Digital Transformation Insights: The Property & Real Estate Industry

Introduction

The process of purchasing or leasing a new property can be a disconnected and stressful experience for a Customer. It can be an overly complicated, non-personalised, lengthy process. However, the real estate space has seen a rapid digital transformation in the last few years, adapting to the market changes and heightened Customer demands. From spreadsheets and papers to disconnected data sources, companies are increasingly moving towards digital CRM solutions to create a 360° view of their Customers across their business, leading to an enhanced Customer experience and happier employees.

Customers now require a service that is personalised, organised, and digitally accessible. Salesforce has filled this necessity for the real estate space, providing a CRM solution that gives employees access to all the tools, data and insights they need to ensure Customers receive the best experience possible.

Alongside our friends at Salesforce, MuleSoft & Tableau, we held our annual Property Summit on April 29th 2021. We sat down with a few of our real estate Customers to discuss their experience with their Salesforce integration, and how they used Salesforce to focus on three key areas highlighted as critical for success. These are; The Client Experience, Driving Efficiencies across Organisations, and Empowering Employees. This blog will explore how Salesforce has developed and improved the Client Experience for our Customers, and how they have gained a competitive edge in the real estate marketplace.

Personalising the Customer Experience

The renting, buying and property managing process is certainly not a one size fits all. It is crucial that real estate companies cater to the personal wants and needs of each Customer. This has become far more achievable with the integration of innovative technology into the real estate space.

Salesforce makes providing a personalised service to every Customer a much more streamlined process for both Customers and employees. Every interaction the Customer has with the company is collected as data, ensuring that when the Customer logs onto the portal all the content that they see and conversations they have are tailored to their needs. This is used to deliver a highly personalised experience, keeping the Customer interested, engaged and creating an interactive and enjoyable journey.

At our summit, Scott Knight and Paul Glibbery from Grainger Plc discussed how Salesforce has created additional value in their CRM and their Customer’s experience. Scott said; “The platform provides our employees with the data and tools they need to give ongoing exceptional service to our residents.” Sally Jackson from CALA similarly highlighted that they’ve seen a significant transformation in their Customer experience. She explained; “our customers feel far more valued when they call in, teams are able to recognise who is calling, and then prepare for the conversation accordingly.

Speed and Simplicity of Customer Service

With the progression and development of the digital space, Customers now expect a more straightforward and faster purchasing journey. Customers now also anticipate a journey where they are able to serve themselves, and can seamlessly transition from the beginning of their journey, up until its completion.

The complexity of the real estate Customer’s journey can now be streamlined and simplified through the implementation of technological solutions. Mark Abram of Residential Management Group stated “Salesforce has made the customer experience much better, but also the staff enjoy the visibility it provides and they feel like they are helping the customers an awful lot more”. Steve Sullivan at PHS Group added that “Salesforce has put in established processes that are now consistent throughout the business” which has helped them deliver a consistent and connected Customer experience.

In a recent Salesforce article, Allan Walker, Director of Sales and Transformation at CALA Homes added “With Salesforce we aim to give customers a seamless buying experience and empower our people with better workplace technology – I don’t think it is a coincidence that we broke our sales record three times in nine months after going live.

Physical and Digital Customer Service

The key for success for many businesses in the past year has been adapting to an online environment that is accessible by all stakeholders from anywhere. Scott Parris reported that Hammerson saw their strategy shift from a pure physical retail, to a physical and digital mixed approach. Scott highlighted that this blended approach has “seen a significant increase in their online sales”, specifically within a “10-12 mile radius” of their physical locations. He highlighted the importance for customers to be able to experience the brand in a physical space, but also being able to continue to engage afterwards in the digital space.

A key takeaway is that real estate companies that aren’t prepared to digitise their customer experience to will certainly struggle. The Customer journey is complex. Therefore, as Martin Corry from Salesforce summarises; “companies must provide their customers and clients with a more transparent, flexible service that’s directly focused on their needs.” It is essential that companies personalise their offerings, streamline the process, and blend their physical and digital approaches, ensuring Customers have best experience possible whenever and however they engage with a company.

In addition to the key role Customer experience has for business success, our property summit also highlighted the importance for real estate companies to consider driving efficiencies across their business and empowering employees with insights and data. Both of these will be covered in separate blogs for you to enjoy!

Read the next blog in the series: Enhancing Efficiency in Real Estate

To start the journey to revolutionise your Customer experience, please get in contact with us!

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