaps

Even with the best intentions, communication gaps can occur post-possession. Homeowners may feel left in the dark about whom to contact for issues, the process for reporting problems, or the expected timelines for resolution.

7. Comparison with Expectations Set During Sales

The sales process often sets high expectations for quality, service, and experience. If the post-possession reality does not align with these expectations, it can lead to disappointment and negative feedback.

8. Emotional Factors

The emotional journey of buying and moving into a new home is significant. Any negative experiences during this sensitive period can be magnified, impacting the overall perception more than it might in a less emotionally charged situation.

Addressing the Negative NPS Challenge

To address these issues and improve NPS post-possession, builders need to:
  • Enhance Quality Control: Implement stringent quality control measures to minimize defects and ensure the product meets the promised standards.
  • Improve Customer Service Post-Possession: Ensure responsive, empathetic, and effective customer service that treats post-possession concerns as a priority.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Clearly communicate what buyers can expect in terms of product quality, timelines, and aftercare services to avoid significant discrepancies between expectations and reality.
  • Streamline Warranty and Issue Resolution Processes: Make the process for addressing issues as straightforward and transparent as possible, with clear timelines and regular updates.
  • Solicit and Act on Feedback: Regularly collect and act on customer feedback to identify and address systemic issues that lead to dissatisfaction.
By focusing on these areas, new home builders can work towards closing the gap between customer expectations and the actual experience, ultimately improving their NPS and overall customer satisfaction post-possession.

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