When it comes to technology, get with the program
According to theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That prophetic statement is still pertinent today—especially when it comes to design and technology. Nowadays, we have to think multiple steps ahead and design the process in the simplest way possible, so that there can be no more potential modifications. This is one of the key philosophies we work by, and it is challenging as parameters change. Technology helps to streamline the process.
The new homebuilding and development industry is an example, as demographics, the economy, and government guidelines change and evolve. Keeping up with the technology that affects these changes is critical for builders and developers.
Approaching the market with an open mind to technology, my partner Rob Nicolucci and I looked at how to streamline the marketing and sales of new homes for developers, builders, sales agencies, and purchasers. We asked them what could be improved and found there were several areas that were frustrating. For one thing, builders whose communities include hundreds of homes and/or condominium suites were, and still are, challenged with keeping track of what is sold, what deals are firmed up, which designs are still available and which lots/floors are appropriate. The paperwork can be overwhelming. Deals were taking a long time to write up, and sometimes things had changed as far as availability without the sales representatives realizing it. Sales office line-ups were long, and potential purchasers got discouraged.
It became apparent to us that a realtime solution was needed to improve efficiency and make the customer experience more satisfying, so we created Salefish, a cloud-based POS (point-of-sale) real estate software tool.
Many builders and developers who understand the importance of embracing technology are on board and have experienced tremendous results. They were open to trying out the system and allowing us to help them be more efficient.
PACE Developments, for example, had 900 homes to sell in North Barrie, Ont., when it decided to implement the system. On Grand Opening weekend, it greeted upwards of 500 visitors and sold more than 100 homes. It said that writing deals was easier than ever—that what previously took 45 minutes now was completed in about five minutes. Sales representatives were able to get a purchaser’s driver’s license, put the home on hold, do the paperwork electronically, and print out the deal error free.
OPUS Homes, which is building in the Ont., municipalities of Whitby, Richmond Hill, and Brampton, is another progressive firm that engages in technology to accomplish goals. The company prides itself on making home purchases uniquely pleasant. Potential buyers find it easy to use the kiosk in the presentation center, and they can access up-to-the-second information regarding the homes and lots they are considering.
Making comprehensive information available in a clean, organized way, while preserving operational quality saves legwork, time, and money. Salefish is one type of technologically advanced competitive advantage in use today. When business people are open to what technology can do for them, the sky’s the limit.
Rick Haws is president and founder of Salefish Software. He manages the development and implementation teams and with more than 18 years in the architectural design business, he has proven expertise in strategic planning, business development, and organizational management.