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1 Master Thesis MsC. Business Administration Marketing Programme Conceptualizing Customer Value in Property Development for the Dutch Residential Housing Market: an Exploratory study

2 Conceptualizing Customer Value in Property Development for the Dutch Residential Housing Market: an Exploratory study Name: Maurice van de Vreede Student number: Course: Master Study Program: Master Marketing Supervisor Radboud University: Dr. J. Henseler In favor of internship firm: MAB Development Group B.V. Supervisor firm: Drs. J.H. Smit Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 2

3 Table of content Abstract 5 1. Introduction Introduction Motivation Purpose 9 2. Literature study Value in theoretical perspective Value in practical perspective Value in broader perspective Qualitative study Interview design Results Proposed conceptual model Dominant logic Delineating basic assumptions Quantitative study Methodology Survey development Data collection Results Factor analysis Structural equation modeling In-dept analysis 33

4 7. Discussion The role of components to customer value Attitudes of the consumer Conclusions and recommendations Conclusions Recommendations Contribution, limitations and research directions Contribution Limitations Research directions Reflection 46 Reference list 47 Appendix A 52 Appendix B 58 Appendix C 60 Appendix D 63 Appendix E 67 Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 4

5 Abstract The purpose of this study is to provide insight into which specific components lead to customer value within the context of property development in the Dutch residential real estate market. Recent market circumstances have created necessity for property developers to shift focus towards the needs of the consumer and customer value has become a central issue in contemporary property development. Literature study provided a formative higher order construct to model the components (dimensions and drivers/cost-drivers) of customer value. Subsequently, qualitative research was performed by conducting in-dept interviews with industry professionals with the goal of gathering input for the quantitative study. The quantitative study was performed through an online survey in which consumers, registered as active housesearchers, participated. The formative construct was established from raw data through structural equation modeling. Results indicate that drivers have far more contribution to differentiate on customer value than costs. In particular, the driver-dimensions customer attention, conceptuals, locations, co-creation and branding display considerable effect on customer value. In contrast: the driver-dimensions installations, casco structure and outdoor space have only weak influence on customer value. Acquisition-, direct- and operations costs display quite weak effects on customer value as well. Furthermore, the results imply that service orientation of a developer is becoming increasingly important with a substantial amount of intangible components focused on the processes in which a house is created. It is recommended that a developer applies a service orientation, concentrates on the development process for (mutual) value creation and places the consumer as a central actor in this process. Moreover, it is recommended to focus strongly on intangible drivers as customer attention, conceptuals, co-creation and branding. The focus on locations, as a tangible driver remains important as well. It is recommended that a developer only focuses on costs as complementary to the focus on drivers. Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 5

6 1. Introduction 1.1 Introduction The real estate industry is still governed by a supply regulated market mechanism, in particular in its development and construction processes (Verveen 2009). This mechanism is based on the concept that dictates a focus on tangible output and which dominated marketing beliefs in the early industrial era (Vargo and Lusch 2004). For long, strategic ground positions and political power fronts protected the industry and brought it financial prosperity (Rengers and van Uffelen 2006). In the Dutch market, a growing population, economic growth and governmental legislation and incentives boosted the demand for housing. However, recent market conditions caused high rates of project failure and large losses were incurred by property developers (Rietdijk 2010). As a consequence, these market conditions urged actors within the industry to reconsider their business-practices. The needs of the consumer are starting to become the central focus of developers and the supply-regulated mechanism is becoming obsolete in contemporary property development. More specifically, a developer has to fulfil those (relevant) needs which are present in the consumers mindset if it wants to attain commitment from the consumer. Consumer needs are a direct representation of their value-perceptions for a product or service (Park, Jaworski and MacInnis 1986). Therefore, in the context of this study value for the consumer (customer value) is the central focus. The choice for this focus stands to reason since consumers are the ultimate decision makers and their (purchase) decisions have detrimental consequences for project success. The context of this study is the Dutch residential real estate market, to provide a wide context of applicability for this study. The research unit is limited to newly build houses for the retail market (ground-dwelling houses and apartments), because property developers concentrate on the development of new houses and/or the redevelopment into new houses. The rental market for houses is not taken into consideration, because this market is outside of the scope of this study. 1.2 Motivation Recent developments indicate that the real estate industry is changing. There are causes which place these developments into perspective. The economic downturn is the first of these causes. Due to economic uncertainty, demand for houses drastically decreased. This trend was strengthened by the tightening credit facilities available to consumers (Elsinga, de Jong-Tennekes Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 6

