Are partnerships the future for housebuilders?

Mark Britton
by Mark Britton 17 July 2019

In times of change, it’s no surprise that - in a bid to stay competitive - organisations in every sector are finding new ways to attract and retain customers while delivering growth. For some this means delivering new, often technology-driven products and services (think retail, automotive, home entertainment) and the adoption of entirely new business models.

The new homes market is no different. Large housebuilders like Bovis and Telford have recently made the headlines for striking up third party partnerships to unlock revenues, deliver on new-build targets and address the shortage of affordable housing. But what do these partnerships entail and are they a smart move?

Better together
Earlier this year, Bovis launched their Partnership Housing Division in a bid to take the work they already do with UK housing associations to the next level. Already agreed is a joint venture deal with Riverside for the construction of 3,600 homes near Northampton, while last year the company signed an agreement with Clarion to build a 1,500 home development in Sherford, Devon.

In uncertain times, when risk in the traditional sales market is high, the ability to access housing association sector funding in this way provides additional and more assured revenue for housebuilders.

Another sector targeted by housebuilders is investment. Telford Homes has forged partnerships with property investment institutions in order to capitalise on the opportunities to be found in the burgeoning build-to-rent market. With sky-high house prices and tighter than ever access to mortgage finance, the demand for good quality, yet affordable rental property has soared.

Partnering with institutional investors means that Telford and others are able to provide professionally managed, purpose-built rental complexes that are shaking things up and raising standards right when the market needs it. With many university graduates, young professionals, couples and families all finding it increasingly difficult to get onto the property ladder, the build-to-rent sector offers the perfect solution.

Working harder and smarter

In a market where house prices (in general) are on the decline, housebuilders are having to take decisive action to drive new revenues and reduce risk. Companies who have already responded, such as Bovis, are enjoying a good deal of success – at the end of 2018 they posted record profits up 47% on the previous year.

As much as a “build it and they will come” attitude may work in a housing boom, we’re now in an era where dramatic change, economic uncertainty and empowered, savvy consumers means that every organisation needs to work harder and smarter to stay competitive. Along with considering the strategies mentioned above, there are other more simple ways in which housebuilders can adapt.

Adopting a customer-centric strategy

Adopting a customer-centric strategy is the first step to protecting core revenues, reducing risk and worrying less about short-term conversions. And, with the right technology, it’s closer than you think.

Discover how Taylor Wimpey are addressing market challenges through overhauling customer experience by attending our webinar on 24th July at 10am. Alternatively, download our guide that explains how a customer-centric CRM system can drive this process forwards for your business.

Topics: house-builders, serve customers better