How builders can manage ever-increasing warranty period responsibilities at scale

scaling your builder maintenance warranty and defect period customer experience

Clients often don’t understand what a homeowner’s responsibility versus a builder’s warranty inclusion is — so they call or email their builder for each issue that arises. You need a centralised maintenance system where both you and your clients can log issues, display a clear understanding of accountability and track what’s happening on each defect.

Constructive Maintenance for builders warranty period screens
Constructive Maintenance Portal

Work from a central source of truth, updated in real-time

“So far, builder maintenance and defect warranty work has been managed mostly via email inboxes, and if you’re lucky, a well-organised spreadsheet. There are very few builder-specific maintenance systems available for tracking what’s going on, let alone looking at trends to optimise the building process. That’s why we decided to create Constructive Maintenance,” explains Constructive CEO, James Salt.

“Obviously, not having a central source of truth leads builders to accidentally lose maintenance requests and maintenance supervisors can turn up and get accosted by clients for items they were not aware of – it’s not a great experience for builders or clients.”

“We’re excited to transform what in the past has been a stressful experience — the warranty and maintenance period — into a great experience,” says Client Success Manager, Lizzie Mooney.

Each job's defects logged and documented in one organised, searchable place is a game-changer. Everyone can monitor what's been logged, see its status and leave comments in real-time.

“Having each job’s defects logged and documented in one organised, searchable place is a game-changer. Everyone can now monitor what’s been logged, see the status and leave comments to add extra information in real-time. You have everything documented that you need for each issue at your fingertips. Builders and clients are on the same page.”

Provide clients with self-serve, perfectly timed education

Without self-serve education accessible while logging a defect, the number of incoming queries from clients will increase as more and more jobs move into the maintenance and warranty period phase.

Client Success Manager, Emma Lord, explains, “Not all client queries after handover are actually the responsibility of the builder to action, so staff members can get caught up spending time educating a client on what to do in the event of an issue that’s outside of warranty eligibility. They can get bogged down with queries like, “What colour were my walls painted?” or “My internet doesn’t work!

Client Success Manager, Steph Schumer, agrees. “Going through the wizard prompts clients, as they go, on what does and does not constitute a defect. You can set up Maintenance to automatically display direct contact details for items they should contact the manufacturer or supplier for, rather than you. This saves both you and your clients so much time: you’re not looking up manufacturer details and contacts and answering endless emails and your client gets the information immediately at the exact time they need it the most.”

With Constructive Maintenance, you can give clients right-on-time warranty and defect education, automatically displayed in context and customised for your different defect types.

Clients are happy to have the information immediately, plus they’ll know if it’s an issue they should fix themselves — and your team saves time by not having to deal with endless questions.

Reduce your risk — go paperless

Poorly hand-written, undecipherable forms, multiple sheets of paper, notes scribbled during inspections: it’s easy to lose track of what needs to be addressed, not to mention hours lost through double-entry of details.

Taking your maintenance responsibilities into an online Maintenance Portal keeps everything, and everyone, organised and reduces risk.

Constructive Maintenance Digital Portal
Constructive Maintenance Digital Portal

“Hand-written forms can be easily misplaced and timeframes can unnecessarily be prolonged when clients forget to scan and submit their lists. All of which leads to frustration and deadlines being missed,” says Gemma Elliott, Client Success Manager.

“The maintenance inspection is typically managed outside of a ticketing system for ad hoc issues and is often a hardcopy list written on site. This can make it difficult for both builders and clients to keep track of multiple issues or defects in a timely manner,” agrees Steph.

Phone calls can also leave room for human transcription error, advises Emma: “Clients might forget to mention something on a call, or a staff member could accidentally write something down incorrectly. Things get misinterpreted. In the Maintenance Portal, builders and clients can input comments relating to each defect. It gets everyone on the same page and everything documented in ‘digital’ writing.”

Collect all the necessary details in one go

Sometimes, clients don’t realise the depth of information they need to provide for you to assess and process their issues. This means hours of wasted time chasing up specific details and requesting clients to email you photos.

Utilising Constructive’s Maintenance Wizard means you’ll prompt clients, step-by-step, to document the type of issue, the location in their home, a thorough description — including images — and whether the defect needs urgent attention, all in one take.

Constructive Maintenance Wizard
Constructive Maintenance Wizard

“The wizard ensures your clients are providing all the relevant information you require to rectify the defect quickly and easily,” says Steph. “It’s a single location for them to record issues and defects in full detail — as they notice them.”

Transparency: Self-serve efficiency

James believes clear communication is the only way to customer satisfaction, especially during the maintenance and warranty period of a build.

“A shared list between you and your clients showing the requested maintenance issues and whether they have been approved or rejected gives clarity around the process. Clients can distinctly understand if you are not going to accept a defect, and when you are. While you can’t, (and shouldn’t if it’s not your responsibility), fix every issue, at least your clients will have very clear documentation on what is, and isn’t, going to be addressed, and why.”

Maintenance Coordinators save hours in back-and-forth calls and emails as clients can log the issues themselves and keep up to date. Emma Lord - Client Success Manager Constructive Software

Emma notes that providing transparency around maintenance issues means a reduction in resource load for builders. “Clients can log the issue themselves and keep themselves up to date. Maintenance Coordinators save hours in back-and-forth calls and emails to give updates and it’s better for the client, too, as they’re getting the information in real-time, not trying to call you back during busy business hours or play phone tag.”

“If you choose to reveal trade contact details to your clients on defects you’ve agreed to rectify and have allocated to a trade, they can communicate with the trades directly during their own time if they need to schedule a time to be home, or leave a gate unlocked.”

Constructive Maintenance Trades allocation settings
Constructive Maintenance – Trades Settings

In addition, you can achieve an individualised transparency at scale by proactively automating personalised updates to keep clients up to date on their defects and maintain a high standard of customer experience, helping them feel seen and heard.

Constructive Maintenance automated client email notifications
Constructive Maintenance automated client email notifications

Triage urgent issues with ease

“Promptly addressing genuinely urgent issues helps clients feel valued and reassured that their concerns are being taken seriously,” says Gemma.

With an increasing volume of homes in the maintenance phase, getting efficient cut-through on truly urgent issues is vital. Constructive Maintenance immediately notifies your nominated maintenance contact of issues marked ‘Urgent’ as soon as they are logged so you won’t miss a beat.

Constructive Maintenance — Urgent warranty defects wizard screen
Constructive Maintenance — Urgent warranty defects

From here, you’ll either want to action them as soon as possible or downgrade their priority to a regular defect, collated and ready for the maintenance inspection.

Stop wasting time and money on manual and outdated defect management practices

Scale your customer experience during the warranty and defect period with ease with Constructive Maintenance Portal. Accommodate an expanding list of clients in the maintenance phase without hiring more resources or dropping customer service quality. Smoothly log, track, assign, report on and resolve maintenance issues on any online device, anytime.

Get started with Constructive Maintenance.

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