Case Study

Douglas Elliman Development Marketing

How a Newfound Competitive Advantage Enabled America’s Leading Brokerage to Sell $9 Billion in Inventory



A History of Success

Douglas Elliman Development Marketing (DEDM), the new development marketing consultancy division of premier residential real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman delivers a holistic approach encompassing comprehensive in-house research, planning and design, marketing, sales and leasing to their portfolio valued over $87 billion dollars. Backed by over a century’s worth of insights and experience, DEDM combines unrivaled sales, leasing, and marketing expertise with real-time market intelligence of the most intricate details to major trends in new development real estate.

Charlie Snyder, Senior VP of Research and Analytics at DEDM, has worked in new development for more than 15 years.

“One of my responsibilities is to add a quantitative view to the qualitative aspects of a project.”

In his current role, Charlie focuses on research & analytics, with an expertise in analyzing market conditions and performing strategic research to optimize development strategy from conception to completion.

“Gathering sales information across the market and within our portfolio is straightforward, however, quantifiable marketing analytics is something that's always been an issue in new development. Buyer demographic information and marketing campaign effectiveness has been very much anecdotal. We're actually trying to quantify that and turn that into actionable information. We want to understand who our buyers are, where they are coming from, what the most effective way to reach them is and track that entire path to purchase.”


Reliable Insights Need Reliable Primary Data

Prior to partnering with Spark, DEDM used a different system to manage their CRM needs.

“When I went to DEDM, they were using a CRM system that was kind of clunky and didn’t offer much in terms of being able to extract sales and marketing insights. The overall design looked very antiquated and was not the most user friendly,” said Charlie.

More importantly, the system did not allow DEDM to standardize processes or data and offered little in terms of customization. Given the limitations of their CRM’s capabilities, the team was quick to understand that if the data their system was collecting was missing key context or integrity, their sales efforts would be significantly obstructed.

“Comparing some data types was like comparing apples to oranges. It wasn’t clear on how to compare those metrics prior to Spark.”



Building a Strong Foundation of Analytics

“The first time I saw Spark, I was like, wow this actually looks like a real program for today's world,” said Charlie. “Being able to fully use it on both mobile and desktop has been invaluable.”

Analytics and insights are only as useful as the primary data they are based upon. Beyond its user interface, Spark was able to provide significant value to DEDM through efficient and accurate data collection. By being able to identify different target segments and tailor their strategy accordingly, DEDM was able to build a foundation of data integrity and cleanliness through Spark.

“The registration source is something we use to determine whether an inquiry is a broker or a buyer, and Spark has allowed us to make that a required field. Now anybody coming into the system is required to enter the registration source before advancing, which wasn’t possible before. We build so much of our reporting and analyses off this key data field; it’s actually a feature we couldn’t function without.”

Even further, DEDM is able to apply this in-depth data in-application through their email marketing campaigns. Data collected by Spark has the ability to sort leads into various profiles groups that permit segmented and targeted email campaigns, tailored to the specific target profile.

“The email campaign functionality is a really cool feature that we're able to utilize by segmenting our inquiries into specific buckets. We can send target-specific messages to those buyers and brokers then track their success based upon the metrics that Spark produces. It also enables our sales teams to prioritize follow-up with the inquiries that may have interacted with a specific campaign. I have not been able to do that with any other projects in the past."


DEDM’s Newfound Competitive Advantage

By utilizing Spark's data driven system, DEDM gains a competitive advantage in how it can service its customers and set themselves apart from its competition.

Spark's reporting feature allows DEDM to offer customizable reporting to its clients, providing multiple concurrent reports that are tailored to be relevant to even a single person within an organization.

“Spark’s reporting functionality is tremendous. Not only are we able to customize reports for a specific project but also to a specific team member or project stakeholder. The developer might have somebody on their team that only cares about contracts or sales information, so we can create a report specific to them and their needs,” said Charlie.

Further, DEDM can take those customized reporting dashboards and pre-program them to be regularly sent out to the intended recipient improving efficiency and reducing the chance of human error.

“We can create a variety of different widgets that address those questions and then set up an automation that regularly sends out those reports on a specific day and time, in either PDF or Excel format, which I think is pretty cool.”

This feature provides the competitive advantage that has allowed DEDM to significantly differentiate themselves from their competitors. The depth and reliability of the data and information that DEDM is able to capture through Spark is well beyond what their competitors are able to achieve.

“The level of detail that we're able to provide clients in terms of reporting certainly sets us apart from other brokerages and I think we’re also doing it in a very efficient way. We have so many projects that use Spark where I can gain real insight into what we're seeing across our portfolio and then drill down on the project and unit level. We have also successfully worked with Spark to integrate additional third-party platforms to further enhance what we deliver to our clients. Spark has been a tremendous partner in understanding what we’re trying to do and where we’re looking to expand as an organization.”

The data-driven success that DEDM has been able to achieve through Spark’s offerings has led to the organization growing its portfolio with Spark.

“I think we started right before the pandemic with two projects and now we have 16. We’ve certainly added a substantial amount.”

To date, DEDM has managed over 2100 units and $9 billion in inventory through Spark.

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