CRM adoption at Real Estate company: the main hurdles and helpful tips
In the beginning there was a thirsty for increasing efficiency. The business owners were driven by their desires: saving time and money, reducing business risks, satisfying customer demand, getting more clients, have to keep moving forward, finding new ways to improve business effectiveness. Opening new doors, and doing new things – the only direction to success, since the prosperous business is a dance on the razor’s edge of changes.
Nowadays, the real estate companies fall behind in adopting new technologies, using outdated methods of data processing. In other words, most of companies are using email for delivery letters while the real estate companies are using pigeons to carry messages. This is a demonstrative example, what the usage of outdated techniques means for business at present.
Client reasons to adopt CRM system
Once, one of our clients, who have almost 30 years on the real estate market in USA and have about 2500 employees, noticed that staff became less productive than employees of their main competitors. It meant only one thing – something had changed in competitor`s companies. Quick and decisive actions to prevent loss of customers and profit were required, being that business can fail because of not accepting any changes, whereas others are taking the challenges of time. It was found out that main competitors had switched to the use of modern CRM systems, which led to their businesses growth.
From the outset, they decided to ask American contractor to help them in CRM adoption, but afterwards they understood contractor`s solution should be modified to meet their specific needs. Eventually, they found better solution for their business – asked us to resolve this problem.
Defining the scope of client problems
We have started to explore client`s business-processes for choosing suitable strategy of CRM adoption at real estate company.
Firstly, we faced with the high level of autonomy in management. On one hand, it brought many benefits for client, though, on the other hand, it became the roadblock for team synergy. Customer needed the unified think tank which would have spread the best practices across departments, since some immaturity of their business processes was observed. Each department of the company could make decisions independently relying on own vision of the situation, preferences, traditions, hence they were resisting future changes, were not understanding why the changes were necessary.
Secondly, the high level of autonomy in management caused one more problem – emergence of a technical zoo. Therefore every department had independent client base, own tools and utilities which couldn`t work as one whole. There were 33 offices at the company, where different rules were followed. It was a challenge, how to unite these dissimilar parts in one thing.
Thirdly, people’s fears were the biggest obstacles to achievement our goal. Brokers were afraid of losing clients, also they were scared that company or other brokers would steal their client base. Nobody wanted to reveal information about their clients. Everyone was afraid of missing out profits. Therefore there was no trust between all participants of business process.
Fourthly, we encountered with lack of coherence between real estate brokers, who were not interested in being valuable team players. They looked like the lone sharks, which were needed to learn hunting as a pack of wolves. These lone sharks were learning how to create synergistic environment, that is to achieve common team goals through sharing knowledge and team’s interactions, which would have provided the increase of efficiency and performance.
In addition, there was revealed one more problem – brokers avoided to use CRM in their daily business operations explaining that it is just a wasting of time and energy using needless tool at work. They were focused on spending time only on things that generate money and didn`t clearly understand what benefits of using CRM they could get.
Our problem solving approach
Using what we have learned about client`s business processes we started our journey that would have resolved the CRM adoption problem.
First of all, the common rules for overcoming management chaos were implemented. There were used the best practices of the most effective departments for development of corporate standards for business processes.
After the business process standardization was finished it was possible to realize one technical solution for all 33 departments of the real estate company and resolve the problem of total technology mix.
The next solution of client problem was the most difficult. Beating broker`s fears of losing clients demanded the creative approach. In order to consolidate information about customers of all departments into a single database, we exploited such approach: dividing the information into private (possible transactions, negotiations) and public (concluded deals, historical deals, contact data of customers) based on its value for brokers.
As a result of CRM adoption, system of motivation was changed, culture of teamwork and team based rewards were applied. The lone sharks had turned into a pack of wolves. By understanding the potential of teamwork and subsequently implementing it, the company could swiftly change both their organizational process as well as their bottom line.
The last but not least, we had to force the brokers to change their habits and use CRM to their day-to-day operation through demonstration all benefits of using CRM. We noticed that all brokers had been using old application to calculate commissions so, we implemented this function in CRM. Willy-nilly, brokers had to registrate their clients, concluded deals for earning commissions. Also we tried to accustom brokers to use this CRM, showing its possibilities, for example, how to output useful information about sales in the region.
Finally, all our efforts were rewarded. CRM adoption was finished successfully. Thanks to our experience, we have got valuable knowledge and understanding of the problems in the real estate business, and how technologies can increase the productivity and save a lot of time.
Dynamica Labs is one of the oldest Dynamics CRM Partners and one of a very few companies with ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification for Dynamics CRM project delivery services.
For over 15 years we have been focused on 3 key CRM project goals: delivering measurable business results, following a cost-effective approach, providing the highest quality standards. Over the course of these years, we've taken part in hundreds of projects from SMEs to blue-chip global companies.