Networking and relationships are an important part of success in pretty much any industry. In fact, a study from Harvard found that 85% of professional success comes from having those skills. But commercial real estate is an area where clients are making a large, long-term investment that could have major implications for their future; in Q3 of 2017, the average commercial real estate transaction value was $1.7 million. That means relationship skills are even more critical. Clients need to feel like they truly know, trust, and understand their CRE sponsor and are aligned in terms of values and priorities.
So how does technology affect those sponsor-client relationships?
Some Things Stay the Same
Relationships always have been and will continue to be important in commercial real estate. Building and nurturing quality relationships helps to create repeat customers and generate referral business. Making clients happy and meeting (or exceeding!) their expectations is what keeps them coming back to you. In the long-run, they are more likely to make mouth-to-mouth recommendations, have fewer demands on your office staff, and make larger investments.
But Some Things Change
Today’s clients have expectations for engagements and levels of service that they never would have imagined ten or even five years ago. They see things done faster, smarter, or more cost effectively in other markets, expect to see the same in CRE, and become reluctant to accept anything less. Innovation has transformed the status quo, and technology is changing the way the commercial real estate firms engage, communicate, and conduct business with investors. The question is whether these changes are for the better or for the worse.
Enhance Relationships with CRM
As in most industries, customer expectations are higher than ever before. But over 70% of CRE firms still use one or more manual methods to manage their customer relationships, which can hinder productivity, slow down firm efficiency, and negatively impact the investor experience. CRE firms can’t afford to ignore the opportunity to enhance client relationships and create a winning investor experience. That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software comes into play.
A CRM is a tool that simplifies, centralizes, and scales investor management and engagement. It goes beyond merely maintaining a database of prospects and customers to also track, analyze, and record the information you have about these people, their preferences, their activities, and the interactions and communications you have with them. With these insights, you can stay connected with clients and better align with their expectations and preferences.
It’s important to note that this technology is not replacing sponsor-client relationships but rather enhancing them. The average person already interacts with connected devices over 4,000 times per day. A CRM just offers one more channel to engage with clients and helps you to stay in touch with those people and cultivate the relationship. When you consider that only 7% of companies are able to consistently deliver real-time experiences across all touchpoints, this tech presents a major opportunity. CRE firms can more effectively manage relationships with investors and other stakeholders and, as a result, offer a more personalized investing experience, create more value for investors, and raise equity faster.
Click here to learn more about IMS’ Commercial Real Estate CRM Software.