Meritage Homes: My Secret to Feeding Real Estate Growth

Steve Thompson presented at Nintex InspireX 2017.

Consider this wise quote: “Software doesn’t sell homes; salespeople drive sales.”

Here’s a translation for fellow IT and applications system specialists: Deliver solutions that make it easier for sales teams to nail their job the right way.

As a Principal Application Systems Specialist at Meritage Homes, a top-ten real estate development company, I can tell you with absolute confidence that I know how to enable and empower sales teams, especially in the real estate industry.

Like many sales enablement success stories, we first had to solve a key challenge: paper-based processes and a weak CRM solution led to human errors, long sales cycles, and notable frustration. Strategic scaling, from both an IT and sales perspective, was out of the question.

Our historic core processes required sales teams to download documents and re-key data. Customers received printed versions and occasionally made their own amendments, blurring compliance lines from a legal standpoint.

The simple act of generating documents to close a sale inadvertently opened multiple Pandora’s boxes.

Our solution: Salesforce and Nintex Drawloop, a powerful and dynamic solution that hands sales teams the digital keys to repeatable success. Throughout the implementation and deployment, I uncovered a set of best practices that every team – both sales and IT –should exercise in order to see optimal business results.

Best Practice #1: Identify Business Pain Points

Before started our implementation, we listed every source of pain and grief:

  • An inadequate on-premises CRM platform
  • Inability to scale or customize digital account management solutions
  • A lack of built-in rules or approvals from either upper-management or legal teams
  • Inferior metrics, tracking and audit trails
  • Inability to automate lead generation (or win-loss rates, for that matter)

Without addressing the pain points, it’s impossible to map a quick path to success.

Best Practice #2: Start with the Document and Work Backwards 

What’s your end result? A single signed document. Plan out who needs to approve, review, touch, and act upon that single document. Planning now and identifying every critical stakeholder nearly guarantees smooth sailing. Beyond internal ease of use, your end-customers will take notice.

Best Practice #3: Integrate Third-Party Services Strategically

Legal teams heave many sighs of relief because strategic integrations with tools, like DocuSign, directly within Salesforce facilitate easy compliance and audit trails.

When you follow the second best practice, you’re already carefully scoping the needs of the sales document. In packaging the agreement with a secure and trusted e-signature platform, like DocuSign, you retain and maintain a clear record of all agreements so any day is more likely to fall in your favor.

Best Practice #4: Lead with Data

Management teams lead by data through Nintex Drawloop’s capability to build reports and analysis based on information. On that note, teams can analyze won and lost sales leads to understand where it could improve for future.

It is an essential best practice for real estate sales teams to input all leads, regardless of the result, into Salesforce because that data helps highlight ways to do better in the future.

Best Practice #5: Build in Approvals (But Keep It Limited)

Less-than-ideal deals, with higher than appropriate incentives, never favor business growth. We all know that sales teams focus on closing as many deals as possible. Phase out avoidable behaviors and sales practice so your balance sheet doesn’t leak revenue.

Nintex Drawloop offers an easy way to set rules and approvals that analyze data and information to block non-advantageous deals in their tracks. No human oversight required – Nintex Drawloop has you covered.

 

In the end, Salesforce and Nintex Drawloop cured our business pain points. More importantly, the solutions handed us the key to turn on strategic scalability: A scalable platform, in a way, safeguards a company against an unstable economy.

You can expand and land in multiple markets and regions, or you can leverage data to home into a strong opportunity. Everyone holds the keys to own their success.

As I said in the beginning, it’s the not the software that does the selling, it’s the salespeople…who needs the right tools to navigate and nail success intuitively and easily.

 

 

Steve Thompson is the chief architect, administrator and developer of key essential enterprise business systems of Meritage Homes. He championed and implemented a corporate-wide electronic signature solution. Steve is a professional veteran systems specialist with extensive knowledge, diversification and background in commercial grade applications including the best-of-breed solutions Salesforce and Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.