What are companies striving for now?
Working on a competitive market, companies must be open and offer quick answers to customer inquiries. For example, the real estate industry is growing dynamically, and while previously it could take a long time to get information on available real estate options, today the wait can influence the client’s decision to buy.
Digital transformation and automation of routine procedures is another growing trend. Portals are used to automatically generate a list of properties based on a set of criteria and to create detailed presentations with an overview of apartments chosen by the client. These features are crucial for salespersons to save time for more complicated work and the construction company to guarantee the quality and relevance of the advertised object.
How it might look
Our project for RBI Holding, a real estate development company, is a good example of how using a single platform (digital workplace) can foster its relations with all contractors and customers. Their priority is close collaboration with all contractors. To do it, they have chosen to use portals on the Sitefinity platform. They help communicate and be a single team with contractors. In daily work, they use four Sitefinity-based portals: a Supplier Interaction Portal, an E-Procurement Portal (or a bidding platform), a portal for working with real estate agents and a portal for end customers, or an Individual Customer Portal.
Each of these portals allows teams to interact with suppliers, real estate agents and end customers, in a single information hub. So, every action can be seen in the system, and it helps to make decisions and move on to further steps faster and more effectively. The high quality of houses construction is guaranteed by conscious choice of suppliers. RBI carefully selects companies that work on construction projects, analyzes financial performance, work experience, capabilities and then invites suppliers to take part in procurements.
To make this process more systematic, they have asked us to build a procurement portal. Here, suppliers can register and send the information required for preliminary accreditation. The specialists of RBI division check all the information and draw up a list of contractors who are allowed to the next bidding for construction work.
The procurement portal is used to run many procurements at once for any of the properties. As a result, the Committee receives several closed envelopes to select from according to the safety standards. They are opened on a set day. The procurement committee considers proposals and makes a conclusion on the portal. This decision is recorded in the portal, and it launches the mechanism of preparing an agreement with a supplier.
The portal is convenient for the procurement service to work on, the employees are satisfied with the functionality, and contractors actively use the portal to get new orders. The work with a supplier doesn’t stop after winning.
Supplier Interaction Portal
On the Supplier Interaction Portal RBI employees prepare, approve and sign the contract. The contract does not only contain a list of conditions and price, but also a detailed list of all the tasks that must be performed. Each task is described with all the details: the floor, type of work, density of reinforcing steel bars and more. Also, all accounting periods are planned in the contract, even if a task is performed for 4 years. The supplier has to attach the forecasted scope of work for each month, so, 48 intervals must be introduced in the contract. It helps RBI to plan simultaneous tasks required to move to the next stage.
In addition to signing a contract and planning, the supplier interaction portal can also be used to approve or reject work. The supplier’s representatives must provide information on the work performed during the period, the customer’s engineers must approve or reject the work if it hasn’t been done well enough.
It is supposed to work directly at construction sites and that’s why it can be done even on a small tablet. Based on the results of approval, the portal issues formal reports, standardized according to Russian laws. So, every day of a month, we have a set of documents, which are sent for approval and payment.
The supplier’s portal also allows to update forecasts in case some work is delayed. We and our suppliers also can change the price if the cost of materials or work has changed significantly in the market. RBI specialists are tracking and then indexing such specific works.
So, the Supplier Interaction portal allows to register a contract, start working, monitor the implementation of these works throughout the entire construction cycle, change costs and finish work also via the portal. The portal is integrated with many information systems that provide data. For example, data from a BIM model for filling out a contract, transferring documents to the workflow system, adding contractors in CRM or transferring actual work to ERP.
Real Estate Agent Workplace
RBI construction projects are in high demand. To sell real estate, they sign contracts and cooperate with real estate agencies. For close interaction with each real estate agent, RBI has developed the Real Estate Agent Workplace portal or the Partner’s Digital Workplace. This portal allows each agent to get up-to-date information about available real estate objects for sale, request a price, receive information on how to conclude a contract and receive marketing materials for a specific real estate object. A wide range of materials allows agents to get trained directly on the portal if an agent has recently joined to work with RBI.
The heart of this portal is a sophisticated filtering system for existing properties. Since RBI builds many different objects, the selection of an apartment is the main functionality of the portal. The goal is to find a property that is most suitable for an end customer. Inside the portal, an agent can save and transfer customer data to a CRM system, or book an object, sign up to view it and get materials with an overview of the apartment. Through the portal, an employee can initiate the signing of an agreement with an end customer.
Individual Customer Portal
The end customer who buys a property is the main user of an Individual Customer Portal. It was created for homeowners and even for those whose property is still under construction. The portal allows the owner to be constantly informed about the current state of construction, understand what documents need to be signed, when to provide information, or to chat with a manager and make an appointment. The Individual Customer Portal provides an opportunity to send applications for maintenance of already built housing as part of warranty service and in process of permanent residence.
The Portal has a built-in loyalty program called “Spasibo” (“Thank you”). The loyalty program allows marketing and sales team to find out how satisfied customers are with the property, services, or additional programs. Thanks to the loyalty program and the ongoing changes in marketing and sales, a significant number of customers come back to the company for new home purchases.
What makes Sitefinity a perfect platform for these portals
Almost all the company’s activities related to interaction with external counteragents are based on the Sitefinity platform. It allows marketing and sales teams to manage content without involving the IT department. In many parts of the portal, RBI employees can change and update the data on their own. Thanks to a convenient mechanism for connecting integration tools, all portals are closely interlinked with the information resources of our company.
The contractors, suppliers, real estate agents and end customers, all become a part of the eco-system thanks to the use of portals. This cooperation provides a significant increase in the speed of interaction and improves the quality of services provided.