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Selling the dream in a post-Covid world

With a career spanning 20 years in the sector, what Katrina Cullin doesn’t know about home-building simply isn’t worth knowing.

For the past three years, Katrina has worked as Anderson’s Head of Sales and Marketing and is often the first person to greet customers as they look to fulfil their dream of buying a new home. We quiz Katrina on her role and how the process has changed under owing to the Covid-19 restrictions.

 

In which area of construction did you work before joining Anderson?
I’ve worked in the construction industry for over 20 years, in finance then sales covering Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.

What constitutes an average day for Anderson’s Head of Sales and Marketing?
Well, it varies. No two days are the same. I spend a considerable amount onsite with the sales teams, focusing on progression and new business together, while ensuring our new homes and the sales arenas are to a high standard.

At which point of a new development does the sales team get involved?
Right at the very start, prior to land acquisition. This is vital to ensure the product type and specification match the requirements of the demographic, so we can maximise our revenues and sales rates.

At which point do you set up shop at a new development?
The clock starts ticking as soon as we secure planning permission on a site, with ‘coming soon’ hoarding going up straight away. Depending on the area, we make an informed decision to either launch from an estate agent to achieve initial interest and off plan sales, or wait for the delivery of the sales complex.

In your experience, what are the main factors that home buyers are looking to fulfil?
That their dream home is affordable and that it’s of high quality and a blank canvas for their taste and style. Of recent times, additional drivers are outside space coupled with suitable facilities to work from home. Also, good commuter links and local schools.

Convincing buyers to purchase a house that is yet to be built must be a challenge. How do you go about selling the dream?
Buying off plan can be daunting and hard to visualise for any buyer. Therefore, having as much digital information as possible is a must. We’ve introduced 360 internal CGI virtual tours together with street scene fly-thoughs. These can be accessed via our website or in the sales office using our interactive touch screens, whereby potential purchasers can see how their dream home and the development will look once it’s built, even down to the colour block paving. People buy from people; therefore, the right sales team is an integral part of the process. They must have complete knowledge of all the key milestones to guide homebuyers through the customer journey.

The Covid-19 crisis has obviously had an impact on how you market a development. Please tell us a bit about how you’ve adapted.
The majority of the public are more focused on digital media than ever before, so advertising via these channels is key – and we have to ensure we have as much information online for prospective purchasers to make informed decisions. Since adopting and implementing the new demands for digital assets, we’ve noticed an increase in well-informed enquiries.

How does the Anderson after sales service work and are you actively involved?
The sales team and customer service team work very closely together, with regular weekly meetings to ensure we all communicate together as a team. This is vital for a smooth transition from completion to after sales.

Which of the Anderson developments is your favourite and why?
They’re all my favourite!

Click for the Chilton Place virtual viewing website