Property management portal

Property management portal

Itransition delivered a property management portal that connects real estate developers and buyers across the globe and is already used by 100+ real estate development companies.

Table of contents

Context

Our customer is a UK-based startup operating in the real estate sphere. They wanted to create a real estate sales and analytics portal to connect property buyers across the world with real estate developers. The solution would allow property owners to place development listings and enable potential buyers to search for a property with the help of various filters and images. The portal would also provide users access to the latest industry news and exclusive properties, helping them make well-evidenced and risk-free investment decisions.

The customer had a clear idea of the future solution and needed a reliable technology partner to bring it to life. Apart from software developers, they also looked for a design agency for the solution’s UI design and various branding needs.

The company hired Itransition for the project due to our long-term expertise in the real estate sphere and portal development. What is more, having studied our design department’s portfolio, the customer decided to entrust the portal’s design to Itransition as well.

Solution

UX/UI design

Itransition’s UX/UI team created prototypes of the property management platform and functional specification documentation for the subsequent development phase. During the design phase, we worked closely with the customer and suggested the UI features and functionality common in real estate software. We also created a dedicated wiki space for storing all project-related documentation and gave the customer access to it.

Search prototype vs final design
Media center mockup vs final design

Functionality

Having completed the UX/UI design, Itransition moved on to portal development.

The portal supports two user roles: developers, or real estate owners, and investors, or real estate buyers, and has two corresponding profile types. The solution also provides several membership plans for both developers and investors. A developer’s membership plan determines the number of listings they can publish, the number of countries in which they can offer property developments, access to property discounts, and some additional benefits. For investors, a membership plan determines whether they have access to exclusive property developments, including ones from pre-launch listings.

Developers can fill out their profiles with information like their company’s size, establishment date and history, ticker symbol, contact information, and social media links. They can also create and manage property development pages and add information about the property’s name, description, location, and size in square meters. For each property, developers can also upload all accompanying documentation in PDF or MS Docs formats, including schemes, plans, brochures, construction documents, and more.

Beyond that, developers can add financial information to the property development description, such as the price, initial payment amount, payment reservation sum, and the payment period in years as well as the negotiable payment period option. The payment information is initially filled out in the developer’s currency and can be converted to the necessary  currency by users. Developers can also set the property status as under construction or completed and add facilities available nearby, such as bars, cinemas, shops, swimming pools, etc.

The investor’s feature set includes searching for property across the world with the help of various filters. Investors can also add the property they liked to a  watch list or click the Express my interest button to send a message to the developer. The message will contain the name of a potential buyer and the code of the particular development unit they are interested in. After that, both parties can proceed to direct and private communication via the portal’s built-in chat. Additionally, they can also invite up to five collaborators to the chat, including lawyers and insurance agents.

All transaction documentation can be exchanged in the chat, but the transaction should happen outside the portal at the discretion of both parties. After the deal is made, the information about the deposit amount and the payment period should be manually entered in the development profile.

Messages in the property management portal

To make searching more convenient , we implemented filtering by various criteria, such as developer name, type of apartment, country, city, total price, price/square meter, and more. Users can view search results on the map and see property development previews by clicking on them.

Our team also developed the Compare list feature that allows users to compare multiple property developments using the attributes mentioned above.

What is more, we created the Media center section, containing real estate-related news and analytical articles to help keep real estate owners and potential buyers updated on current industry trends.

After a while, the customer decided to expand the initial solution’s functionality to keep pace with the latest trends. They provided our team with an approximate list of additional features, and together we elaborated it further, adjusting the portal’s business logic to improve user experience.

Among the new features our team implemented was integration with Zoom to enable developers and investors to communicate via audio and video calls.

Another feature added to the portal was a display of consolidated information about each country to help investors get better acquainted with the location of their potential real estate purchase. The new page contains information on a country’s economy as well as the  real estate, tourism, education and banking sectors.

To further enrich potential investors’ experience, we implemented a VR tour feature. It provides all users with a 360-degree view of the real estate they are interested in, helping them assess a particular development and make better decisions.

Last but not least, we allowed developers and investors to subscribe to real estate-related news featured on the portal.

Technologies

We developed the property management portal in PHP using the Laravel framework and MySQL as a database. The frontend part of the solution was created leveraging the Vue.js and Bootstrap frameworks.

The portal’s search capabilities were implemented using the Elasticsearch engine and the WebSocket protocol was used to provide two-way communication over a single TCP connection. We applied the Supervisor system for process control and monitoring and used NGINX as a web server and traffic load balancer.

Our team integrated the portal with the following services:

  • PayPal for premium accounts payment
  • Stripe for online payment processing
  • SendGrid for email communication handling
  • API currency for currency conversion
  • Zoom for audio and video communication

Process

Itransition’s team consisted of a project manager, a designer, developers, and a QA engineer. We communicated with the customer daily via email and used our corporate wiki space and the Zeplin collaboration tool to facilitate interaction between our designers and developers and their specialists.

Since customer demands changed frequently, we could neither form solid scopes of tasks nor work in sprints. The Kanban framework was chosen for this project since it allowed for on-demand feature implementation and implied no tight deadlines.

Results

Itransition delivered a property management portal that connects real estate developers and property buyers. Our team created a user-friendly UX/UI design and developed a set of features that allow for convenient real estate search, analytics and purchasing and enable instant communication between real estate developers and buyers.

Shortly after its release, the portal was used by 100+ real estate development companies from all over the world and is constantly growing its user base.