Foxtons, London’s leading estate agent, strives to provide a more efficient working environment for its employees, also when on the go. The company has bought more than nine hundred Nokia Lumia 820s, as part of its commitment to helping its agents work effectively and efficiently on the move.
With 40 offices throughout London and two in Surrey, Foxtons let and sell around 1,400 properties every month and has a unique insight into the property market, through the sheer volume of properties available for sale and to let in those heavily populated areas.
Operating in a fast-paced, competitive environment, the need for Foxtons agents to receive, update and share information quickly while on the road is critical to its success. Therefore, it’s vital that agents are equipped with smartphones and applications that enhance their job and give them that all-important competitive edge.
Foxtons has become renowned for its quality service, pioneering attitude and ability to adapt to market needs, which is strongly reflected in its switch to the Nokia Lumia 820.
Maximising time out of the office
“We are pressed by the need for our agents to be more connected on the go,” explains Dan Rafferty, IT Director of Foxtons. “As is the nature of estate agency, our agents are out and about all day on property valuations and viewings, so with lots of travel, numerous appointments to meet and many other organisational responsibilities, effective communication is vital to keep the business running smoothly.”
With that in mind, Foxtons were on the hunt for a mobile solution that would improve internal communication between employees and enable agents to check emails, make targeted calls and prepare for appointments between viewings.
Seamless integration and simple user experience
Foxtons needed a device that would work seamlessly with their existing Microsoft systems. “The Nokia Lumia 820 works seamlessly with the rest of our Microsoft environment, making communication across the company simple and delivering a great end-user experience” says Rafferty.
Foxtons uses Microsoft Outlook to ensure that employees are armed with complete property information for each calendar appointment, so that at the touch of a button they have all the material they need to close a deal. Easy synchronisation means that any appointments made by from the Foxtons head office are quickly transferred to the agents’ smartphones.
With an in-house app developer team focused on building productivity apps for the Windows operating system, Nokia Lumia was a natural choice. The in-house development team has now begun deploying its own apps for the Nokia Lumia 820, allowing employees to access office data from their phone, increasing time efficiency and offering Foxtons an edge over its competitors.
“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.”
The mobile navigation features of the Nokia Lumia 820 were also an important factor in the switch to Nokia Lumia. Free HERE Drive with voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, live traffic updates and offline maps, removes the need for the company to provide their employees with separate satellite navigation systems, also helping to reduce costs. When showing prospective clients around a property, agents are now using HERE City Lens to show live information on the local area, showcasing points of interest and amenities including leisure centres, cinemas, restaurants and shops.
Making the difference
Foxtons has so far deployed more than 900 devices to its employees. “The feedback from our agents about the Nokia Lumia smartphones has been very positive,” says Rafferty. “They look good, have a brilliant user interface and great features without compromising on speed or battery life, making working out of the office easier than ever before.”