12/18/02 - Homebuyers Give Dubin Residential High Marks for Customer Service.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Homebuyers Give Dubin Residential High Marks for Customer Service
Eight months ago, when Pedro Oblea and his wife began their house hunt, they were like many first-time homebuyers. They were a little nervous and had questions about everything from how much they could afford to how the mortgage process works.
The Obleas visited several properties, but eventually bought at the first place they visited, Emerson Point, Dubin Residential's community of 26 new townhomes in Rogers Park. With a 5-year-old son, they liked the townhomes for their size and location, but Oblea also cited the quality of Dubin's customer service as another factor in their decision to buy.
"The first time we visited Emerson Point, the Dubin sales people were very attentive, more attentive than we found elsewhere. They patiently answered all of our questions and helped put us at ease right away," said Oblea, who moved into the townhome in September.
Also helpful, he said, was the Dubin Residential Homeowner's Manual, a 75-page guide that buyers receive when they purchase a Dubin home. The manual serves as a step-by-step guide to the entire buying process, from securing a loan to the final walk-through. The manual also includes a listing of important phone numbers, plastic pouches to safely store contracts, color selection sheets, and warranty and maintenance information on all new home features.
"As a first-time buyer, this was very helpful," Oblea said. "I still refer to it whenever I have questions about our appliances, such as how often to change the filter in the air conditioner."
Such comments are music to the ears of David Dubin, president of the Chicago-based builder. Dubin said he takes pride in trying to provide his buyers with the best customer service in Chicago's homebuilding industry.
Our philosophy goes beyond 'the customer is always right.' We aim to anticipate our buyers' needs as early and as often as possible," Dubin said. "That's why we introduced the homeowner's manual two years ago. We feel it's important to provide buyers with as much useful information as possible from the outset."
Katie O'Connor and her husband are another first-time home-buying couple who appreciate Dubin's customer service approach.
"I rate their customer service very high. Our sales representative was extremely helpful, and the homeowner's manual continues to be a great resource for us," said O'Connor, who owns a two-bedroom, two-bath home at Buck City Lofts, a community of 90 lofts in West Bucktown. "And in the 14 months since we moved in, I've found that Dubin continues to be very interested in keeping us as happy customers."
As an example, she recalled the time there was a leak on the floor above her. She immediately called Dubin's 24-hour hotline, and within 30 minutes, someone arrived to correct the problem. Soon afterward, her ceiling and the water stain were repainted, and the problem quickly faded into memory, she said.
Eileen Casey, who is a RealtorŪ, has also been impressed by how Dubin's high level of care and attention doesn't fall off after closing. During the final walk-through at her first Dubin home, a 1,700-square-foot townhome in Lake View, Casey thought she detected a small flaw in her tile flooring. She wasn't 100 percent positive, but her sales representative suggested she flag it on her punch card as a possible future problem.
"The flaw was so minute that it didn't become a problem until two years later, but when I called Dubin about it, they were true to their word and quickly replaced the floor. That really earned my loyalty," said Casey, who in August bought her third Dubin property.
Casey's loyalty isn't unique, Dubin said. Every year about a half dozen past Dubin customers buy from the builder again. "Given the incredible array of choices buyers have, I am gratified by how many of our past buyers have been so satisfied by the quality of our homes and service that they choose to buy from us a second time," he said.
In appreciation, Dubin offers repeat buyers a 2.5 percent discount. The builder also pays a $1,000 bonus to any Dubin homeowner whose referral of a new customer results in the purchase of a Dubin home. He said about a dozen buyers earn this bonus each year.
"Our large number of repeat buyers attests to the quality of our customer service, but we are always looking for new ways to improve," Dubin said. "For instance, we recently began hosting special homebuyer appreciation events at our developments. We schedule them prior to the completion of a development, which gives our buyers a chance to begin forming the bonds needed to create a strong and lasting community."
Erica Smith and her husband were among more than 50 buyers who attended a November reception that Dubin organized for new owners at The Courts of Evanston, Dubin's new community of 90 townhomes in southeastern Evanston. Smith said she and her husband enjoyed the chance to meet their future neighbors, including several couples with similar interests. She added that the event exceeded what she expects from a builder.
"The reception was a very nice gesture, which they didn't have to do. After all, we are already sold on living at The Courts of Evanston, but it tells me that they really care about their customers and about the success of their communities, even after they have finished building them," Smith said.
For more information about Dubin Residential, contact (773) 427-2400 or visit www.dubinresidential.com.
Building townhomes, condominiums and lofts in Chicago since the early 1990s, Dubin Residential has earned a reputation for quality and value. The company is currently developing nearly 300 homes in the Chicago area. This includes Arcadia Place in the West Loop, Ainslie Row in West Albany Park, Buck City Lofts in West Bucktown, Emerson Point in Rogers Park, Welbourn Row in West Lake View, and The Courts of Evanston.
Prices subject to change.