It has been a busy month for Sky Homes, not least because I’ve recently joined the team and so I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself in this edition of the round-up.  I’ll be heading up the Sky Homes and Indirect Sales team, which means I’ll be focused on new business and developing strategic partnerships to continue to grow our footprint in the residential property space. I’m not new to Sky however – as I’ve been in the Sales & Marketing team for the past eight years.

As we know, house building is going through a period of transition and expansion as we come out of recession and face a shortfall of affordable homes to meet current demand. Help to Buy, Right to Buy and other government initiatives are driving new interest and encouraging first-time buyers, which means that property developers are now playing catch-up to get new homes built. 

There’s no doubt that it is a competitive space. The property developers we are working with recognise the importance of staying ahead of the curve on technology and giving homebuyers and renters exactly what they want and expect. 

As an added incentive for house builders and buyers alike, Sky often works with new home developers to offer discounts for new residents – [St George] and [Get Living London] to name but two. 

We also work in partnership with Fibre network partners and this month we announced that we have teamed up with [LivingCom], a subsidiary of CableCom Networking servicing the private rental market, to offer residents a package of high quality digital TV services. So, what this means for residents is that they can opt into a package which includes LivingCom’s high speed broadband and the full range of Sky TV services, including Sky+HD and Sky Go, free for 6 months.

This month, we also took to the platform at the Housebuilders Federation Annual Conference where we talked about some of the ways we are working with house builders and fibre partners.  One of the drivers in the discussion is what we call ‘walk-in working’ and this is essentially working with property developers to meet expectations from the public.  Long gone are the days when having access to high-quality digital TV was a luxury, people now expect it from the moment they walk in through the front door to their new home. House builders are now responding by giving house buyers access to the best in TV technology as one of their core utilities, set up from day one.

In November, we’ll also be at the ARMA Conference (http://arma.org.uk/training-events/arma-conference), where we’ll be talking to Managing Agents about how they can get access to or upgrade their communal TV systems.  ARMA introduced ARMA-Q this year, which is a brand new standard for the property management industry, designed to regulate and recognise quality of services delivered by managing agents and property managers.  We know, from our own experience, that many Managing Agents are asked by their residents or groups of residents to install a communal TV system into their block, so that they can access digital TV services like Sky.

And finally, in a brief update on what Sky customers can expect from us, the latest innovations include a suite of Sky apps for use with compatible mobiles, tablets or laptops. These include the Sky+ app enabling users to control their Sky box and record favourite programmes remotely, and Sky Go for watching shows from any location with an internet connection. All Catch-Up TV and download services are also now integrated into the same Sky+HD box for added convenience and simplicity.