Twice a week, records from Howard Hanna’s own database of new and sold listings is submitted for processing. The system automatically generates a 25-card mailing to the nearest residences for each listing.
All of the company’s agents use the system, but it obviously helps that the cost is underwritten 100 percent by Howard Hanna. Management believes the ability to locate addresses automatically is a key part of making the system easy to use.
[ Producing the Job ]
When a file is uploaded to the system, the listing’s address information is forwarded to Dickman Directories. There, address information for the 25 nearest residences is added for each listing. The file is then resubmitted to the system for address correction processing before the final data are sent to the printer for output.
Dispatch Digital Printing Services based its part of the solution on a Xerox iGen3 digital color press with Kodak Creo Spire RIP and Pageflex (Bitstream) Mpower variable data software. It soon saw volumes approach 15,000 full-color postcards a week.
Along with the postcards, the system gives agents the option to create more elaborate, customized sales collateral for their properties. About 15 percent of the agents—typically those among the company’s top performers—use the system to create different types of handouts, such as listing sheets or color brochures. Agents can upload different images and add custom text for these pieces. Howard Hanna is able to maintain control of its brand by making sure all materials available through the system are in compliance with its corporate standards.
Using an online system (and templates) to create these additional sales materials has eliminated a significant production bottleneck. Previously, Howard Hanna’s in-house design staff struggled to gather the required materials in a timely manner. It could take weeks just for agents to get a proof of a brochure or sale sheet, and even longer to receive the printed materials. Now, the entire process takes less than one week, and often less than 24 hours.