Project Year: 2016 Project Timeframe: 3 months About: KnowlesCo.com is #1 rental and real estate company on Mount Desert Island, a popular East coast vacation destination including the town of Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Company Size: 10 Company Location: Northeast Harbor, Maine Founded: 1898
OGO Sense helps the Knowles Company maintain and improve their #1 real estate and rental website on the Mount Desert Island in Maine. After working together for more than a year, we started focusing more on potential opportunities than addressing digital marketing issues. One such business opportunity is the Android app prototype for rental homeowners.
How do you manually update availability of over 400 rental properties during the busiest booking season? Not easily. Here manually means an exchange of phone calls and emails. Knowles rental staff members are the best on the island and receive only the best reviews by their tenants. However, instead of spending more time focusing on high value activities such as matching the best tenants to appropriate houses or working with homeowners on increasing the value of their homes, they are often bogged down by low value and manual tasks such as updating date availability. Often, it’s easy to make a mistake because the process is done manually. Even with the rental agent's best intentions, it could take hours for the updated home availability to be posted on the website.
OGO Sense designed and implemented an Android app prototype that would provide accurate availability information to potential tenants as early as possible. The app enables homeowners to update the home availability on the website instantly from their mobile phone or tablet. As a bonus, we made it possible for homeowners to receive tenant feedback right within the app as soon as they are approved by the Knowles team. Comments typically include public recommendations to future tenants or private feedback such as Wi-Fi issues or recommendation to place more chairs by the pool. With the Knowles Homeowner app, homeowners can easily update availability for properties that they own as well as receive public and private feedback from tenants who stayed at their property.
The Knowles Homeowner app is currently in the experimental stage and available only for Android version. After the internal acceptance testing and usability testing with select homeowners, the Knowles team is expected to request additional revisions and iOS version of the same app. Following the official release of both iOS and Android versions, we expect to announce preliminary marketing and operational results.