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Buyer's Guide

by Eileen O'Loughlin,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 7, 2017

Homebuilder customer relationship management (CRM) and sales software helps companies manage current and prospective customers, tracking and managing leads to turn prospects into sales. Designed to improve customer intelligence and relationships, sales management software often supports customers by walking them through the home buying process, which increases close rates and repeat business and reduces time to sale.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Homebuilder CRM & Sales Management Software?
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Homebuilder CRM & Sales Management Software?

Homebuilder CRM software automates the homebuilder’s entire sales process. Uniquely designed to support the home building industry, the software allows users to write contracts, manage warranties and track sales prospect information. Using this software, sales managers can monitor their relationships with all their leads and run effective marketing campaigns.

Key features to look for in a homebuilding CRM program include: 

  • Campaign management to organize and create marketing campaigns
  • Finance calculator to compare loans and rental options
  • Web portals that let home buyers view contracts, change orders and construction schedules online

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before searching for homebuilding CRM software, it’s best to narrow your search down by defining the type of buyer that you are. Most buyers fall into one of the following three categories:

Small general contractors. Most of the products in the homebuilder CRM software market are designed for general contractors. Of these, about half are designed for smaller businesses. Generally, this category describes general homebuilding companies with about $1 million per year or less in revenue.

Medium and large size general contractors. There are a few products designed for large businesses that perform hundreds of projects per year. But any company that produces several million dollars or more in annual revenue will probably want to look at some robust CRM solutions that facilitate communication and process automation across multiple employees and departments.

Service and specialty contractors. This category of buyer may include remodelers, field service engineers, contractors and subcontractors who work in a specific market sector (e.g., residential or commercial), or pavers or electrical engineers who work in a dedicated specialty within the homebuilding market. Finding the best CRM software for service, specialty and subcontractors requires looking into products that are highly specialized to individual niches. Examples include heavy construction CRM or electrical contracting CRM software.

Benefits and Potential Issues

There are a number of benefits to homebuilder CRM and sales management software:

Better marketing efforts. Many of these programs include templates and support for websites, newsletters or other marketing documents to improve the quality, and as a result, conversion rates. They also help target the marketing so that the right buyers are receiving the right messages, and help create campaigns to fulfill on the overall marketing strategy.

Increased efficiency. Homebuilding CRM programs typically include document control and contract templates that can be sent directly to the prospective buyer. This reduces the time spent on document generation and sharing. Add to this all the lead tracking and marketing capabilities, it’s easy to see how a homebuilding CRM can make a homebuilder’s sales that much more efficient.

Better close rates. The increase in efficiency, and the ability to walk customers through the process, leads to happier customers who are more likely to close and buy your property. This leads directly to improved profits, since sales reps won’t have to re-sell the same property over and over again.

Market Trends to Understand

There are a number of trends currently affecting the homebuilding industry that apply directly to CRM software.

Business intelligence. CRM programs do more than simply record customer data. They can also use analytics and templates to improve the sales, marketing and lead generation process, as well as conversion and close rates.

Process automation. Most builders are looking to automate any repetitive and time-consuming processes, so they can use more computers and fewer people, making for a much more efficient operation. Reporting, contract management and marketing schedules are all examples of potential areas where process automation can save money.

Changing consumer demand. Almost all construction programs are moving from on-site solutions toward Web-based programs charging a monthly or annual fee rather than a full software purchase or installation cost. This helps amortize the expense over time and eliminates the need for internal staff to manage any technical support, upgrades or updates.

The Vendor Landscape

Although the following list does not include all of the top software vendors working in the capital program and portfolio management space, these top-rated programs will be a good fit for the indicated buyers.  

This type of buyer...Should evaluate these systems
Medium & large general contractors Microsoft Dynamics CRM, BuilderTek, Computer Guidance, Pipeline Suite, Sage SalesLogix, Maxwell Systems American Contractor
Small general contractors Maxwell Systems ProContractor MX, Plus Series, HomeDev Pro, BuildSoft Pro
Service & specialty contractors Ventus, FieldOne, Sales1440, Clear Estimates, HomeDev Pro, BuildTools, Maestro, BuildSoft Pro

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