ARP Estate Extensions is our proprietary extension to Microsoft Dynamics 365, which supports the real estate sales process, taking into account legal conditions, at all stages.
Estate Extensions was created as a result of an analysis of solutions available on the market for the Polish development industry and discussions with our business partners. Together, we came to the conclusion that there are no good solutions for owners of companies in this sector that would be fully adapted to the specificity of the real estate market. Therefore, we have decided to build an application that would solve this problem.
Why does the real estate industry need digitization?
However, before we move on to our solution, we will try to answer the question of why the real estate industry needs digitization at all.
Briefly, the answer to this question can be summed up in two sentences:
1. Economic crises happen and cause bankruptcies and serious problems, including the real estate market.
2. According to experts, digitization means that organizations are more resilient to current and potential crises.
The economic crisis of 2008
The real estate market is one of the key sectors of the economy. The Americans experienced it very painfully. In 2008, as a result of the cheap credit policy pursued by the Financial Institutions, a speculative bubble arose, which was the cause of a very severe economic crisis. To reflect the scale of the crisis, it should be mentioned that the effect of the crisis was i.e. the collapse of the powerful Lehman Brothers investment bank.
The economic crisis of 2008 was so significant that it managed to shake the American and the entire world economy and also contributed to undermining the unequivocal position of the United States as the world’s most powerful superpower.
Examples of the effects of the 2008 real estate crisis:
- 9 million people in the US lost their jobs,
- the average value of all properties in the US fell by $ 100,000,
- the US economy lost $ 648 billion.
There is a consensus among economists that the economic crisis of 2008 was fairly gentle with the Polish economy. Despite this, we can still talk about effects, the importance of which cannot be questioned:
- the average transaction value of real estate in Poland has decreased by 10 to 20%,
- the unemployment level in Poland increased from 9 to 14%,
- the indebtedness of the Polish state increased to the level which meant that we entered the first constitutional prudential threshold prohibiting further indebtedness.
Deloitte analysts’ warnings
However, the 2008 crisis is not the end of the story. In 2019, the parkiet.com portal, referring to the Deloitte report, indicated that the real estate market in Poland is still in good shape, but there are some possible threats ahead.
The construction developers’ margin was then over 30%. Analysts warned that the economic boom at the turn of 2017 and 2018 is slowly starting to cool down, with a simultaneous increase in the prices of building materials. The situation appeared to be moderately stable, however, they indicated that some caution should be exercised.
Deloitte published the report “European Construction Monitor 2017-2018: A looming new construction crisis?” – in which they have warned that rising costs and problems with recruiting new employees could cause a new crisis in the real estate industry.
Deloitte experts pointed out that construction developers, although it involves investment costs, must focus on technological development if they want to survive on the market. Important players on the Polish market decided to do so, including Skanska, ACS, Strabag, Vinci, or our clients who record very good financial results, such as Victoria Dom.
COVID-19 pandemic crisis
The ongoing crisis we are going through in 2021 had obviously a completely different source than that of 2008. While some experts say it would have happened even if the COVID-19 pandemic had not happened, the coronavirus is certainly exacerbating the scale of the economic crisis.
Interestingly, so far the Polish real estate market, after initially disturbing signals, has been doing quite well in the pandemic conditions. It is true that in the first phase of the pandemic in March 2020, almost 73% of real estate brokers recorded a decrease in interest in buying a new property. At the same time, over 37% of planned transactions were not finalized in the same period. However, in subsequent phases, due to a large injection of state funds and the reduction of interest rates by the NBP, the situation in this sector of the economy improved significantly, to the extent that we can talk about its stabilization and positive forecasts for 2021. Obviously, this does not mean that the industry is not facing any challenges.
