The idea of customer outreach can seem overwhelming at times. Yet, for homebuilders the role of sales, marketing, and CRM (customer-relationship management) technology has never been more valuable as we head into 2013.

Take, for example, Crescent Homes, http://crescenthomes.net, Charleston, S.C. The builder was looking to combine real estate marketing, lead generation, CRM, and marketing automation under one platform. Working with SmartTouch Interactive, www.smarttouchinteractive.com, Austin, Texas, the builder receives an interactive automation platform that focuses on a range of sales and customer-relations technology.

The initial engagement from Crescent Homes was to use the SmartTouch Platform to develop inbound marketing programs via SEO and SEM and email marketing services for lead nurturing. Lee Miller, director of marketing, Crescent Homes, points to the deep real-estate expertise of the SmartTouch team, as well as their intimate knowledge of the local market for Crescent Homes, as attractive qualities in partnering with the technology provider.

Focused on developing in the Charleston, S.C., area Crescent Homes works in 11 communities offering new homes in the price range of $130,000- $250,000 and more. The idea of combining real estate marketing expertise with lead generation and CRM, according to the SmartTouch executives, should help Crescent capitalize on further on Internet marketing.

It’s simply the latest example of homebuilders looking for an integrated platform for lead generation, sales, marketing, and CRM. In fact, technology providers continue recognizing the trend and are in the process of transforming their software suites in order to accommodate.

For example, earlier this year Sales Simplicity Software, www.salessimplicity.net, Chandler, Ariz., launched its integrated CRM platform. Through the offering, the company offers a CRM system, which is integrated into its cloud-based, sales-automation platform. Sales Simplicity’s cross-platform integration with Microsoft Exchange Server and other popular programs like Outlook for calendar tasks and appointments provides builders with a single look at sales and automation technology for their company.

What’s more, the Since Sales Simplicity platform is linked intrinsically into such social-media systems as Facebook and Twitter, which is integral as these tools become a bigger piece of the marketing and outreach strategy for homebuilders. The single platform, dashboard-driven campaign management tools are linked directly to new-home inventory, dynamic pricing, lot availability, marketing outreach, and sales events through the Sales Simplicity platform.

As the homebuilding market looks to rebound, customer outreach will continue to make a huge difference in a builder’s go-to market strategy. Sales and marketing platforms continue to be refined in order to meet the growing evolution in homebuilding. The only question is what’s next?