1 million square meters in digital space
Wezom Company case: a set of non-standard solutions that will help digitize a reputation in the real estate industry.
When we choose real estate in the primary market, what do we pay attention to in the first place? Of course, the reputation of the developer. We study previous objects, look at how they were implemented, what kind of feedback they receive from clients. And only then we proceed to the analysis of the real estate itself. Whether it is an apartment or commercial objects, we need to find out the location, square, prices, opportunities for buyers.
At the end of 2019, the “Riel” real estate corporation contacted Wezom Company. At that time, they had an old website, it did not cover basic needs and worked more like a business card website. There were also separate websites of residential complexes with short information. Each of them in its architecture, structure, and design stood out from the general style.
At the same time, “Riel” is the leader in the real estate market. The corporation annually implements from 3 to 5 construction projects, provides consulting for buyers, and accompanies clients from the moment of signing the contract to receiving the keys. For 17 years, the corporation has sold about fifty objects in Lviv and Kyiv, this is almost a million square meters commissioned and prepared for delivery.
These figures will help to represent the entire volume that “Riel” planned to implement in the digital environment. On one hand, it was a basic request for the development of a corporate website. But, on the other hand, we understood that we would have to act outside the box. The project team had to, in the client's words, build a modern web-complex, which will simultaneously tell both about the “Riel” corporation and about all the objects that it is building.
The task was to bring everything to a single style and create a client-oriented web resource with a wide range of possibilities.
The main goals of updating the site:
- accumulate information about all brand portfolios on one resource;
- provide up-to-date information about the residential complex, construction progress, promotions, planning available for sale for future investors;
- tell more detail about the corporation, its values , and history;
- accumulate in one Google Analytics account as much information as possible about the profile and user behavior for the effective setting of the further advertising campaign.
Mission - build a real estate corporation
Our client clearly understood what was needed. Thanks to this, the roadmap of the project was very detailed.
We have created several block diagrams that describe as much as possible the future functionality of the site, the admin panel, and the stages of work on the project. The designer formed a prototype, we agreed on a list of frameworks and technologies that we will use in development, compiled a backlog of tasks for the front-end and back-end departments.
The design development phase caused one of the most heated discussions. In particular, how the site will look. In many ways, we did as the client asked, in some issues we reasonably insisted on our own decisions.
In the process of updating the site, it was important to maintain high positions in the organic search results of the Google site, and not to drop the conversion rate lower than the current one. For this, our specialists worked in three directions:
- setting up redirects;
- creating templates;
- saving the links that were used to make key queries.
Everything was ready before moving to the new site, respectively, the positions were preserved.
Web development, like construction, needs a clear plan
The team started development in early 2020. We had 8 months at our disposal. The project consisted of three stages.
The first stage is the launch of a corporate website with a catalog of residential complexes, a multi-admin panel, and a catalog of real estate available for sale. This is the first register that is up and running. The advantage of the multi-admin panel in this project was that through one admin panel you can manage all information resources, fill the main site and LCD sites, perform all the processes necessary to work with clients.
The second stage is the development of templates for the site of residential complexes, the connection of an automatic process for the creation and publication of new residential complex sites according to a ready-made template. This stage is now at the home stretch.
The third stage is the creation of an end-to-end personal account. A very handy tool. Here the buyer can view his purchase and sale agreement, agreements with the company, payment card, construction status of the object. And when the house is put into operation, this account will automatically become the tenant's office, where the user will enter the meter readings and pay for the public services.
There was also an unplanned stage in the project. “Riel" has signed agreements with Ukrainian banks on real estate lending. Therefore, at the end of the first stage, after the release of the site, we connected a loan calculator. This functionality has become a great helper. Now, to make the choice and purchase of the real estate, the end-user can get acquainted with all the necessary information on the web resource.
According to individual formulas from the bank, we have developed an accurate calculation of the cost of housing on credit. The calculator contains the dates and the down payment. On the website, you can see the current price of real estate, as well as leave a request. Having selected the data regarding the initial payment and the terms of the loan, you can see what the interest on the loan will be, the monthly installment, and the total cost.
We had to tinker to analyze all this, figure out the formulas, and write down the conditions. Indeed, each program has different interest rates, different lending conditions for various real estate objects, many dependencies that affect the calculation of the cost. As a result, the corporate site "Riel" can provide all the services that the bank's managers do. We just digitized this service and implemented it on the website.
Real estate site construction technology
We built our work using the SCRUM method. All stages were divided into sprints of 10-12 days. Each block was presented to the client together with the team. Critical points were discussed during the sprint.
The web resource was designed using SPA (Single Page Application) technology. The development was completely individual. Our specialists did not use a single ready-made block or module, everything was programmed exclusively for this project. Therefore, the back-end department was able to start working at the same time as the design department. We worked out the architecture of the site, formed the framework of the project, made the selection and configuration of components for the site, and studied the third-party API.
In this project, we worked in parallel for the first time. Usually, the development process takes place in stages: from department to department (design, layout, frontend, etc.). As a result, the project implementation time was reduced by at least 6 weeks.
For the same reason, we immediately used real customer data. No lorem-ipsum texts or test images. As a result, our client spent a minimum of time filling the site.
The team decided to design the visual style of the corporate website using the Material Design system. Its principles coincided with the client's request, in particular ergonomics, a clear hierarchy, and an intuitive site navigation system.
After the design and finished blocks were approved on the backend, the frontend department got down to work. It is worth noting that at the beginning we had made a lot of blocks. But we could only show them in the form of a code. Only a few weeks later, these blocks were successfully presented in the form of visual modules, which are ultimately available to site visitors.
At the programming stage, the administration panel faced the need to use a text editor with advanced functionality. Standard editors were not suitable, so we had to spend additional time searching and adapting them.
One of the important decisions that the team discussed for a long time at the stage of selecting a technology stack was the decision to use GraphQL technology. The main arguments were the flexibility and speed that this technology guaranteed. Site users will be able to receive only the information they have requested.
The next step is testing. The QA department has formed a package of autotests, which will not allow downloading updates or edits with errors. This saved time during the review phase and improved the quality of the code. We also focused on data caching in order to optimize the server and increase the speed of the site.
Project technology stack: CSS-in-JS, GraphQL API, TypeScript, Node.js; libraries Real, Material UI; Next.js framework
Results and benefits
As a result of the work done, we have received an innovative corporate website. It united the projects of the “Riel” corporation in a single control center and made available detailed information about the company's real estate objects. Externally, the site complies with the principles of the corporation. It is client-oriented, which allows you to build a trusting and stable relationship between the developer and the investor.
The site contains up-to-date information about residential complexes and commercial real estate. There are a project gallery and photo, video reports on the progress of construction, information on promotions and discounts. The client can get acquainted with all the objects of the corporation, the timing of their implementation, and documentation. You can use filters to find real estate, which takes into account the area, price, date of arrival, number of rooms, and floor.
On special calculators that are connected to each object, the buyer can calculate loan payments or payments under the contract, as well as find out the total cost.
The new site has increased targeted hits and traffic to the corporation's web resource. A few months after the launch of the website, the corporation's sales tripled. And if you compare the Google Analytics data collected for December 2019 from the old site, and for December 2020 from the new one, you can see that the bounce rate decreased by 16.7%. “Riel” employees received a convenient feedback form and can conduct productive communication with both regular and potential clients.
The new site has realized the desire of the “Riel” corporation to be a recognizable, reliable, and innovative brand.