CRM Transformation in Real Estate

The year 2021 began with continued challenges brought along by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic, virtually every industry, including real estate, has realigned itself to find innovative ways to operate. The need to adopt new technology led the real estate industry to move from legacy systems to new-age PropTech. It is an umbrella term covering every niche requirement of the real estate industry, such as block management software, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, Enterprise Resource and Planning (ERP) software, etc. 

Most medium to large players leverage custom-built legacy CRM (Customer Relationship Management) applications to manage their back-end operations in the UK real estate industry. Be it optimising their business processes, organising and managing their sales funnel or, more importantly, closing deals, it’s all handled by the CRM. Simply put, it is a deal-closing weapon for realtors. However, with real estate businesses hamstrung by the limited capabilities of legacy CRMs, there is a real need to adopt new, more digital, and customer-centric systems for better business outcomes.

Even though CRM ceased to be cutting-edge over a decade ago, the pace of technology adoption in the real estate industry continues to lag. According to a recent post by Forbes, most large and small real estate companies lose 60% to 70% of their transactional data because the data they enter into their CRM represents the bottom of the funnel or of the closed deals. According to a recent Gartner report, 75% of CRMs serve team-specific rather than company-wide needs. Instead of bringing in transparency and open access to data, legacy CRMs encourage silos and fragmentation.

This aspect is starkly evident in the real estate industry. A robust CRM to ensure longevity in the real estate space constrained by legacy CRM systems, the incumbents in the real estate industry are fast losing their competitive edge to the new and more agile PropTechs in a highly competitive marketplace. Legacy CRM systems are ageing relics of the real estate industry, making it difficult for real estate businesses to align themselves with the constantly changing industry regulations.

However, on the flip side, the fear of revamping the business-critical back-end systems eventually becomes an operational nightmare, often leading to loss of productivity and financial loss. Choosing the right technology partner experienced in handling such a critical transformation is vital to overcome this challenge. Since real estate is essentially a relationship-driven industry, the agents need more effective ways to manage numerous customer touchpoints, driving the need for a high-octane CRM platform amplified by nascent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

Core System for One of London’s Biggest Real Estate Firms to Empower Growth

A revamp project undertaken by Kellton Tech for one of London’s most prominent real estate firms was to: empower growth by overhauling their core business system. This hard-pressed decision eventually led to significant benefits. It was a difficult decision to take for the real estate firm, given that 95% of their operations were reliant on that single mission-critical system.

With a vast network of 67 offices across London and the UK, £106.9 million in revenue, our client was at the crossroads of digital transformation. We knew we would have to pull out all the stops to help the realtor realise their vision of scalability and agility from the onset. We deployed a new, robust, high-performance system built on Microsoft .NET 2 Core technology. 

We implemented API connectivity as the traditional core legacy system with limiting third-party integrations. The new system addressed the non-utilisation of data by leveraging this data to provide in-depth and valuable business insights. The most significant outcomes of implementing the new system included boosted efficiency, helped in expanding the business ecosystem and improved the decision-making process. But above all, implementing the new system led to over 30% reduction in technical debts for the client.

Having worked with some of the leading real estate market players coupled with exceptional domain knowledge and sensitivity in revamping existing legacy systems, Kellton Tech finds itself in a unique position. A robust CRM should ensure longevity in the real estate space, but most CRM solutions are standalone applications. Integrating them with existing systems is like a mismatched jigsaw puzzle, very difficult at best. This scenario emphasises the need for a significant digital metamorphosis within the real estate industry to act as an enabler to repositioning the sector with the evolving demands of their customers.

An all-encompassing customised CRM solution is still a viable option. A custom solution with implementation and smooth integration of the latest technologies such as VR, AI, and ML, can help real estate firms gain insights into the selling and buying patterns and improve decision-making through business analytics to stay relevant in today’s market. Most modern real estate businesses realise the value of their data and the potential hazards of keeping it locked behind the walls of a legacy CRM. It is high time that the real estate businesses access all the innovation in the industry and channel their resources into more customer-centric and data-centric technology solutions.

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