Upgrade Estate is a growing Belgian company, active in the real estate industry for more than 20 years. They provide accommodation for students and young professionals and have quite a unique offer: besides renting rooms or flats to their tenants, they also give people the possibility to invest in shares in their buildings and get some return on the profits.
The real estate company currently has 26 projects in 7 cities. Most of them are meant for student accommodation, but the organization is now also moving to apartments and office rental.
Upgrade Estate’s concept is gaining popularity and the organization is growing. As for all growing companies, some new challenges for the commercial teams come along with it. This customer case explains those challenges as well as how Elixir Solutions has helped to overcome them.
The organization is structured in multiple customer-facing teams such as customer success, investment sales, rental sales and marketing. Upgrade Estate wanted to achieve more alignment between these teams and more efficiency in the commercial processes.
Previously, the sales and customer success team used Teamleader CRM to manage leads, customers, and deals. The team in charge of the rental leads was still working with Excel sheets and Outlook. But as the company grew over time, these tools didn’t meet their increasing requirements anymore.
The commercial departments at Upgrade Estate needed:
- More transparency on their contacts’ interactions with marketing activities such as webinars, mailings, and the website
- More reporting possibilities
- Less manual work for their employees, such as assigning leads to sales reps or logging calls into CRM
- A shared platform with centralized lead and customer data
WHY ELIXIR SOLUTIONS?
Upgrade Estate selected HubSpot as its new marketing and sales platform since it allows for their marketing and sales teams to work on the same platform with the same database and have a more complete view of the different stakeholders’ customer journeys. But Upgrade Estate has a complex solution architecture with a myriad of systems supporting their different businesses. Knowing how to position HubSpot in this environment and how to handle data governance processes was crucial for them.
As a HubSpot diamond partner with extensive experience in big & complex projects and a clear view on how to set up these data governance processes, Elixir Solutions turned out to be the best choice to accompany Upgrade Estate on the transformative journey of all of their commercial departments.
WHAT WE DID?
As for all our HubSpot projects, we proposed a structured approach to make sure the implementation would go as smoothly as possible.
1. Business and technical assessment
The first step was a thorough business and technical assessment. This consisted of interviews with key stakeholders to get a good view on the strategic goals and potential implementation challenges, as well as the existing data structures and IT architecture.
This assessment resulted in the recommendation to first start with a solution architecture study because of the complexity of the existing data model and system architecture.
Next to that, we proposed to set up a Revenue Operations team which would serve as the link between the different customer-facing departments and be in charge of managing data and the IT infrastructure, reporting & analytics, and aligning customer communication.
2. Configuration of HubSpot
We did two different projects at the same time: HubSpot Sales Onboarding and HubSpot Marketing Onboarding. These projects have different approaches on how we handle things.
After the assessment phase, the actual HubSpot implementation could commence.
This second phase consisted of a good dynamic between configuring the system and multiple validation workshops.
During those workshops, the project team and additional stakeholders discussed in detail the various areas and processes that had to be implemented. These ranged from contact and company management, handling new leads, deal management, sales activities to reporting and authorizations.
Our implementation team would then configure what had been agreed upon in the workshops. This would be demonstrated and validated in the following workshop, and changes were suggested by Upgrade Estate’s stakeholders if necessary.
For the Marketing onboarding, we also started after the assessment phase. We started with a kick-off call where we gave more information about the planning & scope, tools & resources, goals of the project, and a demo of the Marketing Hub.
The onboarding consisted of weekly workshops where we sat together with Upgrade Estate's marketing team. During these workshops, we focused on various inbound marketing topics that were crucial for the success of the first HubSpot marketing campaign:
- Buyer personas + buyer's journey
- Forms, CTAs, landing pages
- Analytics & dashboards
3. Data migration
Once the HubSpot set-up was completed and validated, the existing contact, company, and deal data had to be migrated from Teamleader CRM to HubSpot.
In order to be well prepared for this migration, a field mapping was done to select the data that had to be migrated to HubSpot and to know which Teamleader fields and HubSpot fields corresponded with each other.
A particular challenge here was that the data structure in Teamleader was not exactly the same as in HubSpot. For example, Upgrade Estate needed to relate multiple contacts that were part of a family. This was not possible in HubSpot the same way as in Teamleader. To solve this issue, Elixir Solutions proposed to work with a custom object ‘Family’ which multiple contacts could be associated with.
The Teamleader data was first exported and cleaned by the Upgrade Estate project team. Elixir Solutions then transformed the data to make sure it corresponded to HubSpot’s data structure. Finally, the data was imported and the contacts, companies, deals as well as the custom objects such as the families were associated with each other.
The implementation of new tools is only successful if the system users are actually using them the way they should be.
For Upgrade Estate, it was key to provide trainings to the various teams and types of users that would be working with HubSpot. The Elixir Solutions project team went on-site for different training sessions for the sales team, marketing team, rental team, customer success team and the system admin users.
These trainings included a thorough explanation of the processes to follow, a demo of the HubSpot interface, and multiple practical exercises to make sure the teams were comfortable enough with working in HubSpot.
Upgrade Estate was now ready to start using HubSpot. The platform was connected to their website, forms, email inboxes, and social media accounts.
The marketing team could start scheduling social posts, managing ads and sending marketing mails. The first new leads were being generated in HubSpot and followed up on by the sales team.
6. Running the first marketing campaign
After the go-live, Upgrade Estate launched its first marketing campaign by using HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise.
This campaign mainly focused on generating new leads that were interested in investing in a new student house project in a Belgian city. The main channel that was used for this campaign was Facebook Ads. Upgrade Estate already had experience with this tool and achieved great results with it. But with the addition of HubSpot, the sales reps were able to see the buyer's journey on the contact's timeline (e.g. form submissions, page views, etc.) which was a great asset to them. Once they became a contact after converting from the ads, they were enrolled into a lead nurturing workflow that automatically sends marketing emails to invite them to a webinar or open house.
Of course, Elixir Solutions remained available for any questions and to support with optimizations that had to be done to the system.
RESULTSThe implementation project from configuration until go-live took about 2 months from start to go-live. This was quite fast given the different challenges and size of the implementation project.
Nevertheless, Elixir Solutions and Upgrade Estate managed to deliver a solution which the different commercial teams were quickly able to adopt, and that was working well for them.
The implementation of HubSpot helped to solve their challenges by:
- Having marketing and sales working with the same database and platform, resulting in more alignment between both and more efficiency.
- Increasing the commercial process efficiency through automating workflows such as assigning leads and tasks, and enriching contact & company data.
- Providing a more complete customer view, including the contacts’ interactions with marketing actions and more data to report on.