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5 ways the pandemic will change the way we think about housing

The most expensive thing most of us will ever buy is a house. However, most of us lead lives where we only spend a fraction of our waking hours at home. At least this was the case until recently…

Up until January 2020, before the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, a lot of us would only spend just 9 hours at home a day on average. Lockdowns and restrictions have provoked this figure to jump up dramatically, to 17 hours.

As a result of these changes, as much as 35% of workers now consider their home as their primary place of work.

These dramatic changes to the way in which we live our lives has caused a sudden shift in the way architects are having to think about housing. Here are five ways in which COVID-19 will likely leave a lasting impact on the way we build new homes.

Flexible workspaces

Ah, the home office. If you are reading this, there is a good possibility you would have worked from home at some point from one of these. The chances are you are reading this right now from one. From a study held last year, 26% of people planned to work from home at least one day a week even after the pandemic.

Although the home office is a good temporary solution, being isolated in a single room has proven to be an unhealthy long-term solution for many.

Since the start of the pandemic, the amount of people who have experienced symptoms of depression has risen to 11% from 7% (in a study conducted on 300,000 people by Kantar Health in 2020). When you work in the same room that you relax and eat in, it becomes difficult to keep that new year’s resolution you made back in January regarding a healthy work/life balance.

The answer is to avoid sitting in one spot. Having the ability to move around and having the freedom to choose the space in which you work increases job satisfaction, as well as boost productivity.

This will be reflected in the next generation of homes. Workstations will be in more open space and more accessible than ever to facilitate this way new way of life for workers across the world.

Accommodation adequacies

With more people being at home more often, there will be an increase in demand for higher quality homes. People being forced to self-isolate have had to remain in their homes for extended periods of time – which, depending on their homes, has led to varying results of difficulty.

The home buyers of the future will demand more from their properties in terms of comfort and practicality.

Air conditioning

With the UK having notoriously unreliable summers and a cool climate, there has never been a huge demand for air conditioning in new homes. For decades, homes have been designed from the ground up to retain heat rather than expel it.

For the comfort of residents and for the benefit of employers, managing the temperature in homes is essential. British homes become ‘heat islands’ in the summer due to extensive insulation, which is far from ideal for productivity.

The perfect temperature for productivity is no higher than 22°C according to a study. A study published in the journal PLOS One suggests that the average UK temperature during summer’s hottest month could reach 27°C by 2050. These types of temperatures are sub-optimal for productivity and could be even higher indoors due to the insulative nature of Britain’s houses.

This, paired with an ever-warming climate, would be of concern to employers all over the country and could lead to shifts in design for the future of British homes. From everything between air conditioning and a new approach to insulation.

Rural renaissance

In a time where social distancing has been a large part of our lives, living in the country has become more desirable than ever. With modest population densities and low infection rates, escaping to the hills has never been more attractive for UK house buyers. With virus concerns and the increase in reliability of VOIP technology, a rural renaissance may be ignited.

Where there is demand, there is supply; new home builders will be on the hunt for plots of land in more rural parts of the country.

Green space accessibility

With working from home being a major feature in future work life, escapism will be attractive for new home buyers. Being able to ‘switch off’ after a long working day is important and nothing will promote this idea more than having access to larger gardens and open public spaces.

What we can be sure of is that, even after the lethality of the pandemic has waned away, the long-lasting impact will be felt for decades to come in the construction sector and real estate. People have recognised the importance of living in a comfortable home for future of their health and well-being over the course of the pandemic.

Do you build and sell homes? We can help streamline the process, boosting operational efficiency and profitability with Housebuilder Pro software. Learn more: https://housebuilderpro.co.uk/

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Housebuilder Pro now integrates with Yourkeys

Yourkeys is the first software platform to offer a completely integrated solution to accelerate the time to exchange, while giving every stakeholder the ability to track the purchase process in real-time in the housebuilding industry. Automating the transaction process, Yourkeys allows for greater transparency and consistency.

Yourkeys’ founder, Riccardo Dawson, recognised how painful the buying and selling process was for all parties. Buying a new home is often referred to as ‘the most stressful experience in modern life’. Yourkeys aims to add speed, efficiency and transparency to the housebuilding transaction process, taking the pressure off all relevant stakeholders with the sale of a new home.

Housebuilder Pro shares a similar philosophy, making for a fantastic collaboration. Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development at Housebuilder Pro said:

“We are very proud to form this alignment with Yourkeys and to integrate our systems, inevitably improving productivity and efficiency for our clients”.

