The quality and design of our product distinguishes Redrow from its main competitors and appeals to our customers.
Outside Greater London, our divisions focus on our award winning Heritage Collection. In 2017 this accounted for 75% of the Group’s private sales revenue (2016: 82%). During the year we added a number of house types to the Heritage Collection especially designed to appeal to customers looking to downsize without compromising on design, specification and space.
The Heritage Collection is complemented by bespoke product which represented 25% of private sales revenue (2016: 18%) in the year. In Greater London our main area of operation is the outer boroughs (zones 3 to 6) where each scheme is specifically designed to reflect the site’s constraints. £218m of our homes sales revenue came from Greater London in 2017 (2016: £152m). In addition, our joint venture development, Morello, Croydon delivered its first 97 legal completions and a £1m contribution to Group profits.
We achieved an 88.9% HBF customer recommend rating in 2017 (2016: 88.4%) in a year when legal completions increased by 13%.
We continually look at ways to enhance our customers’ experience during both the home buying process and after they have taken occupation. An example of this is improved training for our colleagues: our ‘Customer Service Culture’ course is accredited with the Institute of Customer Service and has been attended by 675 people across the business. Similarly, Redrow is the first homebuilder to achieve endorsement of its internal sales training by the Institute of Sales & Marketing.
During the year we have rationalised our ‘My Redrow’ extras offering to the most popular choices to improve build quality and efficiency. ‘My Redrow’ extras accounted for £20m (2016: £17m) of sales in the year, an 18% increase.
RESERVATIONS AND ORDER BOOK
The strength of our order book is testament to the appeal of our homes and developments.
The Group secured £1.6bn of reservations in the year (2016: £1.5bn excluding PRS) and closed the year with a total order book including social and joint ventures of £1.1bn, a record for Redrow and 14% higher than the previous year.
Private reservations per outlet per week were 0.68 (2016: 0.70 excluding PRS). The cancellation rate remained at 15%, in line with the previous year.
The Group has actively used social media as a part of its marketing campaigns for a number of years. We are now seeing that it is becoming the medium of choice for many of our customers to communicate with us both during the sales process and after they have taken occupation.
Customers using social media expect us to respond quickly and in detail to their queries: this is difficult to achieve using a centralised approach. To address this we have partnered with Crowd Control HQ to launch their innovative enterprise social media management software across the Group. Within a framework of appropriate controls, we now have more than 100 colleagues with access to social media accounts. All users have been trained to use the software and to adopt an appropriate style and consistent tone of voice when responding.
In the first month of use, over 400 replies were sent by our customer service teams. Feedback has shown customers experienced quicker responses and were far more positive about the content of the replies they received.
Group Communications Director