7 and van der Heijden 2011; Sanders 2009). Strategic (ground) positions of developers dwindled as well. As consumers, they found it increasingly difficult to attract credit facilities to finance ground positions and project investments (Knol and Savelkoul 2009). This indicates that consumers who are in the position to purchase a house are now more critical than ever because of the large amount of houses available to them. The second cause is socio-economic: the increasing individualization of the consumer (Gilmore and Pine 2000). For long manifest needs for housing concealed consumers needs to distinguish themselves as individuals. Now that consumers have a stronger position in the market, they will enforce their needs increasingly upon the developer towards delivering more individualized solutions for their housing (Verveen 2009). The third cause is more socio-political in nature. For long, nearly every new residential property project aimed at increasing value for the developer and the municipality. Municipalities achieved this through the expropriation of (mostly) agricultural land in urban environments. These lands were sold to developers, who build large scale uniform housing projects: Vinex areas (Verveen 2009). However, on national level regulation has been implemented to limit the strategic ground positions of developers and the agricultural land available for development of these Vinex areas has drastically been reduced (Knol and Savelkoul 2009). This is socio-political reasoned, since the government is attempting to recover the unbalance between supply and demand and stabilize the dislocated market- mechanism (Knol and Savelkoul 2009). Beyond the scope of economics and politics The fourth cause is socio-ecological, because environmental considerations affect and reinforce changes within the industry as well. Collective awareness is growing that, considering the limited amount of green landscape left in The Netherlands, the focus of property development must shift from exploiting new land to redeveloping and revitalizing disregarded areas (Traa and Knoben 2009). Furthermore, the emphasis on new housing projects will increasingly be on durability. This durability not only translates to eco-friendliness in construction and energy in housing, but also to the ability of creating comfortable environments for people to live in (Urbanaviciene and Kaklauskas 2009). Moreover, since many property development projects are becoming focused on inner-city, high density areas, multiple stakeholder groups will be involved in the development process. This will increase the complexity of such projects (Michielsen 2010). The fifth cause is socio-technological. Society is becoming increasingly transparent because technological advances tighten social interaction among different stakeholder groups. This enables stakeholder groups to join forces and increase their power towards societal issues Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 7

8 (Maignan and Ferrell 2004). The days that a power front of a municipality and developer overarched the interests of other stakeholders are passed behind, in particular because the increasing importance of social media and communication technology reinforces the power of stakeholder groups fast. These causes show that the strategic position of a developer has been affected and necessitate a developer into the position in which it has to acknowledge the needs of the consumer (and other stakeholder groups) and has to focus on mutual value creation: value for the firm and value for its stakeholders. As earlier indicated, this study only focuses on value (creation) for one specific, but important stakeholder group: consumers. Current state of research The real estate industry is gradually becoming aware of the shift in power from seller to buyer and recognizes that is has to focus more on the consumer in property development (de Lathauwer 2005; Kwee and Hacquebord 2005; Luchjenbroers 2007; Majaama et al. 2008; Tuns et al. 2010; Verveen 2008). Although industry-specific studies have provided guidelines and models for structuring processes to achieve and/or increase customer value, none of these studies really capture the essence of value creation, because a) industry-specific studies are aimed at customer value but do not conceptualize customer value as such, thereby leaving value as an ultimate but unknown condition to be satisfied and b) none of these guidelines and models are based on empirical validation. Mainstream literature (Anderson, Jain, and Chintagunta 1993; Grönroos and Helle 2010; Heinonen et al. 2010; Lapierre 2000; Ulaga 2003; Ulaga and Eggert 2005; Vargo and Lusch 2004) really captures the essence of (customer) value by disentangling value into components and by giving well structured and founded recommendations by which management can improve their value creation-processes. However, what this research stream lacks is that it does not capture the essence and complexity of the property development process and does not account for the industry characteristics that influence such value creation processes. The property development process is characterized by its longevity, high transaction specific investments and associated risks (Muller 2005). Each property development project necessitates a unique approach, not only in the interaction with stakeholder groups but in all relevant technical, commercial, political, financial and legal aspects of a project (Muller 2005). The unique character of property development and the special deployment of resources that it brings with it along are not accounted for in mainstream research. To conclude, mainstream research has provided valuable insights in customer value, but its generalizability for property development is still too Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 8

