For clients and residents:
Marketing support services that seek to transform the real estate industry
In July 2014, we released NabiSTAR, a private data management platform (DMP), as a marketing support service specific for the real estate industry. A DMP is a system for communicating information with timing and content optimized for each user.
That makes it possible for real estate companies, which until now took the uniform approach to all users, to carry out more efficient marketing from an individual approach, optimized for the actions and attributes of individual users.
We spoke with the managers responsible for this service, which achieved profitability less than one year after it began.
Kazuno Division Manager, New Houses & New Condominiums Division and DMP/CRM Development Division
Noguchi Unit Manager, DMP/CRM Development Division
What was the inspiration behind NabiSTAR?
NabiSTAR began with thinking about what kind of value HOME'S could provide to developers, builders, and other clients involved in the business of condominium residences.
At that time, we thought about the goals of our clients.
The value that HOME'S provides to clients is in attracting customers, for example through inquiries about properties and requests for materials from prospective tenants. But the client's needs do not end there. Successful results are achieved first when a contract is concluded on a property. We wanted to create a service that could contribute all the way to this final goal, extending beyond the boundaries of the single medium of HOME'S.
For several years HOME'S has focused on Web marketing, so we wanted to put to use the knowledge and expertise accumulated through now to support marketing in the real estate industry. Since adoption of computer technology and rationalization have not advanced as far in real estate as in other industries, we decided to create a service that would completely eliminate the inefficiencies that clients faced and replace them with more efficient processes.
While the main goal was to improve the efficiency of marketing, we remained aware of the presence of end users beyond clients. Instead of simply enabling the client to earn returns, we also thought about how to make a service that ultimately would satisfy the end users, by considering how they could find the best properties smoothly and be provided with satisfying customer service.
We were very uncompromising on this, because these would be services provided by NEXT.
We developed a vision that embodied the idea of building a service for clients who worked with end users: "Delivering even greater than expected satisfaction by selecting and improving various types of information, including HOME'S, for real estate companies that value their customers."
If we ask how DMP differs from the access analysis and other efforts that have been employed through now, I'd say that it is in the way it overwhelmingly adopts the user's point of view.
Instead of focusing on sales needs like attempting to sell all units in a property by the end of the month, it can provide optimal information for individual users, by looking at the actions that the users take.
I think that this system is well suited to NEXT, which has developed its services with a focus on end users since its start.
What did you find most challenging?
The biggest challenge was the fact that there were no DMP services focused on the real estate industry.
For this reason, we had nothing to refer to and had to create everything brand new, from step one. Since we couldn't be sure what was the right answer, team members held repeated discussions on whether we'd got things right.
This unease turned to a feeling of accomplishment when we visited a client to describe the finished service. The simple response "I like it" from that client, a major condominium developer, made us feel that we'd made the right choice when we decided to start up this service.
Another challenge, although we can laugh about it now, was the fact that even though we were attempting to develop a DMP service there was no one in the section who really knew much about DMP. Still, we learned a lot as we moved forward with development together with outside partners, and today we can manage the service based on adequate knowledge.
At the start, we had a small staff, so each individual served various roles. While I was responsible for planning at first, I also would accompany Mr. Kazuno on sales calls.
What has made you happy about this project?
Looking back now, I think it's impressive that a service that we created from nothing has been able to generate sales and turn a profit.
Its profitability means some clients see value in this new NabiSTAR service we created, and they're willing to pay for that value. That makes me very happy.
I'm even happier when I hear from clients about results like higher percentages of their mail being read and increased visits to their sites.
As a manager, I'm also very happy to see how such feedback leads to self-confidence and helps members of the section do their work, confident in its success. Today we do our work based on an exciting sense that there is even more value that we can provide to clients and users through DMP services.
What are your next challenges?
Since it's only just begun as a business, for the time being, I'd like to focus on growing NabiSTAR.
Right now, we're working on a DMP system that merges client data with HOME'S data. In the future, we'd like to advance coordination of data among clients, across the real estate industry as a whole, and even with other industries. Bringing together greater volumes of data will make it possible to build high-precision DMP services that will enable users looking for homes to get the information they need via the shortest route possible.
Also, while most of our clients now are involved in the business of houses and condominiums, we'd like to strengthen the service's applications in other markets, like rental residences and real estate sales and trade.
After all the first things, I think what we need to do is get more clients to use today's NabiSTAR service and work to increase the value it delivers. That's how we can make satisfaction even stronger.
After that, I'd like to use the data collected to broaden the range of services we provide, instead of just sticking to the content of the existing services. While the service supports marketing, its data could also be used in consulting and other areas.
The value that we strive to provide clients is to anticipate future needs, propose solutions, and make them real in response to various factors like the changing times, trends, and individual circumstancestions, and making them real.
In the future, as the section responsible for our DMP services, we plan to deliver services to clients and end users that continue to evolve in response to various changes.