A preferred and leading real estate company in Philadelphia, Streamline’s mission is to offer its buyers a great 360-degree home buying experience.
- Client Streamline LLC
- Industry Real Estate
- Location USA
- The client wanted to empower home buyers to buy and customize houses as they would when they buy an item from Amazon. This was the vision Mr. Sean had seen when he spoke to us in our first meeting. “People buying houses off the internet“ – that sounded 2050, he said.
- As we delved more into the business requirements, we realized how serious Streamline LLC was about the vision.
- Streamline was using MarkPro’s construction software named IHMS that offers a Java-based windows client app and a centralized cloud-based Oracle database. The construction team had been using this software in the field to issue addendums to buyers based on their custom upgrade needs.
- All customer transactions and payments were being managed through the SalesForce CRM.
- The goal was to develop a web app that would connect their SalesForce CRM and construction software, IHMS, to allow their buyers to access everything from their browsers. Instead of approaching the construction executives to make an upgrade order, the system would allow them to log in and customize their dream home as and when they need.
- Further, this integrated platform would allow buyers to browse through available inventories, access all their payments and construction schedules, sign digital contracts, and access all documents in one place.
How We Did it?
- Understanding the existing business process : Our architects held several web conferences with different teams of the client. The construction team, sales team and documentation team were major participants in these joint sessions. The complete AS-IS business process was documented and drafted through various process flow diagram.
- Understanding the existing software and tools : The existing software, MarkPro’s IHMS and SalesForce CRM, was analyzed and a matrix was drawn to highlight all the frequent components of these two systems being used by the teams. Since the two systems are much more complex in their own domains and the goal was not to reproduce these softwares, rather build a connected platform, a data grid was needed to identify which platform would churn which set of data. This led to the formulation of a data dictionary.
- Understanding various journeys in the proposed system –There were six user roles that were to be developed in the proposed system – System Admin, Sales Manager, Sales Rep, Financing parties, Buyer Agent, and the Buyer. Understanding each user role and their data set was a vital process to move forward. Interviews with each user role was a tedious process and took weeks through various sessions. In a complex system integration project like this, getting every different user to align and speak along with a common business objective always plays a big role. Our team of architects worked seamlessly to translate these meetings into measurable and identifiable data sets.
- Defining Data Dictionary : With all the working data set, a data dictionary was formulated.
- Setting up a Data Extraction POC: :Next was to pull in the required data-set from the systems that were of different types. This involved getting data from SalesForce through secured APIs. However, IHMS was not that easy. IHMS’s complex DB structure was analyzed and the required data set was listed. Finally, a middle-tier was searched for and JitterBit was preferred over Informatica. We then set up a small POC to test the required data flow from these two systems. The POC laid the foundation stone for the final ERP.
- Wire-framing the solution : Wireframes were produced based around the data-sets and user journeys. Subsequent sessions were conducted to walk the wireframes through the target audiences and a consensus was drawn.
- UI designing : Post the wire-framing, User Interfaces were designed.
- Agile Development : The development stage began and parallel sprints were rolled out with the help of a team of twelve programmers working through for the next five months.
- Making it work altogether : Finally, the mobile responsive real-estate website and the integrated web platform were connected together where buyers were able to search homes, shortlist properties, pay deposits, customize their homes, go through digital contract signing, access payment schedules, communicate with buyer agents, and do many more activities in one place.
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