Chimbusco International Limited is the company that operates in the real estate segment in New Zealand with its current specialization in Flat Bush in Auckland. Thus, apart from the high profitability and attractiveness of the region to the foreign and national customers, the company seeks to maximize its profits by engaging in direct contact with the consumers. The literature review clearly states that these assumptions are rational and underlines the need to focus on social media, as the Internet continues to rise in its popularity in New Zealand and worldwide.
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To discover this question, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used. In this case, quantitative questionnaires with 15 questions were designed and distributed to 60 participants. Meanwhile, ten interviews were conducted after the data was collected to unveil the selected topic in detail. Taking advantage of this method was of high importance, as it would help balance the benefits and drawbacks of both chosen strategies. The findings were analyzed with the help of descriptive statistics, diagrams, and categorization.
Consequently, it was revealed that the respondents with a high level of income would be interested in being in direct contact with the company. At the same time, there was a clear correlation (0,714) between the recognition of the company and the desire of the customers to engage in a relationship with it. Thus, some of them would be eager to discover opportunities with the firm after conducting sufficient research. Apart from the fact that 80% of the participants were satisfied with the services, some wanted to improve them while making them more personal. At the same time, both current and potential clients underlined the importance of loans (58%), legal advice (16.4%), and transportation (3.3%). The respondents believed that it could help them resolve their financial problems, minimize the cases of fraud, and make the overall process more convenient. As for marketing preferences, the consumers preferred to be contacted directly by means of the Internet (50%) and social media (38.5%), as these aspects were rapidly gaining popularity and recognition worldwide. A combination of these features clearly determines the factors that have to be improved before initiating contact with the help of Internet tools and social media.
Based on this analysis, the company has to improve its competitive advantage and value proposition by enhancing the quality of the provided services and adding transportation. At the same time, it is essential to focus on intimacy to build a trusting relationship with the clients, as it will increase Chimbusco International Limited’s recognition and consumer base. Including these values in training programs can be one of the solutions. However, at the same time, it is vital to pay vehement attention to resource allocation, as it will help determine the financial capacity that can be invested in new marketing campaigns. After this assessment, the company can take advantage of the principles of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), social media groups, and interactive websites.
Terms of Reference
Initially, the central goal of the project was to find and propose a comprehensive solution to Chimbusco International Limited by evaluating customer needs, satisfaction with the service and products of the company, and determining a way to communicate and sell directly to the customers to maximize profits. Thus, the areas to be studied next may include testing the proposed strategy and discovering consumer behavior, its connection to the company’s finance, specifics of the region, different statistical methods, and human resource management (HRM). In this case, the recommendations may include creating a timetable of research, scheduling meetings, and having time to understand statistics software.
The project implied using different methods to find a solution to understand the topic such as collecting information with the assistance of literature review, the company’s analysis, questionnaires, and interviews, analyzing data with the help of categorization and statistics, and interpreting and describing results. The most difficult part was to schedule interviews, as people were not eager to participate. Simultaneously, I also experienced difficulties with statistics since I did not have a lot of experience in this area. Nonetheless, apart from these challenges, the project reached the expected and planned goals, and I was able to design an effective solution that might be used by the company.
Nowadays, the real estate and construction markets are highly competitive, and the companies have to adapt to the market changes quickly to become market leaders. Nonetheless, constantly intensifying rivalry expands opportunities for businesses and creates challenges for society at the same time (Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2015; Stucke, 2013; Suri, 2016). The subsequent sections will help understand the ways to communicate and sell real estate directly to the customers rather than through the agency, as this matter will help increase profits.
In the context of this paper, Chimbusco International Limited that operates in the described market is discussed with the help of SWOT and financial analysis. The report uses a mixed research methods approach, and applying both qualitative and quantitative strategies can assist in improving the quality of services, discovering suggestions of the customers, optimizing direct communication with them, resolving common problems, and selecting the most appropriate marketing channels. Thus, it is expected that it is necessary for the company to communicate with customers via social media, increase its recognition in the intensified rivalry, and enhance the quality of the services. Finally, the authors of the study hope that the management of Chimbusco International Limited can use the acquired findings to improve their current position.