9 limited. As far as known, no earlier attempts have been made to incorporate customer value empirically in this industry-specific context. 1.3 Purpose Apparently, when value is reflected, a main generalization between industry-specific and nonindustry-specific research streams can be drawn. A generalization is that both research streams consider value as some ultimate perception in the mindset of the consumer (Heinonen et al. 2010; Luchjenbroers 2007; Smeets 2010; Verveen 2008; Zeithaml 1988). The mainstream literature described above indicates that (customer) value is disentangled in components. Without those components, customer value could not exist. After all, a perception must be a composition of certain components which cause a condition of customer value. Lapierre (2000) was the first to confirm the validity of this claim by establishing a construct of components. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to provide insight into which specific components lead to customer value in industry-specific context. The appropriate research question for this study becomes: Which components of customer value can be identified in the residential property development market? In the following section, literature study will provide the theoretical foundation(s) for (customer) value to build further upon. The qualitative study will provide knowledge about the industryrelated components that will be used for modelling customer value. Subsequently, the quantitative study will concern the modelling of customer value into a construct. The three subsequent studies are chosen to provide an elaborate as possible methodological approach to this study. After, results are discussed and conclusions are presented. To conclude, recommendations and future research directions are provided. Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 9

10 2. Literature study 2.1 Value in theoretical perspective Conceptualizations of value Value has undergone extensive review in academic literature to date. In the academic field, many conceptualizations of customer value have been proposed. Zeithaml (1988) refers to customer value as the consumer s overall assessment of the utility of a product based on a perception of what is received and what is given, while Monroe (1991) refers to customer value as a ratio of perceived benefits relative to perceived sacrifice. Parallel to previous definitions, Flint, Woodruff and Fisher-Gardial (1997) conceptualize customer value in a business-to-business context as the customers assessment of the value that has been created for them by a supplier given the trade-offs between all relevant benefits and sacrifices in a specific-use situation. Other studies focus more on the relationship-aspect of value. Ulaga (2003) disentangles the concept of (relationship) value into four characteristics: a) value is a subjective concept, b) it consists of a trade-off between benefits and sacrifices, c) benefits and sacrifices can be multi-faceted and d) value perceptions are relative to competition. Furthermore, Ulaga and Eggert (2005) augment to the concept of relationship value by stipulating the difference between customer value and relationship value. Customer value is value that is created from a transactional point of view and focuses solely on the value and sacrifices that relate to the tangible output of the product or service. The concept of relationship value, which is derived from relationship marketing, has a broader perspective because it considers not only the value of the tangible output but also the value of the relational aspects between customer and supplier. Anderson, Jain, and Chintagunta (1993) recognize this perspective by implicating that relationship value is the perceived worth in monetary units of the set of economic, technical, service and social benefits received by a customer firm in exchange for the price paid for a product offering, taking into consideration the available alternative suppliers offerings and prices. Value identified in constructs As before indicated, Lapierre (2000) was the first who attempted to establish a construct with 13 value drivers for customer value through quantitative validation. In his study, Eggert (2003) contributed to the conceptualization of relationship value by introducing a construct for Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 10

11 relationship value in a business-to-business (B2B) context. Through qualitative research he distinguished eight relationship value drivers, two of which are costs. In their study, Ulaga and Eggert (2005), proposed a formative (higher-order) construct of relationship value in B2B context. In this construct: five relationship benefit dimensions were identified: a) product benefits, b) service benefits, c) know how benefits, d) time-to-market benefits and e) social benefits, as well as two relationship sacrifices: a) process costs and, b) price. An asymmetric effect was confirmed between benefits and sacrifices, because the positive influence of the benefits on relationship value is stronger than the negative effect of the sacrifices on relationship value. The distinction between this study and the study of Ulaga (2003) is that this study models a negative effect of costs to customer value, while Ulaga (2003) models a positive effect of costs to customer value. Ulaga and Eggert (2005) consider costs as sacrifices, while Ulaga (2003) considers costs as (alternative) value drivers. In their subsequent study, Ulaga and Eggert (2006) again used the formative construct to identify which components most strongly influence relationship value in B2B context. The deviation to the previous study is that the benefit dimensions were reduced to three and the cost dimensions increased to three. Again, this study confirmed the validity of the proposed formative construct for (relationship) value. Dominant logic Previous indicates that value has been conceptualized and modelled into constructs. Another distinction among studies resides in the logic under which value is conceptualized. The study of Vargo and Lusch (2004) indentifies that a shift is taking place: transactions in the market-place are moving away from the goods-dominant (GD) logic towards the service-dominant (SD) logic. Value resides decreasingly in tangible output and increasingly in intangible resources as skills, knowledge, information and collaborative relationships with consumers. Woodruff (1997) reflects on this by critically examining the concept of customer value. According to his study, ambiguity exists in the conceptualizations of value because their underlying reasoning is similar but the indicators from which they are composed and the context in which they operate differ. Furthermore, Woodruff (1997) identifies a shifting focus in customers perceptions from GDlogic to SD- or CD-logic and recognizes that many conceptualizations based on the GD-logic seem to come obsolete. As a result of his critique: he introduces a conceptualization in which the logic-shift in the customers perceptions is captured: Customer value is a customers perceived preference for and evaluation of those product attributes, attribute consequences and experiences arising from use that facilitate (or block) achieving the customers goals and purposes in use Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 11

