Starting a data-driven Customer Journey within Real Estate.
Becoming data-driven is becoming better informed, able to meet new expectations, and to make better decisions based on digital facts. And data makes it possible to create a great customer journey.
The customers today are digital and expect a seamless experience when in contact with you as a company regardless of industry. This is also true for the real estate business! Your customers count on you, to magically know all the details of your relationship with them. In real time. Across all touchpoints. And through different channels. Their expectations cover every step of their customer journey. And you need to make each step go from good to great, to stay interesting.
To do this you need to look into your customer data. Above all, you need to make your data work for you. To handle all the data, you need to automate the process with a smart system. This is true even if you only have a few touchpoints and a few customers. And with the right system, the process will work for both your customers and your employees.
Example of a customer journey for a real estate company. The customer life cycle starts with the search of a new place to rent, continues with examining the object, followed by negotiating and signing the contract, getting the keys, moving in, paying the rent as a steady and valuable customer, getting add-on services that nurture the relationship, and it ends with a beautiful exit and possible return of the customer in the future.
The data-driven customer journey, step by step
The system itself does not solve anything, the important thing is what data you use and your strategy to make the data do its work in the touchpoints with your customers.
Regardless of system, it is strategic to define the steps in the customer journey and to do it from the customer’s point of view. What does your customer data tell you? What should the customer experience look like, in each step? What will make the difference for the customer? What would make the experience truly great? The journey differs from company to company (and even from customer to customer), but these basic steps are a good start:
- Search for information The customer journey starts with a lead that is looking for a place to rent. This could be a new contact or a current customer looking for a new solution. In this step you need to show your potential spaces in the right channels and pick up on requests from leads quickly, if you do not want to lose a deal. Make sure to follow your data, to make sure that you use the right message, timing and channels.
- Dialogue, viewing, contract signing When the potential customer shows interest they expect a smooth experience when viewing the object, receiving offers and signing the contract. Digital solutions are taken for granted by your customer and must be in place. Do not miss the opportunity to offer add-on services that fulfil the customer’s needs and increase your profit. Data can help you choose the right offers.
- Onboarding When it is time to move in, you need effortless onboarding. This is where the customer experience starts, so it is a critical touchpoint. Make sure you make it a great one. You might want to evaluate new technology, since it can enhance the experience, e.g. digital keys and a real time welcoming message with possibility for your customer to give you immediate feedback (that also enhance your data).
- Customer relationship When the customer is in place, you want to receive payments on a regular basis. You also want to have a satisfied customer that stays as your tenant. Make sure to make the relationship easy for the customer. And keep on measuring the customer satisfaction. Ask for feedback to enhance the experience even further. Use facts, use data, change things accordingly and let your customer know that you are interested and invested in the relationship.
- Ancillary services, offers Do not be afraid to offer your customers upsell during the customer journey. If you keep offering add-on products and services that the customer perceives as valuable and enhancing the experience, you will have a win-win situation. Make sure that your offers are easy to understand and accessible when the customer wants them. Set goals and follow up on your data, to make sure that you reach your targets (if not, make adjustments accordingly!).
- Relocation, move out At some point, you will have tenants that for different reasons choose to move on. Make sure that they experience a beautiful exit, and show interest in their experiences with you. Perhaps you will be able to win them back one day just because you made an effort to get to know them better. That is collecting data too, you know.
Set your goals, measure, follow up and learn
For each touchpoint, set goals for what you want the customer to experience or do in each step. In this way, you can easily measure your performance. Let me give you an example: In Step 1 the goal can be to respond to potential tenants’ search for information within 24 hours. In Step 2 the goal can be that the customer buys at least one of your add-on offers when signing the contract. Make sure to follow up on your performance. If you do not reach your goals, make adjustments and try again.
Let your customers guide you
Use your data and identify the different channels where you will be in touch with your customers. Where do you need to be and when? What are your customers’ expectations and what is possible to solve from an internal point of view? Think digital and practical – in many cases self-service is expected from your customers.
Work with your data as you go
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being data-driven, if you want to get the customer journey to work properly. Define the steps and make sure you have the correct data needed for each one. Perhaps you do not have the data in your database yet. Then, you can gather it during the process. Also, make sure to check and clean the data through each step throughout the journey. This way, you never miss the opportunity to improve on your database. You can only be truly data-driven with correct data.
Best of luck with your journey
I hope you feel inspired to create your own data-driven customer journey now. If you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out. We have done this before and know both the challenges and the solutions that will make it work.
Industry Lead Professional Services/Real Estate
+46 (0)73 661 21 35