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Emma Lowe speaks to how she helped inform the market leading client first approach at Lowe Living
Emma has held several roles across agency, media and marketing for companies including Jetstar, Coles Crown Resorts, and Channel 7. Although each position was marketing-led, the overarching theme was always to provide a strong client experience. Regardless of the industry, a satisfied client will frequently provide the best form of marketing – word of mouth.
Written by: Emma Lowe
Across travel, entertainment, hotels and FMCG, the best cases of superior client experience I have seen, ensure that every touchpoint throughout the client journey is carefully considered. This includes everything from initial marketing materials, enquiries and sales experience, right through to the product or service itself. This can be difficult to nail.
In most cases, the operational team sit in a separate division to the sales and marketing teams with different delivery objectives. Ensuring we consider this from an organisational perspective, as well as providing the highest level of client experience at every touchpoint, has been a key focus in my role as Director of Client Services and Marketing at Lowe Living.
We’ve worked hard to introduce good leaders into all facets of our business, from sales to construction. While our client services strategy is critical, I understand that the key to its successful execution is ensuring every division shares the same values and client experience objectives. This is what we strive for and how we have structured and lead each team. We made a strategic decision to keep all divisions in-house and with sales, marketing, client services, property development and construction managed internally, we are able to take a holistic approach to influence processes so that our clients are heard, understood and supported.
In the early stages of a client’s journey with us, this means taking the time to really understand their specific purchase objectives. In many cases, this might involve a significant amount of time spent with the client, ensuring we find them a project and residence that provides all the lifestyle benefits and amenity that suits their individual need.
Given we have also chosen to provide clients with the opportunity to make customised changes (generally quite rare in multi-residential property), it also allows them the opportunity to make their new home even more perfect for them. This strategy is not always the simplest path to completion and can often create hurdles to overcome for all aspects of our business, but we’ve worked hard to create a culture of persistence. And after selling out projects early in tough markets and listening to the client testimonials, we know that this is what sets us apart and ensures our client satisfaction.
Approximately 95 per cent of our clients buy for owner-occupier purposes. Many are downsizers, and their last purchase was their large family home. Far from being a financial transaction, this is a significant lifestyle transition and we are respectful of that.
In terms of the home itself, we understand the client’s expectations and provide a well-considered architecturally designed home with high-end fixtures and finishes. We understand that moving from a large residence to an apartment or townhome is a new experience and can be daunting, particularly not knowing who else will be sharing those communal areas. Therefore, we take the time to arrange mixer events, so buyers can meet their new neighbours prior to moving in to ‘break the ice’. Quite often, they are like-minded individuals who form bonds quickly, and this provides added reassurance about their purchase decision.
Inevitably, COVID-19 has created some market uncertainty. However, our market segment is mostly comprised of people who are experienced buyers, seeking quality. With limited stock on the market, we are not seeing price reductions in the high-end property segment. If anything, we are seeing prices rise and in fact saw Lowe Living break a record price for our Azura Aspendale project in the middle of lockdown recently.
The people who are still looking are engaged and genuine. We have noticed more time spent in the consideration phase, with banks taking longer and people taking a little longer to decide and ensure the home they choose meets long-term requirements. As we see people spending more time at home, they are conscious of floorplan flexibility including having a dedicated workspace or an area for craft and hobbies.
Increasingly, our client base wants to be close to the beach and other lifestyle amenities, so location is very important and is a defining element for all Lowe Living project acquisitions.
We’ve had several buyers tell us that buying off-the-plan with Lowe Living actually delivers peace of mind. They have time to sell their existing property and after paying an initial 10 per cent deposit, purchasers generally have around 18 months before settlement (depending on how far into the project they purchase). Our purchasers are nurtured and guided throughout this time, which brings them to settlement feeling eager, ready, and subsequently excited to tell others about their experience.
We have seen strong demand in this current market for Azura in Aspendale, with its absolute beachfront aspect and the ‘holiday at home’ feel. Similarly, La Sal in Chelsea, which will be completed in early 2021, has drawn strong interest due to its proximity to the beautiful Chelsea golden sands. Thomas Court in Parkdale, which will launch in late September, provides buyers time and several price points to consider, as well as potential stamp duty savings, new government incentives along with plenty of opportunity to customise.
At Lowe Living, we believe that exceptional quality homes will always be in demand. What’s important is the client experience and ultimate satisfaction – that never changes and must be our top priority.