Both how we sell and who we sell to is widening extensively. Salesforce gives us the ability to connect with our customers in a way that’s seamless.”

Norm Duce, General Manager – Group Operations
 
 

20MIN

down from 2 weeks to complete software releases

 

REA Group wants to change how the world experiences property. It operates Australia’s number one property platform and is expanding fast to reach new customers and new markets. This includes scaling its digital advertising business across finance and lifestyle categories and taking it global with businesses now in Southeast Asia and investments in North America and India.

“Both how we sell and who we sell to is widening extensively. Salesforce gives us the ability to connect with our customers in a way that’s seamless,” said Norm Duce, General Manager – Group Operations, REA Group.

REA Group’s products and customers are changing. While property advertising remains its core business, the Group has also introduced home loans and mortgage broking, making its interactions with the consumer more direct. To engage with consumers and customers more effectively, REA Group has relied on Salesforce to gain a better view of how its customers manage their end-to-end journey.

“Our legacy systems were not shaped to the business we were fast becoming,” Duce explained. “Salesforce has provided a foundation to help us grow and springboard to self-service.”

The company is now using Salesforce to redefine the customer experience. It’s established a single view of what their customer looks like and is making every interaction digital. It is also improving operational efficiency for greater speed to market. All these initiatives are helping REA Group to stay at the forefront of its industry in Australia and extend its success overseas.

REA Group’s transformation is taking different shapes in different regions. In Australia, its initial focus was to gain a better understanding of its customers and enable scale. Sales Cloud underpins its new global, Single Point of Truth (SPOT) for each customer. SPOT has given REA Group a broader view of leads and customers and their interactions across the company.

REA Group is just beginning to use Marketing Cloud to nurture leads with personalised campaigns. It also has plans for automated customer journeys to streamline service and onboarding.

“We want to reduce the steps involved in onboarding customers while better supporting them to use our products,” said Duce. “Salesforce will help by enabling us to send out the right information at the right time — whether it’s a welcome kit or more targeted information based on a customer’s recent activity.”

On the advertising side of its business, REA Group is using Salesforce DMP to segment its target audiences and deliver more personalised ads and content. It’s increasing website traffic as well as engagement. Both are vital as the company moves further into the consumer space.

“Ultimately, we want to better harness the visits to our websites each month and ensure that when somebody is considering selling their property, they know to list their property on the place that has the biggest audience,” said Duce.

REA Group’s challenges in Asia have been different. The business there has grown largely through acquisition, resulting in siloed data and disparate processes. Teams were heavily reliant on spreadsheets and manual processes that couldn’t scale.

Shane Williams, Executive Manager – Enterprise Customer Platforms, REA Group, said, “In some ways it was a luxurious situation as there was no complex legacy architecture. We were able to use Salesforce to build a solution that was end-to-end, right from capturing leads to capturing payment.”

This solution stretches across seven businesses in seven countries, encompassing multiple languages, currencies, and tax systems. It provides each business with a single customer view and more standard and scalable processes. Salesforce CPQ is central. It automates quotes and invoices for faster turnaround times and provision of services.

In the future, CPQ will help REA Group move to a self-service model where customers can make purchases directly. “In the past, how we delivered service was unique to each customer. Salesforce helps us be far more efficient and to re-envision our services to provide more value,” said Williams.

The first phase of the project to streamline REA Group’s operations in Asia was delivered across three countries and took just 12 months. This included using Integration Cloud to integrate Salesforce with its ERP and the systems that REA Group uses to provision services. Partners have helped facilitate the company’s rapid success and it has a 30-strong team of internal experts driving it forward. This team includes product managers, functional consultants and developers who have sharpened their skills by working hands-on with partners, training with Salesforce, and learning on Trailhead. They’re now using Salesforce DX to innovate further and faster and have reduced software release times from two weeks to twenty minutes.

Commenting on the team’s capabilities, Williams said it didn’t make sense to invest in a platform without investing in people. Doing both has given REA Group a strong foundation for the future; one that will inevitably involve greater use of AI and machine learning.

“We are a technology and agile company at our core. Salesforce will continue to help us innovate and maintain our advantage,” said Williams.

 
 
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