Business on the move

first_imgHome » News » Business on the move previous nextBusiness on the moveWhich mobile devices are driving the property business?Property Drum8th February 20140707 Views From smart phones and androids to tablets and laptops, mobile devices are growing increasingly important in helping agents to run their business more efficiently, whether they are in the office or hitting the road to close a deal.Technology is rapidly changing, hardly a week goes by without a new service, hardware or software, being launched that could be used to better support agents.There are a number of leading suppliers of estate agency software throughout the UK property industry providing tailored systems to suit a wide range of businesses, from new start-ups to multiple branch chains. Software systems can offer various essential features, such as html mailers, full integration with MS Word, wizard driven data entry systems, one touch property matching, among many others, and so staying abreast of evolving technology, although sometimes difficult, is essential for any savvy agent hoping to stay on top of their business.But while it is all very well having a programme that enables agents to send and receive emails, write letters, send texts, check their diary, manage their business, among other benefits, on multiple platforms, the question asked by agents is “will it be compatible with existing hardware, including the mobile gadgets that we use.”Clearly, the answer is usually, up to a point, yes, as nearly everyone seems to be using a mobile device; so which are agents’ current favourites?“Our IT department is rolling out very light, touch screen models that turn into a Windows tablet.” Daniel Fulbrook Carter JonasDaniel Fulbrook Carter JonasDaniel Fulbrook, head of Digital at Carter Jonas, said, “Gadgets are at the heart of Carter Jonas’ digital division. Internally, we use iPads to present properties to buyers when in our office, but we opted not to use our mobile site for the iPad. We feel the larger iPad screen size allows for the full desktop experience.“Laptop-wise, we use Dell models, but our IT department is rolling out very light, touch screen swivel screen models, that can be turned into a Windows tablet on the go.“The software that we use is provided by Reapit for sales, CFPWinMan for lettings and Agency Pilot for Commercial – all are compatible with our mobile, app and desktop devices.”Spencer Lawrence, Director at Paramount, says, “At Paramount we use a combination of iPhones, iPads and Blackberrys to keep communication channels open when negotiators are out of the office. iPads are also used on property valuations and viewings.“Mobile phones allow staff to be contactable out and about. This means they don’t need to worry about being out of the office and missing phone calls or emails. iPads have allowed us to use video technology, like Skype, to show interested parties around properties if they are unable to make it in person.”“For those working from home we use VPN (a Virtual Private Network) to access our computers in the office. We also have remote access to our voicemail so we will always pick up our messages, and can forward our office phones to our mobiles. Mobile phones and iPads are also connected to our email accounts so these can be accessed at all times.”“iPhones, tablets and PCs are compatible with ‘Open Book’ where vendors can see their sale’s progress.” Jamie Lester Haus PropertiesJamie Lester Haus PropertiesJamie Lester, Director at Haus Properties, says, “Haus use a combination of iPhones, tablets and PCs as they are all compatible with the technology which we have called Open Book, which allow vendors to see what’s happening with their property at any time, using any device as it is accessed securely via the Haus Properties website.“The service includes four separate pages of information – ‘My Journal’, ‘My Viewings’, ‘My Competitors’ and ‘Vital Statistics’.“We worked with our software provider, VTUK to create the platform so it very much works in conjunction with our whole software package – we use VTUK’s Aquarius and Scorpio packages.”Dan Rafferty, IT Director of Foxtons, commented, “In a fast moving business with many staff movements across departments and locations, keeping an accurate, up-to-date contact list is a challenge for us. We’ve developed an app integrating our personnel system with our active directory and phone system so all the information is accurate and can be accessed directly from our agents’ Nokia Lumia 820s. It’s a great timesaver and asset for the team. The Nokia Lumia 820 aligns with our entire device strategy and allows us to fully integrate our current Microsoft systems throughout the company.”“iPhones and iPads speed up the process and give us a significant advantage over less techie agents!” Simon Bradbury Fine & CountrySimon Bradbury Fine & CountrySimon Bradbury, Partner at Fine and Country, said, ”We currently use iPhones and iPads.Essentially, they speed up the whole process and give us a significant advantage over our less techy competitors. They are also compatible with our Vebra Solex software.”Adrian Williams, Director of Business Sales UK at Nokia, added: “Foxtons is a great example of how a company can empower its workforce to work effectively on the move, with their smartphones integrated with its existing Microsoft infrastructure.”James Wyatt, Partner at Barton Wyatt, said, “We use Blackberry phones as they are easily the best business phones and the only ones with secure email. The new Z10 smartphone works really well with social media too.“Laptops are a bit old hat in estate agency – we got rid of all of ours about 18 months ago. We use iPads. They are a great tool to show people details in the office and out and about.”“Blackberry and iPad devices have had a huge impact on our business. Deals can be done much faster with everyone in the loop. They are also compatible with our estate and letting agent software provided by EA Boss by Clarks Computers for sales and VECO by Eurolink for lettings.“Blackberrys and iPads have had a huge impact, deals can be done much faster with everyone in the loop.” James Wyatt Barton WyattJames Wyatt Barton WyattThe overall impression is that the iPad is the leader in mobile devices for agents – if you think otherwise, let us know what you use, why it’s so good and what, if any, are the less good features.Email the Editor:[email protected] February 8, 2014The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Read More