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What Is…

Homebuilder for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool designed specifically to meet the Sales and Marketing needs of a Homebuilder.  The system, based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, will carry your projects through the entire sales cycle - from planning the first marketing initiative through to closing the last sale.  The system integrates marketing, contact and communication management, sales support, model and lot management, offer tracking and performance monitoring. 

Do you build new homes?  Have ever wondered how you can:

  • Track who is visiting your Sales Office and understand their buying interests;
  • Gain access to current Sales Office traffic data in real time instead of days or weeks later;
  • Increase your sales team’s responsiveness to requests for information;
  • Analyze the effectiveness of dollars spent on advertising and marketing;
  • Maintain better control over valuable marketing lists, while still enabling multiple Sales Offices to securely share contact data;
  • Use technology to attract and retain skilled agents (instead of pushing them away);
  • Simplify the siting and architectural control processes;
  • Eliminate errors in Offers/Agreements of Purchase and Sale;
  • Ensure that Amendments to closing dates are handled properly;
  • Generally gain better insight and analysis with the data that you collect?
Then Homebuilder for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is the product for you!

Homebuilder for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is a database driven solution.  We recommend that you start by taking a moment to review the advantages this offers you.

Database-driven solution

All businesses need to manage the relationship with their customers, regardless of whether they use a CRM tool or not.  The solutions that builders choose can be placed in two broad categories - Unstructured and Database-driven.  These have some very important differences.

Unstructured solutions remain the most prevalent among builders.  A typical in-house solution leverages the Microsoft Office suite of applications and includes Outlook, for managing tasks, appointments and email, Word for writing letters and creating Agreements of Purchase and Sale and Excel for tracking and reporting on traffic and managing marketing lists.  The advantages of an unstructured solution are its price and flexibility.  Microsoft Office has become as standard as the Microsoft Windows operating system itself, so no additional investment is required.  As these are generic tools, they can be applied in an infinite number of ways.

The disadvantages of an unstructured solution are in its search limitations, manual entry requirements and administrative burden.  Try asking Outlook to find all Activities for a given Contact.  The process is cumbersome and inexact, with the scope limited to the current User’s folders.  Consequently, collaboration is largely reliant on remembering to copy one another on all communication.  Users rely heavily on manual processes - for things like filling a template (even using mail merge) – and perform a fair amount of clicking.  Users must always be cognizant of filing items appropriately.  Unstructured systems rely on diligence and disciple from the people who use them.  Furthermore, such a system is generally perceived by sales staff as existing solely for the benefit of the builder.  Any advantage gained by the Sales Agents is a direct result of their own efforts, and not a benefit of the system itself.

Builders are increasingly moving towards database-driven solutions, such as Homebuilder for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The Sales and Marketing teams work within one comprehensive system that covers the functions typically fragmented amongst numerous applications like Word, Excel and Outlook.

The advantages of a database driven solution are in data quality, efficiency and collaborative capabilities.

Homebuilder stores all of your data as records in the tables and fields of a structured database - Microsoft SQL Server.  Every record has a unique identifier that allows it to precisely reference related records (such as Activities that link to the correct Contact).  Complex reports can be run against this data, removing the need to aggregate information in a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet, while still enabling creative analysis via an integrated export feature.  Similarly, templates for Microsoft Word are completed programmatically.  Since the database is shared, multiple Users can effortlessly collaborate while data is centrally managed.

The two hurdles to overcome in gaining these advantages are in the solution cost and the commitment needed to implement it.  The investment required, however, is relatively modest, and the payback typically less than two Projects.  Like any software change, CRM requires a commitment from all levels of the organization, and a certain amount of discipline, but much like exercise, you will love the results!