Investec Vacancy case study

Written by
Luke Marthinusen

Investec Property Fund Investec Property Fund is a real estate investment trust listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The company owns several properties in South Africa and Western Europe, ranging from retail, commercial, and industrial properties. The Fund's investment portfolio is currently comprised of R22.1 billion of real estate investments.

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The brief

Due to the wide range of properties owned by Investec Property Fund, they maintain a Vacancy Schedule that details the spaces available to rent in each property as well as the properties that need to be let out. This was managed on an excel spreadsheet by the Investec team and then shared with internal and external property brokers as a means of communicating which spaces are available for rent.

The Vacancy Schedule needed to contain more detailed information on each property in order to streamline communication between brokers and the business. The vacancy schedule also needed to be made more presentable to share with external resources to showcase the available portfolio, as well as to provide accurate information that could be accessed at any time.

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The challenge

The challenge was finding a format where detailed information, imagery, brochures and videos on each property could be displayed and easily accessed by property brokers while on the go and seeing clients.

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What were the challenges?

  • Due to the complexity caused by the amount of information and multiple assets linking to one property, the previous version provided minimal value and was not utilised often enough.
  • Due to multiple assets for each property not being consolidated in one place, internal resources had to manually share each asset when requested multiple times. Thus creating unnecessary administrative work and room for error.
  • Brokers were not able to properly showcase the properties effortlessly which created unnecessary challenges within the sales cycle when dealing with new clients.

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What were they doing that was not working?

  • A single spreadsheet was updated and shared with brokers which only detailed leasing information such as rental amounts, space available, parking details etc. This process was not intuitive or detailed enough.
  • The internal team would direct brokers to the property website where they would need to source the brochures, imagery or videos on each property. Alternatively, a manual process was followed to share requested content with the brokers.
  • There was no complete showcase of each property so multiple assets would need to be shared with a client.

How did the challenges they were facing affect their business?

  • Longer sales cycles.
  • More internal resources were spent on administrative tasks to ensure that all of the information was available to brokers.
  • Limited accessibility to the original vacancy schedule spreadsheet meant less frequent viewing of the content by brokers.

Primary goals 

What are the goals we set out to solve at the start of the project?

  • To create a holistic and interactive Vacancy Schedule showcasing each available property in one easily accessible asset.
  • Streamlined the monthly update of the Vacancy Schedule to ensure all information was up to date. Creating instant access to the Vacancy Schedule for all brokers at any time on multiple devices.

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The solution 

We created an interactive brochure that included all information and assets for each property, intuitively designed to enable brokers to self-solve instead of asking for more information.

The Vacancy Schedule was designed on IN5 and all the Investec team and brokers need to access this document in a search browser. We tested how the formatting of this document would display across multiple devices. We created a streamlined process to gather and input the information that is used on a monthly basis. We designed multiple templates within the new Investec CI to find which format would best display the necessary information needed to be included on each property.

The interactive Vacancy Schedule unified internal and external brokers by providing accessible and accurate information.

The internal Investec Property Fund team's manual efforts were alleviated. Showcases of the properties, including any updates on each property, are easily showcased.

The results

The result was a dynamic and easily accessible vacancy schedule that has since had a large by in the internal stakeholders and is included in the monthly emailer for distribution.

Our impact

This was initially viewed as a “nice-to-have” but has now become an integral asset for the property fund team by easing the sales cycle and internal back and forth. As a result of gaining buy-in from internal stakeholders, this has now been included in the monthly emailer for distribution.

The property fund team now relies on this tool to ease sales cycles and internal back and forth, which was initially seen as a nice-to-have.

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