“My team are constantly using Kato - it is open on their computer all day - it runs all of our agency workflows from inbound enquiries to client reporting”
Vail Williams is a leading commercial property consultancy with a particular focus on the Thames Valley and the South Coast. The agency provides advice to all types of property clients - ranging from high net worth individuals, pension funds and propcos - and prides themselves on best-in-class advice and winning new business.
Founded in 1989, they provide a wide range of services ranging from property management, agency services, valuation, building surveying, planning, and development consultancy. The agency team is at the top of their game having recently been named as the most active disposal agent based on office square footage on the South Coast and winning three awards at the South Coast Property Awards including ‘Office Consultancy of the Year’, ‘Property Deal of the Year’ and the ‘Mark Vincent Lifetime Achievement Award’ for Russell Mogridge.
One highlight was the successful sale of 36 Brunel Way, a 74,891 sq ft industrial building, on behalf of Property & Investment Management. In addition, the leasing team recently acted on behalf of RO Properties in the letting of 7,460 sq ft of office space to the law firm, Irwin Mitchell.
Securing these significant deals and being entrusted with numerous disposals necessitates a high level of organisation within the Vail Williams agency team. To streamline their operations and enhance efficiency, they have relied on CRM software as a valuable tool; optimising processes and ensuring smooth coordination among the leasing members.
"From an antiquated software system to Kato - Kato has become our daily dashboard, making us forget the struggles of the old system. We've come so far, and there's no looking back" says Mary Pearson, Project Coordinator for the commercial leasing team - "In the past, we relied on outdated software that, despite its continued existence, presented significant challenges. Its slow and clunky performance deterred fee earners from using it, leaving the burden of usage solely on the admin team. One of the most tedious aspects was the need for double entry of data, causing considerable inefficiencies."
Mary and Nik Cox, a partner, were part of Hughes Ellard, a south coast agency that merged with Vail Williams in 2018. This is where the relationship started between Hughes Ellard and Kato. They say “back at Hughes Ellard, we wanted to up our game and be on the cutting edge of tech. There was a little bit of resistance internally. The fee earners get familiar with a process and the thought tends to be "don't fix what isn’t broken!”. The old software really restricted us - it was desktop based and meant team members could only operate from their desk - they are out and about up to 50% of the time!”
The more Hughes Ellard engaged with Kato, the more value they realised that there was to be had from the partnership. Fast forward - Hughes Ellard merged with Vail Williams to create the powerhouse of south England agency. However, Vail Williams was using another old software system. As part of the merger, Vail Williams’s senior leadership wanted to drive change and innovation and the decision was made to roll Kato out across all agency teams.
“I couldn’t calculate how much time I save a week using AgentsInsight - it’s a lot”
Vail Williams found moving onto Kato easy. Nik was part of the rollout team and says that the onboarding onto Kato was quick; “it was refreshing having property people helping us onboard - they really know the market. Even the CEO got involved”. A huge time saver has been the automated PDF particulars - “this used to take us well over an hour” Mary says. Pushing listings to the portals and their website saves the administration team a lot of hours per week.
Vail Williams pride themselves on the quality of their data, and Kato helps them surface this information for all team members. The agency team at Vail Williams love the reporting features which make them stand out in front of their clients: from the live interest schedules, to viewing stats and the integration with the Agents Society. For the directors, it helps them manage the numerous competing demands; from servicing and keeping clients happy, winning new business and effectively managing employees. The centralised data helps the team keep on top of a large workload as well as conduct targeted business development - not only for the agents, but also the professional team.
“If I didn’t have Kato it would be catastrophic - I wouldn’t be able to do my job”
By using Kato, the Vail Williams team has built a clean database of prospects and clients. Best of all - all of this information feeds all the way back to the executive team - they can even see it on their mobile phones! Are you being slowed down by old software solutions that feel clunky? Get in touch today and find out how you can save 7 hours per week for each fee earner.