Simple, transparent utility metering can be a differentiator for developers1st Aug 2019
In a worryingly flat property market, developers are facing an ever-growing challenge to find value-adds to help them move units.
Security used to be a key feature when it came to the planning, building and marketing of estates and complexes, but this is now considered a given. So, if developers are going to close the deals that deliver the profit margin their investors are looking for, they will need to pay very close attention to the finer details of their offering.
While it may not be obvious, trusted, simple and transparent utility management can make all the difference when it comes to keeping both customers and the managing agents happy.
Municipal requirements make prepaid a must-have
Most municipalities are moving towards bulk electricity supply to estates and complexes. This means they will lay down one meter to the estate, meaning that the bodies corporate or estate managers have to monitor and pay the bill for the whole estate’s consumption.
The prepaid option is vastly superior to trying to manage a post-paid offering with manual meter readings, working out shared services, and then invoicing units. Not only will each unit have its own independently measured meter, but Citiq Prepaid will collect the money from each unit and, once its fees have been deducted, the money will be paid over to the trustee or person delegated to deal with the municipality and they can make one simple monthly payment. In addition, Citiq Prepaid is one of the few vendors that allows clients to log onto its custom-built online portal, where clients can see the industry’s widest range of reports on collections, payments, remittances and more. This transparency truly empowers Citiq Prepaid customers and is a firm favourite with estate managers, owners, and tenants alike.
This solution is elegant in its simplicity. It removes any debate about which tenant has used what electricity – a situation that can lead to lengthy, costly and often deeply unpleasant disputes.
The Citiq Prepaid online system gives estate managers remote access to usage and transaction data and reports. Primary reports are automatically emailed every month, easing the administration burden.
Property owners renting out their units benefit from the fact that tenants use electricity on a pay-as-you-go basis, and make payment upfront. This reduces the owners’ risk of being left stranded with an overdue account, and a tenant disputing their usage.
The transparent nature of the system empowers the tenants to make better use of scarce resources. As the cost of energy rises, having an easy-to-see reminder of how much electricity they have remaining means that tenants can moderate their usage in order to save money.
Taking the pain out of utility purchases
Just as we expect to be able to bank at any time of day, or have become accustomed to 24-hour garages and convenience stores, we want to be able to buy our prepaid electricity easily and via any channel we prefer.
Citiq Prepaid tokens can safely and easily be purchased online using a credit card or instant EFT. The company has the largest network of recharge points in the country, which includes most large retailers as well as many service stations.
Necessity has shifted our reality
One of the unintended consequences of our current economy has been a shift in our living options. The growth of the work-from-home economy, as well as many younger couples choosing to have their parents live with them, makes the ability to accurately and easily measure and manage utility usage all the more attractive. For developers, this should be a compelling selling point when attracting the modern family to their estates.
More than this, with Citiq Prepaid, the meters are easy to install and there are no connection fees, no monthly fixed fees and no switching fees.
Finally, although choosing Citiq Prepaid as your prepaid utility vendor for a new development should be the obvious choice, older estates have not been forgotten. Developments that already have a sub-metering solution, and would like to have access to the Citiq Prepaid benefits, can easily switch.