In recent years, Foncia has embarked on a major digital transformation project aimed at revolutionising customer relations. Colliers has been working with the leading real estate company to develop a new agency concept, focusing on the brand identity, uses and paths for the public and employees.
Imagining the real estate agency of tomorrow
The project began with Foncia's need to offer a unique experience for everyone - employees and clients - while rethinking work practices and deploying it throughout the country. Behind this reflection, there are multiple issues: the experience of the place, the experience of the client, the staging of a certain art of receiving, rethinking the uses at work to strengthen the support of employees and gain in efficiency and well-being. Not forgetting the digital challenges in a context of brand identity change and digital transformation.
« Several lines of thought guided our support in designing a unique, flexible, functional and attractive place. We went further than the graphic approach to rethink the place as a whole » says Ludovic Tallon, Directeur Design at Colliers France.
After gathering needs and investigating the field, three major founding principles emerged to bring the branch of the future to life. Firstly, the inhabited window and its transparency that makes you want to push open the door of the agency and experience Foncia's services. Secondly, the lounge area and its open-plan, multi-purpose, flexible and welcoming "living room". Finally, the private area with its individual, comfortable and intimate spaces, which encourage customised exchanges.
If the agency is a place open to the client, it is also a place of work. Openness must be reconciled with the operating needs of the teams (flow management, confidentiality, client meetings, etc.) and contribute to their loyalty by offering them a good quality of life at work.
The birth of Foncia.com: an open living space
The agency is structured around 4 spaces designed according to usage with the aim of rebalancing the spaces dedicated to the employee and the client.
For example, the window is decorated with benches and high counters, as well as light boxes displaying Foncia's communications and a screen showing property advertisements; while the facade is eye-catching with its coloured arches and the "Foncia.com" logo, the company's new name.
Depending on the size of the branches and any historical constraints, these architectural intentions are declined « We have gathered all the recommendations in a reference guide intended for branch managers so that they can take charge of the new charter and apply it according to the typology of their branch. For example, for small agencies, it is recommended that the only window display include services, advertisements and lightboxes. For agencies with a larger frontage, it is possible to add an event window and a living room window » explains Ludovic Tallon.
Inside the branches, the central part called the « lounge » aims to provide a warm welcome for customers. This particularly flexible and multi-purpose "plug & play" space is built around a dynamic counter and a large, multi-position connected table for conversation or waiting. A little further back from the entrance, several semi-enclosed or enclosed "customer lounges" allow for longer discussions, the aim being to respect privacy and confidentiality. Finally, there is a private area for employees to share, concentrate or isolate themselves.
« "These new layouts and uses organisation are a revolution for Foncia employees who were previously used to individual offices. Today, even the so-called private spaces are no longer allocated! Solo bubbles, phone boxes, open spaces... It's a way of giving a new rhythm and creating a great deal of fluidity » adds Ludovic Tallon.
« After a hundred or so installations over the last 24 months, the feedback has been very good, from employees who have more pleasant working spaces, and there is a certain pride in belonging to the brand. The other point is our customers: we have conducted a survey with a hundred passers-by in several locations in France and more than 2/3 of them have noticed these changes and attribute it as a real element of brand enhancement » says Anne Babkine, Director of the offer and customer experience at Foncia.
Find out more about this project in our Book Colliers #6
Shooting photos : ©Foncia