"Builders knew their ideal set of Homebuilder CRM features would need to integrate marketing, sales, contracts, calculators, plat maps, option selection, warranty service and more to connect with buyers and transform every touchpoint and interaction at every stage of the customer journey."

—Shawn Grant, President, Tokara Solutions

core modules of crm for homebuilders

Builder Input Drives "Must-Have"
Homebuilder CRM Features

When the Tokara Homebuilding team set out to develop their Homebuilder CRM features and functionality, they already had decades of CRM expertise and a substantial track record in the building industry itself. What they also knew, however, was that the only way to build the perfect CRM solution for homebuilders would be to partner with the people who would be using it every day to ensure that their input and feedback could be used to finely hone the finished product.

The simplest place to start the conversation was with builder “pain points”—those scenarios that happened over and over, frustrating and slowing them down, yet that could in theory be addressed with the right CRM expertise coupled with deep industry knowledge. What follows is a condensed form of what homebuilders told us they needed and what they got—the 7 “must-have” modules that would become the core Homebuilder CRM features of Tokara’s solution, from marketing and sales all the way through warranty service. And to comprehensively support its own homebuilding customers in the way they do business, that solution is now available on both Salesforce and Pivotal CRM platforms.

Homebuilder CRM Features: Marketing

What Builders Told Us They Needed

MARKETING MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

Marketing needs to be easier—less mystifying, more automated, more trackable, more cost effective. Our marketers need to know which tactics work in which channels, efficiently execute tactics and campaigns, track and manage results, and respond appropriately to every lead based on its priority and value.

What We Set out to Build

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Campaign design, execution, management, evaluation
  • Lead capture, nurturing, qualification, ranking, distribution, tracking
  • Prospect/customer profiling, segmentation, preference tracking
  • Multi-channel, multi-wave digital marketing (email, website, social, mobile, etc.)
  • Event execution and management (including collateral/asset fulfillment)
  • Survey/newsletter creation, automation, distribution, tracking

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Increase campaign effectiveness with lower investment
  • Educate, attract, and engage prospects and customers
  • Build, segment, and manage targeted lists
  • Increase online lead generation and conversion
  • Establish lead scoring criteria to prioritize followup
  • Ensure timely lead distribution and response
  • Simplify campaign creation and tactical execution
  • Automate nurture and drip campaigns
  • Enable measurement of ROI and other key metrics
  • Leverage relevant social media channels to engage prospects/customers
  • Apply analytics to gain actionable insights and make adjustments

Homebuilder CRM Features: Sales

What Builders Told Us They Needed

SALES MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

Once we have a qualified lead, sales needs to operate like a well-oiled machine—with straightforward visibility into every metric and datapoint that matters. Reps need instant ability to do things like separate hot from lukewarm leads pinpoint bottlenecks in the process—like slow quotes and approvals—that repeatedly bog the system down.

What We Set out to Build

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Territory Management
  • Contact Management
  • Company Management
  • Activity Management
  • Sales, Product, and Options Management
  • Enterprise-wide Sales and Pipeline Tracking

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Shorter sales cycles with higher conversion rates (as sales reps acquire more qualified prospects/leads)
  • Increased efficiency and productivity (with automated contract, loan, and home configuration tools)
  • Deeper customer/prospect engagement (with use of customized/personalized marketing elements)
  • Increased efficiencies and productivity (with establishment of best practices and processes)
  • Increase sales and revenue (with 360-degree visibility into customer profile data)

Homebuilder CRM Features: Contracts

What Builders Told Us They Needed

CONTRACTS MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

Buying a house is stressful—so anything we haven’t clearly documented contractually and updated in a timely fashion introduces real potential for heated misunderstandings and even long-term customer dissatisfaction. We can’t afford the time or money this kind of dispute resolution requires or business implications of the negative word of mouth that can result.

What We Set out to Build

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Quote updates and management
  • Contract management
  • Change order management
  • Contract approval workflows
  • Contract document creation

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Save time and money associated with dispute resolution while protecting brand reputation and customer satisfaction, pre-emptively providing buyers and their agents with easy-to-access contract documents that clearly outline details, roles, responsibilities, and expectations of all parties throughout the process.
  • Easily update, share, and manage online contracts, change orders, and required approvals from within the Homebuilder CRM software suite.

Homebuilder CRM Features: Financial Calculators

What Builders Told Us They Needed

FINANCIAL CALCULATORS MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

If a prospective buyer hasn’t done some financial due diligence before moving forward with a rep, bad assumptions and calculations can send us back to the drawing board, wasting critical time, jeopardizing sales, and incurring revenue loss.