As it was mentioned earlier, the project’s outcomes met the perceived expectations. In this case, they include
- Clients are not aware of the company and its services (correlation between responses to Questions 5 and 9), and it is necessary to focus on improving the company’s recognition;
- Customers appreciate to be contacted directly by real estate providers;
- Clients prefer getting information about new offers online via the Internet and social media, and Chimbusco International Limited should use this method when designing marketing campaigns;
- Customers want to expand the services and include such features as legal consultancy and transportation, and the enterprise has to consider this expansion;
- Clients want communication to become more friendly and personal, and Chimbusco International Limited can focus on these aspects during direct contact and while training the employees.
Chimbusco International Limited is a company that specializes in different industries including both construction and real estate. Despite its initial focus on local markets, the company currently operates internationally and plans its expansion to China in the recent future. Thus, its main office is located at Flat Bush School Road. Flat Bush covers 19 hectares of land, and it is provided by the City Council of Auckland (Auckland Council, 2017). This area is planned to become one of the prosperous and greatest towns in New Zealand in the recent future with a well-developed infrastructure (Auckland Council, 2017). Currently, the companies including Chimbusco International focus on building and selling houses and constructions in this segment, as it is a valuable investment, and it will increase the company’s revenues in the long-term. Buying houses in this location will be beneficial not only for the enterprise but also for the customers since new infrastructure includes schools, restaurants, commercial centers, hospitals, sports venues, and other necessary facilities.
In my internship, I worked in the sales department, and my major task was not only to improve the quality of the services but also to find a way to communicate directly to the customers and inform them about new offers. Simultaneously, I had to expand my main knowledge about the construction process to market houses successfully to the customers. Lastly, I had to discover opportunities in the Chinese market, as the company highly focused on industrialization, and these features helped me write an effective report.
Another important part of the analysis is to understand and interpret financial information, as it can help determine the company’s stability and competitiveness. In this case, Chimbusco International Limited has stable sales and tend to optimize its revenues by paying vehement attention to its costs and profits (see Figure 1). Nonetheless, apart from an upward shift in the recent past, the company had fewer profits in 2016, and it could be associated with a lack of recognition. Figure 1 clearly shows that the company was able to balance its expenses by decreasing operational costs. This aspect is a positive sign concerning the firm’s performance and its possibility to devote more resources to advertising.
The corporate structure is highly important, as it describes the hierarchy and determines the main duties of each department (Wilson, 2014). At the same time, it ensures the sufficient flow of information in the organization and assists in understanding the framework that is employed to make balanced decisions (Wilson, 2014). Having a well-designed corporate structure helps achieve different and important corporate goals, maximize profits, and become one of the market leaders. Based on the information provided above, a sufficient organizational chart is essential since it can increase working efficiency and capacity while introducing effective internal control procedures.
As for Chimbusco International Limited, the company has a sufficient organizational structure to ensure the flow of the processes and information. Figure 2 describes it in detail. The company is divided into two principal departments that are Construction and Real Estate while the supporting ones are Marketing, International Affairs, and Finance. Simultaneously, the company hires interns and considers them as future professionals.
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There are different analytical tools and instruments that are used to assess organizational external and internal environments. In this case, SWOT is one of them, and it is actively utilized to evaluate different aspects and trends of the market (Armstrong, Adam, Denise & Kotler, 2014). It focuses on the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It helps define the matters that have to be improved, and the findings assist in understanding strategy. In this case, Table 1 provides an analysis of Chimbusco International Limited.
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Table 1. SWOT analysis.
