Empowering Real Estate Software Solution with a Skilled Remote Team

How Brocoders helped to augment a team for a German Proptech startup and supported the development of the SaaS solution for real estate sales and marketing with AI-based units.

Industry
Proptech
Location
Germany
Clients since
2022
Status
Ongoing

Our client

AreaButler by KuDiBa GmbH is a German Proptech Startup that offer digital solutions for the real estate industry. Their SaaS solution is innovative for real estate sales and marketing. They help to find the right property and reach potential buyers through personalized location analysis and location presentation. Their target clients are brokers, real estate consultants, property managers, appraisers, building and real estate companies, and property owners. Alexander Timper, founder and CEO of AreaButler, is an innovation manager with an impressive track record in software development and optimization through innovations. With AreaButler, he set out to digitize the real estate industry to help every person find the best place to live. The goal is to help real estate agents perform their job successfully in a more efficient way.

“After working together for over a year, Brocoders is fully part of our team. The service delivered is of very high quality. The execution is quick and includes very close communication. In case of bugs, the Brocoders team is super responsive and takes actions also late at night.”

Alexander Timper
Founder & CEO, AreaButler
Read the full review on Clutch

Business Idea

AreaButler analyzes the property environment and provides a location presentation specifically for the target group you want to attract. Your client needs a luxury penthouse — only the best restaurants and supermarkets will be shown; need housing for a young family — kindergartens, schools, and pharmacies will be found. The solution provides strong arguments for a purchase or lease agreement, enhancing the real estate acquisition and sales process.

Data Privacy

Data Privacy is one of the company's key focuses. For AreaButler, data protection is a high priority, and they emphasize compliance with European data privacy regulations, particularly the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The protection of confidential information is an additional factor inspiring customer trust.

The Situation

By the time AreaButler contacted Brocoders, they were already in the process of developing geodata services for the real estate industry and had an MVP of their product. However, in order to drive further product development, the CEO of AreaButler needed a skilled full-stack developer to strengthen their team. Alexander Timper, the CEO, started searching for an IT company to enhance their software and develop additional features. They interviewed 20 companies worldwide to find suitable candidates to expand the internal team. In May 2022, AreaBuller contacted the CEO of Brocoders, and they started communicating. Alexander Timper found that Brocoders performed the best in the vendor selection process, and thus, our companies started cooperation. As a company specializing in augmenting tech startup teams, we started by providing one highly skilled full-stack developer to support the client's ongoing product development efforts.

“We work in an agile methodology, feature cards are developed based on customer and market feedback. Together with the Brocoders team, we estimate the efforts and prioritize based on customer benefit and market impact.”

Alexander Timper
Founder & CEO, AreaButler
Read the full review on Clutch

Working Process

To optimize collaboration for this project, we choose an outstaffing approach. It means that our developer joined the startup team and was managed by a client directly.

  • Seamless Integration

    Our developer seamlessly integrated into the in-house team. He works closely with the CEO of AreaButler to ensure smooth collaboration and effective communication throughout the project.

  • Agile Methodology

    For the working process, they employ an agile methodology, and the project is driven by customer and market feedback. With WeKan Kanban boards, it is easy to manage tasks on the project. Feature maps are developed in close collaboration with the Brocoders team. Our developer actively participates in prioritizing efforts based on customer benefits and market impact.

  • Autonomous Development

    Throughout weekly sprint reviews, we finalize the Kanban board, and the Brocoders team has full development autonomy, keeping in touch with the AreaButler team when needed.

  • Ongoing Support

    Brocoders makes every effort to meet the client's needs and assigns an account manager to the project.

What did we do? Our Technologies

Our developer consistently delivered top-notch services, such as:

  • New pricing model development;
  • Map style improvements;
  • Serve-side operations;
  • Integration with PayPal;
  • API import;
  • Real estate sorting and filtering implementation;
  • Implemented algorithms for filtering points of interest (POI);
  • Support and bug fixing.

The tech stack our developer utilized:

  • Frontend

    react
  • Backend

    nestmongo

Our Team

“The Brocoders team has fully adapted to our schedule and is always available.”

Alexander Timper
Founder & CEO, AreaButler

So, the Brocoders team included the following members:

  • Full-stack Engineer & DevOps

  • Account manager

The developer has become an integral part of the team and sincerely contributes to the development of the product. They work closely with the client and establish effective communication and cooperation. The developer is actively involved in project planning and prioritization, taking into account both the client's expectations and the realistic ideas shared by the developer.

An account manager handles several key tasks for our developer, including labor cost planning, monthly workload management, working time tracking, invoice communication, and feedback facilitation.

