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Consumer Protection : Meeting New Homebuyer Expections – Dec/Jan2017

Consumer Protection : Meeting New Homebuyer Expections - Dec/Jan2017

Are you one of almost 22,000 people in Ontario who took possession of a condo this past year?

If so, we want to hear from you!

Every year, Tarion sends out a customer satisfaction survey to new home and condominium owners in their first year of possession. The survey, which will land in mailboxes in the next week or so, asks them about key aspects of the buying experience, including the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the construction stage, the Pre-Delivery Inspection and the customer service the builder provided after the sale closed.

It also asks new condo owners to rate their condo builder. And we include questions about their relationship with Tarion and whether we met their expectations.

Why is this important to us? Because we want to better understand first-hand the experiences of new home buyers in the province, which includes the condo-buying experience. We want to know if that new condo and the builder met expectations and what improvements could be made along the way, whether it be for individual homes, condo units or a condo’s common elements. This happens in two ways.

First, the responses and comments help us understand what Tarion does well and where improvements to our processes or communications materials can deliver better customer service. This consumer input helps identify general trends and also specific areas for focus. For example, past years’ feedback has led to new features being added to MyHome, our digital web service that helps homeowners manage their warranty online.

Second, we use this consumer feedback to assess how well new home builders, including condo and high-rise builders, are serving their customers. The survey, which is now offered in Mandarin, Farsi and Punjabi, asks about the relationship with builders. Did the buying experience go smoothly? If there were issues with the condo after move in, did the builder listen to concerns and fix any warranted issues?

The survey results also help builders improve their customer service. Where we have enough responses, builders are given detailed individual reports comparing their results to the provincial average (without identifying the participants). We then follow-up with these builders to help analyze their scores and to improve on them.

This survey feedback is also critical to us in another important way. Every year, it determines which builders are the finalists and recipients of the Homeowners’ Choice Awards, as chosen by their customers. Presented by Tarion, these are the only awards that give Ontario’s new home buyers the power to have their new home builder recognized for customer service excellence.

These awards are useful for future new home buyers doing research about a builder. When a builder becomes a finalist or a recipient of the award, that information is put on their record in the Ontario Builder Directory (on Tarion.com) for everyone to see.

So, that’s why we want to hear from you! If you’ve taken possession of a new home or condo in the past year, please look out for the Tarion survey that will arrive this month by email or mail. It only takes a few minutes to complete. Your answers will help improve customer service overall for new home and condo owners across Ontario. They also determine whether a builder can be recognized for excellent customer service.

 

HOWARD BOGACH is president and CEO of Tarion Warranty Corp., a private corporation established to protect the rights of new homebuyers and to regulate new home builders.

Tarion.com