Literature Review and Market Research
Real Estate Market in New Zealand
It is clearly reflected in SWOT analysis that the real estate market experiences an upward shift. For example, the Auckland area is rapidly increasing in popularity for foreigners and New Zealanders. It attracts people from different parts of the world by its picturesque views, “sub-tropical climate” “glamour of an international city”, and a variety of dining options (Roy, 2016, para. 4). For example, Flat Bush is a new city with a well-developed infrastructure that will be fully built by 2025, and it will attract even more visitors (Auckland Council, 2017). At the same time, its rapid growth and expansion are triggered by foreign investment that accounts for 50% of the ownership (Roy, 2016). This matter implies that the government lacks control of the market while making it highly competitive. Another potential reason for its growth is the fact that the authorities of the country prioritize urbanization, as it is a necessity in the current situation due to the lack of space.
Unfortunately, these matters drive a continuous price increase, and Figure 4 clearly displays the changes that took place within one year in New Zealand solely. Due to the rising popularity of Auckland, prices for housing and rent are even higher than in other regions (see Figure 5). These price fluctuations are negative for customers, but the companies clearly benefit from this situation by gaining profits. The government attempts to control this situation by requiring investors to have 40% of their financial resources in cash, but the environment is still favorable for businesses (Roy, 2016). Thus, the major consumers can be discovered as individuals with a high level of income due to high prices, and they can be viewed as both males and females with national and foreign origin.
Communication Strategies: Literature Review
Alternatively, it is essential to review different communication strategies that are actively used in the real estate industry. In the recent past, companies highly relied on direct communication by focusing on sufficient training of real estate agents. The construction companies tended to consult an intermediary agency to increase their sales (Allen, 2011). Nonetheless, the firms had to readapt their strategies, as consumers started using the Internet and social media actively. Figure 6 displays that channels such as Facebook could be considered as the most popular and effective ones.
This trend strongly affected the real estate industry while creating new challenges and opportunities at the same time. For example, developing new communication instruments required real estate agents to reconsider their communication patterns since now, they not only had to interact with the customers but also utilize different means of technology to support a client and convince him/her to make a purchase (Jones & Benjamin, 2013). On the one hand, it increases the responsiveness of marketing campaigns, and direct contact without an intermediary can decrease costs. However, on the other side, the lack of knowledge of these tools may slow the process while making communication less effective and questioning the need for direct contact in the real estate industry (Jones & Benjamin, 2013). In this case, further research is required to understand the beneficial usage of technology and select the most appropriate and cost-effective strategy to communicate directly with customers.
The research aims at finding a way that can be actively employed to communicate with the customers directly in the real estate segment since this matter can help maximize profits. In this instance, it is necessary to collect consumer opinions about the company, service, and their preferences and design a strategy based on this data. Collecting information with the help of questionnaires will be the most effective tool, as it can be analyzed and presented via diagrams and statistics (Neelankavil, 2015). At the same time, some of the participants were interviewed to gain more insights on the topic. The total sample included 60 respondents while 25 were the customers of the company. Ten participants were interviewed. The questionnaire was used to collect valuable data about the topic.
Questions in the survey can be divided into three sections. The first group discovers general information about the customers such as the demographics and interest in real estate. The second part aims at understanding both current clients’ and potential customers’ level of satisfaction and expectations. In the end, valuable information regarding communication strategies is provided, as this matter can optimize marketing campaigns. To gain more insights, both close and open-ended questions are utilized.
Scope and Rationale
This research attempts to review the opinions and preferences of both current and potential clients of the company, and it can be used to develop a way to communicate directly to the customers because it is more cost-effective than relying on the services of the agencies. It will help unveil the factors that have to be improved and discover different services that can be added. Simultaneously, understanding customers’ preferences concerning advertising and marketing can assist in designing a cost-efficient way to contact clients without intermediaries. It was necessary to include these matters in the research project, as they framed the sufficient image and discovered it from dissimilar angles.
Thus, the parts such as understanding a connection between the marketing campaign and occupation of the participants were excluded from the project. The primary reason is the fact that they are not the central goal of the study. However, this approach can be viewed as a goal of future research. The aspects such as HRM, financials, and detailed customer satisfaction analysis were not included in this project for similar reasons.