12 situations. Recent research has stretched the boundaries of value even further by placing emphasis on the experiential value, or value-in-use. In their study, Heinonen et al. (2010) consider an SD-logic still as a provider-dominant logic and propose value-in-use as the ultimate instrument to create value. The value-in-use refers to the customer-dominant (CD) logic and reflects the aim of business to create value by focussing not on which need a product or service satisfies, but on what desired experience a product can create for the consumer. Soman and Marambi (2009) stipulate the movement in willingness to pay for economic value (i.e. the value of the tangible good) to experiential value. Core assumption of value It is in particular significant to identify that most mainstream research on value, regardless of whether customer value or relationship value is addressed, focuses in particular on business context and/or business-to-business relationships. Only the studies of Gutman (1982), Heinonen et al. (2010), Vargo and Lusch (2004) and Woodall (2003) focus on business-to-consumer relationships. However, this does not necessarily imply that value is perceived differently in the context of consumer and business. Soman and Marambi (2009) support this assumption by introducing a universally applicable value spectrum: a conceptualization of the value assessment process in which customer value is shown as the value surplus when consumers (or customers) compare incremental benefits with incremental costs. Although there is still disagreement about the exact conceptualization for value, its dominant logic under which it operates and whether it focuses on the consumer in B2C context (customer value) or the customer in B2B context (relationship value), there is consensus among research about its core assumption. Value still reflects the perception of surplus in relation to what consumers (customers in B2B context) receive and what they have sacrificed, regardless of context and whether this surplus is reflected as being tangible, intangible or experiential. This argument is also supported by Woodruff (1997), who implies that there is no dominant logic, but instead they are complementary. Gutman (1982) proposed such a view years ago by implying that product attributes (tangible), consequences (intangible) and experiences (experiential) all create value on different levels in the means-end chain of consumers and therefore function as complementary. Another interesting avenue of research is provided by Woodall (2003). Woodall (2003) proposes a conceptual framework for customer value based on extensive case-study. Value is dually based here: on the object (product) and the subject (consumer). In that sense value is created both for the object based on usage value and for the consumer based on the experience the object creates. This study therefore Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 12

13 proposes value under GD/SD-logic and CD-logic simultaneously. Five value dimensions are provided, two of which based on the object and three based on the subject. 2.2 Value in practical perspective On the other hand, a diversity of studies has examined which particular activities lead to value. Flint, Woodruff and Fisher-Gardial (1997) propose a conceptual model that guides customer perceived-value. However, its purpose is not to provide strategy on how to shape customer value but on how a supplier can identify events in a customers environment that are likely to change their perceptions of value. From identification of these changing values, offerings that tap into these (future) values can be created. This study strongly implies the importance of learning capabilities of a supplier. Sharma and Sheth (1997) propose three ways to create value: a) value creation through relationships with suppliers, b) value creation through alliance partnering and c) value creation through relationships with customers. Both Vargo and Lusch (2004) and Grönroos and Helle (2010) highlight the importance of co-creation initiatives. According to their studies, it is necessary to create value through intensive collaboration with consumers (customers) to jointly develop solutions for their needs. Continuing on co-creation, Alam (2006) stipulates that customer interaction removes the fuzziness in the fuzzy front end of new service development (NSD) and thereby increasing NSD-success. Hoyer et al. (2010) introduce a conceptual model in which they identify stimulators and impediments to co-creation. As they indicate, social media and community building activities are gaining importance as instruments in the process of co-creation. Industry-specific research is also supportive of co-creation (Tuns et al. 2010), but the study by Verveen (2008) and the publication by Kwee and Hacquebord (2005) expand the view on co-creation as an extensive collaboration among firm, consumers and relevant parties in the supply-chain. Heinonen et al. (2010) argue that co-creation alone is not a sufficient condition for creating (superior) value. This study indicates that co-creation is not an end itself, but merely a (possible, but not necessary) supportive instrument in value creation. They argue that instead of focussing on searching how a product fits in the context of the consumer, a firm should focus on the consumers experience(s) to find solutions for problems the consumer encounters. In industry-specific context Luchjenbroers (2007) indicates that consumer experience in residential projects contributes to customer value, thereby supporting the assumptions made by Heinonen et al. (2010). Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 13

