Real Estate Listing Project

  • Real estate
  • Dubai, UAE
  • 2019-2020

A property portal for renting and buying, our client offers a range of helpful features and mechanics to promote conscious and tailored housing choices.

Real Estate Listing Project

About the client

Our client is a Dubai-based real estate startup focused on listings. The full-scale product is a SaaS platform featuring multiple ends: for property developer, real estate broker, and, of course, the client.

Value

Proposition:

Their main value proposition lies in delivering an immersive experience for the property-purchasing process. This supertask is reached by providing a Google Street View-like user experience: namely, the representation of the apartment, building, and surroundings within one view.

Problem:

Our client contacted Devox in 2019 in anticipation of getting the MVP ready by the upcoming Dubai Expo scheduled for the spring of 2020 at a time. Their team came to us with an undercoded, partially done MVP blueprint their previous contractors didn’t complete correctly; Devox’s main task was to take on the project where it left off and get an MVP ready by definitive deadlines, rethinking the project’s UX and business analytics.

Challenges

  • The project was only partially done at the beginning: with a failing development strategy and an unobjective timeline of project realization the startup’s previous contractor offered, the team felt a strong need to reimplement their solution;
  • Technologically complex task premised by specific functionality of main value proposition (360 view, Google Street-like functionality, multiple user personas);
  • A bulky ecosystem with a variety of roles: it suggests dashboards for the buyer/client, agency, agent, and property developer.

Solution:

Step 1: Business Analysis

The first step in developing an application that provides this amount of data is salvaging and systematizing extensive information about Dubai as a key area. During the research, we focused on the following market specifics:

  • Neighborhood information availability and gathering: we collected all the relevant geographical information about every community, including the facilities & amenities, infrastructure, and overall district info. We had found a way to obtain information programmatically by integrating Google Maps’ API, Dubai Land Department Data, as well as other sources;
  • We outlined user personas, thinking about the potential application’s audience;
  • We delivered the system’s functional and non-functional requirements; 
  • We thought out and suggested monetization channels and integrations.

Step 2: Project design 

With a variety of users and their goals in mind, we developed a complex ecosystem’s UI/UX containing the client-facing site, 2 mobile applications, and an admin dashboard.

The platform is supposed to be used by at least 4 different user categories. Ergo, we painted their portraits, outlined their needs and goals, constructing a user persona. For this, we relied on the competitors’ analysis conducted at the BA stage and a customer journey map.

Devoted to the testaments of the design thinking principles, we conducted user interviews, shaping the user flow and customer journey maps afterward. Then, we developed wireframes, which were followed by a clickable prototype that was tested on actual users. We gathered the user feedback, which gave us the last piece of the puzzle to work on the system’s final UI/UX. As a result, we delivered over 200 screens that were designed.

Step 3: Planning & Implementation

Solution Design and Planning

Our managerial team prepared a resource and time plan that defined the team size, milestones, and timeline of the project. On the technology side, we planned to use .NET Core for the server side, Angular for the client side, Docker and Kubernetes for running the server, and Azure Cloud for DevOps.

Mobile applications

The MVP suggested two mobile applications: the client’s side of the product and a broker’s side app. One of the noteful features of the latter is a functionality that helps conduct a proper 360° apartment recording. 

Back-end development

The platform was initially planned as an extensive system for many users who’d use it simultaneously, which is why the key aspect in technical planning was to pick a proper tech stack for a robust back-end. The server side and databases would have to be resistant to lots of real-time users who are not just browsing the app but making decisions and completing business processes.

Web development

The obvious connection of the app’s value to the geographical aspect necessitated deep integration with Google Maps, as well as third-party systems that helped salvage community and district information. We completed detailed technical planning regarding particular features & actions, each user role’s functionality, 3-party integrations, APIs, and relevant tech stack that would help us embody this vision to the fullest.

Key features we worked with

  • Google Street View-like functionality and 360° turnaround; 
  • Community (neighborhoods) division and amenities filter;
  • Admin panel/dashboard for each user persona (property developer, real estate agency, agent and buyer);
  • Mobile applications for agents and buyers;
  • Plugin for 360° view photoshoot.

Tech

Stack:

  • Back End

    • .NET
  • Database Development

    • Elasticsearch
    • MySQL
  • Front End

    • Angular
    • HTML/CSS
    • JavaScript 
  • DevOps & Cloud

    • Docker
    • GitLab CI/CD
    • Kubernetes

Results:

Right before our project was supposed to enter the development stage, the Corona crisis had approached the Dubai market close enough to stop the businesses and put many thriving projects to bed. In the light of closing conferences, canceled meetups and myriad of quarantine limitations, the project’s stakeholders were forced to put a project on hold – which is why Devox never had a chance to start the coding process. However, the project had actively been pitched at various IT conferences after the economic situation had improved, gathering lots of positive feedback.

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