The Report User
The report will be presented to the Internship Course tutor Stephan Hauke at Whitireia Community Polytechnic and sales department manager of Chimbusco International Limited.
Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis
Before organizing a research study, it is necessary to understand the main differences between quantitative and qualitative research models. Qualitative research is an exploratory type of study that tends to assess different ideas, opinions, and texts (Creswell, 2014; Xavier University Library, 2012). This framework is actively used not only to discover trends and patterns but also to gain insightful information about the subject (Xavier University Library, 2012). It assists in reviewing topics or phenomena profoundly with the help of interviews, literature review, and observations. Nonetheless, its primary drawback is a small sample size and a high degree of subjectivity.
As for quantitative research, it utilizes numerical data acquired through experiments, statistics, and questionnaires to determine general patterns and trends of the research (Xavier University Library, 2012; Punch, 2013). It does not provide valuable details about the subject, but it is associated with a high degree of objectivity, as the findings can be generalized (Xavier University Library, 2012). Nonetheless, the primary drawbacks of this method are difficulties in collecting the required quantity of responses. In the context of Chimbusco International Limited, it is reasonable to use a mixed approach to diminish the impact of the drawbacks of both methods.
Qualitative Analysis (Interview)
Ten interviews took place after the survey was completed (see Appendix for Interview Notes). When commenting on Questions 6 and 8, some customers were interested in buying a new home, but they did not have enough money for the purchase. At the same time, the participants stated that transportation was one of the problems. Additionally, some respondents claimed that apart from transportation, offering legal advice would be appreciated. The company has to focus on these matters and expand its current service base, as it will help gain recognition among customers.
As for Question 10, one of the customers stated that he did not want to purchase a house from this company, as he was not aware of it. Another respondent claimed that after conducting profound research, she might be interested in its services. Simultaneously, one of the customers claimed that the services were less personal and lacked details. Apart from these inconveniences, clients would be eager to be contacted by the company directly, as it was cost-effective and could assist in building a trusting relationship. These findings imply that the enterprise has to invest in its marketing campaigns by taking advantage of technology and relying on a customer-centered approach.
The previous section helped discover additional comments of the customers that could help develop effective recommendations. The study aimed at discussing problems, customer expectations, and the most appropriate marketing channels to be used to contact them directly. 60 respondents were randomly selected while 25 were current clients. The findings presented below were based on the analysis of their answers to questionnaires.
Quantitative Analysis (Questionnaire)
Figures and tables listed below provide demographic information about the participants. It could be concluded that 40% of females and 60% of males took part in the study. Meanwhile, individuals within 60+ and 30-45 were in the majority (60%) while 25-30 group was 13.3%, 30-45 group was 28.3%, and 45-60 group was 25% (see Figure 8). As for Figure 9, 33% of respondents lived in Other Areas, 16.7% in Albany, 20% in Glenfield, 20% in Takapuna, Newmarket 6.7%, and 3.3% Flat Bush. The most popular occupations were banking (34%) and legal services (22%) while others were 15% for manufacturing, 8.3% for government, agriculture for 3.3%, and constructions for 18.3% (See Figure 10). These percentages can be explained by the fact that these individuals are the wealthiest ones and may have financial resources to purchase a new apartment.
The next step was to determine dependence between Question 5 and Question 9, as it would help see whether recognition and awareness affect the selection of the company as a direct service provider. In this case, it was necessary to code the data while “yes” was 1, and “no” was 2. After information was collected and classified, a correlation coefficient was calculated with the value of 0,714. This finding states that dependence exists, as people, who are aware of the company (40%) will be eager to choose it for future collaboration while others (60%) will hesitate. Nonetheless, some respondents (16.7%) state that apart from the lack of recognition, they will consider the firm for collaboration after conducting research.