Further challenges for the real estate industry
Deloitte in its report Real Estate Predictions 2021 indicated that in the long term, the greatest hope for maintaining positive trends, including the real estate sector, is to use the current crisis as a catalyst for change, a pretext to accelerate their implementation. In this context, we are talking mainly about the implementation of such trends as automation, robotization, adapting the company to remote and hybrid work, as well as the use of the potential of 5G technology, which will be the binder of modern companies, due to the incomparably higher speed of mobile internet than before.
According to the Brief portal, as a result of the pandemic, 27% of companies in Poland and 35% worldwide decided to accelerate the decision to implement automation and digitization. As many as 97% of companies that decide to automate and digitize, indicate maintaining or increasing the current level of employment as their goal.
Experts clearly indicate that the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate and is now faster than ever before. On the other hand, organizations that decide to take this step gain greater flexibility and resistance to the dynamics of changes that occur during the crisis.
The fact that digitization may be crucial for the real estate industry is also mentioned in the report The Future of Construction Industry after COVID-19, prepared by the Polish Association of Construction Employers.
How can the implementation of ARP Estate Extensions help a real estate development company?
Our product supports the real estate sale process, taking into account the specificity of the market and all its stages. Starting from the possibility of conducting surveys regarding customer preferences, through investment management, repayment schedule, service support, arrears, and discounts, to annexing contracts and servicing authorizations. The system also allows to automatically generate offers and contracts based on customer data available in CRM.
The solution facilitates work before, during, and after the commissioning of the investment. From the level of the application developed by us, the customer can add all investments, mark the stage at which the projects are at a given moment, he or she also sees the number of reserved, bought, and free apartments. The solution also enables ongoing insight into requests and complaints from tenants and allows to check the payment status for given premises.
In short – ARP Estate Extensions enables the automation of sales processes, more efficient management of the sales department and more effective customer service.
In addition, Estate Extensions, thanks to the integration with the Dynamics 365 for Marketing module, enables segmentation of individual customer groups, designing Customer Journey, running newsletters, signing up for open doors, etc. Automatic generation of documents from previously prepared templates is also available.
Read more about Dynamics 365 for Marketing:
The entire solution can be easily integrated with the financial and accounting system and customer payments. Both in a semi-automatic and automatic way, which gives you full control over invoices from the level of the ERP system.
All this is complemented by a portal intended for customers, with the help of which they can generate invoices, check the payment schedule, follow news from the construction process, or submit reports about possible defects to the developer.
ARP Estate Extensions is updated on an ongoing basis in terms of the legal provisions in force in Poland regarding the real estate market. Currently, our tool works only in Poland, but there are no obstacles to adapt it to the market requirements of any country in the world.
The most important functionalities of the ARP Estate Extensions tool:
- Surveys, preferences, customer and lead scoring
- Automatic generation of offers
- Outlook integration, meeting and task synchronization
- Discounts and promotions with the acceptance module
- Shareholders, co-owners or property communities reflected at each stage
- Additions and assignments of any kind
- Reservations and queues on products
- Mail merge for all necessary document types with the ability to easily modify templates
- Integration with investment portals
- Automatic generation of payment schedules with the possibility of rounding, manual modification and validation of amounts
- Automatic settlement of payments, integration with banking systems as well as ERP and financial and accounting systems
- Arrears and interest
- Advanced settlement options for additional areas, tenant changes and measurements
- Invoicing of all kinds and distribution to the customer
- Handling of associated products, changing VAT rates, settling apartments with an area of more than 150 m2
Service of complaints
- Full process support
- Bug Report Portal
- Knowledge base for a very quick solution of the most frequently repeated requests
- Direct communication with the general contractor and tracking application statuses
- Automated communication process with credit advisers, notaries, general contractors, as well as intermediaries with the possibility of calculating commissions for them
- Quick and easy data export and import using standard Excel spreadsheets
- Simple and quick reporting as well as access to advanced reporting tools at every level of the system, integration with Power BI
- Integration and monitoring of social media and blogs,
- Mobile application
- The use of artificial intelligence and Machine Learning mechanisms from Microsoft, e.g. bots responding to inquiries and repeated requests