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The industry today.

The real estate sector has historically been characterized by functioning as an intermediary activity between those who offer a property for sale or rent and those who wish to acquire said property. However, the professionalization of the sector and its close contact with the development and construction sectors have generated constant growth, as well as the need to reinvent itself from the point of view of marketing and sales.

The purchase, sale, or rental of a property is an activity of certain consideration that involves large investments of money. Whoever makes the decision to acquire a property, does so considering several variables and seeking to deposit the money saved for a long time in reliable professionals.

The real estate sector depends notably on some factors such as the economic situation and legal provisions, which generate obstacles and inconveniences. In addition, the work of the real estate agent is subject to different realities depending on the area in which it is located.

In Latin America, new trends such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain are coming to the real estate market, as well as the so-called real estate marketing.

However, there are some problems in the sector that will be analyzed below, formulated after exhaustive meetings with their referents.


Main challenges.

Below, we will mention some of the problems that this sector faces, to which we recommend paying attention so as not to have to face worse consequences.

In the real estate sector, it is not estimated to work with defined and formalized processes: most of the operations fall on the director of the company, who carries the majority of tasks.

Although most real estate companies have different departments (sales, administration, accounting), there is still a strong dependence on the figure of the director, who fully controls the accounting, financial and legal processes.

Regarding traceability, in the real estate industry, there is a problem of a lack of follow-up of documentation and operations, since there are no formalized processes.

Closely related to the previous point, this is linked to the dependence of all processes on one figure, that of the real estate owner. This means that all the important documentation and the follow-up of the procedures fall to a single person and not to a work team.

Selling a property is a considered sale, so it is essential to have commercial skills to advise the customer. On many occasions, the real estate professional must guide someone who comes to their services without having a clear idea of the desired property. When selling, sellers must know the needs of their customers and their habits to offer them the property that best suits their lifestyle.

Likewise, in the case of the real estate agencies that they manage, attention to the owner or tenant is also important, as well as their follow-up once they have already acquired the property.

In the real estate industry, processes are mostly manual. There is still precariousness in terms of the use of sophisticated software, limiting itself to recording sales and accounting in Excel templates and notebooks. Although there is a growth in CRM specialized in real estate, the industry is still reluctant to adopt some technologies.

The previous points lead us to talk about planning: in the real estate industry, there are problems when it comes to planning in the medium and long term.

Many times, they take the economic and monetary instability as factors that make it difficult to establish planning. Other times, the argument is that a property has an indefinite time of sale, which can be in two months or two years.

The truth is that there is still no clear direction on how to plan in the real estate industry.

As an inevitable consequence, if there are no processes, indicators cannot be obtained: in this way, it is also not possible to measure if the industry is moving on the right path or what factors need to be improved. These data are often dumped in an unprofessional and little systematized way.

Our analysis


1. Business model.

Within the real estate industry, different business models are included: the first of them is the real estate agency as an intermediary between those who seek to buy and those who seek to sell a property, as well as rent one. On the other hand, there is the real estate agency that, in addition to selling and renting, is in charge of the administration and maintenance of the property, as is the case with building consortiums. A third model is that of real estate, which is also developmental, that is, it intervenes from end to end in the value chain, financing the constructions, having an architecture and design team, and then marketing the properties and taking care of their maintenance.

In each of these types, the activity is very different, so there are great differences in their work processes. In this report, we focus the analysis, particularly on the real estate that is only in charge of the intermediation and the purchase-sale process, or rent.


2. Customers.

There are different types of customers who come to a real estate agency: those who are looking for a home to settle down with their family, those who want to acquire land or property as a way of investment, or those who are looking for their first house or apartment. Whether for sale or rent, it is a customer who needs advice. As indicated by workers in the sector, customers are rarely sure of what they are looking for in a property and even if they have a vague idea, they need the real estate consultant to know their needs to indicate the best option.

Customers are conditioned by several variables, especially the economic one. In addition, not everyone has the same intention when purchasing a property. According to what was investigated, many times the problem in the real estate sector is the lack of good quality customer information.

There are two instances where the real estate agent can take information from customers: in the initial conversation, to find out their needs, and when the transaction is closed, to know their sales profile.

The profile of someone looking for an apartment to rent for their son who is starting university studies is not the same as someone looking for a large home with certain amenities in an exclusive neighborhood to consolidate their family life there. Therefore, being attentive to certain characteristics is essential in terms of the sales sector.

Are you looking for a property to live alone, as a couple, or with family? What life project do you want to build there? By sharing information about your family composition, interests, lifestyle, and work, you can get more information from customers that will help you discover customer needs.


3. Planning.

Determining a plan becomes one of the most important challenges for the real estate sector: without planning, the real estate becomes not very scalable. According to the information collected, the real estate industries that are also developers have a certain stock (they produce the real estate they sell) that allows them to know how long the demand will extend. On the other hand, in real estate agencies that are exclusively intermediaries, it is still not clear how they execute their planning. In these cases, planning becomes essential to know how many homes are intended to be sold or rented in a certain period of time.

For this reason, it is important to set goals, especially in an industry as demanding as real estate. Based on our analysis, this is an environment conducive to planning, so it is important to set objectives that allow us to determine the direction and where the real estate company wants to go in the next three years.

