Star Tech Blog

Real-Time Web Functionality & SignalR
Real-time web functionality is something millions of people see every day when using their favourite websites, but probably without realising it. For example, your activity feeds when using Facebook and Twitter update without you having to do anything but sit and wait. It is intended to make your experience on the site less static, and more immersive.

 No Refreshing

We’ve chosen to use a technology called SignalR to bring real-time web functionality to Rezi. It’s a library that has been developed by Microsoft to help bring real-time functionality to the masses. You can use SignalR to add any sort of real-time web functionality to your application. An example used often when talking about ‘real-time’ is chat, but there’s so much more that can be done with this technology. Here are some other examples of what it could be used for:

 

  • Collaboration: Google already uses real-time functionality in their Drive products. If more than one person is working on a shared document, you can see in real-time what the other person is writing, formatting, deleting etc.
  • Multi-player games: Games that can handle massive amounts of players gaming together over the web are no longer limited to consoles or games installed on PCs or Macs. There are lots of popular multi-player web games that use real-time functionality to allow people from all over the world to game together.
  • Activity streams: As mentioned earlier, companies such as Facebook and Twitter already use this implementation of real-time web functionality heavily in their flagship products.
  • Live content: During big news events, sites such as BBC News will provide a live news stream dedicated to updating readers on the events unfolding. For example, during the upcoming election, many news sites will have a feed of live content.

 

They will combine elements such as status updates from their reporters, links to their articles as they are published and tweets that will keep you informed and engaged in their coverage

In Rezi, we take advantage of real-time web functionality in numerous places. Chat, reminders, note streams, document generation progress, and more! If you want to generate a mass mail out to 500 people, you don’t want to keep refreshing to see if it’s finished yet. Instead you can forget about it, go and make a cuppa, and we’ll let you know when it’s finished.

It’s basically a nice way of saying, “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.

Everything You Need to Know About Cloud

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Cloud Washing

There is a lot of hot air around the term cloud computing within Estate Agency Software. It gets positively sweltering when people add “Web Based Software” and “Software as a Service” (SaaS) to the discussion. Untitled design (15)Unfortunately the subject gets techy very quickly, which just makes matters more confusing. My hope is that this article will clear the air.

In general, cloud computing can be thought of as any situation where the computer you are using is outside of your physical location. Of course, this is an over simplification… as soon as you type a search in to Google you are using one of their servers to do a search for you, so in theory you are in realms of cloud computing. At this level cloud computing and the internet are virtually synonyms. It is this over simplification that gets hijacked by marketing departments so that they can add yet another buzzword to their adverts.

 

Perhaps the other Buzzwords are clearer?
Web based software, should be relatively straight forward, as it implies that the interface to the software is held within an internet browser such as Chrome or Internet Explorer. BUT… people also use “web based” to mean accessing the software over an internet connection. I would argue that this stretches the definition past breaking point. In my book, using remote desktop, citrix or screen sharing solutions to access a piece of software over the internet, is not cloud computing. Really, when discussing Estate Agency Software the definition should be focused on the underlying technology that powers the specific software you are using!

 

img2BVirtual Computers – These are computers that do not physically exist, instead they exist as a file on an even bigger server. This gives some benefits around redundancy, scale and performance. Traditional non-cloud based software can take advantage of some of these benefits by creating virtual versions of themselves. But again, the definition should be focused on the underlying technology that powers the specific estate agency software you are using not the hardware that it is running on.

 

What about Software as a Service (Saas)? This definition is much less able to be twisted. It implies that you are solely accessing the software over the internet (invariably via a browser) and not any intermediate system. There are many big examples, from SalesForce, QuickBooks to Microsoft Office 365.  Software as a Service providers are responsible for maintaining the service, relieving you of the worries around data back up and installing updates.

 

In summary, the buzzwords are stretched in order to hide the real issues behind the software. The real geeks among us will understand the nuances behind the terms and be able to ask the right question to uncover the issues its hiding. The reality for the rest of us resides in understanding what the software can do for your business. A software product designed to make the most of cloud computing’s benefits will empower a business not restrict it. Not all SaaS products are equal.  Next time I’ll try to explain why!

Previously Related Blog article:

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Are You Ready For The Rezi Influx?

