Enterprise Investing in Remote Access Technology: The Prudential Fox Roach/Trident Case

Enterprise Investing in Remote Access Technology: The Prudential Fox Roach/Trident Case

Stephen J. Andriole (Villanova University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-018-9.ch005
OnDemand PDF Download:
$37.50

Abstract

This is a case of enterprise investing in a specific technology to improve the way its employees communicate and transact business with their customers. The company involved was Prudential Fox Roach/Trident (PFRT) realtors, an independently owned and operated member of the Prudential Real Estate Affiliate, Inc. PFRT is the fourth-largest provider of real estate services in the U.S., with nearly $16 billion in annual sales. The company operates 70 offices in the Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey area; there are 900 employees. Prudential Fox & Roach/Trident also contracts with more than 3,300 independent sales agents who work on commission. These agents were the focus of the technology investment.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction To The Case1

This is a case of enterprise investing in a specific technology to improve the way its employees communicate and transact business with their customers. The company involved was Prudential Fox Roach/Trident (PFRT) realtors, an independently owned and operated member of the Prudential Real Estate Affiliate, Inc. PFRT is the fourth-largest provider of real estate services in the U.S., with nearly $16 billion in annual sales. The company operates 70 offices in the Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey area; there are 900 employees. Prudential Fox & Roach/Trident also contracts with more than 3,300 independent sales agents who work on commission. These agents were the focus of the technology investment.

The company is a full-service or real estate “solutions provider.” The value proposition is wrapped around services, for buying, selling, renting, or relocating, and reach, through its offices and sales associates and the larger Prudential network with over 1,400 national offices and 40,000 sales associates throughout the United States and Canada. Prudential Fox Roach/Trident also provides financing, settlement, and insurance through The Trident Group.

Up until the mid- to late 1990s, the processes that optimized production, sales and service—including real estate processes—were relatively well-bounded, with clear beginnings, middles, and ends. Today those processes are extended and continuous. One way to think about the change is to contrast discrete transactions with continuous ones. Discrete transactions, like selling insurance policies, buying disk drives to be included in PC manufacturing, or buying or selling stock, used to be transactions that one could begin in the morning and complete by afternoon or the next morning after running a transaction “batch.” Today these transactions are continuous: one insurance policy is blended with another; cross- and up-selling—the desire to sell existing customers additional (and more expensive) products and services—are continuous goals; disk drive acquisition is integrated into PC manufacturing and buying and selling stock is simultaneously linked to tax calculators and estate planners. Real estate professionals simultaneously sell homes, mortgages, and insurance; some of them even sell (and re-sell) home decorating, nanny and shopping services; and they do all of this selling using digital technology at some point or another in the sales cycle. For example, so-called full-service real estate companies will list the house with the multiple listing service (MLS), advertise the house, offer open houses over weekends, help find financing, organize the settlement process, find vendors to perform whatever repairs are necessary, provide data about local and regional schools, provide names of approved babysitters, and names, addresses and references for licensed and insured electricians, plumbers, and landscapers. Much of this is done using data bases that the full service realtor has developed over time; much of the communication is through e-mail or through access to the company’s Web site which has a password protected portal for its customers.

Connectivity among employees, suppliers, customers and partners—though far from complete—is enabling interactive customer relationships, integrated supply chains, and the business analytics that permit real-time adjustments to inventory, distribution, and pricing. The net effect is that time and distance have been compressed, and speed and agility have been accelerated. Perhaps no other market has experienced this compression more than real estate which in some parts of the United States has seen price increases of over 300% during the last 5 years. In addition, the average number of days that houses stay on the market before sale has decreased by 50% in many markets. Some markets see houses selling in a matter of days or weeks rather than months that was the norm in the 1980s and 1990s (though toward the end of 2005 the market began to slow).

In the real estate world, it is all about seller data, customer data, and matching this data with the specifics of each transaction. In order to do this, real estate brokers and agents must have immediate and reliable access to data, processes, required forms, and information about regulatory requirements and changes. The “life cycle” concept is especially relevant to real estate customers since a typical customer will buy and sell several homes, purchase several mortgages, and in the process obtain a great number of supporting services, like home inspection and insurance. Real estate buyers and sellers are near-perfect life-long customers.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset