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Cumbrian Homes installs innovative product as standard

Developer differentiates its properties in a market with stiff competition

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>> As a small family-owned business, Cumbrian Homes have to differentiate themselves from the competition. One of the ways we do this is by offering our buyers more for their money from finishes, kitchens, bathrooms to the fabric of the building and we ask that and see customers come through our door having been to our competitors and now knowing the differences from finishes from the Gyproc Habito board and the Sound Solutions, and the ThistlePro Magnetic plaster. So it certainly is word getting around which can only do our brand good in a local market. Initially when British Gypsum first spoke to us about their, their new products, we were obviously a little bit sceptical and concerned over the commercial aspects of it; we're spending money in houses, will we be able to recoup that? Will buyers want it? Will it be willing to pay for it? We started a sort of trial phase and picked three properties in which to upgrade with the, with the three solutions and offered them to market at an inflated price of an above its equivalent house type. We were surprised to see that most buyers were willing to pay more for a house with these solutions in up to around five thousand pound more to be precise which was certainly more that cost us to put it in, but not too expensive either for the buyer to be able to pay for. Sales here at Carlton Manor Park have been really positive, we've exceeded our own expectations really, this is giving us the confidence to start rolling these products out on future sites. We have two new sites coming up on the next six months and our intention is to run all three of the solutions up these new developments on the back of the success we’ve had here. We had a family who came to see us and they were very interested in one of our properties and they couldn't quite meet the asking price and they asked her to see what we could do with regard to discount. We, we didn't want to offer too much of a discount but we did try to economise on the finish for them, or giving the option to economise on the finish such as reducing the spec in the kitchen or the bathrooms etc, and one of the products we offered was the, was to remove the Gyproc Habito board and the Sound Solutions for them to bring the price down to them. And this was something they definitely didn't want to do, they saw that as a, as a, as the fabric of the building that was there to stay, and whereas they could easily upgrade their kitchen or a sink or a tap in in years to come. As much as we're offering the customer extras, it's not a typical extra, it is the fabric of the house, it's, it's you either do it now or you don't do it so, it's definitely decision for us as a house builder we can offer sinks, taps, whatever we want to offer them, but the fabric of the building really is what we're building, what we're providing, is our product so it's, it's at the heart of what we do really. So yes that definitely looking to move it forward into other developments. The last three or four months or so, we are now having people come through the door and they're immediately this is the show home with the super-strength plasterboard or this is, the, the home with Sound Solutions, so they're aware of them and whether, whether that's through our own marketing, through word-of-mouth, from the site itself, but they are now aware of these products, which is great because as far as we're aware we are one of the first in the area to use the product so we are differentiating ourselves straight away.

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Quality is at the heart of a Cumbrian Home. Priding itself on building homes that far surpass their nearest rivals when it comes to quality finishes, materials and finishing details.  It’s how they differentiate their properties in a market with stiff competition. As Cumbrian Homes’ Commercial Manages Scott Edwards explains: “We’re really keen that our homes offer far more for their money than a rival property so we were really keen to be the first developer in Cumbria to offer value-added innovations from British Gypsum. It completely fits with our ethos about building better, ensuring the customer ends up with a home that is superior from the kitchen and bathrooms all the way through to the fabric of the home.

When Cumbrian Homes embarked on its partnership with British Gypsum they didn’t anticipate that visitors to the show home would immediately realise the potential of Gyproc HabitoThistlePro Magnetic plaster or Silent Floor, but nothing could be further from the truth, as Scott continues: “we get visitors to the show home asking to see the British Gypsum systems by name, we get really positive feedback, and it’s great to hear customers actually reference “these are the houses with Gyproc Habito”, we never imagined that would be the case.

Cumbrian Homes made the bold decision of offering three properties that incorporated the British Gypsum systems at an increased price over and above an equivalent property, feedback from customers very quickly consolidated Cumbrian Homes’ decision to roll the products out across the development. As Scott concludes: “Our partnership with British Gypsum totally makes sense - from the feedback from potential buyers to the home owners now living at Carleton Manor Park, and of course, the financials make sense, there’s no question, our use of British Gypsum’s advanced solutions is adding real weight to our brand locally.