Microsoft Hong Kong and Ricacorp Properties Launch the New Innovative “Rica +” AI platform

 |   Microsoft News Center

Revolutionizing Property Agency Industry with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

22 January 2018, Hong Kong – Microsoft Hong Kong today partnered with Ricacorp Properties to launch the new “Rica +” Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) platform that enables property agents to enhance efficiency and service quality through Microsoft Azure Public Cloud Services, leading the property agency industry into a new era of digital transformation.

“Microsoft is committed to bringing breakthroughs in AI across industries and fields, accelerating the digital transformation journey of partners and customers by offering different solutions according to their business needs, and enabling them to capture business opportunities in no time. We are excited to partner with Ricacorp Properties in launching the new “Rica +” platform. From now on, property agents are empowered to provide customers with more accurate recommendations using Azure machine learning and data analytics, driving digital transformation for the property agency industry with enhanced efficiency and business performance.” said Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong.

“Rica +” accelerates digital transformation and sets new industry paradigm
Willy Liu, CEO of Ricacorp Properties Limited commented that Ricacorp understands the importance of comprehensive and real-time property information to customers, and the company has been active in developing advanced technologies. Following the investment of more than $20 million in IT services enhancement last year, it will continue to invest more than $20 million this year to provide cloud services through partnering with Microsoft Hong Kong with the launch of “Rica +” AI platform. Service quality will be enhanced by enabling customers and agents to break through device, location and time constraints, leading the industry into a new era of digital transformation.

Ricacorp has a huge property base with over 1.7 million flats including private flats, public rental housing as well as Home Ownership Scheme flats, and a total service attendance of over 4.8 million people with nearly 1 million pieces of company information to be handled monthly. Digital transformation is essential to cope with such huge amount of data and increasing demand for property services. Through data analysis, Ricacorp can respond quickly and accurately to market trends, save costs and improve efficiency and competitiveness. With “Rica +” platform, the company is driving digital transformation with more effective use of digital marketing strategies. Business revenue and profits are expected to increase by 20%-30% and 40%-50% respectively.

Augmenting human ingenuity and increasing success rate with AI and machine learning
Over the past two decades, the property agency industry has undergone tremendous changes. Property agents used to rely solely on their experience to make recommendations. With the launch of “Rica+”, they can now make smarter decisions and more informed recommendations to customers with insights generated from Azure machine learning and data analytics. It is making the impossible possible by analyzing online data such as property valuation, recent transaction history, listed price offered by sellers, with internal record like customer preferences, to help property agents make suitable flat recommendations, thereby enhancing sales conversion rate. Moreover, machine learning can assist agents to improve matching success rate by recommending suitable property to customers based on the analysis and learning of previous similar customers, and filter useful property information with customers’ interests and preferences through Collaborative Filtering.

“After data is processed and standardized, it will undergo repeated tests within machine learning model to obtain more objective and potential flat selection, which agents can then focus on promoting and improve success rate. With “Rica +”, agents will also become more efficient in making decisions on selection of flats with less subjectivity.” said Dennis Tam, IT Associate Director of Ricacorp Properties Limited.

Enhancing data security and access of information anytime anywhere with Face Recognition
Face Recognition and Multi-Factor Authentication technologies provide extra layer of security that allow property agents to log-in to “Rica +” platform and access corporate information anytime, anywhere on any device. The embeded GPS function conveniently allows agents to check in real-time at any location without the need to take attendance at the branch manually. Not only does it help to increase overall productivity, but also ensures corporate data security.

Dennis Tam, IT Associate Director of Ricacorp Properties Limited further commented, “In recent years, biometrics authentication by mobile phones has become popular. The advantage is that biometrics cannot be easily replicated, and any lens-equipped phone can become an authentication tool through an application programming interface (API). Thus, pictures of employees can be used as log-in information, saving time and enhancing convenience.”

Willy Liu, CEO of Ricacorp Properties Limited, Shih Wing Ching, Chairman & CEO of Centaline Group and Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong Limited launched the new innovative “Rica +” AI platform.
Cally Chan, General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong Limited commented that the new “Rica+” app now empowers property agents to provide customers with more accurate recommendations using Azure machine learning and data analytics, driving digital transformation for the property agency industry, enhancing efficiency and business performance.
Willy Liu, CEO of Ricacorp Properties Limited estimates that with “Rica +” platform, the company is driving digital transformation with more effective use of digital marketing strategies. Business revenue and profits are expected to increase by 20%-30% and 40%-50% respectively.
Dennis Tam, IT Associate Director of Ricacorp Properties Limited said that now “Rica+” can assist agent to make more objective and potential flat selection, which agents can then focus on promoting and improve success rate. Agents will also become more efficient in making decisions on selection of flats with less subjectivity.

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For more information, please contact:
Microsoft Hong Kong Limited
Harris Chan
Tel: (852) 2804 7230
E-mail: harrisc@microsoft.com

BlueCurrent for Microsoft
Winyee Lai
Tel: (852) 2586 7884
E-mail: winyee.lai@bluecurrentgroup.com