Nolka Design in Eglinton, Co Londonderry has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop an innovative software product for estate and letting agents and property developers.
The company, which specialises in graphic and web design, multimedia technology and online management systems, has developed Nolka Estates, a bespoke online software solution for information management. The software system enables estate and letting agents to strengthen their competitiveness through more effective management of day-to-day data on buying, selling and renting of properties.
Nolka Estates has been developed in consultation with estate agents and using Invest NI’s Product and Process Development (PPD) scheme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Programme. The company has also received assistance from Invest NI’s North West Regional Office (NWRO) in Londonderry.
Des Gartland, NWRO Manager, said: “A priority for Invest NI is to encourage and assist smaller software companies in the North West, like Nolka, to invest in developing their own products which could have sales potential outside Northern Ireland.
“Nolka is an ambitious technology-driven company which is focused on growth. It has invested significant resources in developing an innovative product that meets a market need that the company has pinpointed through its contacts and research. Our PPD scheme offers companies specialist advice, one-to-one consultations and financial assistance for costs that could be incurred as part of developing a new product or manufacturing process,” he added.
Kevin Greene, Nolka Design Managing Director, said: “While we have developed significant business for our professional design and multimedia services, particularly in the North West, we realised some time ago that the best way to grow the company was by creating our own software product for a niche market that we understood.
“Achieving faster and profitable growth would also depend on creating a product for the wider Northern Ireland marketplace and for export to our neighbouring countries.
“We talked to a number of existing clients in the property sector to see how our expertise could help them to improve their overall business performance. We took the information they provided and used it to create a software solution that meets their specific requirements and provides a strong platform for continued business development. Feedback from clients has been positive and encouraging.
“We intend to market Nolka Estates in the Republic of Ireland and then in Great Britain, because estate agents and property developers there have similar requirements and procedures. We are also investigating, with the help of Invest NI, the possibilities of developing the product for the Eastern European and Asian markets.
“Invest NI’s encouragement, advice and practical support have been immensely important throughout the product identification and development phases. We’ve learned a great deal about the whole process and this knowledge will help us as we seek new business opportunities for our expertise. Our focus now is on selling Nolka Estates throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom, while developing sales opportunities in Eastern Europe and Asia,” he added.