Are you rezi for the influx?

1You’ve heard a lot about how each leading political party intends to inject vigor into the housing marketing, I’m sure! Likewise, as the leaders in cloud software for estate agents, we want to deliver our manifesto for dealing with the predicted housing influx. So we must ask, are you Rezi for it?

Rezi isn’t just being built to record the details of what you do, it’s there to make it all that much easier, efficient and remove the stress of managing multiple jobs. A few of the features we are working on will help you do just that…

 

 

Property Presentation Tool: Be confident and comfortable showing your stock

222From May 8th, we predict you’ll want to conserve your energy so that each and every client you meet gets the same first class service.  Wouldn’t it be great if you had a tool which works on any device and has been designed to show your properties in detail within an elegant interface? And, what if it allows the prospective buyer or tenant to browse and interact with your available stock (at their own freewill) without the need for you to be peering over their shoulder!? You guessed it, we have it!  Our applicant facing tool is password protected so that all the sensitive data is secure and allows the user to like, share and mail selected properties directly, and reports back, all the information to you!

 

Next please…

Sales Progression: Track your sales and have fun doing it

 What about the labour intensive job of managing the sales progress? Call, after call, after call… and that is just to leave three voicemails with the

3solicitor. Sales progression in Rezi has been split in three to give you the clearest, most effective way to manage sales. Build the chain. Check! Add, import and send out updates electronically without having to pick up the phone. Check! Just need an update, and don’t need a page full of buttons and options. Check! We weren’t sure if we were allowed to check three boxes on this polling card, but we have!

 

To-dos: Feel good about getting things done

Multi-tasking, to-do-ing and follow ups…they’re all taxing, but manda-tory! After campaign-ing our thoughts to many existing customers; we’ve built the most agile to-do system in estate agency history. Track your progress, form a coalition with colleagues, and never miss an opportunity to follow up the viewing or valuation. Quite simply, we’ve taken everything that needs to be done and placed it in one clear page so that you can focus on the getting the job done…

That’s just a taste of what we’re working on at the moment.  Every two weeks you can expect great new features from Rezi; speak to one of our sales people or account managers to find out more. Or, have a demo.

dezrez.com/rezi

DezrezOne Top 10 Estate Agents April 2015

May 1st, 2015 No comments

DezrezOne Top 10 Estate Agents April 2015

All of these estate agents have achieved this status by consistently using 90% or more of the entire DezrezOne system during April 2015.

We can monitor your usage of DezrezOne from our specially designed software, making it possible for us to tailor training specifically for your estate agency.

We can also offer you advice on how to improve efficiency in your estate agency, so contact us today if you’d like to find out more!

Dezrez Website of the Month for April

May 1st, 2015 No comments

marApril’s website of the month is Mason and Row, with a new website created by The Property Jungle.

Masonandrow.com has a fresh new look with an easy to use interface an intuitive navigation. The images and colours used provide a very welcoming experience. The Search bar is easy to find and use. The search gives you the option of the traditional search or the map search which is a great way to search for properties. The map search allows a quick overview of the properties in the area you want. The colours used work very well together and add a layer of class to the entire site.

The site even looks great on mobiles. You can see the property jungle have been hard at work refining the responsive functionality of the site. With an interface that fits each device as though it was designed just for it you can house hunt wherever and whenever.

The website flows well and looks great. Properties are easy to find and this site offers a fantastic and in depth overview for each property available. They have made it really easy to find your dream home. They have also provided a wide range of tools built in to the site to help you find exactly what you want or help someone else find what they are looking for.

You can see that a lot of effort and time has gone in to this site. It really does have a good shine to it.

Congratulations to Mason and Row and to The Property Jungle for a fantastic website.

Categories: Estate Agent Software Tags:

Have you heard? The election is coming!

Fair enough, it does feel like it’s all around us. Every other programme on TV is dedicated to some sort of debate or opinion show.ballot_2940044k

Our industry is incredibly susceptible to any hint of uncertainty and an election is bloody big hit of uncertainty! House price growth slows; purchasers are that much more shy about going through with their transactions.

It’s funny when you think about it, people won’t stop needing houses. Demand still outstrips supply. That house you wanted two months ago is still going to be there after the election. Why worry, you could ask? The proverbial could hit the fan at any point whichever government is in power.

