Professional Builder puts the questions to Mark Blick, Account Manager at Advantage Structural Warranty Insurance, on the service the company can offer builders.
Q. Tell us about Advantage and your role in the business
Mark Blick (MB) We work with A rated insurers and cover new builds, self builds, conversions, renovations, part completed and completed properties. We also provide Road and Sewer Bonds, developer finance and structural warranty insurance of up to £75,000,000 on one continuous structure. Plus, deposit protection and insolvency cover. I’m an Account Manager, so I look after my clients from first contact and request for a quotation to project completion. We don’t have call centres or lead generators. The buck starts and ends with me.
Q. You talk to builders every day. What types of builders do you work with?
MB. Most of my clients are SMEs based all over the UK so typically the one-man bands, bringing together a team of self-employed trades and builders with three to six employees. I enjoy working with the smaller developers because you get to know them on first name terms, they’re always quick to respond to your questions and I’m usually talking to the owner – the guy at the top who wants things done fast – which suits me too.
Q. How do you think builders are managing given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic?
MB. I’s not easy. For example, I was speaking to a builder today with a development in London. On smaller projects, delays can be hours or days for many reasons, such as not being able to get hold of a key person because they’re now working from home to supplies being delayed or out of stock at the merchants. Despite the many challenges the impression I get from builders is that they’re taking these setbacks in their stride, recognising that business is anything but usual. It’s my job to make their lives easier when it comes to providing the right warranty insurance for their project without any hassle or delay.
Q. Warranty insurance is competitive. How are you managing to succeed?
MB. We’re a nationwide business but what every builder wants is personal service and personal accountability. They don’t want to be passed around from pillar to post, from the sales team to the customer service team and the surveyors. Our clients have just the one person responsible for looking after them – from the moment they request a quote to the delivery of their project and beyond, to new projects. As well as my direct line and email, I give clients my personal mobile so they can call me out of hours. This goes down well because builders often use the evenings to get stuck into paperwork and, understandably, they want their warranty insurance sorted out when it suits them. I do get quite a few evening calls which is no problem unless I’m football training. So, if you call me on a Tuesday night there may be a slight delay before I call you back!
Another plus for clients is that we ask for all the development information up front, in as concise a manner as possible. This means we can provide accurate quotations within just 48 hours. One client told me he was used to waiting three weeks for a quote from a competitor. There’s lots more so I would simply encourage any builder that needs structural warranty insurance to get in touch with me!
For further information on Advantage Structural Warranty Insurance visit https://ahci.co.uk/