Objective developed a bespoke property database when off-the-shelf products failed to cover the requirements of worldwide property agency Knight Frank.
Service: Software Development
About Knight Frank
Knight Frank was founded in London more than a century ago and now has a network of 41 offices in the UK, employing over 1,200 people.
Knight Frank helps the creators, owners and users of property enhance the value of commercial and residential spaces as investments, and as effective and attractive places in which to live, work and play.
The global network encompasses more than 165 offices in 36 countries across six continents. Over 5,300 experienced professionals handle some £18.3 billion worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually.
Knight Frank operates from more than 165 UK and international locations, with specialist teams in each area, each focusing on different aspects of the property business.
Although there is a wealth of agency software packages available, these do not typically cover the full requirements of large and varied agencies such as Knight Frank - especially with regard to activities in commercial property and professional services.
Knight Frank was using a range of solutions through the business to record details of property transactions and availability, each team using data in a different manner to support their activities, in a seemingly irreconcilable way.
A custom property database has been constructed, based on Microsoft SQL Server and using a Visual Basic client developed to run in a Citrix MetaFrame environment.
The application uses a 'report' metaphor, allowing users to interact with a spreadsheet-type interface, recording details of specific properties of interest for a given project.
This data is stored in a structured manner alongside data from other users, who are then able to benefit from this in their own specific reports enhancing it further as they go.
A major challenge was the sheer diversity of requirements and views from different teams meant that design and prototyping was critical.
Objective needed to balance the need for flexibility to accommodate all requirements with an overriding priority for simplicity and ease of use for non-technical users.
Initially launched in 2004 the bespoke proerty database is now a cornerstone sytem at Knight Frank.
Years later Objective continues to work in partnership with Knight Frank to further enhance their property database, both technically and functionally.