Categories: Collaboration Video Conferencing

Expansion in Times of Adversity: Using Telepresence Robots to Boost Real Estate Sales

The Customer Story blog series highlights how Cisco’s collaboration technology has helped customers solve their business challenges. Learn how Cisco is meeting customers where they are helping them achieve their business goals.

Cisco partners with FRINK Advanced Services and Ava Robotics, in response to the pandemic, collaborated to build a fully digital sales experience for European real estate developer SIGNA, revolutionizing the industry’s digital capabilities.

Cisco Partner Frink Helps Real Estate Developer SIGNA Act Quickly

Facing the first lockdown in spring 2020, Austrian premium real estate developer SIGNA had to act quickly in order to keep their business running during the year to come. Naturally, real estate relies on people visiting apartments in person before deciding to rent or buy, getting a feeling for the space that neither pictures nor pre-recorded videos can deliver.

SIGNA reached out to FRINK Advanced Services a boutique Cisco partner known for their creative business solutions.  “Let’s assume there is another lockdown. Signa approached us with that assumption and the question “how do we deal with that?”. Our job was to find a solution and keep their business running no matter what,” says Claudia Kaefer, CEO of FRINK Advanced Services. Building on SIGNA’s existing collaboration infrastructure, they designed a contactless, fully virtual sales experience, enabling SIGNA’s customers to explore an apartment and connect with a real estate agent without ever setting foot on the property.

Ava Telepresence Robot and Cisco Webex Integration Allows SIGNA to Connect with Potential Customers

Equipped with Cisco Webex, SIGNA was already well prepared for taking their sales process to the next level. A crucial piece missing in the puzzle of a well-rounded, digital customer experience was a real-time experience that allowed customers to autonomously explore a property in detail, not having to rely on pre-selected views and angles. That’s where the idea of using a robot was born. What first seemed like an abstract notion quickly became (virtual) reality for SIGNA’s clients: The Ava Telepresence Robot is an intelligent, fully autonomous robot that now assists realtors and clients in their contactless home tours. “Ava lets you explore spaces in a more immersive and personal way, and Signa recognized the opportunity to do more for their remote customers and clients,” says Ava Robotics VP of Sales, Rob Kutner. “Offering them a real-feel walk-through that lets them control their experience, has resulted in more confident decisions and positive outcomes.”

With the Cisco Webex integration, Ava allows SIGNA to connect with potential customers, wherever they are located, while their prospects can take a literal walk through the apartment, zooming in on the kitchen counter or enjoying the view from afar. What started out as a remedy to an unusual situation, quickly became a fixed component of SIGNA’s sales process, opening new opportunities and expanding their market even further by removing all geographical boundaries to real estate sales. “I believe this robot is not only a game changer for SIGNA – it’s a game changer for the whole real estate industry”, says CIO Franz Hillebrand.

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