Creating value and differentiation for real estate developers

Customer first, lifestyle led, data driven

Ramy Sfeir
Bilal Mikati
Zahi Awad

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Executive summary

Residential real estate developers across the Middle East need to focus on customer experience, which will boost the value of their products and services so they can differentiate themselves further from their competitors in a maturing market. Although customer experience is already the core differentiator in the market, developers must now go further and offer data-driven, highly customer-centric experiences. This change should mirror the transformation that took place in the retail sector over the past few years.

 

A competitive market with changing customer needs

Residential developers confront a maturing, competitive market, in which the value of their products is under pressure. The entry of generation Z to the housing market as new tenants and homeowners is expected to add further pressure, given the difference between the expectations of these new digitally native customers and the less than digitally advanced state of the housing industry.

Much like their retail peers before them, residential developers need to differentiate themselves by offering a superlative customer experience that is driven by in-depth customer knowledge and enabled by data analytics. Developers can no longer compete largely on product delivery, price, or even sales and after-sales service.

To stand out, developers need to provide personalized products and services for customers. These should be based on lifestyle factors, such as whether people are active or retirees by drawing on relevant data that provide meaningful experiences.

Residential developers should reflect on how retail players have adapted to the changes in clients’ needs. Retailers shifted their focus from brick-and-mortar outlets to spaces that stressed experience and omnichannel sales, all the while reinforcing customer loyalty and increasing revenues from these customers.

 

As the market matures, the focus is shifting from product differentiation to customer experience
Focus and differentiation basis are based on market maturity

 

Conclusion

Developers can differentiate themselves, drive sales, and build revenues through data-driven, community-focused customer experiences, leading to longer-term, more collaborative relationships—and more value. By using innovative technologies and data insight gained in virtual and real-world environments, developers can build a better picture of customer lifestyle requirements and post-purchase needs. That will allow them to adapt their offerings, increase customer lifetime value, generate new revenue streams, and, ultimately, beat the competition.

 

Contact us

Ramy Sfeir

Ramy Sfeir

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Bilal Mikati

Bilal Mikati

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Zahi Awad

Zahi Awad

Principal, Strategy& Middle East

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