In a fast-paced real estate market, Homes.com needed a better way to help users find their next home
A saturated market
Dominion Enterprises owns and operates some of the largest names in web-based automotive and real estate. By 2013, real estate competitors including Zillow and Trulia had already cornered a good part of the market through mobile. With a proposition to deliver Homes.com as a go-to-market app that could be deployed fast enough to stay apace with the brevity of innovation, Shockoe entered the fray hoping to reposition the well-known brand to be a major competitor.
Outpacing the competition
Apartment and home searches require robust filters to deliver the information clients seek; this includes price, location, as well as a wide range of amenities. Homes.com also aimed to provide users with local real estate market reports as well as listings of local agents to help ensure their home and apartment search was the best available.
In 2013, the cross-platform solution of choice to hit the ambitious deadline was Appcelerator’s Titanium. Embracing this development framework allowed Shockoe to develop faster, iterate more easily, and deploy a fully functional app within the ambitious four-month deadline. This put Homes.com on the app store as one of the top competing options in the real estate space.
“People don’t download your app if you have 2-star ratings. Since implementing the Appcelerator Platform, we’ve hopped up in the ratings and have been a featured app in the top 15 of the Lifestyle category.”
– Dan Gaertner, VP of Technology, Homes media
The technology implemented by Shockoe was so successful that it was later translated to other Dominion Enterprise companies including ForRent.com, Remax and ERA.
Moving the needle with innovative methods
The success of the project was fueled by an agile approach to development alongside a communicative client. From the get-go, Homes.com aimed to ease the process of real estate transactions by facilitating communication and information sharing between real estate agents and buyers. Additionally, Shockoe worked to deploy an analytics mechanism to keep a watchful eye on usage, generate insights and provide quick resolution of user problems, guide functional upgrades, and stay competitive in a fast-maturing market.
Data drives the future
Shockoe was able to use a cross-platform framework to deliver the app Homes.com needed to stay competitive. Moving forward, Shockoe and Homes.com worked together to iterate and deploy several more versions and improve the user experience over the course of the year ahead.
Forrester would go on to write a case study on Homes.com’s application and the success of cross-platform systems for fast turn-around projects. In true Shockoe fashion, what many other shops would have viewed as impossible was the challenge that pushed Shockoe to use the latest emerging technology to deliver business success.
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