Even in environments with an unstable context, where planning does not seem like an option, it is necessary and should be done to have a direction to follow. In addition, it allows tracing the actions that will lead to the fulfillment of the objectives. Consolidated real estate agencies, which have several departments, can work with an operational plan: marketing will bring qualified leads to whom to sell those properties, and sales will be in charge of managing those contacts to manage the business.

Planning provides predictability of the number of properties that will need to be sold or rented, and when it will be done. Having an objective is useful as long as realistic and achievable goals are set according to each real estate agency.


4. Dependency on referrals.

In the real estate industry, even more than in other fields, customers come for recommendations and referrals. This is a common practice: although social networks and online virtual real estate portals also attract a large number of customers, the truth is that “word of mouth” is still the main channel.

Many workers in the sector establish a close bond with some of their customers, in such a way that, if they have to do an operation of these characteristics again, they do not hesitate to trust this real estate agency again and recommend it to their relatives.

This leads to problems, such as depending entirely on being recommended and, on the other hand, the lack of measurement and rigor of this method. This is the case even if it is a channel with a high conversion rate since it cannot be guaranteed that the person we ask you to recommend will actually do so: our business is at the mercy of a group of people.

Therefore, this is a channel with a high saturation rate since one day, the referrals run out. Real estate companies that have an ambitious goal and want to become scalable cannot depend on referrals. While this is a great tool, total reliance on this practice is not useful in the long run: at some point, this network of contacts does not allow growth, so marketing strategies become necessary.


5. Indicators.

The real estate industry seldom has a general systematization of its indicators. They are usually the number of properties sold and rented in a given time, but how do you measure the effectiveness and profitability of these transactions?

By not having defined processes, the real estate industry cannot determine the key indicators of each activity. If it is measured, it is done manually. For this reason, it is advisable that this industry, once its processes have been defined, work on the construction of a map of indicators.

Some key indicators (KPI) that can be obtained in this area are the number of homes sold/rented per month, the number of qualified leads, and the location of the properties that were sold/rented. In this way, it is more feasible to know if you are approaching the realization of the stated objective.

However, the indicators are just a figure: the important thing is how the real estate company makes decisions based on obtaining them. With accurate information provided by the indicators, it is easier to carry out the tasks that allow the strategic objective to be met.


6. Real estate marketing.

When it comes to prospecting customers, real estate agents use different channels: although the classic form of referrals (as mentioned above) and posters are still used, today they are aware that they cannot exist without having an Internet presence.

According to the information collected, real estate marketing is a reality in companies with more employees and with more experience, while in smaller companies its uses are more manual and do not have a specialized marketing department.

Although in most cases they have a website, it is more of an institutional presentation and not a space for feedback from potential customers. On the contrary, regardless of the size of the company, social networks have become an important acquisition channel: Facebook marketplace and Instagram queries stand out. Many of the sales and rentals made arose through consultations through these channels.

In addition, the use of online portals becomes an interesting showcase for buyers, which also facilitates the task of the real estate agent by granting them some visualization metrics of the published properties. With paid ads, properties have more reach. The representatives of the real estate industry agree that paying this figure is necessary because it helps them to carry out more operations.

However, marketing in this field is still very much based on branding. In other words, it is oriented to the trajectory of the company. There is no complete strategy for attracting qualified leads and a nurturing system that provides sales teams with constant demand. There are no deliberate actions that allow the consolidation of a marketing area.

In this particular industry, it is useful to apply the inbound strategy, since high-value goods are sold and it is a little saturable market. This would allow the generation of valuable content to attract people as well as control demand. Attracting, delighting and engaging customers are the three stages of this strategy.



How did we help at Drew?

Thanks to our 5 years of experience working with companies in the real estate sector in Argentina and Latin America, we were able to recognize the aforementioned problems as the most common in this area, although we know that they are not the only ones.

The main mission of our company is to be able to provide the necessary tools to help solve the organizational needs that our customers have.

The proposal we make is that the real estate industry could work on its business model to show a different perspective of work.

In the real estate industry, there is little room for differentiation. For this reason, Drew would work on the formalization of the company and then, move on to technology and thus, discover a map of behavior patterns and, in this way, know what factors are repeated among customers.

In this way, data is collected and allows for anticipating market behavior. For example, being able to predict different patterns such as the age range in which people look for a house that allows them to have the necessary space to raise a family or the age range in which they stop needing that house to move to a smaller environment.

When a real estate company comes to Drew with a particular need, at our company, we propose to approach it, through meetings that allow us to get to know the organization and its ways of working. From these meetings, we generate a diagnosis with the main problems or needs that we identify and after that, once we validate all the information collected with the company, we present a joint work project, with objectives and goals that will allow us to recognize the improvement process.

After validating the improvement process, we proceed to its application through actions to restructure, or formalize, the deficient processes, combined with actions that allow maximum use of the digital tool that the company uses or chooses to start using ( if the implementation of new software is decided).

It is important to note that the use of a technological tool according to the needs of the company is a fundamental asset for the management to function correctly, but not the only one. At Drew, we recognize the challenge of being a company that must adapt to technology and for this reason, we become strategic allies of our customers, offering them the most complete tools so that this challenge can be overcome and become a competitive advantage that boosts growth.

If necessary, we provide training so that the implementation of changes can take place in the best way and that resistance to change is minimal.

At Drew, we do not sell packaged solutions but we adapt to each customer, being the connection between the world of business and technology since we are certain that are different.

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