The worlds of real estate, retail, and finance are almost always involved in every home remodeling project. Homebuyers often renovate newly purchased houses to fit their needs or renovate their current homes in hopes of a better selling price. Existing homeowners also renovate to increase the value of their homes, whether they’re looking to sell now or down the road. These scenarios all mean engaging with real estate agents, lenders, contractors and home improvement retailers.
These adjacent industries are called upon to interact on as-needed basis to serve customers and, as with every other type of business, customer data is the main currency of these interactions. These industries are, however, operating almost as if they were unrelated to each other. This lack of collaboration costs them opportunities to grow, capture data and serve customer needs early on, while also creating a fragmented experience for the customer.
The fragmentation problem is not a new one, and data partnerships have already developed in other industries. The travel industry, for example, chose to introduce the travel agency – to act as an aggregator, provide a better customer experience and develop business opportunities for their owners. So what can those working in the home renovation ecosystem take away from exemplary partnerships and accomplish together?
Start with a Renovation Marketplace
Renovation marketplaces are a great place to start because they focus on providing potential home renovators with all their needs in one place. Any successful marketplace should always start by answering key questions the customer may have.
If the industries could capture customers’ intentions early on, they could grow them into opportunities while making the delighted customers’ lives better at the same time. They could also help usher the customers to the other industries, to the mutual benefit of all.
The financial industry could use such opportunities to make customers’ plans a reality by learning more about their projects and budgets, and providing access to loans the moment homeowners begin thinking about renovating.
For members of the retail industry, imagine a situation where you know that a customer will need to buy cabinets for their kitchen three months before they are ordered. That is predictive data at its best.
Think about what a vendor could do to capitalize on that information and provide a better experience for potential customers.
What About the Real Estate Industry?
People who are seeking information about home renovations are often either preparing to sell their homes or thinking of buying homes that they know will need renovating. Knowing who is thinking of selling presents great opportunities for real estate businesses to capture valuable listings early on.
So, Why Hasn’t This Collaboration Already Happened?
These industries have a complex array of data points, yet many still live in an offline world. This is still the case for many in the home construction and renovation industries.
Even the most technologically advanced players don’t have systems in place to effectively share their data with adjacent industries, leaving space for companies that use Google to stay at the center, selling ads but not necessarily making their customers happy.
Solving this lack of information flow starts with the democratization and analysis of renovation intent data. By identifying trends about users’ preferences and needs, we can better understand the market and improve their experience.
Technology Bridges the Gap
Technology can bridge the gap for the home renovation, loan, and real estate industries so that they all win, and the customer wins as well.
How to Fix the Experience
Fixing this fragmented experience lies with using a platform similar to Airbnb or OpenTable, where people use tools at each step and answer key questions with minimal intervention.
By creating tools that resolve customer needs and answer their questions – generating valuable data all the while – and then providing access to customers for the invested parties, the renovation experience becomes easier and more satisfying for everyone, including homeowners, financial institutions, and retailers.
With the right data collection methods, partnerships among the industries directly involved in the home renovation, as well as those that are tangentially related, can blossom. The result? A better experience for businesses and consumers alike.
By collaborating and using data and technology, we can change the way people renovate, buy, sell and finance their homes.