Customer Success Story – SMB – Maître Carré

Digital Transformation can be felt as overwhelming for Small & Medium Business. Embrace technologies will make you gain productivity, flexibility and accuracy. It makes you win time to excel in your core business!

Look up how Maitre Carré, a real-estate SMB turn to be a long lasting Customer Success Story.

“Built for well-being”

Our SMB's Customer Success Story in Real Estate

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“Built for well-being” is more than a slogan at Maître Carré. Since its founding in 2009, this award-winning developer of residential projects in the Greater Montreal area and beyond has stood out in vital and creative ways in the design of its buildings, with a keen eye on present and future needs.

“The real challenge is to embrace everything that affects residents’ well-being and what they’ll want in their homes in the years ahead” says David Fernandez, Vice-President, Finance and Administration, at Maître Carré.

Mellem Project - Brossard - Québec

We always have to keep these questions in mind and to stay a step ahead in terms of current trends. What we really aim to do is to create captivating environments that encourage people to behave in healthy and responsible ways that are conducive to the well-being of their communities.”

With a user-centric approach extending not only to customers but also to employees, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders, Maître Carré was quick to appreciate the principles of simplicity and efficiency espoused by S&E Cloud Experts, and it eagerly embraced the success-oriented solutions devised for it with tools from Google Cloud’s comprehensive platform.

Maître Carré has developed and managed an enviable portfolio of properties. An array of new projects is under construction or on the drawing board. The company’s name is a play on words in French. “Mètre carré” means square meter, the basic unit of real estate measurement in many parts of the world. “Maître,” meaning master, is a homonym of “mètre.”

Mr. Fernandez says Maître Carré retains management of the buildings it develops because “we want to make sure that, once they’re built, people’s well-being inside the buildings continues.”

Maitre Carré

The Challenge

What are people looking for in terms of services?

At present, many people want office space in their units, a trend that was evident even before the pandemic hit. This requires layouts that enable people to work without impinging on their kitchen tables or their living rooms. Some buildings now have Wi-Fi everywhere so that people can move around and remain connected.

But nothing is more fundamental for building owners and managers than keeping a handle on day-to-day administration. There are numerous items to be tracked and reported, not to mention a variety of legal aspects and the entire realm of customer service. 

For a young 20-employee+ company, managing hundreds of residential units presented a significant challenge. Establishing a robust and reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system became utterly essential. But Maître Carré lacked a CRM system in any real sense, Mr. Fernandez recalls. 

There was no clear idea how the company could manage the flow of requests from the occupants of its buildings, its direct customers. The people in the leasing department, left to fend with the situation, needed proper tools that would enable them to focus on leasing and avoid distractions. 

In short, there was a clear recognition that a CRM system was needed.

That led to the decision to consult S&E Cloud Experts, already Maître Carré’s IT partner, known for its cloud expertise and its thorough knowledge of the Google Cloud Platform.

The two sides tossed around a few ideas, working together in a back-and-forth process. S&E provided us with full support all along the way, Mr. Fernandez says, working to come up with a solution that would meet our needs. 

The context

To alleviate the strain of everyday tasks, Maître Carré chose Google Workspace and its various component parts. Google Docs, Sheets & Slides and Gmail make it easy to build and share every file, from a building’s plans to onboarding welcome kits, with any contact, whether an employee, customer, prospect or resident. 

Easing employees’ workloads has boosted morale, leading directly to an improved customer experience. 

This collaborative and mobile-friendly suite of tools was used extensively from multiple locations even before stay-at-home orders were issued early in the pandemic. Working remotely was an easy onward step for company staff. Google Meet could even be used for remote unit visits.

worksplace GIF

With new facilities opening, and with sensitive customer information to deal with, Maitre Carré upgraded its Google Workspace plan to Business Plus to achieve PCI compliance. Although Google Cloud is among the safest clouds due to Google’s invisible security concept, appearances matter, and so does customers’ well-being. Ransomware remains a threat that calls for vigilance. Just as Maître Carré’s buildings comply with the highest standards of construction, so too should the security of the technologies used to serve them. 

