Real estate company enhances data security and gains mobility necessary to meet customers in the field
Landgren of Sweden is a family-owned real estate company with 12 locations across southern Sweden. A recent move to Microsoft 365 has helped the company, which has no internal IT, meet its compliance obligations with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation. Landgren has also increased collaboration and mobility through the use of Microsoft SharePoint Online and Yammer. This has lead to an increased number of sales wins, as Landgren can often reach out to customers faster, deliver more information quickly, and provide and sign documentation during a property showing.
When Peter Landgren founded the real estate company Landgren of Sweden in the early 2000s, he set out to do things a little differently. Real estate was evolving, but his former employer had refused to adapt. Landgren's new company would stay ahead by focusing on technological innovation.
Today, Landgren operates 12 offices across 10 cities in southern Sweden. It's a well-known company, focusing on the entire spectrum of real estate from houses to apartments and commercial property. And it has stayed true to its founding principle through the early adoption of technology like digital cameras and mobile devices.
But providing a cutting-edge customer experience today is different than it was at the turn of the millennium. As customer expectations have evolved, keeping customers engaged now has less to do with the newest gadget and more to do with providing a simple, comprehensive, and responsive relationship.
On top of that, businesses that deal with sensitive customer data must stay on top of ever-evolving regulations. Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, which became effective in May of 2018, requires all businesses to meet strict data privacy standards. Without an IT department of its own, Landgren needed to find a data loss prevention solution that would stand up to regulatory scrutiny and provide the collaboration and communication channels necessary to wow customers.
To find the perfect solution, leadership at Landgren turned to longtime IT partner WeSafe IT, a Microsoft Partner. Hearing that Landgren was looking for enhanced data security, greater mobility, and professional collaboration tools, WeSafe IT recommended Microsoft 365. While Landgren had used Microsoft solutions before, working from a holistic solution in the cloud was a new prospect.
Business leaders at Landgren were particularly interested in the solution’s data security functionality. “Security for our customers’ personal information is our top priority,” says Hampus Kjellberg, COO at Landgren. “We look out for data loss, along with malware and hacking attempts. That's where working from Microsoft 365 in the cloud makes business very easy for us.” Using Microsoft 365, Landgren could more easily maintain compliance with GDPR requirements. Some of what Microsoft does to support businesses in achieving and maintaning GDPR compliance includes helping businesses complete GDPR data protection impact assessments, enabling leadership to respond to data subject requests, providing accountability readiness checklists, and helping to detect and respond to any breach of personal data and notifying businesses in accordance with the GDPR. The peace of mind associated with this level of support was easily enough for leadership to make their decision.
Today, all sensitive data at Landgren is handled exclusively through Microsoft 365.
With the company’s security requirements met, leadership turned next to expanding collaboration and improving mobility. These were areas of special concern at Landgren, as leadership had already noticed a shift in the way its customers did their research. “Our staff and our brokers need to be mobile because our customers are,” says Peter Landgren. “They don’t come to our office anymore, they view homes on their own. SharePoint Online, Yammer, and the mobile device management capabilities that Microsoft 365 has afforded us make it possible for us to join them in the field.”
To increase inter-office collaboration and enhance what the company’s real estate agents could do from their mobile devices, Landgren adopted the use of both SharePoint and Yammer companywide. Customer documents, along with information concerning the real estate market, competitors, and company strategy, are now stored in SharePoint, where documents can be accessed only by employees with the required permissions. Yammer has been deployed as a more informal channel, where employee questions can be shared with either specific groups of peers or with the entire workforce.
“Our communication channels are fantastic now,” says Veena Anderson, a real estate agent at Landgren. “I use SharePoint and Yammer daily. We ask each other questions and share information, like when a property that’s perfect for a colleague’s customer is coming onto the market.”
By using Yammer to shorten response times, Landgren increases its competitive edge. Often in real estate, the first company to reach out to a customer with an attractive offer has the best chance of retaining their business. SharePoint has also increased response times. Agents no longer need to worry about returning to the office to obtain copies of important documents before meeting clients at a property.
“The ability to use Outlook, Yammer, SharePoint, and Excel from basically any device, any operating system, in any location is really important,” says Hampus. “With SharePoint, we can easily give customers stats or information about a property or the market, the moment they ask. We also always have access to the documents necessary for customer contract signings.” Because all of this communication takes place through Microsoft 365 apps and services, both Landgren employees and their customers have confidence in the security of their correspondence and data.