With London’s buoyant property market largely owned by big nationwide estate agent groups, it’s refreshing to meet one of the capital’s few remaining independents. They differentiate themselves through a more personal service, greater attention to detail and long lasting relationships with their buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.
Multi award-winning Keatons is a case in point. Founded in 1998 in a single office in Bow, East London the company has since added six more local branches in Hackney, Kentish Town, Shoreditch, Stratford, Wanstead and Canary Wharf. Its client testimonials and volume of repeat business bear witness to a level of service that genuinely goes above and beyond. Small enough to care and to project a family business feel, it also offers a degree of local knowledge that bigger companies would find it hard to equal.
With the telephone still at the heart of all estate agency business, Keatons’ growth had exposed weaknesses in its legacy phone system. New lines were taking too long to install and commission, changes were equally slow and proving difficult, and there was no flexibility in call features, routing and management.
Keatons first started looking for an alternative, more powerful telephone system for its newly opening Wanstead office. Traditional solutions didn’t measure up and timescales were too long. To maintain levels of customer service it was crucial that individual staff remain easy to reach by landline, even when working from different offices. At the same time future potential for growth in the system and an ability to reconfigure on the fly were priorities too.
The answer came in the shape of the Horizon hosted IP telephony platform from Gamma. Needing no on-site
hardware beyond the phone handsets themselves it is quick to provision new lines, rapid and easy to make changes in the way calls are handled and routed, and is highly flexible in the way it operates.
Deployed first at Wanstead, the branches at Bow, Canary Wharf and Stratford are now also on Horizon and there are plans for the remaining offices to join the system soon. Keatons staff like Horizon’s ease of use, its simple programmability and the full function Polycom phones supplied as standard. Also on the cards is an extension into some limited call centre functionality for making outbound calls to existing customers. This will be teamed with cloud hosted call reporting services from Gamma partner Akixi.