“Our agents and listing coordinators needed to share large, high-res image files on a daily basis...now both agents and coordinators can work quickly and efficiently.”Ben Krichko – IT Manager
Ben Krichko supports more than 275 agents and employees across the Metro Atlanta Area. Striving to be the premier luxury-marketing real estate company in Atlanta, employees are committed to providing a high quality of service to their clients. Agents work with buyer and seller clients in all price points — from first-time homebuyers to those purchasing multi-million dollar properties. Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty has three offices throughout Metro Atlanta where agents can drop in to work on company-owned computers. Out of the 275 employees, Krichko rarely sees around 80 of them since they do all of their work remotely. The Buckhead office, located in the heart of Atlanta, houses the marketing and operations team while the real estate agents often work on the road visiting houses and client sites.
Agents often spend their time working remotely, meeting with clients and taking pictures of real estate homes to be listed on the website. The images are hi-res and often the final file size is between 50 and 60 GB. In order to post the images to the listing directory, agents had to email their listing coordinator back in the office with the house details and pictures. Email wouldn't accept files over 8 MB so agents had to split out the images into separate emails, confusing the listing coordinators and making them less productive and slowing down the process of inputting listing information. Krichko knew he needed a solution that could provide easy access to large files from any location.
“For us, the local storage plus cloud solution Egnyte offers fits all of our needs. Staff members and agents can work on large files while in the office without monopolizing our bandwidth. Agents can remotely access files from any location and share them with others. For Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty, it's a win-win situation.”Ben Krichko – IT Manager
Krichko wanted a cloud solution, similar to Box and Dropbox, as it would provide the anywhere, anytime access to files that his team needed. However, he wanted a robust enterprise solution, not a consumer solution. He found Egnyte, signed up for a trial and rolled out Egnyte cloud access to a small group of "super users." At first, the super users accessed Egnyte files from the cloud via the web interface, giving them the anywhere access they needed. He quickly found that when marketing employees and listing coordinators were working on large files in the office, access via the cloud was clogging their bandwidth. After a few months, Krichko discovered the initial local storage components had already been outgrown and needed more power to handle the workload and sync.
In the main office, Krichko set up a ReadyNAS 3200 with 9TB of usable space. Now marketing employees and listing coordinators could work directly off of the server via the mapped drive. They no longer have to worry about clogging up the bandwidth and can work off of the large 50-60 GB files at a faster pace. In the other two satellite offices, he set up two ReadyNAS Pro 6 devices so agents stopping in could access files quickly.
Parent and subfolder permissions are key to how Krichko has set up Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty's folder structure. The listing coordinators have access to all agent folders so they can edit the images and upload them along with the listing details to the directory. Agents only have access to their listing folder and are unable to see files/folders from other agents. Agents simply upload their images and details to their subfolder and the coordinators can easily download and edit the images before posting.
The 80 agents who work remote love the mobile applications Egnyte offers. When out on site, they can take pictures with their phones or tablets and upload them into the appropriate Egnyte folder. They no longer have a need to stop by the office to upload and send listing details to their coordinators. Agents also use the DocuSign integration when out on site. Often when competing against other real estate agents for a prime listing, they have to convince the seller and get their signature immediately. Now they can pull up DocuSign INK and connect to Egnyte where their exclusive listing agreement is stored. When the seller is ready to commit, the agent can digitally sign the agreement, send it to the seller to sign and win the listing on the spot.