Innovative technologies are carving new paths for all industries in the way we do business with customers, partners and collaborators, vendors, employees, and other stakeholders. Not to mention how we live, work, and play.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-forwarded the trend, forcing businesses to go digital in a massive way. While the transition started as a crisis response at the beginning, digital transformation is now the gold standard with significant implications on how customers and organizations will do business in the future.
Real Estate in Context
One point is abundantly clear today - we are living in a digitally-dependent world. For the real estate industry, Digital Transformation is the need of the hour as it provides opportunities to scale, enhance customer engagement, and provide transparency while helping real estate developers quickly adapt to changing market conditions.
What is Digital Transformation?
Ketan Sabnis, CEO at Sell.Do, explains,
"First and foremost, digital transformation is not only about technology. The first thing that we think of when we come across the term ‘digital transformation’ is the latest gadgets and applications that can magically transform the way we do business. "
"In reality, digital transformation is a platform to transform a business by refining and bringing together strategies that best work got your business. Enabling such technology helps a business embrace change and mature faster in terms of customer engagement, process refinement, and the shortening of sales cycles."
"In the end, technology can lay a foundation to bring together all elements in a structured and orchestrated manner, hence the term - digital transformation.
While some industries like Automotive, Healthcare, Consumer, Transportation & Logistics, and Media & Entertainment, have been reshaped by digital technology, the Real Estate sector has traditionally been slower to adapt. However, it is never too late for any real estate developer to kick-start the digital transformation of their business.
- Homebuyers and property sellers prefer digital pathways - a sentiment that has intensified steadily in 2020.
- Safety is one reason, of course. Physical interactions have become a non-priority.
- Remote sales and collaboration, is another; making it easier for homebuyers to get information quickly and conveniently.
Challenges Faced by Real Estate Developers Today
With the pandemic accelerating e-commerce adoption, the need for Digital Transformation in real estate has become stronger than ever before. Online property sales have increased across the globe and both, short-term homebuyer needs and a longer-term digital future need to be taken into consideration when adopting solutions to meet the continually evolving needs and wants of customers.
The Top 5 Evolving Consumer Needs
- The Covid-19 pandemic has caused homebuyers to prioritize safety and health over everything else. Even serious homebuyers are hesitant or unwilling to visit sites in person.
- Although much of the product research happens online, the final purchase was predicated on a site visit and an across-the-table discussion with a sales manager. However, in the current scenario, many homebuyers are either unable to or would prefer to not visit project sites in person, resulting in delays in decision-making.
- Residential Real estate buying has always been a collective family decision. Due to safety concerns, vulnerable customer groups like senior citizens or younger members of the family are now unable to participate in the traditional offline homebuying process.
- New and emerging homebuyer segments like millennials and NRIs are on the rise and have a distinct set of needs and expectations.
- Late adopters of digital technology find online portals and tools difficult to use and thus hesitate to participate in digital home buying.
These new consumer needs have brought on new challenges for Real Estate Developers which can be broken down into external and internal challenges for ease of understanding.
Sales-related challenges talk about customer engagement, trust-building, and the transparency of online sales.
Channel Partner challenges talk about remote working and collaboration with external stakeholders like Channel Partners and Brokers to improve sales performance.
Sales-related challenges include
- Businesses need technology that can facilitate the end-to-end digitization of real estate sales, including virtual site visits, post-sales & e-payments, and marketing automation.
- Generic Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are not suited for use in the Real Estate industry as they often miss critical features and functionalities which are inherent to the industry.
- Homebuyers find it difficult to trust developers as they find transparency lacking in the process; for example, a miscommunication of critical information like property details, choice & availability of inventory, pricing, etc.
- Traditional sales make it difficult to engage digital natives and emerging homebuyer segments like millennials and NRIs.
Channel Partner challenges include
- Developers find it difficult to collaborate remotely with key stakeholders like In-house Sales Teams and Channel Partners without proper technology.
- Channel Partners find it difficult to align with a developers’ sales strategy, often due to workforce or other bandwidth issues.
- Developers are unable to track In-house Sales and Channel Partners in real-time, or access reports.
- Managing Channel Partners’ commissions is a tedious job in offline formats.
Solution - Digital Transformation for Real Estate
Today, Real Estate Developers need to challenge conventional industry thinking and prove that homes can indeed be sold entirely online! Digital Transformation helps unlock new avenues of digital sales and marketing to...
Engage & enable homebuyers online
- Engaging new customer segments, like millennials and NRIs, via marketing automation.
- Providing them with technology to buy properties virtually, from the comfort of their homes.
- Re-creating the buying experience for homebuyers on a virtual platform that offers safety and convenience.
- A transparent home buying experience is made possible to provide information on the choice of apartment, clarity on pricing, and availability of inventory.
- Easing the transaction & documentation process to help digitally naive users buy property without any hassle.
Digitize the entire sales process
- Enabling the Sales Team to reach out and engage with relevant target segments through lead-nurturing campaigns, appointment slotting and reminders, and collating customer insights for improved decision-making.
- Helping the Sales Team ensure process transparency with homebuyers to build trust by offering homebuyers virtual project walkthroughs, apartment details, online inventory selection, and pricing information.
- Developers are unaEasing the transaction and documentation process with online KYC verification, simplified e-payments, and e-documentation.
- Creating actionable dashboards, enabling agile decision-making daily concerning pricing, discounts, Channel Partner performance, and the larger sales process.
- Bringing Channel Partners into the fold and equipping them with technology capabilities such as easy tagging of inventory for transparency in ownership, digital walkthroughs, online meetings, and slotting.
- Automating commissions for Channel Partners to reduce the burden on the finance team and accelerating payments.
Case Study - The Impact of Sell.Do CRM for Mahindra Happinest
Mahindra Happinest® partnered with Sell.Do to transition from an offline model to a virtual and completely contactless digital platform for the launch of Happinest Palghar.
Homebuyers in Happinest Palghar have completed the entire purchase process online and from the convenience of their homes by leveraging fully contactless transaction infrastructure, including virtual meetings, online product experience and selection of apartments, and digital documentation and payments.
- 10000+ Leads managed and engaged virtually
- 250+ virtual meetings scheduled per day using the custom-made scheduler tool
- 300+ bookings garnered in just 3 weeks without conducting a single physical site visit
Download the full case study here
SELL DO MAHINDRA CASE STUDY
Digital Transformation for Real Estate
Building an innovative yet sustainable organization with CRM for Digital Transformation lays a solid foundation essential to stand the challenges that may threaten it. What Real Estate Developers need is a CRM that is built exclusively for the industry.
Sell.Do real estate CRM in the Industry is India’s most preferred integrated solution, featuring modules for Sales, Post-sales, and Marketing Automation. The CRM automates the complete sales and marketing cycle and enables sales teams to get more bookings efficiently.
What does this mean for the rest of the industry?
The Indian Real Estate Industry is at a precipice as it has long been resistant to Digital Transformation. Today, technology is leading the way to better customer engagement and efficient sales processes, resulting in greater profitability. Given the circumstances, now would an ideal time for those Developers who have not taken a digital route to do so today.