Implementing quality through self regulation is the only way for developers to gain credibility- Feb 17, 2012
Every time I help someone out with interiors advice, I am aghast at the poor quality of construction developers offer. It is specially galling when the buyer has paid an exorbitant rate and is hoping to achieve a high quality of life in an apartment into which he/she has poured a lifetimes savings and expectations.
Far from being ready to move in, apartment owners have to deal with poorly finished woodwork, peeling paint, tiles without the joints pointed, and much more. This morning I saw a sagging front door that was dragging on the floor and coming off its hinges. The builder had nailed on some shards of wood to fill in the gap above the door caused by the poor installation.
Developers are clearly taking advantage of low awareness among buyers about what quality and aesthetics to expect.
I fail to understand why builders turn a blind eye to quality issues when indeed quality is the most important differentiator, guaranteed to impress and build a credibility that will win customers with much less effort. Organizations like CREDAI, which work towards improving the real estate industry by bringing together private sector developers, must focus on creating awareness of quality standards among customers. Teaching buyers to look out for signs of good quality will place pressure on developers to maintain minimum standards. In fact sample homes must be mandatory, display the promised quality of construction and further, builders should legally promise to match the displayed quality. A quality checklist must be made public and a complaint cell created in builders organizations to address grievances in a professional and technical manner.Unless proactive steps like this are taken by the developers and a progression towards self regulation occurs, buyers are going to continue to brand builders as a bunch of rogues. That the homeowners I meet shrug and sneer at basic quality glitches speak for how low their expectations are from the builder.
At mHS, we are a part of a larger exercise facilitated by the Ashoka Foundation to develop ratings for affordable housing, where quality is an even greater challenge. How do we hope to deliver private sector housing that meets basic standards to the poor when the rich do not yet dare to expect quality?