What We Set out to Build

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Monthly payment estimate calculator
  • Downpayment, closing cost, and refinance calculators
  • “Rent vs. Buy” comparison calculators
  • “What If?” and “What Can You Afford?” calculators (factoring in relevant variables)
  • Cost of living and household budgeting calculators

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Creation of well-informed buyers who require less time in the sales cycle, educating them with self-service online calculators

Homebuilder CRM Features: Plat Maps

What Builders Told Us They Needed

PLAT MAPS MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

Our reps spend too much time responding individually to one-off buyer questions on topics they could easily research on our—like which lots are available, pending, or sold.

What Our Built-in Integration Needed to Provide

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Simple, straightforward creation of interactive plat maps showing real-time plat/lot availability status
  • Easy customization of plat maps with options to add lot-specific notes and details, and choose/adjust graphic elements
  • Manage inventory with easy map updates made by back-office staff, sales, or marketing without the need for additional training
  • Create map renderings, interaction metrics, and reports

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Save time and money by freeing up resources (as easily automated interactions are made self-service) and time for valuable team members to respond to critical questions and issues
  • Increase customer/prospect engagement (enabling self-service access to up-to-date plat/lot status, without having to engage a rep.

Homebuilder CRM Features: Option Selection

What Builders Told Us They Needed

OPTION SELECTION MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

When we build a house from scratch for a buyer, the list of available options they’re choosing from is long—these are details buyers agonize over and waffle on, which takes time our reps simply don’t have.

What We Set out to Build

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Self-serve online selection of available housing options and associated cost quotes for elements such as structural configurations, exterior materials, roofing, flooring, cabinetry and countertops, faucets and fixtures, paint colors and finishes, textiles and more.
  • Easy, intuitive creation of renderings and plans for configuration and option selections using drag and drop components/elements, including ability to save, share (email), print, zoom, and include notes with renderings and plans.

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Save time and money with the creation of ‘self-serve’ functionality for an online Option Selector that enables buyers to choose among custom new home options without engaging a rep.
  • Increase buyer engagement and peace of mind while lowering stress by allowing buyers to complete the option selection process online at their own pace, with fewer time constraints and lower likelihood of after-the-fact changes.

Homebuilder CRM Features: Warranty Service

What Builders Told Us They Needed

WARRANTY SERVICE MODULE FOR HOMEBUILDER CRM

Sometimes addressing warranty issues feels like slapping an expensive Band-Aid on a symptom instead of addressing the real problem—it’s also hard to know how much those “fixes” really cost us or whether the warranty customer care team is actually operating as a profit or cost center. Even then, it’s difficult to get a real quantifiable measure of how delighted or dissatisfied your customers are.

What We Set out to Build

Sample Feature/Functionality

  • Warranty information management
  • Service request history maintenance and management
  • Home Inspection/walkthrough tracking and management
  • Manage vendor and contractor information
  • Work order management
  • Dispatch Options
  • Risk management and audit trail generation
  • Cause-and-effect tracking
  • Subcontractor charge-back calculations/functionality
  • Customer self-service and communication management
  • Homebuyer/warranty services, surveys, reporting, analysis
  • Vendor and partner management

Sample Benefits/Outcomes

  • Strengthen customer relationships and trust by improving the speed and efficiency of warranty service processes
  • Increase service levels and customer loyalty, boosting referrals, customer brand advocacy, ability to maintain valuable repeat customers
  • Achieve end-to-end warranty service resolution—from capture of service requests through tracking, management, updates, escalations, and final resolution
  • Increase long-term customer satisfaction metrics by ensuring homeowner visibility into online warranty service documentation and status updates
  • Increase cross-selling opportunities with more detailed insights in homeowner profiles
  • Decrease litigation risk by generating audit trails of service requests and resolutions
  • Track recovery of vendor warranty work to manage warranty costs

Homebuilder CRM Launched

Builder Response to Homebuilder CRM Solution

While Tokara’s Homebuilder CRM feature set will continue to evolve to meet additional requirements builders may have in the future, the core Homebuilder CRM solution was launched February 12, 2019 and enthusiastically received by leading homebuilders.

Tokara Homebuilder CRM is a flexible, complete CRM solution allowing us to track the full customer lifecycle all in one app instead of supporting 4 or 5 separate systems.

Ron FrissoraCIO, M/I Homes