Herding 3,000 Cats: Enabling Continuous Real Estate Transaction Processing

Stephen J. Andriole (Villanova University, USA) and Charlton Monsanto (Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors/Trident, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 10
EISBN13: 9781605665498|DOI: 10.4018/jcit.2006070101
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Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, an independently owned and operated member of the Prudential Real Estate Affiliate, Inc., is the fourth-largest provider of real estate services in the U.S., with $15.5 billion in annual sales in 2004. The company operates 70 offices staffed by 900 employees. Prudential Fox & Roach also contracts with more than 3,300 independent agents who work on commission. Real estate companies and their sales agents face stiff competition for listings and clients. Finding new ways to expedite the complex sales cycle offers an important advantage to a real estate company. Prudential Fox & Roach sought a better way to give its mobile-sales agents and branch-office employees access to the myriad applications, forms, and databases, such as multiple-listing services, needed to list and sell properties. The company wanted to deliver applications and the corporate intranet over the Internet, which offered wide availability and a familiar browser interface for agents, many of whom are technologically unsophisticated. Prudential Fox & Roach implemented the Citrix MetaFrame Secure Access Manager to augment its existing MetaFrame Presentation Server environment with secure access to applications and information over the Internet.1 Independent agents and 900 employees now have a single point of access from any standard Web browser to applications, databases, forms and documents, and tools such as Web search engines. The impact of the remote access implementation project shortened the real estate sales cycle, provided data security for remote and mobile users, and reduced support requirements by 60%.2 The project also simplified computing for many nontechnical users. Perhaps just as importantly, the project has reduced the number of agents that have left the company for technology support reasons by more than 80%.
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