Castle Green crowns successful year with four award wins

Friday, 16th December 2022

Revolutionising the way homes are bought and sold, investment in digital technology has paid dividends for Castle Green Homes, earning the business multiple awards.

The introduction of Willow, an online portal which is effectively a “digital new home assistant”, contributed towards the business crowned small housebuilder of the year at the 2022 Housebuilder Awards. The innovative system also received three accolades – the digital transformation category of the Marketing Week Awards, the best customer satisfaction initiative in the Housebuilder Awards and the best use of marketing technology category of the Construction Marketing Awards

Willow brings together a fully bespoke CGI package, customer relationship management system, e-commerce platform and snagging software; helping to track sales, while also supporting customer care, accounts and commercial departments.

Gwyn Jones, chief executive of Castle Green, said: “It’s two years since we rebranded as Castle Green and I’m immensely proud of how we’ve built the business in that time. I’m personally thankful to everyone who’s supported us in achieving our goals. I’m very proud of what the team has achieved. When you consider the size of our business, the recognition Willow has received is remarkable. It’s testament to the 18 months of hard work the team has invested in developing the system, but what really matters is how it’s improved the customer experience.”

Willow was introduced to support marketing of Willow Fields in Warrington – a flagship development, which launched off plan as part of the largest mixed-use development in the North West – before being rolled out across all new developments.

The objective was to demonstrate the development, homes, specification and lifestyle purchasers could look forward to through 3D development maps, virtual show home tours of every house design, the option to show furnished or unfurnished properties, and a house type configurator which allows customers to make their specification choices wherever and whenever they want.

The new customer portal and a host of assets were developed with the help and expertise of digital specialists Reckless and EyeSiteView.

Castle Green has further enhanced its digital offering with the introduction of a state-of-the-art touchscreen customer experience suites at Bridgwater View in Daresbury and Maes Yr Haul in St Asaph.

Marketing manager Hannah Ryle, who was herself shortlisted in the young marketer of the year category of the CMAs, explained: “It’s imperative that we invest in digital technology to support the customer journey, streamline processes and ensure we remain competitive. Willow goes far beyond what many other housebuilders offer, including those who have more substantial budgets and deliver higher volumes of homes.”

Willow empowers Castle Green customers, putting them in control, effectively ‘teleporting’ them inside virtual show homes and helping them imagine living there.  The ability to visualise through CGI, select and pay in one place has allowed customers to easily create their dream homes.

“Moving to a paperless system has also helped speed up processes – customers no longer need to make an appointment with the sales team to make their choices,” Hannah said. “Along with customer convenience, this also offers potential cost savings as it frees up staff time which would otherwise be spent on the appointment and imputing the choices.”

Willow has allowed Castle Green to build strong, effective relationships with customers, while making them feel confident, supported and involved. It’s no coincidence that more Castle Green homeowners than ever before completed the HBF customer satisfaction survey with 93%+ recommending the homebuilder.

The paperless system also supports the company’s green credentials. Castle Green has finalised a net-zero plan that illustrates a potential path to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030; and offset residual emissions for the 2020-21 financial year via verified projects, enabling the business to declare carbon net-zero status.

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