The objective – A new product offering built for adaptability

With 77,000 employees, and revenues in excess of $6.8bn, JLL is a global leader in the worldwide real-estate market. However, the business runs on a traditional real-estate model, with most transactions happening over the phone.

In 2018, Ekino became a key strategic and delivery partner for JLL’s ongoing, EMEA wide OnLine Market Program (OLM), and was tasked with transforming the brand from a classic broker model to a best-in-class digital model, that mirrors B2C real-estate best practice (such as Zoopla and Rightmove). This included opening out and reorganising a system that traditionally relies on and caters for big business—to make JLL’s services and expertise available to small businesses looking for properties to fit them.

  • 7

    countries where the platform has been deployed

  • 3

    years continuous work program

  • 2018

    First implementation of the platform

The challenges – Remodelled for seamless style

One of the challenges we faced was balancing the existing look and feel of such a corporate brand with a more intuitive, more inviting style that would make a better experience for the end user. Working closely with JLL’s design team, we established new brand guidelines that would suit both the brand and the customer, and tested them using high-fidelity prototypes.

Additionally, as with any major global site, in the development stage we faced constraints such as accessibility, GDPR, and browser limitations, but an agile approach allowed us to find seamless solutions for each scenario.

Our solution – Reconstructing search

We approached the project like a startup within the existing business: agile, innovative and user-centric. We assembled a team of Ekino specialists and key stakeholders from JLL to be able to work together with adaptability, transparency and trust, on these key areas :

  • Business: generating new leads through a relentless focus on the customer journey
  • Organisation: building a cross-disciplinary team, with one space and one aim
  • Process: adopting an agile, service design methodology where all activity exceeds business and user objectives
  • Tech: using cutting edge technology to build a future-proofed, automated, and scalable platform
  •  Data: internal and external data analysis to find the next business opportunity

The aim was to transform JLL’s technology, UX and organisational practices, and create one cohesive space. A space that supports not only prospective customers, but tenants and landlords too, handling all search, booking and transactions in one place.

Phase one of the project focused on the brand’s existing lead generation and transforming search. We needed to create a seamless experience for customers, from the point at which they start their search online, up until they get in touch with a broker.

We began by doing a deep dive into the business and its target audience. Interviews with stakeholders and JLL brokers helped us understand the needs of the business and its employees, while talking to office managers helped us learn more about the end user.

A clickable prototype explored a new, simple search journey, with innovative sorting and filter options. For example, for the first time people could search by the amount of desks in a space, or using a smart map interface that told them how many properties were available in each area.

The results – Building today for the future

Through testing, iterating and optimising, we created a universal website that is adaptable and ready to stay ahead of the market. The platform is live across 7 countries, with France launching in December 2018, and other countries to follow.

The OLM provides the foundation for an omnichannel digital platform, and is thus an ongoing, 3-year program of work. Our efforts have supported a board-level shift at JLL—digital is now not merely a cost structure, but a business opportunity for the future.


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