14 2.3 Value in broader perspective Thus far, a diversity of studies has proposed theoretical and practical perspectives on value. However, there is also a research stream which focuses on value as part of a network, modelling antecedents and consequences of value in broader perspective. Ulaga and Eggert (2004) explored what function relationship value has in the broader network of relationship marketing and whether relationship value can be considered as an important antecedent to relationship quality. What they found was that in B2B context, relationship value has a direct (positive) influence on the decision of the customer to continue the relationship with the supplier and indirect (positive) through the construct of relationship quality (with the dimensions: satisfaction, trust and commitment). The results show: a) the necessity for business to create (superior) value for the customer in order to continue its business-activities with the customer, b) to focus on creating (mutual) trust between customer-supplier, because trust functions as a mediating variable in the construct of relationship quality and c) that relationship value is an important antecedent to relationship quality. Grönroos and Helle (2010) elaborate that trust is a necessary ingredient to create successful relationships for mutual value creation between customer and supplier. The distinction between both studies is that Ulaga and Eggert (2004) consider trust as part of a construct that is a consequence of relationship value, while Grönroos and Helle (2010) consider trust to be an important antecedent for the creation of value. Either way, trust seems to be a variable that is closely related to value. Furthermore, Chiou and Droge (2006) confirm in B2Ccontext that satisfaction leads to an increase by consumers to invest in specific asset investments (SAI). Satisfaction resembles value to some degree, since both are considered as affective attitudes in the mind of the consumer that lead to some form of consequence(s) (Chiou and Droge 2006). SAI are investments done by consumers in the (acquisition of) product(s) or service(s) of a firm that loose significant value when the consumer switches to competitive offerings. This closely parallels the study by Ulaga and Eggert (2004) in which there exists a positive relationship between value and the customers choice for continuation with the supplier, because SAI are considered to be done only when the customer is satisfied with its supplier. Moreover, Palmatier et al. (2006) have also contributed strongly to value. In their study, they confirmed that relational mediators similar to those by established by Ulaga and Eggert (2004), mediate the relationship(s) between value based antecedents and value based outcomes. Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 14

15 3. Qualitative study 3.1 Interview design In advance, certain themes to be discussed were set up for the interviews. These were derived from a variety of (industry-related) sources (studies, publications and news-items) as well as from the authors knowledge. In line with the studies of Lapierre (2000), Ulaga (2003), Ulaga and Eggert (2005) and Ulaga and Eggert (2006), the themes reflected possible sources of benefits and sacrifices (costs) for customer value. The interviews contained open questions about the themes. The questions were formulated as neutral and uniform as possible to reduce response bias (Robinson, Shaver and Wrightman 1991) Moreover, the open character of the interviews stimulated participants to provide as rich as possible information about the discussed themes and their attitudes towards these themes. Sampling Interviews were conducted with eight industry professionals from two different property development firms in The Netherlands. Respondents were contacted either through telephone or through the use of references provided by an employee of one of the firms. Respondents were invited to a face to face interview or an interview conducted through telephone. Ultimately, six interviews were done face to face and two interviews were conducted by telephone. Sample Both firms belong to one of the leading banking-conglomerates in The Netherlands. Although both firms cooperate on a strategic level, they are autonomously managed. From the eight interview participants, six of them are employed at firm A and two are employed at firm B. Firm A specializes in commercial real estate (offices, retail, public functions etc.) and mixed-use projects (combination of housing with commercial real estate). The development of housing is a substantial part of the business, but is only initiated as part of mixed use projects. This firm is one of the leading developers of commercial real estate in The Netherlands. Firm B is the leading property developer of The Netherlands in the residential market and develops mostly stand-alone residential projects. In composing this sample of respondents, one criterion was most important: the multidisciplinary background of the respondents. By including professionals with different backgrounds and Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 15