Thus, to understand the main reasons and ways to enhance this relationship, the results of Question 10 have to be analyzed. In this case, the lack of recognition is one of the major problems, as it was claimed by 36 participants (60%) (see Figure 11). In this case, 12 participants claimed about fraud (12) while others were not interested (12). Consequently, to engage in direct contact with the customers, it is necessary to build a trusting relationship with them and increase their awareness.
Question 8 helps collect information about the expectations of current and potential clients concerning the services of the company. In this instance, one of the most important aspects is offering loans (58%). This matter pertains to high prices for real estate. At the same time, the participants highlighted the importance of legal support (16.4%), as it is one of the ways to avoid fraud. Meanwhile, 3.3% of participants stated that adding transportation could help the enterprise attract even more clients due to its convenience (see Figure 12). Other services accounted for 10% for translation, 11.7% for consulting, and 16.7% for lawyers.
When analyzing the experience of the clients, only 22 participants were in contact with the company previously, and 18 of them (82%) were satisfied. Meanwhile, only four (18%) respondents were not pleased with the provided services (see Figure 13).
In this case, to diminish and understand the problems leading to dissatisfaction, the responses to Question 13 were analyzed. In this case, it is of equal importance (50%) to make services more personal and improve the quality of consultancy and legal advice (50%) (Figure 14). These matters along with the results of Question 8 can help improve the value proposition to encourage customers to engage in a direct relationship with the company.
Lastly, it was revealed that all participants would prefer to be contacted directly due to financial reasons. As for the marketing channels, the most common ones are the Internet and social media, and it can be explained by their rising popularity in the world (see Table 7 and Figure 15). 3.3% of respondents chose newspaper while 1.7% accounted for radio, 3.3% for TV, 50% for the Internet, 3.3% for magazines, and 38.3% for social media (see Figure 15). The company has to consider these findings when designing a direct marketing campaign.
Chimbusco International Limited was the company that wanted to employ a direct approach when communicating with customers. Meanwhile, its stable financial performance and high profitability and popularity of the Auckland area implied that the enterprise had to attempt to engage in direct relationships with customers by using social media. A literature review and SWOT analysis clearly revealed these matters. To maximize organizational profits, it was necessary to conduct sufficient research by using a combination of questionnaires and interviews.
Overall, it can be summarised that people with a high level of income will be interested in being in collaboration with the company. Nonetheless, the company lacks recognition, and this matter has an impact on the desire of the customers to engage in any collaborations with it. However, some of them consider that after conducting research, they will discover this possibility. At the same time, potential customers highlight the importance of loans, legal advice, and transportation services, as they can affect their satisfaction positively. Simultaneously, they claim that making a relationship more personal and adding transportation will increase their retention. Lastly, the clients prefer to be contacted via the Internet and social media while prioritizing direct communication due to its cost-efficiency and constantly rising popularity of the Internet.
When designing recommendations, it is vital to link them to the findings. Thus, to understand all recommendations that the management has to follow, a descriptive list will be presented at the end of the chapter. For example, the information in Finding 1 clearly states that the individuals within 60+ and 30-45 years old are in the majority (60%), and 33% live in Other Areas while the most popular specializations are banking (34%) and legal services (22%). In this case, it is recommended for the company to increase the focus on these consumer segments, as they will be able to afford to purchase real estate.
In turn, Finding 2 reveals a correlation (0.714) between the company’s recognition and the desire of the customers to continue a relationship with it. For example, 60% will hesitate, as they are not aware of the company. However, 16.7% will consider this collaboration after research, but the main reasons for the lack of desire to engage in any relationship are the absence of recognition (60%), fraud (20%), and no interest (20%). In this case, the main recommendations are to increase marketing spending by 10%, reflecting the importance of safety in the mission statement, and focus on the company’s appearance on the Internet. At the same time, Finding 3 clearly offers more insights about the services that have to be described on the website and included in the company’s value proposition to attract more customers and improve its competitive edge. Consequently, there are loans (58%), legal support (16.4%), and transportation (3.3%).