We do not just assign the developer to the client's team, but our account managers go above and beyond to provide comprehensive support throughout the process. This support includes:

  • Onboarding organization. We ensure a smooth and efficient onboarding process for the employee.
  • Employee support. Our account manager supports both the developer and the client. She actively communicates with the employee and provides assistance when needed.
  • Feedback facilitation. We actively engage in the feedback process by gathering comments from both parties. This feedback exchange helps to support the whole project.

Key Challenges

Integration to onOffice Marketplace

OnOffice Marketplace is a popular marketplace and leading provider of software for real estate agents in Germany, with over 35,000 users. The task was to integrate the AreaButler solution into the onOffice Marketplace. This solution would refresh the approach to property location search and increase the efficiency of players in the real estate market. Existing AreaButler users will benefit from a streamlined and automated data generation process to easily integrate custom AreaButler results into onOffice and their own websites. In addition, AreaButler extends support for agents that do not yet use onOffice by connecting them to various CRM systems. The challenge here for our developer was that the main technology stack of OnOffice Marketplace was different — PHP. Nevertheless, he found out how to overcome this discrepancy and completed the task. Since the main focus of the onOffice solution was on PHP support (with the limited one for JS), our developer had to implement the authentication process on the backend (for security reasons), taking into account the differences between some of the data types of these languages.

Payment Integration

Initially, the AreaButler solution used Stripe as its primary payment processor to accept payments. However, as the platform expanded, there arose a need to incorporate additional payment service providers such as PayPal. Our skilled developer fully investigated and integrated the functionalities of PayPal.

The challenge centered on PayPal documentation, and our task was to handle PayPal integration with our client's unique pricing model. There are two types of the core AreaButler product:

  • In Subscription: when users can opt for a monthly or yearly subscription, which is automatically renewed unless you cancel it.
  • Paper Use (based on consumption): this particular product offers the utilization of 10 interactive maps for 10 addresses within a one-year timeframe. It operates as a one-time purchase without renewal, separate from the subscription model.

However, we had to make sure that the trial period was both there and there for four days, according to our client's pricing model. Therein lay the challenge: the problem was that PayPal's functionality allowed the trial period to be applied only to subscriptions, not individual products.

Our developer did thorough research to find an effective solution and overcome this hurdle. After reviewing PayPal's internal payment documentation, a solution was found by implementing a single-term subscription, preventing any renewal possibility.

Real Estate Data Import

Real estate data integration is crucial as it eliminates the manual entry of information. Importing data about estate entities with their specific characteristics and various data formats becomes a real challenge. To enable seamless real estate data transfer, our full-stack developer worked out two options:

  • Importing real estate data in CSV format. The CSV import feature allows users to transfer data quickly and accurately instead of manual data entry, which is time-consuming and error-prone.
  • Integration with CRM systems. The data can be imported into our system by connecting to external CRMs such as OnOffice Marketplace and Propstack.

One of the big challenges here was the different data formats and standards used on different platforms and systems. Integrating data from various sources, including CSV files and external CRMs, required careful consideration and conversion to ensure compatibility with the target system. Our developer overcome these challenges by identifying and comparing different data formats, reconciling differences in data field structures, and performing necessary transformations.

AreaButler and GPT-3.5 Integration

Another challenge from Alexander Timper was how to effectively use the power of AI to support real estate agents in their daily work. Brocoders developer has effectively integrated the powerful GPT-3.5-turbo from OpenAI into the AreaButler solution, providing one of the most capable models from the GPT-3.5 family to address the application needs.

This feature allows real estate agents to automatically generate high-quality location texts, property descriptions and whole texts. With this AI-powered capability, agents can save time and deliver stories that engage potential buyers and renters.

And for now, AreaButler is proud to be the first Proptech in the DACH marketplace (the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) to make the GPT-3.5-turbo model available to their users.

Delivered Solution

The AreaButler solution is a Proptech SaaS product with AI features that provide personalized location analysis for real estate. For now, it is available in the German language. AreaButler works on laptops, PCs, tablets and smartphones. A mobile and desktop version of the product has been developed.

Main Features

Interactive Maps

Interactive maps are powerful tools for promoting property. With their help, you can give your potential buyers or tenants a complete visualization of the property's surrounding area. Interactive maps make your digital presentation more engaging and informative while keeping visitors on your site longer. You may form maps in your own design with full control over the content.

AI Location Exposure and AI Texts

Automatically generated location exposures consist of three key elements:

  • AI-generated location text. It accurately describes the surrounding area and offers an informative introduction.
  • A table of points of interest (POI). It provides a clear overview of nearby points of interest, and the best part is that you can customize this table to suit your client's specific needs.
  • A potpourri of the map rounds off the exposure and provides visual insights into the micro and macro location of the property.