Having spoken to agents I know they feel they are having to work as hard as ever to ensure confidence remains high for both purchasers and sellers. Sales progressors are working with solicitors and conveyancers to ensure they keep pushing the sale and/or purchase in the right direction.

I’m sure you will agree, politicians in general announce some fantastical promise for the housing market; a policy to benefit first time buyers, or to build new homes, to tax properties over £2m, or a change the way stamp duty is calculated. They appear to do so without thinking how it affects an entire industry and everything is to be rolled out after the election, of course.

stamp-duty-crushes1Of course, I’m certainly over simplifying things. There are lots of promises being made by all parties that appear to benefit purchasers of any ilk. The ‘markets’ are forever reacting positively or negatively to news – just today the Zoopla group’s shares jumped 17% at the news of their purchase of USwitch. There’s an awful lot to be said for positivity.

It’s safe to say that a new government will bring changes; I doubt very much that they will be sweeping. Just different perhaps. The housing market will continue to both enthrall and anger the British public as it always has done. Most of them won’t quite understand just how much effort you and their conveyancer or solicitor have done to get that property bought or sold for them. The Daily Express will print positive price stories weekly – totally contradicting the Daily Mail. Same old, same old….

As it so happens, the election will coincide with the launch of a whole suite of new features in our new product Rezi, I am extremely excited about this – it marks a significant milestone in the life of our company. To be able to offer any agent, of any size, a product that crushes anything else available to them! It has felt like all hands on deck at times; designing, developing, releasing, feedback, developing releasing, testing, developing and launching! All of this whilst we continue to support our current product dezrezone; a product with more than 15 years of functionality and features. A product that more than holds its own in the market, alongside the very best support and customer service in the industry. A product and team I am extremely proud of.

210w-connectionYes, Rezi looks better, is more intuitive and easier to use than anything else. The really, really exciting bit is what’s underneath the hood. Its engine will allow you do to anything you want, I sound like a politician when I say that, but it’s not a BS promise, it’s literally the truth. Built as an open API you can do what you like with – ‘it allows a computer program to interact with anything else’ – so you can build that app you’ve always thought would be a great idea. API’s are changing the way software and the internet works. We are leading the way in our industry as we always have done.

When the election is over and it’s business as usual. Shake things up and take a look at Rezi.

Spotlight

May 1st, 2015 1 comment

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Att72FD.tmpWhat is your name?

John Burgoyne

How long have you worked in estate agency?

30 years

What is the name of your agency?

Burgoynes Estate Agents

How long have you worked for your current employer?

I set up my own agency 11 years ago and prior to that worked for a corporate for 19 years

What is your job title?

Managing Director / Owner

What does a typical day in the life of you look like?..

A morning meeting with the staff, followed by organising diaries. I will then go out on valuations for most of the day while taking calls from current and prospective clients, as well as calls from media companies…

What do you love about your job?

Having the pleasure in helping people to find their perfect home and taking them through the process in a stress-free environment. We take all the strain on their behalf!

What do you dislike about your job?

I hate un-happy clients. We will do everything we can to rectify a situation to turn an un-happy client into a satisfied one!

Best thing about the area you work in?

I would say we are very lucky to live and work in Exeter. It’s a golden nugget for property prices. The infrastructure is amazing; we have a local airport and we’re close to the motorway. We’re just two hours from London, eight miles from the coast, and eight miles from Dartmoor. A lot of major companies are realising all of this and bringing their HQ’s here!

What would you love to be doing in a different life?

I would love to be singing in the West End! Ideally as the lead part in Les Miserables!

How do you spend your time outside of work?

I do quite a lot of charity work and I’m also involved in the Exeter rotary club. We raise a lot of money for the local hospice; I sing in concerts for charity and have performed in a number of musicals.

Favourite food?

Sunday roast, crucially my crunchy roast potatoes!

Favourite holiday destination?

Sensatori Resort in Tenerife! It has the longest pool I’ve ever seen at over 210m long! Second choice would be Center Parc’s in Longleat.

Your dream car?

Aston Martin DB9

What is your favorite part of Dezrez?

Dezrez Tools. We also love Clason & Rhod in account management.

and finally…why?

