Residential developers in the Middle East can differentiate themselves from their competitors and increase long-term value by building close and lasting relationships with their customers through data-driven customer experiences. By using innovative technologies and data insights, obtained in virtual and real-world environments, developers can get a better picture of customers’ lifestyle requirements and post-purchase needs, enabling their customers to find the right community .
According to the latest report from Strategy& Middle East, a member of the PwC network, entitled Creating value and differentiating for property developers: Customer first, lifestyle, data, moving from a focus on transactions to relationships can allow developers to tailor their offerings, increase customer lifetime value, generate new revenue streams, and ultimately beat the competition.
Although customer experience is already the main way for developers to stand out, these companies can go further to maintain the value of their products. The report highlights recent changes in the retail industry that have used in-depth customer insights from data analytics to deliver exceptional customer experiences and deployed multiple channels to build loyalty.
Bilal Mikati, partner at Strategy& Middle East, said, “Developers can no longer compete broadly on product delivery, price, or even sales and after-sales service. Instead, much like their retail counterparts, residential developers can differentiate themselves by delivering an exceptional customer experience that is built on deep customer insights and enabled by data analytics.
“To stand out, developers must provide personalized products and services to customers. These should be based on lifestyle factors, like whether people are active or retired, backed by relevant data that delivers meaningful experiences,” Mikati added.
The report argues that developers have three ways to differentiate themselves and add value: product personalization through customer micro-segmentation; the expansion of data-driven services; and exploring innovative technologies. In particular, developers must respond to the insatiable appetite for technology of Gen Z (those born after 1997 who grew up digital).
Zahi Awad, Director at Strategy& Middle East, said: “Gen Z are now renting and buying homes. This demographic has digital expectations that many developers fail to meet. An excellent product, attractive price, solid sales and after-sales service are not enough. These customers need differentiated products and services that are authentically personalized to their lifestyle and provide them with the right community. »
Developers who take a data-driven, community-driven approach enjoy three main benefits and opportunities. This includes a smoother sales experience, which helps kick-start the long-term relationship; while this is further enhanced with access to established digital communities, providing valuable customer data and helping developers to personalize products and services; and help generate value in the community before development is complete, turning customers into advocates for the project.
“Using data to understand customer needs while putting them in the right framework can also improve customer retention. People value and enjoy staying in cohesive communities that reflect their desires. These established, digitally-enabled communities provide valuable data insights that enable developers to build products and services and deliver new areas of customer engagement,” concluded Strategy& Middle East Partner Ramy Sfeir.
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