Harcourts needed a tool to:
Connect with their frontline staff quickly and easily, especially with rapid changes to regulations during COVID-19;
Share knowledge and learning, including market trends and content from external parties such as Queensland’s Chief Auctioneer;
Build a sense of community and ‘One Team’ between frontline and head office;
Amplify culture through more visible recognition and shining a light on the company values; and
Automate work processes to create a more seamless employee experience for their people.
Real-time updates while on the road
Before Workplace, Harcourts relied heavily on email, face-to-face meetings and phone calls to communicate important information. With Workplace, agents receive critical information as it happens, and can look at it anytime, even if they’re on the go.
This became even more important as COVID-19 saw the Harcourts team struggling to keep up with the ever-changing government guidelines. In one instance, the Queensland Government announced changes to restrictions with less than 24-hours notice. Agents were already out of the office at open homes and there were group auctions planned for that afternoon. Office teams had to get the message out quickly and work with agents to bring buyers and vendors together in a way that complied with restrictions but also enabled successful auctions. The Harcourts Ascot and Clayfield team used Workplace to get the message out, and their agents quickly responded and adapted accordingly. As a result, they were able to hold multiple successful auctions that afternoon.
“On what was quite a stressful day, Workplace helped me to connect with my office-based team members. I knew exactly what I needed to change and how I was going to execute my open homes and auctions for that day”. – Matt Williams, Sales Agent- Harcourts Ascot & Clayfield
Collaboration and knowledge sharing with Workplace
Using Workplace Groups, information from subject-matter experts and speaker notes from around the organisation are regularly posted and shared for all sales agents to see and ask questions about. This creates valuable two-way learning and development opportunities. While on the go, many Sales Agents use Workplace on their mobile to share new listings, as well as property sales updates. They also participate in property and market trends discussions and receive third-party commercial partner updates, all via Workplace.
Workplace is also helping to build a sense of community among operational leadership and Franchise-based sales teams, connecting people at Harcourts Head Office with those ‘on the ground’. Harcourts Chief Auctioneer Queensland & Academy Trainer, Christian Hamilton, uses Workplace Live Video to arm sales teams with real-time auction updates, formal training on topics such as prospecting, listing presentations and delivering buyer feedback to vendors. Marketing, branding and leadership updates from the Head Office team can also be found on Workplace, ensuring that each Franchise and Agent has the tools they need to work as one team.
Elevating Harcourts culture
Through a dedicated Workplace group called ‘One Team’, the Harcourts leadership team celebrates ‘workaversaries’, recognises winners of quarterly business awards and welcomes new starters. CEO, Steve Caradoc-Davies also regularly shares his vision and mission via video updates on Workplace, celebrates achievements, and gathers two-way feedback from those on the ground.
“Our people are more connected and are more informed than ever. Workplace has really helped to bring our team together and it has allowed us to better connect with the broader Harcourts vision.”
Franchise Owner – Harcourts Ascot & Clayfield
Jacqui Bartholomeusz, has been a dedicated leader in the Brisbane community for over 25 years and is well-known for her in-depth local knowledge and renowned personal service.
Delivering the ultimate Employee Experience
Harcourts are always finding new, innovative ways to work. Workplace bots have helped them to automate work processes for better collaboration and increased employee engagement.
While culture is one of the best things about Harcourts, they found that it was not consistent across all areas and wanted a way to add measurability, accountability and structure. To achieve this, the team implemented a ‘thanks’ bot which facilitates recognition, provides reminders about important milestones and anniversaries, and shares insights with administrators to drive improvements in the process. By structuring their peer-to-peer recognition on Workplace, the team is able to deliver consistency in the reward and recognition experience for their people and publicly celebrate the amazing work their people do every day.
“Culture has always been a point of difference for us at Harcourts, but it’s not something that is experienced by everyone in the same way. We have teams who are spread across lots of different countries.
Real Estate can definitely be a lonely job at times, but Workplace gives us a platform where we can bring our culture to everyone at the same time and allows everyone to participate in it. Workplace makes it easy to crowdsource our culture”.
Human Resources Manager, Harcourts International