Tucker Gardner Residential Limited (Tucker Gardner) was formed in 2005 by the merger of two market leading property specialists: Tucker Gardner Partnership (established 1989) and Camflats Property Management Limited (est. 1983).
With a portfolio of services spanning residential sales, lettings, land development, planning consultation and mortgages, Tucker Gardner employs over 85 people and has specialist offices in Cambridge, Great Shelford, Histon and Ely as well as a showcase suite in Mayfair to attract the London and international markets to East Anglia.
Against a backdrop of 35% of the housing stock in the Cambridge area being rentals, the business has grown through a mixture of customer service focused investment in technology (including mobile solutions) and aggressive expansion. Tucker Gardner currently manages over 2,500 properties in the Cambridge area.
A key service for rental landlords is the inventory check carried out at the beginning of each tenancy: listing and documenting the condition of various elements within the property, from the state of decoration to fixtures and fittings. This has traditionally been carried out by hand leading to a time intensive process that saw an average of four hours spent writing up notes on site and a further three hours inputting the information into the Tucker Gardner database.
Faced with an ever increasing portfolio of properties to manage, Tucker Gardner began to look for a mobile solution to reduce the time spent on this largely administrative task. Following consultation with CamTech, a leading local technology mobile solutions provider, Tucker Gardner invested in the Motion J3500 tablet PC and the iAssist inventory software from IT Proz.
Tucker Gardner chose the J Series on the basis of its superior processing power, ruggedisation and ease of use. Weighing just 3.6lbs and coated in shock dampening rubber, the J3500 features:
- Capacitive Dual Touch display options for both finger and digitizer pen input
- An outdoor viewable 12.1” AFFS + LED backlight, screen available with View Anywhere or Gorilla® Glass for increased display damage resistance
- MIL-STD-810G and IP52 ratings for ruggedisation
- Hot-swappable dual batteries that can deliver virtually uninterrupted performance
- Industry leading anti-theft security technology suite
- A complete range of peripherals including a battery charger, FlexDock and attachable, spill-resistant mobile keyboard
The J Series and iAssist have led to a substantial improvement in productivity for Tucker Gardner. Combined with docking stations, and a wireless mouse, the J Series now enables inventory checks to be carried out in approximately two hours and uploaded directly into the database. Combined with a dedicated inventory resource, this mobile solution has freed the Tucker Gardner property managers to focus on developing properties and improvements in customer service.
The reduction in time spent on inventories has been especially noticeable around the seasonal peaks of sabbatical and annual term starts; previously managers ran up extensive overtime, something which has now been eliminated.
The network capability of the J Series enables communication with the office via email and instant messaging, as well as field research for subjects such as council tax bands or local services.
Stephen Hull, Lettings Support Administrator, Tucker Gardner explains:
“Out in the field, the combination of connectivity, ease of input and processing power means the J Series has cut time spent on inventories to such a degree that we are now thinking of rolling it out as a dedicated service beyond just our managed lets. This will turn a cost centre into profit centre, built directly on the investment in tablet technology.”
“The iAssist software is easily customised to our precise needs and we have had strong support from both IT Proz and CamTech. We are already looking to expand our investment in the solution with additional unit for our other offices, which will give us a standardised mobile platform throughout the network of offices.”
John Adamson, Managing Director, Tucker Gardner adds:
“We expect to realise full ROI on our investment in around a year, and the increase in customer service that the J Series and iAssist have enabled has been a huge benefit. We are leaders in the Cambridge property market and it is investment in progressive solutions such as the J Series and iAssist that will keep us in that position.”