Brazil’s largest online real estate portal uses Dropbox Business to improve collaboration among employees and provide faster service to its broker customers, fueling expansion into new markets.

VivaReal, a real estate portal

VivaReal's Key Results

Instant adoption among employees

100% decrease in IT help requests

Tighter security over proprietary company information

The Challenge

Struggling to keep up with growth

Buying the home of your dreams in Brazil has always been complicated. With over 50,000 brokerages in a highly fragmented market, Brazilian house hunters lacked a single place to view real estate listings. VivaReal has helped change the game, creating an online portal with over 3 million listings across more than 1,000 cities — and becoming one of Brazil’s hottest startups in the process. But as the business has grown to include financing and decorating services, VivaReal employees have faced challenges. Among the big ones: Employees collaborated on client reports about listing activity by sending email attachments back and forth, making it harder to keep track of the latest version. “There was a lot of time wasted trying to keep teams aligned,” says Carlos Eduardo Smanioto, VivaReal’s IT Manager. “We decided things would be safer in the cloud.” After looking at several offerings, VivaReal zeroed in on Dropbox Business because it would enable employees to continue working on whatever platform and device they liked using. “The other factor was there would be no need to train our staff, considering most IT professionals and Internet users already know and use the tool, which is very intuitive even if you don’t use it on a daily basis,” he says.

The Solution

Finding a better way to house data

Dropbox Business has made it easy for VivaReal to keep adding new real estate brokerage clients — and their millions of news listings — without missing a beat. Onboarding new employees is now a breeze, a good thing as the company will soon have offices in 22 Brazilian cities. Once a newbie is hired, the “Human Resources” folder containing all the onboarding and training documents automatically appears in their Dropbox. “I know people can hit the ground running as they have access to what they need,” says Smanioto. “It’s all very seamless.” The sales team relies on Dropbox to make sure everyone is working off the latest version of marketing collateral and customized reports for real estate brokers. The Dropbox badge lets viewers share these Excel listing reports and update to the latest version when someone else makes changes, all within Microsoft Office. When sending the reports to clients, using shared links has been much simpler than emailing them as attachments. Dropbox Business has also helped VivaReal make sure company data remains in house when employees leave. Through the Admin Console, VivaReal can transfer files to another employee and remotely wipe data off of devices. “It’s very simple to manage that data,” says Smanioto. VivaReal also likes being able to use existing company credentials to log in to Dropbox through the single sign-on feature. “Because our environment is getting more and more complex due to our growth, we need stronger management of logins and passwords,” Smanioto says.

The Results

Freeing up the teams to focus on growth

Now that Dropbox Business is powering the entire company, the IT department can focus more on enabling growth and less on responding to help desk requests. Before Dropbox, Smanioto says he fielded up to 20 calls a day related to file sharing issues. Now that number is zero. “We don’t have these calls anymore, says Smanioto. “That alone proves to me – mathematically – that we made the right choice.” The money he’d have to spend on a dedicated support person can now be used for scaling IT so that VivaReal can keep adding new real estate brokers to its portal, he says. “Today, the great monetary value of any business is information, so being focused on protecting this information is everything,” says Smanioto. “We don’t think of Dropbox Business as a cost, but rather as an important investment in the strategic growth of the company.”

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