As a result of this new collaboration, Housebuilder Pro users can now utilise Yourkeys’ industry changing digital reservation capabilities and track sales progression in real-time, all through Housebuilder Pro’s platform. Housebuilder Pro users will now be able to maximise the use of both systems without having to switch separately between the two.

Wondering more about how Yourkeys works? Click here.

Have any questions? Want to book a free demo? Contact us here.

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Fernham Homes: From spreadsheets to limitless CRM

Fernham Homes have been building homes of exceptional quality in the South East of England for over 20 years and is an award-winning housebuilder. The company has developed an excellent reputation over the years, recently being awarded a 96% rating for its customer service.

Fernham Homes have been a valued Housebuilder Pro customer since October 2020 and is, so far, the fastest new home builder to join us from the point of the initial enquiry. Fernham Homes signed up within a mere 7 days. What motivated Fernham Homes to make such a swift decision? How are they benefitting from using Housebuilder Pro daily?

Fernham Homes are always looking for ways to improve their customer service. In October 2020, Paul Rosbrook (Finance & Operations Director at Fernham Homes), was on the hunt for a sophisticated sales database. Coming across Housebuilder Pro’s website, Paul’s first impressions were solid.

“Housebuilder Pro looked like it could accommodate all of our sales CRM needs but with a lot of additional functionality”.

In the space of 24 hours, Paul connected with Housebuilder Pro’s Head of Business Development on LinkedIn and booked a free demo. Viewing the software, Paul was impressed with the transparency Housebuilder Pro offers regarding the sales process with our sales enquiry and CRM module. Within 7 days, Fernham Homes began onboarding Housebuilder Pro software.

Onboarding

The team at Housebuilder Pro have years of experience working with firms small and large. Housebuilder Pro software is designed to deal with even the largest of workloads; the importation of data such as contacts, is done without a hitch. Fernham Homes’ data was transferred flawlessly.

Fernham Homes received complimentary training, which is provided to all customers. These sessions allow the users to get the best possible value from the system. These are part of what is included in the Housebuilder Pro package, with onboarding and future sessions being delivered free-of-charge. Our team travel across the country to deliver these sessions and can also be delivered online should the need arise. This was the case with Fernham Homes, where their training session was delivered via Microsoft Teams. Here, they were shown each part of the system in detail and had all their questions answered.

Ongoing service

Housebuilder Pro’s ethos surrounding continuous improvement means that we are dedicated to the future of Housebuilder Pro software and take feedback seriously. Fernham Homes approached the team and suggested additional data visualisation tools, to monitor other vital aspects of their business operations. We gave them an answer; additional reports were added to the system, including snag types and snag overview data (you can learn more about Housebuilder Pro Reports here). Paul Rosbrook of Fernham Homes said

“We are impressed that the team at Housebuilder Pro are able to listen to our needs and act on them, with continuous development of the system”.

As a result of implementing Housebuilder Pro software, Fernham Homes have complete transparency over their day-to-day sales operations and are able to make decisions efficiently thanks to real-time data visualisations. Paul added that

“One of the real bonuses of using Housebuilder Pro software is being able to clearly see sales progress and record exactly where we are”.

Fernham Homes have found Housebuilder Pro tremendously useful; using the software extensively on a daily basis with over 100 properties listed in the system already, and with plans in place for the business to grow to 250 units per annum, Housebuilder Pro will be able to facilitate their growth comfortably.

Month on month we are adding new features, fine tuning the existing system and onboarding new customers. We are really starting to make a difference.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Wheatcroft Homes added to the growing list of Housebuilder Pro users

The team at Housebuilder Pro are excited to welcome Wheatcroft Homes, the second new home construction firm to implement the software in the space of 30 days.

Wheatcroft Homes, based in Leicester, was launched in 1989 and have prided themselves on delivering exceptional quality developments and customer service ever since. “As a small but dedicated team, we not only bring agility, experience and strategic expertise, but also a personal, hands-on service built on trust, integrity and openness”.

Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development at Housebuilder Pro stated that

“Housebuilder Pro has come on leaps and bounds over the last few months and is shaping up to be something really powerful. The software is constantly breaking new ground. We set ourselves extremely high standards at the start of this journey to truly make a difference and our customers are beginning to reap the rewards. Wheatcroft Homes will experience the same benefits. We are excited to have them on board”.

