Real estate mobile applications and web advertising aggregators can be either independent start-ups or tools to boost sales for your real estate business:
- Start-up projects.
- Real estate agencies (to increase sales volume).
- Developers (to sell construction objects).
- Tourism sector (daily rent).
- Municipalities (sales of urban real estate) etc.
Depending on the specificities of business, it is possible to use the following tools:
Mobile app for iOS and Android.
Website (this solution is widely used but not obligatory, some projects focus only on the users of mobile devices).
Admin section for administrators, moderators, partners.
Business process structuring
Any IT solutions shall reflect the specific features of a business process:
- Where shall you get the database of real estate? It’s possible to give users a chance to add objects. But nobody would use an empty app. It’s essential to have a greater part of adverts valid at the moment of the project start-up.
- In what way will the database be updated? What adverts are planned to be published, from private persons or only from the partner agencies? Will it need pre-moderation? Will the adverts be free of charge? Or shall they be paid? Or they will be of two types? Think over all the specific features beforehand.
- Moderators and administrators. It’s important for the service employees to monitor the relevance of adverts (especially if they are private offers), possible spam (adverts not related to the subject), errors when filling data etc. Also users may need a technical support.
Main functions of the app
To make an indicative list of app features we have used our own experience in development, we have studied successful projects and read users’ reviews.
In the picture you can see an example of implementing a map which displays an object and surrounding infrastructure in the Trulia app.
Convenience of the app
When creating an app design concept you should bear in mind the importance of usability. A user shall intuitively understand how to use the app, where to find the functions he needs, how to navigate through the menu and the catalogue.
A UI prototype is created, that is the user’s interface.
Visual style is worked on taking into account the familiar user elements for iOS and/or Android.
All possible screen displays and their statuses.
On the basis of the prototype the design is developed to meet the project requirements (colour gamut, stylistic peculiarities etc.)
The result of such approach is the app which is understandable for the user. An example of a successful solution can be the US application ZILLOW: simple, convenient, with easy-to-use navigation.
Card of the advert
An advert about sale or rent of the real estate shall be short but maximally information-bearing. The card shall have the following information:
Photo. With the ability to view the gallery of several images.
Main characteristics and description.
Object location on the map.
Connection with the seller: a call or a message.
For example, the card of the Zillow service has photos viewing in the slider mode.
What should be a website
The functionality of the website can either copy a mobile app or be different from it. Everything depends on the set targets. The catalogue structure shall solve two tasks:
Convenient search of the real estate object;
Website promotion through the search engine.
Assembling of the semantic core is an Important stage of work. Proper structure of the catalogue will help to collect traffic from the search engines. For example, Yandex and Google believe that on the “flat in Moscow” request it’s more relevant to show the page with the list of flats in Moscow, but not the common list of the residential real estate. For this purpose a separate page shall be created on the website with the flats in Moscow.
All the pages shall have their own metadata and they also shall be optimized for related requests. For example, “buy a flat”, “rent of the flats”, “flats in new residential areas” etc. As a result, a semantic core can include dozens of thousands of requests. They are to be proportioned on the pages taking into account the specific capacities of the search engines.
Admin panel of the project
Several roles shall be implemented in the admin panel:
Administrator. With complete access to all the functions and reports (statistics, finance, users and moderators’ activity).
Moderator. Access to editing and blocking of the adverts (maybe in one specific region). Viewing of the users’ correspondence in order to solve disputable issues. Ability to block the users who break the rules. Technical support.
In case of cooperation with partner agencies, a partner access to the admin panel is provided with the ability to edit, delete and add adverts, do correspondence from a web service with the users who got interested in a definite object, as well as to view private statistics: adverts, number of users’ requests, finance etc.
It’s vital to set up a fast data exchange between the app and the server part. Develop the database structure in such a way that the data exchange would be conducted fast even at the peak loads.
If you plan to update the database of the adverts automatically through the exchange with other projects or program systems, it’s necessary to develop and implement API – a set of tools for automatic exchange of the data between the systems.
An advert about the real estate implies having a lot images, pictures, photos. You have to have a lot of space for keeping this information, a website shall upload the photos fast. For this purpose you should:
Optimize the images. For example, shrink them with no loss in quality with the help of tinypng.com.
Upload the images asynchronously. First, upload the first image, then the rest ones.
If the image isn’t uploaded, show the process to the user.
There is no pint in uploading huge images for mobile devices, just optimize them
- Product idea and business expertise
- Project evaluation and proposal
- Product design
- Backlog and development contract
- Planning a Sprint
- Accompaniment and achievement of the result
People come to our company to realize their idea of a mobile application, web resource or automate business processes. We conduct free business-expertise, advise the client and finalize the ideological component of the project, taking into account the needs of users.
The project team is evaluated by the development team. After that, the client receives a preliminary commercial proposal for the development of the application.
Understanding what the users expect from the application, we proceed to the prototyping process. A competently built interface is a guarantee that the user quickly navigates, how the application will help solve his problem. You get an opportunity to look at the functionality of the future application without the software part.
Draw the design of all screens and states of the elements. We use the recommendations of Google and Apple to design the application. We take care that the graphics solutions are understandable and convenient. You get a design that will set you apart from the competition.
Meeting with the product-hunter, discussing the details of the project. The team develops backlog for the whole project together with the customer. After the approval of backlog, the contract is signed with the customer.
An agreement with the customer on what development tasks will be performed on the nearest sprint.
the project is not completed
the project is completed
Demonstration to the customer results for 2 weeks. The team analyzes the risks and problems, completes the sprint, optimizes the further development of the application.
The difference between our work is that we not only develop applications, but also take them for promotion. Our customers receive a company that is responsible for all stages of work: from the first button to downloading the application and thanks to user feedback.
What is important for a successful start?
The following issues shall be solved by the time the project starts up:
Initial content provisioning (database of the objects), involvement of the first partners.
Publishing of the app in the stores Google Play and App Store: preparation of the screenshots descriptions, payment for the premises for a year.
Advert of the web project (context, promotion through search engines, SMM, other variants).
Each project requires a technical support and updating. This is necessary for correcting errors and extension of the functionality in the process of developing the project. It’s important to take into account the expenditures during the budget preparations.
Don’t forget about the users’ reviews – fast responses to their questions will increase their confidence level for you. You should include the list of corrections in the project plan.