Expanded digital first letting and re-letting activities
Flatfox can consider itself lucky to be able to support more and more customers in the digitalisation of first letting and re-letting processes.
At the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, we were particularly busy with the technical decoupling of the platform from the software for digital rental processes. This made free advertising, previously reserved only for private advertisers, possible for real estate agencies as well, regardless of whether they use our software for initial or re-letting. Numerous agencies made use of this possibility, increasingly also in Western and Eastern Switzerland, which enabled us to establish new customer relationships and increased the reach of our free portal.
Expanding the reach and network
The expansion of our reach is also due to our growing Customer Success Team. With Luis-Miguel Gomes, we now have a representative in French-speaking Switzerland. From Fribourg, he looks after customers in French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino. In May, we invited our customers and partners to our office in Zurich's Binz-Quartier for a relaxed exchange of ideas. And in autumn, together with Tend AG, we organised the FRED real estate event in the 25hours Hotel on Zurich's Langstrasse. In 2019 we also travelled to numerous industry events, such as IMMO'19, Immomesse St. Gallen, Exporeal in Munich and RENT in Paris. These events enabled us to make valuable contacts and to expand our industry know-how.
Improved protection from fraudulent activities for our users
However, the positive development in digital initial and re-letting, as well as retail advertising also brought with it some operational challenges. User confidence in our software and platform is extremely important to us. We were particularly concerned with automatic image recognition and fraud prevention. We developed new models using the most common statistical methods, which support the operation of Flatfox.ch in everyday life and protect our users even better from fraudulent activities. In addition, we are also in constant exchange with authorities.
First letting and re-letting can now be managed across organisations
The software for digital first letting and re-letting has been considerably expanded, always in cooperation with our customers and often in collaboration with other partners. Worthy of mention is the new interface to the Garaio REM management software, which is now available to all customers. We were also able to respond to new needs that involve cross-organizational projects between marketers of initial rentals and agencies with re-letting projects, whereby employees of different companies can now work on the same project. We were able to successfully test this with marketer Tend AG and Helvetia Immobilien. The cooperation with Helvetia Versicherungen was also intensified through a successful pilot project involving the integration of insurance solutions. And since last year, top listings offered by third-party portals can also be booked via Flatfox.
Flatfox's digital rental process reduces the re-letting time
Digital first and re-letting processes that are handled using the Flatfox tool are bearing fruit. For our top 25 customers who use our software with a completely digital rental process, the re-letting period was reduced by 10%. Our long-standing customer PRIVERA AG was also able to significantly reduce vacancies with the support of our software, as they write in a recently published press release. This encourages us to remain true to our strategy. We will continue to develop our products in close cooperation with our customers in 2020. In particular, a new function is being implemented that will expand the possibilities for communication and case management between landlord/agency and tenants. We will keep you up to date on this.