Builder sees 37 per cent increase in inquiries
WHILE many businesses have experienced a downturn through the effects the COVID-19 pandemic, a residential building company in Ballina has recorded an increase in inquiries and new build contracts being signed.
Gold Coast-based company Silkwood Homes, with offices on River Street, has seen an increase of 37 per cent in inquiries year-on-year, while new contract signings during the period are showing an increase of 10 per cent year-on-year.
The result has kept founder and managing director John Stephens optimistic about the strength of the Australian economy once we come through the pandemic.
"It is a period of time when you have a business like Silkwood Homes that you look at and don't know what the other side is going to look like - there were considerable unknowns, however it has accelerated our ability to innovate and to be at the forefront of the industry moving forward.
"I can honestly say that across our three locations we've had to adapt - but haven't made any appreciable changes to on-site building, aside from adopting the government indicated sanitation policies.
"Our inquiry level year-on-year is up and it is the same with signed contracts as well."
Investments in technology is changing the inquiry and sales process into the virtual world.
"Since the outbreak of coronavirus, around 90 per cent of discussions with clients has pivoted to an online environment."
Silkwood Homes provides customers with virtual tours, digital contracts and video and photographs during the build.
"We're really excited by what this period has allowed us to implement," said Mr Stephens.
"We're now able to have customers virtually walk through a house at whatever time of day suits them. This naturally has a financial benefit with our sales team being able to connect with more leads.
"I can't see in the immediate future fully eradicating the tactile experience of visiting a display home, but I truly think the virtual side of things will provide a road map for the future of our industry."
The company operates on the Gold Coast, Ballina and Newcastle.