Newsec wanted to invest in the development of its digital business and help customers find office space more easily and efficiently than before. Digia implemented the Toimitilahaku.fi website, a modern and convenient way of finding new offices.
Newsec has provided real estate sales and purchases counselling, evaluations and analysis, office brokerage and real estate and office management services in Finland for 25 years. Newsec serves its customers everywhere in Finland with 200 experts, operating in Tampere, Oulu, Turku, Hämeenlinna and Jyväskylä in addition to the Capital Region.
The mission of Newsec is to help its customers find office space. The operating logic of their previous service had become obsolete: aspects such as mobile support and other vital features were completely absent. Following the growth of their business, Newsec had a strong desire to invest in the development of its digital business.
Digia was a strong contender for the implementation of the Toimitilahaku.fi application, since it had already implemented the Kodisto.fi rental flat search portal for Newsec. Digia was able to use the application architecture of the previous project without modifications, which signified savings of up to 50‒60% in the starting costs of the new service development project. The company also realised that features developed for the new application, such as the search result notifications, could also be used in the further development of the previous application.
The aim of the Toimitilahaku.fi project was to implement a modern and easy-to-use office search for customers, also on mobile.
Another goal was meeting the practical challenges of searching for office space, as offices are typically vacated earlier and remain empty longer than rental flats, and the decision-making cycles of customers looking for office space are normally longer than when looking for a rental home. This means that the customer needs to be able to start the advance marketing earlier and make their customers find the service more easily. We tackled this challenge through search engine optimisation.
In the project, Digia was responsible for concept, user interface and visual design and the technical implementation of the service. The implementation was a fairly typical project, with a chief front-end developer, chief back-end developer and a UI designer.
In order to improve the user experience, the search was simplified as much as possible and all unnecessary components were cut. As a special feature, Digia implemented a Tinder-type like functionality, through which the service learns what type of offices the user prefers.
The most important tool was content creation. During the project, more than 100 landing pages were produced describing different office space needs. Digia also created a blog creating experience-oriented content around office space. All content is displayed through the Contentful service. The biggest technical change from the Kodisto application was the integration with the M-files system, serving as the source of all data.
The service was launched in mid-November 2016.
“The project taught us much about how efficient app development can be when you are able to make use of existing project frameworks and functionalities. This is especially true with regard to user interfaces. The basic framework for the office space search was implemented in just a couple of weeks”, says Project Manager Niklas Lahti.
Digia will continue the development and maintenance of Newsec’s applications. Various extra features will be added to the Toimitilahaku.fi application in 2017, such as an interactive brochure tool.