Listing Widget for Real Estate web application

industry: Real Estate

country: United States

timeline: Jan 2018 - Jan 2019

Propertyware Maintenance

RealPage, Inc. (NASDAQ:RP) is a leading global provider of software and data analytics for the real estate industry. This multinational corporation creates solutions for multifamily, single-family, commercial and vacation rental housing. Their management system for single-family and low-density rental units, PropertyWare is a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution. It has been made available to real-estate companies. To make their work easier, they can display online listings of available properties to potential buyers or tenants through widgets with search and filtering functions. iRonin worked on this series of widgets with the goal of making them embeddable in different systems (e.g. Wix and Wordpress) while using a single code base.

The three widgets we developed had the following functions: displaying promoted offers, searching through a listing, and filtering and sorting results, respectively. To make them more user-friendly, an interactive map showing locations from search results was added. Users can zoom in or out while centering on a chosen spot to see available properties in a particular area.

The entire point of the widgets was their compatibility with various systems, and it made for quite a challenge during development, which involved four software developers from iRonin’s team working simultaneously during the most labour-intensive stretches. The client or another real-estate company embed the widgets on their web pages. Many adjustments were necessary for various types of pages, mobile versions and, sometimes, outdated development practices. We had to make sure the widgets would look good, work on any modern browser and remain user-friendly no matter what. This meant that we had to keep the code separate from the code of the website the widgets would be used on.

Results

3 separate user-friendly widgetsAll browsers supported, mobile versions included4 developers working simultaneously during peak project activity

3 separate user-friendly widgets

3 separate user-friendly widgetsAll browsers supported, mobile versions included4 developers working simultaneously during peak project activity

All browsers supported, mobile versions included

3 separate user-friendly widgetsAll browsers supported, mobile versions included4 developers working simultaneously during peak project activity

4 developers working simultaneously during peak project activity

User-friendly widgets that work on any browser and any page.
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Technologies

iRonin provided

Łukasz

Łukasz

Front-end Team Leader

We worked on interactive listing widgets for property rentals. The widgets present available properties to potential customers and need to support CMSes as well as regular static websites. Since each website is different (it has its own HTML / CSS / JavaScript), we had to ensure the widgets would work correctly on all websites. Then, we focused on the user-facing part, and collaborated with both the onsite engineering team to integrate it with the existing API and the onsite QA team to deliver the best experience to users.

Process

Analysis and establishing project scope

Our first step was to gather information about the client’s needs and requirements. We discussed the design and function of the widgets in depth. Our developers took the time to familiarize themselves with the system. We needed to find out how to connect the widget with the client’s API. We decided, together with the client, that we would hold daily standups between our teams and that every task would have acceptance criteria. We chose Skype for Business as our main communication tool, and JIRA for project management and ticket handling.

Establishing tools, technologies and timeline

The project’s back-end would remain on the client’s side, and our job was to work on the front-end. We prepared an action plan for the client and talked about expected results. We suggested creating a new common codebase for all widgets, one that would be separate from the code of the web pages of real-estate agencies using the widgets. We also established what technologies we would need for the project. These included JavaScript, React and Redux. We chose GitHub for our code repository. We agreed that iRonin would provide project introspectives as needed, and that releases would happen roughly every two weeks.

Development and maintenance

The initial version of the widgets had been launched years ago, and wouldn’t display properly on modern systems. We focused on refreshing the existing tool rather than reinventing the wheel. We created a common codebase for the widgets. For systems like Wix and Wordpress, we built thin wrappers around the main JavaScript code. The client took care of the designs, while we coded everything so the widgets would work smoothly and be responsive, regardless of where they were embedded. Finally, we agreed that iRonin would provide ongoing development and maintenance for the project.

Kamil

Kamil

React Developer

The client came to us with four major expectations. One, the widgets needed to work on all websites used by clients. Two, they had to be responsive. Three, they had to work with any browser. And four, the user experience needed to be top-notch. Using these goals as a guideline, we had to choose the right approach and the best technology for the job. Everyone working on the project enjoyed the challenge.

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