Orchard is a fast growing home-buying platform that has helped thousands of families to buy their dream homes. Coming out of its strongest quarter to date, Orchard is on track to grow by over 100% in 2022.
Customers use Orchard to make buying a home – one of life’s biggest financial decisions – stress-free, fair and simple. With the help of technology tools that simplify the brokerage, mortgage and title process, Orchard users skip the traditional hassles associated with purchasing a home and actually enjoy the end-to-end experience.
One of Orchard’s most popular offers is Move First, a service that allows customers who are both buying and selling a home to unlock their equity before selling their first home, move right away into their new home, and skip all home showings while still getting top dollar. Move First customers progress through a series of buying and selling steps, so it’s important that Orchard reaches customers with the right message at the right time.
To create these personalized touch points, Orchard knew it needed to collect and utilize customer data responsibly, connect that data across teams and automate marketing tasks. Manual work such as launching email campaigns at scale, accessing data for campaigns and creating new audience segments were eating up too much of the Marketing team's time and resources, Orchard knew there had to be a better solution.
Turning to Twilio Segment, Orchard implemented a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to solve for its lack of visibility into the customer journey and to activate that data across platforms. Segment enabled Orchard to collect real-time data, democratize data access across teams and improve marketing campaign efficiency, which has allowed Orchard to continue to grow and scale at a rapid pace.
Transforming disparate customer data into a reliable source of truth
Prior to integrating Segment, the data in Orchard’s tech stack was fairly siloed. The team didn’t have a single view of its customer or its customer journey because information needed to be entered separately for different systems, including Salesforce, Iterable and an internal real estate property tool.
This manual process occasionally resulted in human error and confusion for employees. Having multiple sources of truth for data also made campaigns difficult to execute, since they required a lot of manual work to prepare. For example, launching a new email campaign based on specific customer events was a tedious task that required Engineering resources to collect and activate data for Marketing to use in downstream tools.
Taylor Cronk, CRM Lead at Orchard, explained, “Prior to Segment, we had very different sources of truth and various platforms, like Salesforce and Iterable, were not speaking to each other, which led to missed conversion opportunities and funky customer experiences. It was important that we improved the way our data flows so that we can give real estate professionals more leverage and ultimately deliver a wonderful experience for our customers.”
To address these challenges, Orchard’s team implemented Segment to centralize data among teams and create a single source of truth. Utilizing Connections for data collection and Protocols for data hygiene enabled Orchard to track online and offline events throughout a customer’s journey, and to send that data downstream to tools like Iterable. With Segment, teams across Orchard, from Product to Engineering to Sales and Marketing, are now sharing data efficiently and accessing consistent customer information for personalized engagement.
An early win for Orchard uncovered the ability for Sales to utilize customer data, enabling the team to react quickly when interested prospects engaged in certain behavior on their site.
Empowering sales teams to proactively engage customers and increase conversion rates
An important focus for Orchard – and the key to successfully expanding into new markets – is understanding its customers and having the ability to engage them when people are ready to purchase and/or sell a home. Due to incomplete data from the lack of a complete customer profile view, sales was missing out on opportunities to provide relevant messages to the right customer at the right time. Orchard needed a single-view of its customers to have the ability to target and segment audiences based on where they were within the sales funnel and provide relevant messages and offers.
Utilizing Connections, Orchard can understand high-intent signals by tracking events such as requesting a consultation or viewing a ‘home showing’ landing page. Orchard’s Sales team can now identify relevant prospects and better understand which to engage with based on those customers' unique needs and timelines. Because of this data, Sales can seamlessly move home seekers through the buying process by engaging with prospects at the most opportune time.
Orchard then utilizes Segment Personas to compute additional, real-time traits and send marketing campaigns to specific cohorts to support its Sales outreach. Using event behavior data that signals intent, like scheduling an appointment with a representative or returning to a specific home listing page several times, specific messages or content can be triggered. By segmenting audiences using this data, marketing can move prospects through the funnel with personalized content and better prepare Sales for outreach, which has resulted in an increase in conversion rates and 10% increase in lead reactivation.
Personalized campaigns, reaching customers at the right time with the right offer
Orchard, using Segment Personas, is also able to drive personalized engagement with their popular offer, Move First, a key business initiative identified by the company. This service is specific to users hoping to sell and buy a home simultaneously and unlock equity more easily.
Real-time traits that show a prospect's interest to both buy and sell a house, such as viewing the Move First landing page, are tracked and used to build an audience to power its Move First campaign. With Segment, Orchard can create personalized content around how it helps customers buy a new home before selling their old home or how users can find their dream home on Orchard's website.
Orchard has successfully improved the Move First program by adding personalized content throughout the customer journey, based on real-time triggers powered by user actions collected by Segment. Various actions on the Orchard site will trigger personalized messages for additional services such as Concierge, to assist with home renovations, or Offer Boost, to allow users make cash offers to win their dream home. Taylor explained, “The biggest impact Segment has provided is improved efficiency. Once our data stack was in place we were able to optimize marketing campaigns much faster than we could before.”
Prior to Segment, executing a new marketing campaign for a service like Move First would have required assistance from Orchard’s engineering team. However, launching this program was simplified due to the data infrastructure Orchard had built with Segment at its core.
Building out integrations, utilized by teams across the organization
Another one of Orchard’s core objectives was to reduce manual efforts and help teams to better automate unique marketing campaigns. Marketing programs like Move First previously required Engineering assistance to send direct APIs to downstream tools, such as Iterable, to trigger programs. Engineering support was even required to create dynamic, personalized customer experiences, limiting the ability for data activation across teams.
With Segment, Orchard’s Engineering team can take a step back and allow other teams to access and activate data, with the ability to launch new integrations within minutes.
One unusual factor unique to the real estate industry is that customers are often interested in multiple homes and submit multiple requests, rather than narrowing in on one product. Orchard needed to track intent to buy for multiple properties a customer may be interested in, with inventory of available homes changing regularly.
The Orchard engineering team was able to use Segment to build a Function that looks for an active account tied to a specific user and then successfully passes that data to Iterable, its marketing tool. Taylor says, “One of the coolest things our Engineering team helped us with was building out a Function that connects customer data down to Iterable where we take advantage of a one-to-many account structure.”
This is one of several integrations Orchard implemented. Other teams across the organization can also access the right data at the right time and run campaigns at scale. “Before we had Segment, setting up something like an integration required a ton of Engineering work. Now, it's something the CRM team can do completely on our own,” Taylor said.
Twilio Segment allowed Orchard to collect and democratize data, enabled its cross-functional teams to activate data and optimized its marketing campaigns using segmented, personalized messages. Not only have they reduced reliance on Engineering support, Orchard has empowered Sales and Marketing to better support its customers, transforming the way people buy and sell their homes.
Interested in hearing more about how Segment can help you?
Data instrumentation has been significantly simplified, dramatically reducing engineering costs on building and maintaining data pipelines.