The Tools feature is really easy to use; clear and precise.
The boys always solve our problems.  There’s an open invitation for a night out with us in Exeter anytime!

 

If you would like to be under the spotlight next month email our our account team accountmanagement@dezrez.com

Fast Growth for Dezrez

April 10th, 2015 No comments

dezrez house logo glassy

 

Doubled in Size

In the last year, we have reinvested £2.7 million into staff growth and training, particularly for our customer service and technical teams. Having doubled in size this year to over 100 specialist employees, we are expecting to recruit another 60 next year to support our expansion plans.

 

Our main goal is to energise the Estate Agent market with the next generation of elegant, agile, and intuitive technical innovation. However, we have grown phenomenally since 1999 because people trust our expertise to, not only technically innovate, but to deliver the services and support property professionals need to be competitive.

 

Under our Dezrez brand, we have a number of businesses and divisions, including Rezi Development and Support, Property Management, Marketplace, Branding, and Dezrez Legal, our conveyancing arm. Whilst growth has been substantial across all business arms, the mainstay is within the development and customer service teams as we accelerated into a sprint for the launch of Rezi.

 

If you have any queries about Rezi please contact us at reziwebenquiries@dezrez.com and for all other services please talk to your personal account manager or email mail@dezrez.com

DezrezOne Top 10 Agents March 2015

April 10th, 2015 No comments

DezrezOne Top 10 Estate Agents March 2015

All of these estate agents have achieved this status by consistently using 90% or more of the entire DezrezOne system during March 2015.

We can monitor your usage of DezrezOne from our specially designed software, making it possible for us to tailor training specifically for your estate agency.

We can also offer you advice on how to improve efficiency in your estate agency, so contact us today if you’d like to find out more!

Categories: Estate Agent Software Tags:

The Dezrez Approach

April 10th, 2015 No comments

Our Approach to Design at Dezrez

When the decision was made to build Rezi, we knew that we wanted to design a product that would give exceptional user experience, a product that our agents enjoy using every day. Think Apple; think about how they put so much into the user experience of their products. We have adopted that culture.

 

Rezi Logo

 

Those of you that use social media do so because it is easy! The user experience is good, you are rewarded for selling and buying, can connect with friends, use ‘likes’ and tell the world what you are up to at the click of a few buttons. Imagine software that you use every day giving you that exact experience? That is Rezi.

 

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We are injecting elements of ‘gamification’ into the software; negotiators can demonstrate their properties to clients using a beautifully designed applicant facing tool. Whether using desktop, flat screen or iPad, customers can browse through your property stock, view walk through videos, read room descriptions, browse images and floorplans. Your clients can decide whether they ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ properties making mail outs easy and simple.

 

two screens

 

 

Testing our designs We live in a world of choice yet ironically as humans we generally want fewer choices. We want less complexity, so, we have heavily invested in our approach to the design of Rezi. With over 15 years knowledge of building sales and lettings software for estate agents we think we know what agents want from software, after all, a large proportion of the Dezrez team have previously worked in Estate Agency. 6

However, the mistake made by many product teams is building technology for what they believe the user would want rather than what the actual end user needs.  This is exactly what we wanted to avoid. We wanted to put Estate Agents back in the driving seat! And that’s exactly what we are doing. We invested in User focused design and spent many months putting our early designs in front of agents across the UK.

 

 

 

Of course we didn’t have these skills in house to start, so we looked for some guidance and have spent the last 18 months working and learning from Mace & Menter, a Bristol based company that specialise in Evidence based digital design and UX. Mace & Menter have helped us to design with the user in mind, they have taught us how to test our designs and the feedback has been incredible.

 

5

 

To date we have tested with over 80 agents from Directors, to branch managers, negotiators and part time weekend staff and from this research we have been able to gauge what users need.

We want to give our agents a product that is flexible, customisable, and an environment in which we can add to quickly, efficiently and of course give the users exactly what they want. We want to put you the Estate Agent in the driving seat and allow you to guide us with your requirements that will shape the future of Rezi. Accessed anywhere and anytime, Rezi will be fast, mobile, reliable, responsive, secure, and functionally rich and a user experience our agents will love.

Freya Davies Rezi Product Owner

 

 

 

 

Categories: Estate Agent Software Tags: