Saturday, February 25, 2012

Using CRM in Real Estate to Stay Ahead of Competitors

In today’s expeditious culture, coupled with an ever-evolving market and a well informed customer, Real Estate professionals face some major challenges in how to battle with this corollary in their volatile industry.

Widespread exposure to technology – the internet in particular - has encouraged buyers, vendors and clients to demand detailed information and that too, within their desired time frames. In addition, the current scenario has made it a tricky task to attract, deal with, retain, and satisfy today’s customer in the real estate market. This is one industry where every single customer is different from another - varied backgrounds, economic conditions, needs, wants, and mindsets.

As a result, there is a primary need for personalization and flexibility in order to cater to the diverse requirements of the assorted clientele. The best strategy to meet these challenges is to understand, build and manage a fundamentally strong and long term relationship with customers.

Challenges faced by the Real Estate sector
It is evident that the Real Estate industry needs Innovation in finding, segmenting, managing and finally satisfying customers. Finding cross-selling and up selling opportunities is another huge challenge.

The Real Estate sector is growing fast across all directions making it much like a roller coaster ride. Forward looking companies are looking to gain a competitive advantage. The strategy with the biggest impact would be to identify what the most innovative differentiators are and nail them.

A plethora of projects flooding the Real Estate Market gives the buyers a wide choice. In addition, the current working population has a better spending capacity. People who invest in property expect the best services and thorough professionalism from the developers. Distinguishing services is what customers look for and they do not mind paying a premium for the same.

Additionally, the heterogeneous customers in this industry necessitate their segmentation into homogeneous groups. This is important to enable companies to design effective marketing campaigns and other strategies for the targeted groups, thus taking the best action in conversion of prospects to customers. The segregation also makes it simpler to effectively follow up and provide better after sales service.

Given the current situation, it is vital that developers focus on selling ‘value’ rather than ‘commodity’. Every project stands apart from another in terms of location, features, price, services provided, after sales and so on. It is therefore important that the uniqueness of each project is highlighted and make evident why it is worth investing in a particular property. This has to be achieved by positioning the differentiators in a convincing manner. The smartest solution to all the above issues is most understandably a CRM solution.

Importance of CRM in the real estate sector
CRM for the Real Estate sector facilitates change, since it possesses the agility which is necessary to meet the changing customer and industry requirements. CRM increases customer loyalty and helps fulfill the informed customer’s expectations.

CRM is defined as an approach that helps to transform as well as integrate people, business processes, functions and technology in order to optimize relationships with all types of customers that the organization comes in contact with. It helps real estate professionals become more productive and effective in managing prospects and customers. Sales and marketing functions are better managed and executed. Pathway and guidance in lead generation, lead management, and retention of existing customers is facilitated through a good CRM system.
  • Customer Segmentation: CRM solutions help in effective segmentation of the market. In turn segmentation allows companies to focus and cater to the particular preferences and needs of each group. Effective campaigning can also be carried out by targeting the selected groups, thus enabling a comprehensive approach in planning and budgeting. As opposed to targeting one big heterogeneous group, having smaller, specific groups would increase overall productivity & maximize ROI.
  • Effective Communication: CRM software provides companies with several tools and mechanisms needed for effective communication management with prospects, and allows structured sales process.
  • Manage Long Sales Cycles: Typical Real Estate sales life cycle (whether outright purchase or lease) involves several company – customer interactions. It becomes imperative that these interactions are tracked, analyzed, followed up and utilized effectively. Doing so helps in deciding the best plan of action to convert the lead to customer. Such data is sensitive and needs to be properly managed. CRM helps achieve this.
  • Property administration: This is a crucial step to automating sales process. A web-based site administration tool could make it easy to create and manage each property in the company’s portfolio, from basic address information to floor plans, upgrading of packages and status details of each unit in the property. 
  • Market Intelligence: CRM software helps to configure developments to precisely meet buyer needs, with real time information on locations, cost and availability. It can also be designed to provide real time pricing and inventory information, thus helping to optimize prices, maximize profits, and capture potential lost revenues. 
  • Document management:In the Real Estate industry this is elaborate and complex. CRM software's document creation and management tools make document handling and management easy, leading to better organizing of all kinds of important data. The system helps centralize documents vital to the real estate sales and closing process. Salespeople and other key users can then create contracts and other documents for each transaction. The most dramatic benefits are seen for companies operating multiple property sites.  
CRM solutions in this industry will serve to improve service operations, increase up selling by capturing, tracking and resolving issues in a unified system. Order tracking and accuracy is also increased. Sales trends which are needed for enhanced decision making and planning are also made available. A thorough understanding of the complicated Real estate market, the alert competitor, the demanding & knowledgeable customer, is all made possible by a comprehensive CRM solution.

Conclusion
The Real Estate sector is the touch point for millions of customers on an everyday basis, necessitating the need to develop and intelligently manage a large variety of customers who have a diversified set of requirements. Providing anything short of excellent customer understanding and service will cause failure. Therefore, it is mandatory that CRM solutions be included in the business process of the Real Estate industry to ensure that customer relationships are strengthened and maintained to ensure maximum profitability.


1 comment:

  1. Great writing and thank you for sharing it with us I really like that …
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