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Technology at Work


Tablets. Smart Phones. Electronic signatures and paperless offices. Imagine your work life without them; it’s hard isn’t it? Alberta real estate professionals are at the forefront of new technology that improves their business and their relationships with clients. The Real Estate Council of Alberta, too, is also acquiring and implementing technology to improve its customer service levels and to fulfill critical success factor five from its strategic plan—to ensure RECA has the capacity to achieve its vision of excellence in self-regulation by providing the necessary resources, technology, policies and regulatory framework.

Introduced last summer, IKEN is RECA’s case management software. IKEN has provided RECA with the opportunity to centralize vital case and matter information, which improves productivity, enhances timeliness and provides greater efficiency. For industry professionals participating in a case, it will result in more timely communication as to the stage at which the matter is, enhanced analysis (relationships, discipline, complaint history) and provide additional search capabilities. IKEN also assists RECA in identifying complaint trends, which then provides an opportunity to direct educational resources proactively, in essence, turning a reaction event into a proactive opportunity.

Searchlight is RECA’s case analysis software package. It serves as a central repository for critical case knowledge that can be used to organize information about key facts, documents, persons, issues and case law in every matter. The software has given RECA the ability to reduce the amount of time required to stamp, source and organize large volumes of records. Let’s say RECA receives 1,000 documents in relation to a single matter. These records are scanned and converted to electronic Tiff images, electronically stamped, sourced and organized in minutes versus the days it took pre-Searchlight. The documents are then organized, viewable and can be easily searched. The added benefit is working within a paperless, eco-friendly environment—reducing RECA’s overall eco footprint.

The most recent large-scale software acquisition for RECA is Microsoft Lync®, which was installed in early December. Lync® is a unified communications platform, through which users (in this case, RECA employees) can keep track of their contacts’ availability; send an IM; start or join an audio, video, or web conference; or make a phone call. Just in its first three months of usage, Lync has been instrumental in helping RECA better manage its phone systems, organize conference calls and remote meetings, which in turns has led to improved productivity, increased mobility, and faster responses for consumers, industry professionals and other stakeholders, and employees.

Next up on the technology agenda for RECA is a customer relationship management system and better call tracking/management software. Again, industry professionals and consumers can expect continued customer service enhancements from RECA with the acquisition of these new software platforms.

What kinds of new technology or software packages have you introduced to improve and enhance your customer service commitment?