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african american businesswoman using mobile phoneAs technology continues to reinvent itself and forever change the way we do business, consumers are becoming more and more accustomed to connecting with their product and service providers in easier and more adaptable ways. From being able to automatically binge-watch TV shows, and then having your provider list viewing recommendations, to clicking on a home for sale on the Web and getting directions to the property, the local school or the nearest house of worship, consumers are demanding, and they deserve, interaction that is personalized to their needs and desires. All in all, customer relationship management (CRM) is becoming a top priority for companies wanting to be No. 1 in the market, or striving to maintain leadership positioning.

A new report from management consulting firm North Highland, “Optimizing Your Customer Experience Focused Organization: An Actionable Guide,” cited three ways for companies to use enhanced CRM and take advantage of their brand name in the collaborative economy:

1. Partner with companies that have strong positive brand sentiment.
2. Leverage your own brand to increase your collaborative capacity.
3. Focus on customer experience to build your brand.

For me and my company at CENTURY 21 Unlimited Real Estate, we are positioned quite well for CRM growth and success in the markets we serve. As an independent franchisee with Century 21 Real Estate LLC, we were chosen as a beta-testing company for the ZapTM platform by ZipRealty®. As such, my affiliated sales associates are receiving not only a CRM product, but personally branded websites, a transaction management system and digital marketing tools, to name a few.

The best news is that Zap is already generating additional business for us. We recently closed a buyer prospect who we previously considered inactive. With the help of the powerful ZapScoreTM—which provides our sales associates with the ability to monitor online activity and the level of consumer engagement—we noticed a significant increase in this prospect’s activity. We reached out to the buyer prospect, listened to their current concerns and challenges, and are now set to close in six weeks (at press time). With over five million bits of consumer behavior data collected each month, this is just another way Zap helps us save time, win more business and deliver the highest quality service to buyers and sellers.

With Zap soon to be a CENTURY 21® System-wide product, we will be able to leverage the power of being the franchisor with the largest global network in the residential real estate industry and open opportunities not only in our markets, but with homebuyers and sellers across the country.

Efficiently managing consumer relationships is critical. With Zap, we’re able to integrate a proven CRM as well as state-of-the-art lead scoring and tech tools to be “where they are at a time and place they want us to be.”

We know real estate significance today is about customer-centricity and individual personalization. With Zap, and the suite of other learning tools and technologies the C21® System provides, I’m confident CENTURY 21 Unlimited Real Estate is ready to tackle head-on the many challenges real estate consumers have, and deliver solutions that best meet their needs.

John F. Fox, CDPE, is president of CENTURY 21 Unlimited Real Estate.

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