Financial Year 2021 – Customer service key to success

Customer service key to happy home purchases

Allreal developed the Florenstrasse residential complex on one of the last large plots of land in Winterthur Seen. The Allreal Customer Service team has been looking after the buyers of all 51 condominiums from the moment they buy their properties to the moment they are handed the keys. 

It’s a grey and gloomy November day in Winterthur. Even on Florenstrasse in Seen, where the sun is so often shining despite the fog still clinging to other parts of the city. Lots of dark earth and freshly planted bushes, shrubs and trees surround the brand new apartment buildings. But even the weather can’t dampen spirits inside the garden-level apartment on the right here, covering 127 square metres spread over three and a half rooms. And that’s because the buyers are being handed their keys today – at last. With the purchase agreement having been signed almost two years ago and all kinds of decisions on materials, products, fittings and furniture having been made in that time, the owners are keen to start unpacking their moving boxes right away.

The buyers are joined by the responsible site manager, a cleaner, a decorator and a handful of tradesmen sorting out the last few details.

Remo Küng, Head of Customer Service at Allreal, has been here since first thing that morning. Whilst casually checking the lettering on the mailbox, he says: “Handing over the keys also involves us doing a final check that everything is just right inside. We walk around the whole apartment with the buyers and inspect every last detail, checking that everything requiring attention that we added to our system as part of our preliminary checks a few weeks ago has now been taken care of.” The aim is to hand over an apartment that is as close to perfect as it gets.

Individual customer care

The Allreal Customer Service team is the point of contact between the sales, project management and site management teams and the buyers when it comes to everything from payment of the reservation fee for a property to moving day. They oversee the interior design work, coordinate choices and organise the preliminary and final checks to sign off the property.

And it’s normal for the team to hit a few snags along the way. Especially in a building project that has been broken down into phases like this one on Florenstrasse. As soon as the contract is signed, it is time for the first official meeting to get things moving. After all, the building work keeps going whilst the buyers focus on planning out what will be going inside their new home. And it’s so much easier and cheaper to plan to include a socket in a wall that hasn’t been built yet than later adding one into a wall that’s already finished. When it comes to these kinds of decisions, the buyers benefit from the fact that Allreal chooses to keep its customer service in-house rather than relying on an external provider. Communication couldn’t be easier or more efficient. 

The next steps are to design the floors, walls, kitchen and bathrooms. At this stage, Remo Küng and his team work closely with their customers and aim to give them as much time as they need. Why is that? “Most customers will only ever buy this one property. So much passion, time and money goes into each project that it’s completely normal for lots of the decisions to be discussed, weighed up and changed a few times.”
 

“Customers expect perfection.”

Remo Küng,
Head of Customer Service

Starting in 2022, this whole process will be managed by a special online platform designed by Allreal. All the documents such as contracts, order forms, invoices as well as operating and maintenance instructions will be stored digitally and available to access at any time.

Several internal departments have been involved in the development. Küng was a valuable contributor, with 13 years of experience in customer service behind him. “This new tool will allow us to keep up with the ever-growing demands of our customers, who want everything to be perfect and all the information to be available right away.”

And yet even the best tool in the world is worth nothing if the customer service isn’t spot on, too. “Our mission has always been to offer our customers the best possible service, while always being transparent about cost increases or decreases compared to the defined standards and staying on top of the building schedule at all times.” 
 

“We had plenty of support and guidance every step of the way.”

Urs and Denise Sprunger,
Buyers

From A to Z from one provider

Handing over the keys for the apartments from the first building phase at Florenstrasse is just one of the final chapters of a success story that Allreal has starred in from the very beginning. Having been there for the land purchase in 2016, the creation of the private design plans by the in-house project development team and the completion and sale of the 51 condominiums starting at the end of 2019. As part of the wider project, Allreal has also developed two other apartment buildings containing rental apartments for a private owner.

The final check continues in the garden-level apartment on the right. After inspecting all the surfaces, Küng explained the handling of the extractor fan and the sliding door leading out into the garden – all in a day’s work as the Head of Customer Service. Meanwhile, the decorator is dabbing white paint over a few specks invisible to most people’s eyes and the plumber called on by the site manager is making sure the amount of water in the cistern is just right. By the end of the check, there is just one thing outstanding on the digital list – the parquet flooring in the bedroom just needs a touch of oil in one tiny spot. But there’s no chance of something that minor ruining moving day.
 

Once the final check report has been signed, Küng copies it onto a USB stick along with all the other documentation for the property. He hands this and the keys over to the buyers and they are clearly over the moon. Maybe it’s not such a grey and gloomy day here on Florenstrasse after all.

Project overview
Building contractorAllreal General­unternehmung AG, Glattpark
Project development Allreal General­unternehmung AG, Glattpark
Total contractor    Allreal General­unternehmung AG, Glattpark
ArchitectureDahinden Heim Partner Architekten AG,
Winterthur
Building volume     42,698 m3
Plot size 14,916 m2
Floor space6,232 m2
Planning permission granted    February 2019
Construction startedNovember 2019
Project completedEnd of 2021/start of 2022
Investment volumeapprox. CHF 57 million
CertificationMinergie-P