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Thanks to a special collaboration between Apple and Harcourts, Australia could be on the road to a healthier, fitter real estate industry.
The new fitness project, launched at the recent Harcourts South Australian annual awards, is focused on Harcourts staff using the new Apple Watch and an app called Harcourts Wellness.
The project represents a continuation of a strengthening relationship between Harcourts and Apple, which started last year when Apple featured a case study on their website, recognising Harcourts’ cutting-edge mobile technology using the iPhone and iPad.
Harcourts Wellness uses the pre-installed Activity app on the Apple Watch, allowing wearers to measure burnt calories through movement, exercise and standing.
Harcourts’ Head of eBusiness, Gregg Toyama, said the new project will give the 200 participating Harcourts Sales Consultants and staff the ability to track their activity day-to-day and provide them a bird’s-eye view of their lifestyle.
It’s a timely project, with a recent Australian Bureau of Statistics report showing that rental, hiring and real estate industry was the nation’s 10th fattest employment sector, with 63.7 per cent of workers in this field either overweight or obese.
“Like so many people in the real estate industry, Harcourts staff are very busy – whether it be attending meetings, doing a listing presentation or signing contract – and allocating time in a busy schedule for exercise is a challenge,” Mr Toyama said.
“By using the Harcourts Wellness app on the Apple Watch, our people will be continually updated with their activity rate, and whether they are achieving their predetermined goals. It’s like wearing a little coach on your wrist.
“We believe that this technology presents us with an opportunity to not only improvement health and well-being of our staff, but also bring a positive energy to our culture.
“Already in South Australia we will be running friendly competitions within and across offices, with leader boards, where each staff can see where they rank.
“Some offices have changed their meetings to include a time of standing and movement – all small changes, but over the course of a year, it can make a big difference to individuals’ fitness.”
Harcourts, has been selected from a world-wide category to be the first real estate company to be featured across Apple’s global web network with a case study showing how they have used Apple’s iOS technology to transform their business.
In recognition of their innovation and use of the iPad and iPhone to enhance client experience and drive greater efficiency for their business, Apple has produced a video and business case study about Harcourts’ work – an accolade reserved only for companies developing the most cutting edge business solutions using Apple technology.
Harcourts is the first company from the Australasian region, and the first real estate group world-wide, to be selected by Apple for this recognition.
Harcourts New Zealand CEO Hayden Duncan, says the custom suite of apps developed by Harcourts, is transforming the way they do business.
“By nature real estate is a mobile business. Agents are on the road, meeting clients, inspecting properties and showing homes.
“The power of Apple iOS inspired us to develop a suite of apps for our global network of sales consultants that would provide them with a full range of marketing, research and technological tools while they’re on the move. The apps save our consultants hundreds of hours per year by streamlining tasks and they help us deliver a great client experience.
“Take e-Campaign for iPad, for example. From the comfort of your living room, a sales consultant can help you build your ideal marketing campaign; displaying real-time market data from your local neighbourhood, visually showcasing the complete range of marketing options available, and booking everything into an online calendar so you know exactly what to expect every step of the way.
“Information is all stored digitally so there’s no need for paper forms or folders or for data re-entry back at the office, which means we can deliver a timely, professional, and consistent level of service,” says Mr Duncan.
Harcourts was selected above several other global real estate companies because they showed how Apple technology has enabled them to become game-changers in their industry.
“The integration of our apps both with third-party real estate data sources and the company intranet is key to our success. This means sales consultants have access to an unprecedented level of information from wherever they are providing a distinct competitive advantage,” explains Mr Duncan.
Mr Duncan says Harcourts’ focus is firmly on the future and innovation is at the forefront of everything they do.
“Client expectations are changing and it’s essential that we change with them. Technology is helping us to be more agile and responsive to our clients’ needs, delivering faster and more effective communication, and providing a seamless client experience overall.”
“Being able to launch our apps across multiple devices in multiple countries and integrate to our intranet is one of the key reasons we chose iOS as our platform.”