The bubble has burst, but CRM is a shining light

It’s interesting to be heavily involved here, watching the changes unfolding on the Dubai property landscape. And no I am not talking about the Palms, The World and the other mega projects. The big change on the property landscape here is going on ‘inside’ the developers and real estate brokerages.

The bubble may have burst on the world and UAE property markets, however there are still sales to be made. There is more stock for sale on the market now that at any time in Dubai’s history and there are savvy buyers out there just searching for the right opportunity at the right price.

The big change that we are seeing in the market today is the adaptation of the sales and marketing processes in the leading property firms across the Emirates. Gone are the days of taking orders, the market leaders now understand the need for systemization within their sales and marketing departments to ensure ongoing revenue and survival through these tough times.

We are now seeing a sharp uptake in the implementation of CRM, Sales and Marketing systems across the UAE and broader Gulf region as companies adapt their sales strategies.

Detailed client profiling or “Buyer Matching” as offered by industry benchmark systems such as foxEnterprise give a sustained competitive advantage.

Automated business processes or workflows are now also routinely being implemented as businesses seek never to lose another prospective client.

These tools combined with the power of targeted email and sms marketing campaigns and the increasing effectiveness of property portals such as propertyfinder.ae, ArabianProperty.com and Dubizzle are ensuring that the real estate market in Dubai is still alive and kicking.

If the current trends are anything to go by, then I can only anticipate that the level of uptake of internal CRM and stock management systems, targeted and bulk e-marketing systems and the use of online marketing through websites and portals should go a long way towards seeing many of the existing players in the local property market not only come through this difficult period, but emerge on the other high as much more efficient and competitive real sales and marketing houses.

Version 6.5 of foxEnterprise Due 1st Quarter

I am pleased to confirm that version 6.5 for foxEnterprise is well underway and is on schedule for release in the first quarter of this year. I will talk more in the future about some of the exciting new features scheduled for this release.

2009 is certainly shaping up to be an interesting year – with property markets around the world in what can only be called a ‘poor’ state, many of our clients, whether they are agents/brokers or developers are certainly, are certainly under a great deal of pressure. What we need to focus on is how we can help our clients – and quite simply is comes down to helping them to get the best from our software and services. All of the functionality required for the most advanced database marketing, customer service and web marketing are all included in foxEnterprise today – the challenge is ensuring that our clients can use these features to generate positive outcomes for their business.

We plan to assist our customers to achieve these positive outcomes in a number of ways:

– access to training. We are extending the training sessions we schedule on a regular basis to ensure that all clients have the opportunity to attend them.

– improved User Manuals and Help Website. We have been investing a lot of time on improving our FAQ, User Manuals and Training Video’s, all available via the Brightfox Help website.

– improved usability. Usability is a big thing for us. In our view, most software today is just too hard to use. In fact many studies have consistently shown that users only utilise approximately 20% of most software applications on a regular basis. The other 80% is in effect just clutter – making the software harder to use than it otherwise could be. The challenge for us, and all software developers, is to make our software powerfully and fully featured but still easy to use. We think both foxEnterprise and foxAdvantage are already very easy to use and are best of class in this regard – but we are committed to making them even easier and you will see much of this in future versions.

Revolutionizing Technical Support

The rise of the internet has made the world a smaller place and has revolutionized the way we conduct business, not only in the real estate industry, but in nearly every facet of our lives. Through the internet; we can communicate and share information as never before and companies are able to distribute software products globally with ease, creating client bases which may consist of many different cultures, languages and transcend a number of time zones.

These changes in software implementation and increased access of software via the internet give rise to the need for many companies to also revolutionise their technical support processes to meet the changing nature of their client base. Traditional technical support via telephone may no longer be sufficient enough to cater to the needs of clients who may be half a world away.

The global-wide distribution of a product demands software companies to develop new, innovative ways to cater for their growing, multicultural clients. At Brightfox, we recognise the changing needs in our industry and have implemented a number of innovative ways to assist our ever-growing base of international clients.

Our flagship product, foxEnterprise, comprises of a comprehensive Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) database which is accessible to all users through the program itself. Brightfox also maintains a password protected help website complete with instructional videos for foxEnterprise clients. Through these mediums, foxEnterprise users all over the world are able to gain the information they need at their fingertips.

foxAdvantage 2007 boasts a support section comprising not only of a searchable FAQ database and training videos but also a number of other features which further streamline the technical support process for our clients and increase communication with our clients. Clients may lodge a support case directly from foxAdvantage 2007 and can track the progress of any active support cases they have at the click of a mouse.

Brightfox understands the changing needs of our clients in an increasingly global marketplace. We strive to meet these needs by applying new, innovative technical support methods alongside traditional technical support models to produce outstanding results for our clients across the globe.

foxEnterprise Version 6.2

As we’re coming up to the end of April (where did it go?), so too is the latest monthly release of foxEnterprise.

Version 6.2 will have some really exciting new features and enhancements which we will be delighted to announce to our clients and Brightfox Certified Partners this week.