Catherine Haward, Managing Director at Wheatcroft Homes said

“I was looking for some new cloud-based CRM software that would enable us to manage enquiries efficiently and effectively from the first point of contact, through the reservation, sale completion and moving in process and beyond. When I stumbled across Housebuilder Pro during a Google search it seemed to tick all the boxes, as well as offer additional management tools that would enable us to streamline our processes.

I particularly liked the fact we could have customer aftercare, snag reporting and management within the same platform, rather than using different software for that element of the customer’s journey with us. The system is very easy to use and there are some simple and effective ways of tracking the progress of every enquiry, reservation, sale, and managing follow up enquiries.

The contact and help we have received so far from the Housebuilder Pro team has been excellent and they are doing all they can to ensure the data held in our previous system is captured and transferred across to Housebuilder Pro without any loss of data”.

Housebuilder Pro is a full end to end project management software system offering complete administration and operational support throughout the life cycle of the new home build, sale, and aftercare process. Our cloud-based application includes customer relationship management tools and a built-in smart customer reservation form and activity tracker to aid efficient sales progression.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Housebuilder Pro: Who you’ll meet

Housebuilder Pro is propelled by software pioneers Shoothill and the invaluable construction industry knowledge of Shingler Homes. Shoothill have over 15 years’ experience developing custom software solutions. Shingler Homes have been in the business of building exceptional quality homes for over 25 years. Behind all this expertise are an approachable team that will guide you every step of the way during your time with Housebuilder Pro. Let’s meet them.

Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development

Nick Taylor (pictured top left) is your first point of contact for all things Housebuilder Pro related. Nick has over 14 years of experience in business operations and has an unmatched passion for sales. Should you be interested in what Housebuilder Pro has to offer, Nick would love to speak with you!

Simon Jeavons, Chief Operating Officer & Director

Simon Jeavons (pictured top middle) has over 20 years of experience in business operations. Simon’s responsibilities include meeting the demands of existing customers and collaborating with the team internally on project design. Also responsible for monitoring internal operations, he leads from the front and coordinates all the members of our business operations team. Simon has an unparalleled professional attitude as well as a great sense of humour.

Erik Nodland, Chief Technical Officer

Erik Nodland (pictured top right) is one of two founders of Housebuilder Pro’s parent company Shoothill. Erik’s technical talent has been the catalyst for Shoothill’s success over the years. Erik’s main responsibilities involve leading the development team and orchestrating the deliverance of projects to customers.

Ryan Lloyd, Digital Marketing Executive

Ryan Lloyd (pictured bottom left) is Housebuilder Pro’s newest member of the team, having joined towards the end of 2020. Ryan’s day-to-day responsibilities involve posting to social media, writing content for the website (including this!) and drafting press releases for all Housebuilder Pro related announcements. Housebuilder Pro’s online activity is coordinated by Ryan.

Josh Welch, Service Delivery Coordinator

Josh Welch (pictured bottom middle) works very closely with the Housebuilder Pro development team to ensure that the right parts of the system are getting the right attention. A significant part of Josh’s day to day responsibilities involves ensuring the seamless delivery of service to Housebuilder Pro’s customers and that their issues are addressed, and questions are answered with professionalism and punctuality.

David Bissell, Head of Design

David Bissell (pictured bottom right) has the essential role of coordinating the aesthetics and functionality of the Housebuilder Pro system. Dave works closely with the development team to ensure that the system is being built correctly and each feature is being implemented the way it was designed to work. Dave also works very closely with marketing to ensure that distributed graphics correctly reflect the overall branding of the system.

As well as those mentioned above, Housebuilder Pro has a talented team of developers and senior directors that work behind the scenes to ensure that you receive unparalleled customer service and a polished product. Should you have any questions about the system, ourselves, or booking a demo, feel free to drop us an email at any time.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Hive Homes begins onboarding Housebuilder Pro software

We at Housebuilder Pro are proud to announce that Hive Homes of Manchester have started the onboarding process of Housebuilder Pro software.

The partners in Hive Homes have over 40 years’ experience of building quality homes across the North West of England. Hive Homes “do more than just deliver quality new homes at affordable prices and are committed to making the home-buying journey an easy one”.

Nick Taylor, Head of Business Development at Housebuilder Pro expressed his excitement and gratitude towards Hive Homes, saying

“We at Housebuilder Pro are extremely pleased with our recent updates. Our software is constantly reaching new heights and the word of Housebuilder Pro is beginning to spread to all corners of the country. With Hive Homes joining us, it is telling that our software really is starting to make a difference”.