16 different functions within the property development process, similarities and differences were found in attitudes towards the pre-established themes in the interviews. The details of the respondents are listed in table 1. participant job participant function Firm market researcher acquisition manager architect (concept) developer project leader marketing and sales coordinator performing market studies, indentifying new opportunities, identifying consumer preferences, creating vision (preliminary plans) locating prime locations,developing initial concepts and conducting feasibility analyses concept development, creating schedules of project requirement, creating concepts, advising and selecting architects for technical detailing and functional design, defining environmental quality concept development, bonding and coordinating development phase, steering affiliated parties, calculating project costs coordinating and steering technical progress of project (construction phase), supervising quality standards and regulations, supervising time schedules, performing regular checks setting up marketing campaigns for projects, creating supporting materials for project sales, handling customer complaints, guiding customer in making choices A,B A A,A B A A A: Property development firm with a focus on commercial real estate and mixed use projects, one of the largest developers in commercial real estate market in The Netherlands, 138 employees and 164 million euro turnover in B: Property development firm with a focus on residential projects, market leader in The Netherlands, 811 employees, 1,5 billion euro turnover in Table 1: Respondents characteristics 3.2 Results On average, interviews lasted 30 minutes to an hour. Grounded theory was used to convert raw information from the interviews into conceptualizations. This qualitative methodology consists of three steps for coding: open, axial and selective coding (Corbin and Strauss 1990). First, open coding was conducted to highlight important information from the interviews. Second, axial coding to categorize this highlighted information into a coding-scheme. The reliability of this process was increased by cross-validating the results from the coding scheme through replication (Gordon 1992) of the scheme by another industry professional who assessed the same raw information from the interviews. After discussing the similarities and differences between those Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 16

17 schemes, a final coherent coding scheme was created. Finally, selective coding was performed in order to build conceptualizations. Axial coding Categorization of the interviews ended in the creation of different benefit- and cost categories, which is visible in table 2. The benefit categories reflect all relevant phases of the property development process in chronological sequence. The benefits are referred to as drivers, because this conceptualization covers their content better. Some drivers are a means to an end and might not be directly considered as benefits to consumers. However, their importance for the end product, ultimately the house itself, is vital because these drivers form consecutive links in the value chain of the end-product. Without their inclusion, the value chain might become disrupted which has consequences for the end product as well. Conceptualizations of the costs were based on the study of Cannon and Homburg (2001), in which three types of costs were identified. These conceptualizations closely parallel the costs consumers are faced with when they involve themselves in the development, purchase and usage of a house. There is one deviation to be distinguished. Direct costs can be incurred at two points, either at decision point 1 or decision point 2. The distinction is that customers who are actively involved in the development phase to shape their house will formally bond themselves to the developer by purchasing their house on paper (decision point 1), while there are also customers who will purchase a house when it is already constructed and ready for delivery (decision point 2). Drivers Phase Costs Ideation drivers Concept drivers Development drivers Construction drivers Ideation phase Conceptual phase Decision point 1 Development phase Construction phase Decision point 2 Acquisition costs Direct costs Delivery drivers Usage phase Operations costs Table 2: Categorization scheme Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 17

