Engineering an enterprise-grade web portal to become the next big social media for real estate listings
Expertise: Custom Web Development Web & Enterprise Portals Social Networking
Verticals: Real Estate
Technologies: Cakephp Apache/Linux MailchimpFacebook Login APIEmporis APIOLR API
The US-based client is successfully managing a real estate review site that doubles up as a social media website, too. The real state-cum-social media web portal caters to current and prospective tenants and residents of multi-family housing in the most populous cities in the country. Through its web portal, the client serves the most accurate and updated information on a building's quality. Besides, the web-based real estate-cum-social media portal even brings research-backed information related to doormen, neighbors, pets, family-friendliness, and the like, about a specific property.
Time Duration 6 Months
Team Effort 2 Persons
Business NeedsThe client wanted to build a robust enterprise-class web portal that would let the users of urban localities rate multi-family buildings and conduct thorough real-estate research. Besides offering game-changing features for researching properties, the client's web portal was supposed to offer detailed real estate listings, a lifestyle blog, and an end-to-end vendor directory. Some key business needs that the client was looking to realize were:
- Incorporating GPS-powered search, messages, chat functions, and much more to make the portal feature-rich
- Developing an interactive interface that should have the zing of a social media interface
- Adding the functionality to enable the web portal for extracting real estate details from third-party APIs
- Boosting the load times of the web portal no matter how high the traffic-load was
Strategy & SolutionFor bringing its idea of building a robust but fully interactive real estate-cum-social media platform, the client needed a technology partner with deep expertise. That is where Flexsin's web development team kicked in. The developers at Flexsin made sure that they understood the client's mindset from the start of the engagement. Because of that reason, the team was able to make every single requirement of the client into a portal feature.
As far as the web solution went, Flexsin's developers engineered the portal to include the details of multi-family real estate. These realty details included a description, address, map, history, amenities, and user ratings. The entire web solution was divided into two parts comprising front-end and backend.
Front-end To make sure that the portal's UI was smooth, Flexsin's front-end developers and designers built a fast-to-load interface. The web portal's interface was fluid at all times, regardless of the device which was being used. Some key highlights of the front-end of the web portal are listed below.
- Building a blazingly fast user interface that was easy to navigate
- Enhancing the UX by incredibly improving web portal's load times
- Engineering the UI only after doing thorough behavioral research of the targeted audience
- Building a flexible interface design that could seamlessly incorporate features in the future
Backend A robust backend has always been the backbone of a flexible web portal. To that end, the client trusted the backend development expertise of Flexsin. To build a strong backend system for the portal, Flexsin used CakePHP's development framework. Other top highlights of the web project's backend are as follows.
- Integrating third-party APIs including MailChimp, OLR, and Emporis
- Following CakePHP best practices to write less code while enhancing project functionalities
- Connecting the front-end with a robust database to streamline data management
Development Process From the start of the project, the client and Flexsin made sure to stick to an agile development process that accelerated delivery cycles. Besides, the development team also focused on an intense discovery phase. By investing time in discovering a new work-scope of the project, Flexsin's team made sure the project digitally evolved with time. This way, the team made sure that the project did not stick with the client-defined requirements alone. Some highlights of the development process embraced by Flexsin's team are given below.
- Making sure that the client's business team and Flexsin's development team were on the same page
- Building a rock-solid development road map for putting the client's idea from paper to the real world
- Testing the deliverables against a range of parameters to make sure the web project's quality is intact
- Extending full-time maintenance programs to make sure the web portal is successfully serving user needs
I have been kept in the loop about the project at every milestone. Even post-engagement, Flexsin ext..
Owner - BuildnRate, NYC, USA
Owner - BuildnRate, NYC, USA
Business OutcomesOnce the engagement came to a close, the client got a fully functional web portal that is a real estate listing directory with social media features. After the project was delivered within the defined timeframe, the client reaped the following benefits.
- Seamlessly integrated third-party APIs to improve the functionality of the enterprise-class real estate portal
- Managed large data sets with heavy images and media from APIs that were exclusive to the real-estate landscape
- Successfully mapped Emporis and OLR APIs for enriching the information consumed by property selectors
- Improved the rate at which quality leads were coming from the web portal by 60 percent
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