Harcourts International, recognised as a real estate industry leader in innovation, has launched Workplace by Facebook, the collaborative internal communications platform that is changing the way that businesses engage its workforce.
The first wave rollout is a pilot collaboration amongst Harcourts International, Harcourts Group Australia and Harcourts Queensland, with the franchise group of Harcourts Solutions selected to pilot from a franchise office perspective.
Workplace is championed by Harcourts International Managing Director Mike Green, who has embraced the leading-edge communications platform since its inception in 2016.
“Businesses are no longer communicating with staff from the ‘top-down’ only,” ‘said Mr Green. “Modern and evolving organisations rely on a two-way flow of information, and Workplace ingeniously connects people in a way that they’re familiar with from a Facebook view. Our guiding value is ‘people first’ and we know that our people are central to the success of our business; they’re who make our business great.”
He noted that the Workplace platform is an internal-only corporate tool, and does not ‘cross over’ into the personal use of Facebook, saying that “each team member has a unique, professional user account within the platform.”
“And with our strong and inclusive culture, we knew that Workplace would take our team to the next level,” he said.
Already a few weeks into the pilot stage, Workplace has gained near 100% user engagement and has grown quickly due to its intuitive and organic nature.
“The response has been really positive,” said Mr Green. “Team members are empowered to ask questions, learn from each other, share interesting industry knowledge, and in general connect on a social platform that is dedicated to our team. We’ve fast-tracked our business, and we are excited to see how Workplace will help us further our vision of being recognized as having the finest experience in real estate for our team as well as business partners and clients.”
The Harcourts Technology, Human Resources and Marketing teams are central to rolling out the platform through the international network, with plans to have Workplace in use throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. in early 2018, with the balance of countries to follow.
“While we were in London earlier this year, we met with the development team at Facebook headquarters and learned about the thousands of international businesses using Workplace,” said Mr Green. “To be amongst the first real estate brands optimised for this platform is really a proud moment for our team.”
Leading real estate network Harcourts Group Australia, in partnership with White Ribbon Australia, took home the coveted Contribution to Community award at the 2017 Annual REA Excellence Awards.
Held by the REA Group, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the property and media industries.
The Harcourts Foundation, Harcourts Group Australia’s charitable entity, has partnered with White Ribbon for the past five years on its annual Walk A Mile in Their Shoes nationwide walk – with Harcourts staff, family, friends and supporters “walking a mile” in women’s heels to show solidarity and bring attention to the national tragedy that is violence against women.
Walk A Mile in Their Shoes founder and Harcourts Victoria CEO Sadhana Smiles, said the walk - and broader partnership with White Ribbon - represents how the group supports the communities in which each Harcourts agency lives and works in.
“Caring is bigger than one person – to really grow communities with a positive impact, we must come together. It was simple for us; real estate agents walking in heels, we knew it would generate talkability and more importantly, help us raise funds,” Smiles said.
The 2016 walk raised almost $120,000, setting another White Ribbon Community Fundraising Event record with 100 percent of the funds used to help deliver the White Ribbon Breaking the Silence program in over 100 schools nationally, aimed at creating generational change in attitudes toward violence through prevention education.
“It’s an honour to be recognised at this year’s AREAs for our commitment to this partnership. This is an issue that affects up to one in five Australian women and through our work with White Ribbon - we know that engaging men to make women’s safety a man’s issue too is imperative,” said Mike Green, Managing Director, Harcourts International.
“I commend White Ribbon for the incredibly important work they do every day, and I would like to thank the entire Harcourts family for supporting this each year and proving that when we come together, we can generate lasting impact.”
Walk A Mile in Their Shoes is in its 5th year and has collectively raised over $395,000 for White Ribbon. Since 2013, funds have helped Breaking the Silence expand into a national program, across regions in over 150 schools, impacting 2800 teachers and 39,300 students.
The Walk A Mile in Their Shoes initiative went global earlier this year with the first international Harcourts event taking place in South Africa in March 2017.
The Harcourts Foundation is volunteer run, with 100% of all money raised given directly to recipients.
Harcourts Group Australia, recognised in the real estate industry for game-changing mobile technology, has launched the Harcourts App Store. Built with Apple’s iOS (operating system), the store is an enterprise application through which Harcourts team members can access, download, update and install its proprietary mobile applications eOne, eOpen and eCampaign.
“We are one of the first real estate companies, globally, to take advantage of and build our own member-facing app store on Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program,” said Gregg Toyama, Harcourts Head of eBusiness.
“While most people are familiar with the Apple App Store, resident on all iPhones and iPads, the Harcourts App Store is a business to business solution to allow Harcourts team members to access our proprietary mobile applications eOne, eOpen and eCampaign, which were custom built and developed in-house. They are the backbone of what makes Harcourts unique in the marketplace, and they’re utilised across Harcourts’ 400-plus office network in Australia.”
The company’s three mobile apps utilise Apple iOS built-in technologies, seamless security, and integration with Harcourts enterprise systems. This month the Harcourts apps will benefit from a new release that offers enhancements specific to management of client information, designing bespoke marketing campaigns, registering and communicating with both buyers and sellers.
“The Harcourts App Store is an important milestone for our business focus on innovation,” continued Mr Toyama. “We believe designing and building tailored solutions that our members can utilise on their mobile devices is essential to boosting productivity and the quality of service to their clients. It’s what sets us apart in the real estate industry.”
The vision for Harcourts is to deliver an unparalleled client experience. It is through the mobile app development platform of providing an end-to-end mobile solution to empower team members to operate with equal efficiency and effectiveness whether in the field or in the office.
Harcourts was the first international real estate company in the world to have its mobile business solutions featured on Apple’s website. In recognition of Harcourts’ innovation and use of the iPad and iPhone to drive greater efficiency and productivity, Apple, produced a video and business case study about Harcourts’ mobile suite of apps. This recognition led to Harcourts being named by Real Estate Business as the 2017 Innovator of the Year.