Vicky May, Head of Sales at Hive Homes stated

“Once I was appointed as Head of Sales for Hive Homes, I wanted to ensure that we had a great CRM system in place – it plays such an essential part in the customer journey. At Hive Homes, we aim to give our customers complete transparency throughout the whole new home build and purchase process. The information Housebuilder Pro’s team gave us during our demo was exactly what we needed to hear to help the ongoing fulfilment of this aim.

We are excited to start working with Housebuilder Pro and exploring further what the system can really do for us as a business. We are particularly impressed with Housebuilder Pro Reports; being able to see in real time how our product is being sold and to whom is a huge bonus”.

Housebuilder Pro is a full end to end project management software system offering complete administration and operational support throughout the life cycle of the new home build, sale, and aftercare process. Our cloud-based application includes customer relationship management tools and a built-in smart customer reservation form and activity tracker to aid efficient sales progression.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Housebuilder Pro’s Nick Taylor promoted to Head of Business Development

We at Housebuilder Pro are delighted to announce the promotion of Nick Taylor to Head of Business Development.

Nick has proven to be of exceptionally high value to Housebuilder Pro’s operations. Under Nick’s command, the software has been put under new sets of prospective eyes all over the country and Nick has exceeded sales targets.

As the Housebuilder Pro sales team scales up in size, Nick will be behind the wheel and leading from the front.

Rod Plummer, Managing Director of Housebuilder Pro parent company Shoothill, had this to say:

“Nick joined us in August 2020 and was keen to get started. I could tell from his interview that he is a highly motivated character and he has not taken his foot off the gas since the day he walked through the door.

We are delighted with how Nick has performed and decided it was time to promote him to Head of Business Development”.

Housebuilder Pro is a complete new home build & property management software system that includes leads, reservations, buyer choices, reports and snagging – acting on the CRM model and taking it to the next level for new home builders all over the country.

Nick Taylor is the first point of contact for all things Housebuilder Pro related.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Top 5 reasons to bin those spreadsheets and implement a CRM system

Spreadsheets are often the go-to tool for data collection and number crunching in business. Without them, many businesses would struggle to maximise their efficiency. However, spreadsheets are not perfect and are often overused to the point where many people use them for their incorrect purpose. Project management and customer relationship management are both long term and complex, especially in the housebuilding industry where relationships with customers can span upwards of 10 years. Spreadsheets can prove to be a significant limitation. Here are our top 5 reasons as to why it is time to swap your messy spreadsheets for a high quality and sophisticated customer relationship management system.

Collaborating is extremely difficult

Real-time collaboration can be a real barrier when managing even the smallest of projects using spreadsheets. Managing projects in spreadsheets require a lot of time and effort and can be extremely fragile. Formulae can be fiddly to the point where thousands of data entries can be incorrect because of one small mistake, and, if multiple people are working on a project at once, these mistakes can be extremely difficult to trace and fix when using spreadsheets. The bigger the project, the bigger the consequences. You often find that businesses using Microsoft Excel have employees all using different versions of the software, which can lead to many issues; the last thing you want when dealing with customers is to be worrying about lost data.

Lack of reporting

Accessing reports with the click of a button is essential for efficiency when managing customer relationships. Spreadsheet software does not do that for you on its own. Having access to reports faster will give you the important insights you need quickly so action can be taken sooner rather than later. Analysing data gives you the knowledge you need to make smarter selling decisions, essential for the success of your company – all possible using a high-quality customer relationship management system.

Difficult to track customer journey

All customers have different wants and needs. A decent sized new home building company will have hundreds if not thousands of customer connections, some of whom may require more qualitative data entries than others. Spreadsheets are solely focused on quantitative data management meaning writing notes on a customer can be extremely difficult. If your data consists heavily of numbers, spreadsheets might be beneficial to some extent, but people are far more complex than numbers. On the other hand, customer relationship management systems such as Housebuilder Pro offer far more sophisticated tools for lead management; qualitative data sets such as customers’ names, addresses, sales statuses and notes can all be stored and displayed in a far more organised manner.

Limited software integrations

Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are designed and built to work alongside other software created by their respected companies. Excel is designed to integrate well with other Microsoft Office products such as Word, Access or PowerPoint. If your business relies on non-Office-based software, transferring data across can be extremely difficult. Customer relationship management software brands often have integration options already available for a variety of other brands that provide their own niche benefit to the system. For example, Housebuilder Pro recently announced the seamless integration of Tardis4G systems, allowing Housebuilder Pro software to be accessed on any device even in the most remote locations without any good cellular signal or broadband.

