Increasing Efficiency and Organisation at the U.K.’s Leading Property Management Company
Revamp property management system to streamline its leasing and selling processes
Founded more than 165 years ago in the U.K., Savills prides itself on exceptional customer service in the real estate industry. Backed by expertise in residential and commercial properties, tens of thousands of customers trust them to take care of their buying, selling, and leasing needs. And with more than 130 offices and thousands of agents spread across the country, the company intakes a massive amount of information each day. This requires a strong system to effectively serve its customers and keep operations running smoothly.
Agents need the ability to easily organise property information. But Savills faced challenges in finding the right partner to build a successful system. After a couple agencies couldn’t build to the specifications they needed, Savills approached Pixel Funnel. As a solutions-oriented design agency, we were ready to step up and complete the project.
We approach projects holistically, taking into account all considerations and project goals before building.
Quality control is critically important. Even more so for this type of client.
The goal of the project was to create a system that would allow agents to input property information like square footage, energy ratings, imagery, and more. Not only that, but with thousands of agents spread across the country, avoiding conflicts of interest was paramount. Agents needed the ability to see if another Savills agent was already involved in the property. With all this information, a comprehensive PDF report would be generated, allowing agents to work with customers and banks to sell or lease the property, or back off if another agent was involved.
Like many clients, Savills had specific design preferences. The system had to work on a company-provided iPad as well as desktops and laptops across any browser the agent was using. Fortunately, we specialise in consistency and quality control testing.
You can use simulators during development, but that’s not good enough in our opinion. We use the real devices, to find out exactly how it looks and feels.
To get it right, our team conducts rigorous testing every step of the way. Users don’t have time for a lengthy onboarding process or the patience to call tech support if the product is frustrating to use.
Savills had an internal design team that was quite involved in the project. They would mock up initial designs, and then our team would advise them on feasibility. Oftentimes, designers don’t consider the build when envisioning a project. It’s one thing to sketch a design, but an entirely other thing to actually code for the design, taking into consideration usability and technology requirements as well as budget and time constraints. So our expertise in both designing and building was crucial to getting the product up and running.
A smooth back and forth between our teams was paramount as well. It’s not just about the end product, but also about having an easy, effective collaboration with the client.
We built the app component for component against the Savills design files. We connected development and design by using the same component names, colour names and sizing descriptions. This made it easier for the designer to understand component sharing and reuse, we made the entire process seamless.
Prior to this new system, Savills was using an outdated intake form on Sharepoint. It left a lot to be desired in terms of functionality and design. Now, Savills have a great looking app and web interface that meet all their usability requirements. Some of the top capabilities of the new system include:
- Customer management system for properties
- Media gallery where agents can upload images of properties
- Bulk upload of a portfolio of properties, a massive time saver for agents when adding a new development plot
- Full PDF report generation, including all property details, in an eye-catching format
With all these new features, Savills agents can operate more effectively and provide their customers with an even higher level of service.