Grainger plc uses Salesforce to improve the customer journey, accelerate lettings, and help build relationships that last.

 

Homes make one of the biggest contributions to our overall sense of happiness and wellbeing, more than our jobs, our incomes, or even our physical health.

A major survey of more than 13,000 people in ten European countries, carried out by the Happiness Research Institute and Kingfisher, also revealed that 73% of those who feel good about their home, also have a general sense of happiness.

Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed operator of privately rented homes, knows that feeling happy at home is about much more than simple bricks and mortar. By finding out what’s important to residents and their lifestyles, Grainger is designing new buildings that are a benchmark for quality, featuring superfast Wi-Fi, Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, on-site gyms, dining rooms, communal meeting spaces, and co-working areas, where families and communities can meet and build friendships.

It’s a formula that works, for residents and the business alike. In Grainger’s most recent annual customer survey, 8/10 residents said they ‘really like’ their Grainger home. Now, the company has ambitious plans to almost double the number of rented homes it operates across the UK to 18,000.

Grainger’s goal is to build long-term, sustainable communities by delivering excellent service to residents and providing a seamless, high-quality experience, from helping them find the home that suits them best, to assisting when they are ready to move on in life. Technology plays a crucial role in making this happen, and Grainger is partnering with Salesforce to enable some elements of this.

 
 
Paul Glibbery
Chief Information Officer
Grainger
 
 
 

1. Seamless services.

“When I joined the business, there were many things that impressed me,” explained Grainger’s Chief Information Officer, Paul Glibbery. “A key one, was the recognition of the vital role that technology will play in moving from a traditional property management mindset to a more customer and experience-led focus. This is a big step in a sector that is probably one of the last to embrace the transformative potential of technology.”

Grainger attracts large numbers of customers to rent its homes, and provides the friendly, easy-to-access, seamless services and experience that they now expect, and crucially it wanted to make services easily accessible on a smartphone. This means having the right technology platform and integrated ecosystem that helps a business to stand out from the competition, becomes critical. And Grainger recognised that the Salesforce platform would help it achieve this.

For Grainger, Salesforce is a key component of its CONNECT Platform and its vision of ‘creating connections that deliver sustainable growth’. In a single ecosystem its customers complete the entire rental process online, in one single location, they use an online portal to access all the information and services they require to enjoy their home, request repairs and schedule maintenance appointments, book amenities in their building, and connect with neighbours.

Now, just a few months on from the launch of its integrated Salesforce platform, Grainger is already reporting significant improvements, in internal processes and most importantly, in the customer experience.

Grainger has replaced largely analogue and manual processes with Salesforce. It attracts potential residents to rent homes using digital and social media marketing campaigns and integration with key sales channels like Rightmove, the UK’s premier property website, and organises online or in-person viewings using a virtual booking system and video tools.

Grainger then converts those prospects into customers, making credit and reference checks online, agreeing prices, terms and conditions, and exchanging all tenancy documentation using digital signatures.

 
 

2. Complete visibility and control.

By creating a seamless, ‘lead to lease’ process and an excellent customer experience, leasing completion times have been significantly reduced to just hours.

“Thanks to Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud we now have complete visibility of customers from our first contact with them, and control and management of the processes involved in completing their journey from lead to lease. It’s proved itself to be entirely the right platform. It will enable us to have a single view of the customer and we’re looking to exploit further functionality going forward,” said Glibbery.

The launch of Salesforce in early 2021 came just in time for Grainger to deal with an incredible spike in demand resulting from the re-opening following consecutive COVID-19 lockdowns. Grainger launched five new buildings in a relatively short period across multiple cities in 2021. Each required intensive marketing, sales, and customer relationship management activity to deliver the right volume of leads that would then convert into confirmed lettings for more than 1,000+ new homes.

“Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud manages our database of customers, orchestrates our launch campaigns, handles the large volume of enquiries that we receive, and helps onboard new residents with efficient and streamlined processes that make us very easy to do business with,” explained Director of Lettings and Residential Marketing, Jonathan Pitt.

“We came through an incredibly busy period, dealing with thousands of leads per month. Without Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud it would have been a real challenge to manage the scale and number of transactions we did and handle them in such a frictionless manner at high speed. This undoubtedly enhanced the customer experience.”

WorldTour London 2022: Engage & Win Clients To Build A Stronger Future.

3. Accelerating revenues.

With the team at Grainger now enabled to handle the required volume of enquiries, it also secured a record lease-up for it’s the Headline development in Leeds, leasing up 242 new rental homes in just three months, nine months ahead of schedule.

All five newly launched buildings were at full occupancy by the end of 2021, with a year’s business transacted in just a few months, delivering a substantial acceleration in revenues.

“The high quality of our homes and their locations are key factors too, of course,” said Pitt. “This creates strong demand which translates into lots of interest. We now have the ability to handle this professionally and at speed to deliver an excellent customer experience.”

“We have a much better understanding of the impact that Salesforce has had in building the capacity of our teams, enabling improved resource planning and budgeting for growth” explained Glibbery. “It’s great to see our investment producing such fantastic returns, well ahead of the business case projections, which is clearly good news for Grainger.”

 
 

+1000

leads every month

 

+300

Employees

 

+23k

customers

 
 

4. A valued client, not a tenant.

Grainger’s ability to handle substantial increases in volume informs the makeup of strategic marketing plans and the speed at which new buildings can be released, enabling Grainger to accelerate its plans and expectations for investment, income, and growth. Letting five buildings in one year, unprecedented in 2021, could now become the norm.

Most importantly, feedback from residents is extremely positive too, Jane, a Grainger resident explained:

“One of the things that has impressed me most about Grainger is how responsive they are to our needs. They actually care about making us feel comfortable in our home! We're treated like valued clients, rather than simply tenants.”

 

The GoodHome Report 2019.

 
 

For more information, visit Grainger Plc.

 

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