The threat of data security

Data protection has been a phrase that has been in the news frequently over the last couple of years. High quality customer relationship management software will have all the necessary security features in place to ensure that no sensitive data can be accessed by the wrong people. Excel spreadsheets are often all over the place: loosely stored on desktops, sent via unsecure email networks, left open on laptops. Sensitive data such as customer names and addresses need to be protected.

Improve your efficiency and workflow with Housebuilder Pro. For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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What a thriving housing industry could mean for your CRM

2020 was a record-breaking year for the UK housing market. According to the Halifax House Price Index, house prices increased by 7.6% by the end of the year compared to the same time the previous year. By the end of December, the average property in the UK was priced at £253,243. According to HM Revenue & Customs, the number of properties sold in October was up a staggering 14%, with a total of 121,740 sales just in that month alone.

Back in July, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a temporary stamp duty holiday that cut the rate of the duty to zero per cent in response to the pandemic, for all properties listed at £500,000 or under. The end of the stamp duty holiday is imminent, and as a result, there is a strong possibility for a surge in property purchases at the beginning of 2021 and potentially beyond, should the holiday be extended.

Where there is a housing market sales boom, there is an increase in demand for new homes. New home building companies are seeing a surge in sales thus are taking on new customers at great pace. The companies that are seeing the most dramatic increases in growth may find that their current ecosystem regarding customer relationship management is quickly becoming outdated or overwhelmed.

Housebuilder Pro is designed to cope with these scenarios, so whether there is a boom in the market, or an existing Housebuilder Pro customer takes on a dramatic increase in new business, new home builders are able to grow without concern for upgrading their CRM systems. Housebuilder Pro has been tested extensively to ensure that any large data imports are completed without a hitch. With Housebuilder Pro software, everything is handled server-side as opposed to client-side (the user’s browser) in an approach to ensure the system stays quick and responsive regardless of workload.

Housebuilder Pro is updated frequently to add new features and changes that would be beneficial industry wide and to easily facilitate present and future growth.

For business enquiries and more information, contact info@housebuilderpro.co.uk or get in touch with us by phone at 01743 644821.

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Housebuilder Pro 2020: A Year in Review

2020 has been a fantastic year for Housebuilder Pro despite the bumps and hurdles regarding the global pandemic and national restrictions. The Housebuilder Pro software system and website have received huge updates and the brand has taken on board a whole host of new customers from all over the country. As well as this, Housebuilder Pro has collaborated with a widely respected industry-related company, all for one simple purpose: to make Housebuilder Pro the best it can be. This year is one for the books. Let us take a closer look at the highlights.

In the summer, Shropshire Homes took on board Housebuilder Pro software – a major leap forward and a major landmark for the Housebuilder Pro brand. In August, Housebuilder Pro welcomed a new Business Development Manager, Nick Taylor. Since Nick’s arrival, Housebuilder Pro has started to develop a significant presence in the marketplace; Nick has become a major catalyst for Housebuilder Pro’s success. Housebuilder Pro continues to grow at a rapid pace with Nick behind the wheel.

September saw Macbryde Homes join the ever-expanding list of housing development firms to take on board Housebuilder Pro software. Also, during this month, Housebuilder Pro welcomed Ryan Lloyd to the team as a Digital Marketing Executive, responsible for Housebuilder Pro’s social media presence and press releases. Since Ryan has joined, Housebuilder Pro’s pages, particularly LinkedIn, has seen a significant increase in impressions and followers. Also, during this month, the Housebuilder Pro website received a fantastic update, improving overall functionality and aesthetic.

Towards the end of this year, the Housebuilder Pro machine was seen running at maximum capacity with new business, new launches and collaborations. October saw Housebuilder Pro take on board Wavensmere Homes as a new customer. Ever since, like other customers, the two parties have been working extensively to ensure the smooth transition of Wavensmere Homes’ existing systems.

November was easily the busiest month of the year for Housebuilder Pro. Site Tracker was launched to the public in November, free of charge, Housebuilder Pro’s pandemic related contribution to the housebuilding industry. Site Tracker was greatly received by those that implemented the system. Housebuilder Pro also welcomed Fernham Homes as a customer during this month. Housebuilder Pro also announced the seamless integration of Tardis 4G systems with its software, a huge leap forward for the Housebuilder Pro brand, since the software is cloud based and requires an internet connection.

Housebuilder Pro is constantly evolving and being updated. The brand is expanding rapidly, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for 2021.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Housebuilder Pro.

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