Challenge: Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate money management firm with 2005 revenue of approximately $1.4 billion, re-enlisted Elevation Inc. to make its site more user-friendly. “The challenge was to create an easy-to-use online solution for prospects to create investor profiles and access various password-protected levels of information on each deal,” said Suzanne Martinez, a senior-VP at JLL.
In addition to developing a Web site that connected project managers, sellers and buyers, JLL wanted an interface that would simplify data transfer between those groups. JLL clients and employees never adopted the original Web site because they found it laborious and redundant to input information about investors.
“Real estate transactions often have a number of due diligence documents that need to be offered to potential buyers in an easy-to-get-to manner—with quick downloads and easy navigation,” Martinez said. “Traditionally, this information was in a stagnant Excel spreadsheet. Also due diligence information typically was either photocopied and sent via overnight or downloaded on the CDs.”
Solution: JLL turned to Elevation Inc., a Chicago-based interactive marketing and technology firm, to revamp the site it originally created for JLL, www.thepropertywatch.com.
Adam Heneghan, president of Elevation Inc., said the site should converge “great marketing with great metrics.” This includes connecting buyers to sellers, which allows both parties to securely transfer data and search information relating to specific criteria, while also tracking and analyzing users.
The site was updated to include investor profiling, confidential due diligence information and an online confidentiality agreement, as well as an area for JLL project managers to track prospects during the investment marketing cycle.
Results: The new site allows JLL to provide data to investors immediately, resulting in a faster underwriting process. Consequently, in “both of these key areas we saw a shortening of our marketing cycle times and a improved level of underwriting by our investors—therefore shortening the period a buyer needed during due diligence,” Martinez said. Specifically, JLL saw its underwriting cycle shrink from 6 to 8 weeks to 4 to 6 weeks.
“One of the main areas of measurement that we have tracked is that JLL has improved our ability to manage our investors and get more deals out to an updated list,” Martinez said.