Finding 4 implies that the company has to cherish the relationship with its clients, as 18% of them claim that they are not satisfied with the services. In this case, they want to make contact more personal (9%) and enhance the quality of legal advice (9%). Legal support was indicated as essentiality of value proposition previously. As for personal contact, employees have to be trained to take advantage of a customer-centered approach by not only informing them about the services but also considering their needs and preferences profoundly.
Lastly, Finding 5 states that the most common channels include social media (38.3%) and the Internet (50%). Apart from the introduction of an interactive website, the company can pay vehement attention to the development of groups and pages on one of the social networks since this method is discovered as the most popular and effective one today. Nonetheless, these strategies have to be used in combination with SEO. This approach will attract more Internet users to the website and public profile in social media from both national and international segments.
In this case, the recommendations will include:
- The advertisement campaigns have to focus on individuals of 30-45 to 60+ years old, who work in the banking industry and legal services (Finding 1)
- Marketing will be aimed at people, who live in Other Areas, as they show interest in moving to Flat Bush (Finding 1);
- It is necessary to invest in marketing activities 10% more and include “safety” in the mission statement (Finding 2);
- It is essential to use SEO and hire designers and IT specialists to make website highly informative and interactive while covering the areas that interest customers the most such as loans, transportation, and legal services (Findings 2 and 3);
- The company should invest additional resources or investigate market opportunities to establish contacts with banks for loans, transportation companies for logistics, and lawyers for advice (Finding 3);
- The employees should inform customers about new services before starting persuading them to make a purchase (Finding 4);
- It is essential to focus on training of the employees while paying critical attention to selling skills, empathy, and personal contact. An external trainer has to be hired, and educational sessions have to be organized twice a month (Finding 4).
- Developing both international and local Facebook groups is of high importance, and this information has to focus on special services, offers, and picturesque views from the apartments (Finding 5);
- Lastly, before making any changes mentioned above, it is vital to evaluate available financial resources, as it will help avoid unnecessary financial losses and control spending.
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I am as a student of the University completing my project, and I will kindly appreciate if you can take part in this questionnaire and share your opinion about construction and real-estate industry. Your answers will be used for research purposes only while all information will be collected and stored anonymously. Also, the participation is voluntary, but I will appreciate if you can fill in the questionnaire attached below. Thank you in advance for your effort!
Name Last Name
- Which area are you living in Auckland?
- Flat Bush
- Please, mark your area of specialization.
- Construction Industry
- Legal services and accounting
- Have you heard of Chimbusco International Limited?
- Are you interested in buying a new home?
- If so, would you consider purchasing a recently built (new) construction/house?
- What services do you expect from Chimbusco International Limited as a construction company?
- Would you consider Chimbusco International Limited as a potential company to help you purchase home?
- If no, what are the reasons? Please, list them.
- Did you have any experience with our company?
- If yes, are you satisfied with the provided services?
- If no, please, list the services and aspects, you want to improve.
- How do you usually get information about real estate, special offers, and new houses?
- Social Media
- Would you prefer to be contacted directly by the construction company or the agency?
- Construction company
“I am interested in buying a new home, but I do not have money at that moment, but I consider this opportunity in the recent future”
“Buying a new home may sound as a pleasant idea, but transportation and moving out are expensive and time consuming. If the company provides these services, it can ease the process, and I may change my opinion.”
“As a said, I think that offering transportation services may be handy.”
“I would clearly need legal support, as they are many cases of fraud! I do not want to become one of the victims!”
“I have never heard of the company, why should I trust it?”
“I am already a client of another company, and I am completely satisfied with the services. But, if I do a research, I think I can consider it for my next purchase.”
“I want the services to become more personal, as sometimes, it feels that the employees of the company are not interested in my problems.”
“I will appreciate if the company is able to provide more consulting services since sometimes, it is rather confusing, and I do not know what to do.”
“I would rather get all information from the construction company directly. I believe they know more about the buildings”
“I think that construction company should talk to their clients itself. It will help gain trust of the clients, and I do not want to pay more to the agency.”