The solution

Mr. Fernandez emphasizes:

“Now we can be sure that nobody is forgotten. We can respond to queries quickly and constructively, because the information we need is readily accessible. The tool gives us real-time access to information not just during office hours but also on evenings and weekends.”

The solution includes the Copper CRM application. Not only was it quick and easy to launch, but it was also fully integrated with Workspace, which the company had been using for years.

Mr. Fernandez says the automation of certain functions that were previously handled on paper provides greater accuracy and full data security. “Lots of things would be lost on paper,” he notes. Also, “there is no more double booking, fewer unpleasant surprises, less stress” even with 2,000 contacts to be managed. Moreover, it is a huge time-saver and provides greater well-being for employees.

A combinaison built for well-being

CRM

With Gmail, it took just one click for contact information and time-stamped communications to be registered in the CRM.
Copper’s flexibility contrasts with the rigidity of other CRMs, taking customers on a seamless journey from initial contact to moving in. Maitre Carre has customized all features of Copper – Project, Tasks, Opportunities and the recently launched Email Sequences and Reports.
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Automated workflows

S&E Cloud Experts also connected Workspace and Copper with Zapier to automate communications. No more mindless tasks devoid of human value: if something can be automated, it will be.
In addition, the CRM is linked with the marketing automation system.
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Recovery

In keeping with these same values of well-being and peace of mind, S&E Cloud Experts connected Google Workspace and Copper to the Spanning application for backing up and restoring.
Spanning is also part of the recovery plan in case of piracy attacks. On a less scary and more common note, it helps companies protect themselves against genuine mistakes. No need to worry about recovering from human error involving deleted files or lost laptops. The system does it for you.
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DATA VISUALISATION

These data sets are also used to feed a dashboard in Google Data Studio, with no manual actions or data transfer needed.
This all provides for a virtuous or symbiotic system so close to your workloads and processes that you hardly feel it.
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The result

Access to accurate, workable, real-time data allows Maitre Carré to make informed decisions, test new ways quickly and drive innovation in a highly competitive market.  Being data-driven has the advantage of enabling the space to be creative and responsive. 

“I can see how many visits we had during the day. These are things that would never have been possible before.”

“Using this set of applications, I can see in real time how things are going in terms of leasing and communications,” Mr. Fernandez adds.

The partnership for this Customer Sucess Story

With its solid track record and long-term vision, S&E Cloud Experts was well equipped to ride to Maître Carré’s assistance and to help launch its future development. 

S&E Cloud has set itself the mission of guiding companies in their digital transformation with simple and effective tools. It regards itself as a partner in their growth, a partner with the expertise to select and combine the most pertinent Google solutions and products to fit their transformational path rather than forcing them to fit a rigid technology.  

S&E Cloud can provide the customized advice and support of a small company using the tools and solutions created by a large one. It offers a true example of thinking globally and acting locally. The approach is simple: the cloud, productivity and collaboration.

S&E’s services include training programs, cloud migration journeys and roadmaps, along with project and change management design, cloud governance, IT support and IT infrastructure. Its technological prowess encompasses the trio of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS).

It is obvious, Mr. Fernandez says, that technological investment can appear daunting in terms of manpower, but better planning produces better results. Investing in a technological solution can add to profits, provided it is properly implemented, with the needs clearly outlined.

IT solutions are growing to include links between emails and legal documents, with signatures, automated files and secure storage. Automating the small stuff allows for a focus on bigger things.

What lies ahead?

With future growth comes the need for fresh talent, finding the best people. With the recruitment template on the CRM that can serve as an ATS (applicant tracking system), “you can’t go wrong with a candidate.”

Real estate development, like almost every other sector of the economy, is growing in technological complexity. Companies like Maître Carré need to stay at the forefront, with change management and continuous training strategies. And they need the right partners to help them accomplish this, someone who can transform a complex task to something simple  … and efficient.

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