We empowered the product with AI features based on GPT-3. AI can also use information stored in CRM systems to maximize the potential of internal resources. AreaButler leveraged the powerful advanced language model to offer the following features:

  • Automatic generation of text descriptions for locations, appealing to potential buyers.
  • Creation of promotional brochures for real estate properties.
  • Providing combined descriptions of both the location and the property itself.
  • Conversion of formal-style text into a more informal tone.
  • Ability to ask the AI general questions on various topics of interest.

Through the application form, users enter their request parameters in order to analyze and submit a residential area or property. AI processes the request and provides the necessary information, including a detailed description of the location's infrastructure and the actual availability of the property.

As we mentioned, the client can ask the AI general theme questions. 

Data-driven Environmental Analysis

With the extensive AreaButler database, you have instant access to in-depth information: demographics, transportation links, educational information, proximity to recreational areas, and more. It is also a powerful marketing tool. With the help of the received information, you will be able to highlight the advantages of your property and present it in a favorable light.

We use government, our own and purchased data for our environmental analysis. Approximately 1.5 million data points are used for each analysis. Neighborhood demographics, air quality, election results, millions of points of interest, etc.

Location Plans

AreaButler automatically generates print-ready location plans in over 300 DPI resolution, which you can easily download and integrate into your sales exposures. The service allows you to choose the map section and points of interest (POIs) that your target audience wants to see. Furthermore, you can customize the design of the maps to align with your corporate identity.

Location Indices

AreaButler calculates eight different location indexes for you; each of them evaluates a specific aspect of your object's location. Each index has a value between 0 and 100 based on careful data analysis. Categories include aspects such as transportation, educational landscape, recreational opportunities, shopping, and more. This gives you a clear and comprehensive view of the attractiveness of your property.

Location indicators evaluate the living conditions that are performed in a particular area. By comparing with other properties, you can determine your position in the market and adjust your marketing strategy.

Customized design

With AreaButler, you can not only present your property listings but also customize your maps to match your corporate style. You have the option to use your own colors and icons, reinforcing your brand. In addition, your own logo can be displayed on all export documents — another way to increase brand awareness. Fully customizable POI icons are also available to make your offer even more unique and attractive. You can select the color scheme, font, and even the icons for each POI category.

Integration with CRM, onOffice, Propstack

AreaButler offers this feature directly in onOffice through their onOffice Marketplace App. If the client has a different or no CRM at all, then all services are also available through our web application. Also, we can use AreaButler with any other CRM synced through our API.

Product general structure

Environment Analysis

Here you may put the needed address, set mobility and analysis radius, and choose localities (points of interest) and important addresses (for door-to-door routes in the map).

My Real Estate

Here you can create a new real estate object manually, select its type, put the address, price, and all property parameters, or import all this information from a CSV file.

My Target Groups

You may choose the target group you need: active seniors, established performers, young professionals, (young) families, conservative/pragmatic middles, and students. You also might send an email to your prospect. This email contains a link that a potential client can use to indicate his preferred modes of transport and localities, as well as their important addresses.

My Maps

Here you will find all your maps. Available actions: open editor, copy link, copy snippet, delete.

Demographic data comparison.

On the map, you can display the distribution of votes for a specific political party in elections in a particular area.

You can limit the number of POIs.

The Results

AreaButler has become a smart tool for a successful start in real estate. Over 100 brokers already rely on it. Now they use their maps to target specific audience groups and show exactly what buyers are interested in a residential area.

Thanks to interactive maps, visitors stay on the site for 39% longer. This greatly benefits your SEO ranking and increases your property's visibility in search engines.

Using AreaButler saves up to 86% of your time on searching and analyzing locations when preparing real estate offers. This solution does everything for real estate agents regarding location and creates real added value for property sales and marketing.

Benefits of AreaButler digital solution:

  • time savings,
  • cost reductions,
  • improved communication with tenants,
  • increased transparency,
  • enhanced data security.

Some customers who already used AreaButler digital solution:

  • proto of adact apps

Further Cooperation — To Be Continued

As AreaButler continues its growth, they have plans for further development of the platform:

  • English version of the site;
  • Admin panel;
  • AreaButler's full functionality will soon be available for onOffice users. This includes processing property details, generating high-definition location plans, interactive iFrame maps, automated location exposures with AI-generated text, POI tables, and a QR code for easy engagement.

AreaButler and Brocoders have joined forces to develop an advanced model of AreaButler solution. We are creating a truly innovative product with exceptional features by combining AreaButler's expertise in data analytics, marketing, and technology with Brocoders' software development capabilities. This is really encouraging cooperation.

“Words are kept, and problems are solved in a very pragmatic way. We can always rely on the support of the Team.”

Alexander Timper
Founder & CEO, AreaButler