Dateline: Marlborough, MA, February 9, 2016
The real estate industry poses very unique challenges for maintaining long-term relationships with homeowners and potential real estate clients. However, there are changes affecting the industry that are creating new opportunities for overcoming these challenges. A company named Applica Solutions is emerging as a leader in leveraging these changes to develop a fresh approach to maintaining real estate client relationships and building personal brands, by providing low-cost and no- cost tools that enable establishing ongoing personalized essential home care connections with clients and prospects.
Unique Challenges in the
Real Estate Industry
Jeffry D. Wiren, Principal Broker with RE/MAX Equity Group, says, “There are two big challenges with maintaining long-term client relationships in the real estate industry: 1) consistency—having a system that will consistently deliver content to the client over time; and 2) meaningful content—having content that matters and is of value to the client. Most clients don’t need another chocolate chip cookie recipe, but information on how to help them maintain their largest asset is pretty important.”
This is echoed by Ken Brittain, owner of Home Vue Inspection Services LLC, who says, “A major challenge is how to remind or reinforce your brand and the services you provide. It’s been said that, on the average, people move every seven years. So if I do a great job for them, will they remember me in seven years? Probably most will not. So I need to remind them periodically during this time.”
Changes Creating New Opportunities
Fortunately, there are changes affecting the industry that are creating new opportunities for overcoming the unique customer relationship management challenges of the real estate industry. Three such changes include the explosive growth in the use of tablets and smartphones; increased Wi-Fi availability and dramatic reductions in mobile data plan costs; and increased capabilities of high-speed, cloud-based software applications. The combination of these three factors has enabled the development of sophisticated low-cost customer loyalty tools that can be customized for the specific needs of individual users, where this level of personalization would not have been practical before.
According to Wiren, “I think in the service economy we are in, customization of resources is the biggest opportunity moving forward. Customers are not one size fits all, they have specific needs and wants, and they live in a world that caters to that level of specificity. As real estate professionals, we must offer resources that can be customized and specific to a client’s needs.”
Applica Solutions Introduces
A company named Applica Solutions (www. applica-solutions.com/tools) has developed a suite of tools called Home Wizard (www.home-wizard.com), which includes easily customizable mobile apps, web tools and a newsletter that allow home professionals to give their clients branded, essential, monthly home care reminders that are personalized based on their home type, home features, personal goals, priorities, location and knowledge level. And like other cloud-based business tools such as Skype, Dropbox and Google Drive, most of Applica’s tools for home professionals are free, with optional premium services.
Wiren says, “From my experience, Home Wizard has the great benefit of letting customers customize the experience based on their home and their needs. This is critical because people don’t want to make time for information that is useless to them. If the maintenance reminder system is consistently sending reminders that don’t apply to clients based on their home, they’ll stop looking, and the value of that benefit is eliminated. The ability for clients to customize their reminders and access the information on a mobile platform is a big win.”
According to Brittain, “I’ve found that Home Wizard provides a vehicle that delivers a useful product on a regular basis without over doing it and becoming annoying. In the year or so that I have used Home Wizard, it has adapted and changed to meet the needs of the cyber landscape. It not only provides a better end-user experience, but also provides more tools for the sponsors. From my experience, the ability to customize and personalize Home Wizard is a plus from both the customer and sponsor side. Tracking also provides a valuable tool for the sponsor to monitor the success of the CRM campaign and the quality of its contacts.”
Benefits of Home Wizard
“Applica’s Home Wizard tools are a valuable resource that demonstrates to my clients that I care about them and that I have the competence to know what type of resources matter in helping with their real estate portfolio,” according to Wiren.
“The content is great and very useful, and is not cluttered with annoying ads or pop-ups. The best part is I don’t have to develop the content, which is a huge timesaver for me. There is no doubt that CRM tools like Home Wizard are effective and bring in new and repeat business. Overall, my experience and those of the users have been positive, and it has been well received by most. Using Home Wizard has helped brand my business, increase the recognition of my brand (logo) and brought in new and repeat business,” says Brittain.
Jeffry D. Wiren is a Principal Broker with the RE/MAX Equity Group www.equitygroup.com, www.jeffwirenhomes.com, a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and Past President of the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors,® email: email@example.com, 503-869-3513.
Ken Brittain is the owner of Home Vue Inspection Services LLC www.theconcordhomeinspector.com, a member of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and a member of the North Carolina Licensed Home Inspector Association email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-455-0482.
Applica Solutions develops customer loyalty solutions that combine data sciences, behavioral economics and emerging technologies. At Applica’s core are skills for developing the complex algorithms that drive its solutions. Applica currently focuses on three industry verticals: home professionals, the pet care industry and retailing. For more information about Applica Solutions or Home Wizard, refer to www.applica-solutions.com/tools, www.home-wizard.com or call 508-281-2050.