18 Selective coding The drivers and cost-driver identified from axial coding are conceptualized below: Ideation drivers Location: the location of is one of the fundaments of property development and is a well-known determinant for success. The importance of location is even supported by quantitative research (Baroussa, Hoesli and Peng 2003). A location can be divided into a) surrounding area (neighborhood), b) landscape (the surrounding view of the project) and c) surrounding facilities (schools, shops, sports accommodation, social and cultural functions). Personal dialogue: a personal dialogue represents a face to face conversation between developer and consumers in order to discover what their needs are. The developer has a coordinating role in this phase and its key goal is to provide the necessary tools for consumers to identify their needs. The secondary goal is to gather this information for further development purposes. Community building: this is an alternative to the personal dialogue. A developer can establish a community through a website. Through this website consumers can express their needs. But it is more of a monologue than it is a dialogue, because there is not a two-way communication. Furthermore, the developer does not provide tools for the consumer to help express his needs. Therefore, this alternative generates less in-dept knowledge than the personal dialogue. The motivation to include this driver is derived from the study of Hoyer et al. (2010). Concept drivers Concepts: concepts are a design translation from the needs gathered at the dialogue/community. The developer incorporates those needs together with technical and legal requirements, as well as the knowledge and vision of the developer on the project. These elements together compose a physical design study: concept. Subsequently, these concepts are judged by consumers. Support to include as important to customer value is provided by the study of van Leent (2009). Public space: a developer designs and creates public space. Public space is the shared space of a project, functions as a connection between the project and the external environment and provides a form of identity for the project. Its design consists of a) green structures (i.e. parks and ponds), b) social structures (i.e. playgrounds and benches) and c) landscape architecture (art objects and sidewalk design). The study of Verveen (2008) advises to focus on public space, as having a considerable influence on customer value. Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 18

19 Development drivers Co-creation: in co-creation consumers (customers) have attached themselves to the project by formally committing themselves to a house (decision point 1, table 2). This house is co-created with the developer within the technical and financial boundaries of the project. The consumer is involved in a process of decisions about the finish (materials), installations (kitchen, bathroom, heating etc.) and structure of the house (placing of walls and doors). As elaborated upon in the literature study, a diversity of studies has indicated the importance of co-creation to customer value. Branding: a developer can brand his name and actively promote this brand all its communications. In such a way, familiarity with projects is increased for consumers. This might affect their beliefs about the quality of the project and/or developer. It is particularly noteworthy that there was somewhat disagreement among respondents about the contribution of this driver. Respondents with more commercial background indicated branding to have an important contribution to customer value, while the technical oriented respondents did not attribute any importance to branding for customer value. Although branding is considered as vital for improving perceived quality and subsequently customer value (Baldauf, Cravens and Binder 2003; Zeithaml 1988), its contribution in the context of property development has not yet been determined by research. Agent: guidance is reflected in the assignment of a fixed agent for consumers (customers). This agent provides elaborate guidance during the development process, a process in which a consumer is faced with many choices and uncertainties. Consumers will have the same agent during the development process to increase the familiarity with the agent and to increase consumer trust. Surface: the surface reflects the square meters of living space available in a house. It dictates to a degree the choices a consumer has to make in decorating the interior. According to one respondent the dominant value for money trade off is also reflected here, because many consumers relate the (perceived) value of the end product to the surface (in square meters) that they get for the price they pay for a house. The presence of a minimum amount of surface is seen as a basic requirement by Verveen (2008). Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 19

20 Outdoor space: the outdoor space refers to the outside space of the house that is directly situated by the house and which is only accessible through the inside of the house. In apartments, this is often referred to as balcony, loggia or terrace. In ground-dwelling houses, this is referred to as the garden. The studies of Kwee and Hacquebord (2005) and Meijer (2008) indicate the importance of outdoor space. Casco structure: this driver reflects the inside structure of the house. A developer has the ability to deliver the house casco. This implies that walls, doors and other installations have been excluded as much as possible. The house is delivered as bare as possible on the inside. This casco structure allows the house to be cheaper, because construction costs of the former elements are being avoided, as well as it provides the consumer with the opportunity to create this structure for own cost(s) and risk(s). Installations: installations are the energy supplying techniques in a house. In particular, there was a common conviction with the respondents that energy saving installations can be identified as a relevant driver for customer value. These provisions are often represented as novel techniques that ensure improved performance in energy-supply while decreasing energy costs and emissions, but against higher purchasing price. In general, such installations will pay-back the initial additional investments after several years of use. De Vries (2010) indicates that consumers attribute value to energy saving installations and are prepared to pay a premium for such installations if they reduce energy-costs considerably. Construction drivers Construction visits: a developer organizes construction visits for consumers (customers). The consumer has the opportunity to invite relatives to join them to see the progress of the house and/or the project. The agent will guide the consumer on these occasions on the construction site. Personal customer file: in this digital file, progress of the construction is kept. This enables a much closer relation with the consumer (customer), since the consumer is being involved in the construction process. The digital file is readily available for the consumer and is updated regularly by the developer / constructor. Delivery drivers: Guidance: at delivery of the house the developer provides an elaborate guidance for the consumer (customer). This guidance translates to an elaborate explanation of all available Customer value in property development: an exploratory study Page 20

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