New technology for homebuilders comes and goes, fast. Although some technology has proven to be more useful than others, one piece of sales and marketing technology that’s here to stay is customer relationship management (CRM) software.
At its core, customer relationship management is the combination of all activities, strategies, and platforms used to manage data and interactions with customers. CRM software has become an essential part of many home builders’ sales and marketing functions. The main question that home builders ask is “which CRM is best for me?” But rather than listing the various CRM options out there, we think it’s important to first take a step back and explore why you need a CRM.
Acquiring leads is the goal for all homebuilders. However, once you’ve got a lead the bigger question is what to do next. As an organization grows, managing leads can get out of hand quickly. CRM platforms offer a solution to manage and automate customer engagements in one place, ultimately resulting in happier homebuyers. In other words, companies that invest in a CRM software are able to put the customer at the heart of their business, which is the fastest way to increase home sales and grow your business.
WHAT DOES A GOOD CRM SYSTEM DO?
Puts your customer first– A CRM system should support a customer centric strategy. Creating a customized buying experience begins long before a homebuyer signs the dotted line; it begins from the moment they first interact with your organization. A good CRM platform recognizes the importance of your customers and emphasizes the buying experience throughout the entire sales process.
It is important to ensure that your choice of CRM not only improves the efficiency of your team, but it does so in a way that improves the home buying experience as well. Different CRM systems offer different value-drivers to achieve this. Whether it’s through personalization, automation, lead scoring, or follow-up reminders, the right CRM for your business should help to elevate the customer journey from first interaction through to customer success.
Centralizes data-A good CRM platform should combine all sales, marketing, and customer success data into one central database. This allows your organization to have a 360-degree view of the homebuyer for all team members. It also provides cross-team access to easily manage all information via a shared location. This improves team efficiency and customer handoff across functions.
Additionally, from a customer success point of view, a CRM facilitates a seamless customer experience. Any member of your team can pick up exactly where the last team member left off, making the homebuyer feel important and personally supported.
As an example, one member of your sales team might make a note that a homebuyer showed interest in a particular model home. At this point, a member of your marketing team could customize an email that shows the features or mortgage breakdown for that home. This process helps to nurture the lead through the homebuying journey and also makes the homebuyer feel listened to and supported on their home search.
Integrates with other systems–When choosing a CRM platform, most home builders are looking for one that has a relatively flat learning curve and creates the least amount of disruption for the team. As a homebuilding technology company ourselves, we understand the importance of integrating all your technologies for a seamless experience. Our engagement platform utilizes recommendations and nudges to empower homebuyers to find the right home for them faster. Available as an add-on to existing websites, we ensure that we integrate seamlessly with all your systems, including your CRM. You’re not buying a CRM as yet another item in the collection of different work systems. You’re buying it to help you streamline your business operations!
That is why you should ensure that the CRM you choose integrates with your current systems, as well as tools your sales and marketing team may use in the future. Whether this is an ERP, chatbot, marketing automation or loan approval software, you must be able to easily and automatically feed data into your CRM.
Automates communication-With a CRM, your team will never have to spend time logging emails, calls, sales centre appointments, and interactions — all of this information will be automatically collected and aggregated within the system. Many CRM platforms also allow your marketing team to automate email marketing campaigns. Email automation helps you to stay top-of-mind with your customers by sending out well-timed and personalized emails. If your team is using email marketing, we would highly recommend choosing a CRM that takes your email strategy to the next level.
Reporting-A good CRM platform allows your team to collect and organize data about prospects or deals, using reporting features such as a sales dashboard and generated reports. Many solutions allow your team to customize your reports to best support your sales and marketing operations. These reports can work alongside your other analytic systems to give you a holistic view of your business.
At OpenHouse.ai, we have developed a platform that provides industry-leading insights into your homebuyers. Using real-time behavioral data from your website, in combination with industry metrics, we can provide actionable insights for understanding your customer. By choosing a CRM platform that offers sales-team reports along with our real-time customer insights, your team can develop a holistic view of your business and it’s customers.
WHICH CRM SHOULD I CHOOSE?
CRM solutions come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It’s important to compare the various solutions out there to determine which will offer the most value for your business at the right price point. An effective CRM system will help to create a better experience for both employees and customers. It will equip sales, marketing, and customer success teams with the proper resources to manage leads and marketing initiatives.
Throughout this blog, we have outlined some of the key features that homebuilders should look for in a CRM. But at the end of the day, it’s important to choose a system that best supports and fits into your business operations. Here are several questions we would recommend asking yourself when determining which CRM solution is right for your team.
- Which features are necessities for our team? Which features are a want but not a need?
- What is our budget for a CRM platform?
- Who/ how many team members will require access to our CRM?
- Does this platform allow for integration with my existing systems?
- Does this platform provide training for my team?
- Does it put my customer first?
Now that you’re equipped with a firm understanding of the value of a CRM platform, along with a list of questions to ask your team, here are a few common CRMs we see homebuilders use to get your search started.
There is no doubt that a CRM strategy and platform plays a critical role in a homebuilder’s success. Regardless if you’re selling 50 homes per year or 1000, each homebuyer deserves a personalized experience– and that’s where a CRM comes in. It is no easy feat to decide on a new technology to integrate into your business, but mapping out your primary needs and a firm budget is a great place to start. Despite the fact that you may not need all of the features and gadgetry many of the CRM systems on the market now offer, it doesn’t mean that your company won’t need more advanced functionality in the future. At OpenHouse.ai we are a forward thinking company that is passionate about the digital transformation of the homebuilding industry. Paired with a customer-centric mindset, we believe that creating a positive home buying journey is essential and by integrating a CRM, you are doing just that.
To learn more about how our platform uses AI-technology to increase homebuyer’s website lead capture by 75%, fill out the form below!
– The OpenHouse.ai Team