Web Development for Real Estate Firm
- Real Estate
- Consumer Web Platform
- 11-50 employees
- Austin, Texas
“Considering all the moving parts, this was a project management masterpiece.”
– Greg Stewart, COO, Bungalo
5/5 CLIENT REVIEW
Home renovation is challenging, expensive and extremely time consuming. For this reason, finding an older home that has already been refurbished to high standards is most buyers’ dream-come-true. The problem is that it’s also extremely rare, and an accessible, dependable process for finding high-quality refurbished homes is non-existent. Until now.
“The body of work they produced under our circumstances was no joke; they did a fantastic job. Although we had so many stakeholders with varying cultures and priorities, Praxent’s team was helpful in mediating between our partners.”
Ben Gammon, VP of Product, Bungalo
Bungalo Homes needed the right partner for a high-risk investment in disruptive technology. The project was significant: not only were they paying for the creation of a sizeable e-commerce web application, they were also investing in the inventory for that application.
Bungalo Homes would shoulder the risk of acquiring, refurbishing, and brokering the homes to be sold on the platform. The success of their digital home-buying idea depended on perfect execution of the app.
If their product development partner failed to come through on technology, Bungalo Homes would have to suffer the loss and start over or give up on their dreams of disrupting the real estate industry.
How We Helped
UX/UI product design
React responsive web app
Custom HTML, CSS
Azure cloud hosting
.NET backend, API development
End-to-end customer portal
Immersive marketing and e-commerce site
Fully digital backend operations
Integration with sales team CRM
Amherst came to us to design, build, and launch a custom platform that allows prospective home buyers to digitally search, buy and close on high-end refurbished houses.
Amherst interviewed 12 different custom software companies for the design and build of the Bungalo Homes platform, including an incumbent firm that had worked with them in the past. Praxent stood out as a clear winner in the following areas that were crucial to success of the project:
- Adequate bandwidth to handle a big project with a serious timeline
- Proven expertise in web services and designing complex responsive web applications Ability to deliver on both development and design in an integrated fashion
- Exhibiting the maturity and experience level to work effectively with the client’s internal legacy software where needed
- The experience and maturity to collaborate with a third-party branding agency on visual components of the digital product
- Business and technology acumen to temporarily fill the role of CTO on the Bungalo Homes project, making big-picture decisions about solution architecture
- A consultative style of service, allowing the client to rest easy knowing the project is in good hands
“Praxent knew from experience exactly what resources we needed to achieve our goals. They assembled a flexible team with complementary skills, including a project manager, a UX/UI specialist, four frontend developers, two backend developers, and a team of product owners.”
Ben Gammon, VP of Product, Bungalo
How we Helped
In just 21 weeks, Praxent succeeded at developing an integrated product that offers buyers a fully digital home buying experience while automating back-end functionality on the business side.
In mid-July, 2018, we delivered a first-in-class product destined to disrupt the real estate industry. Not only does the Bungalo Homes digital platform flawlessly handle the home-buyer customer journey, it equips our client with an equally automated, easy-to-use back-end system.
Working with startups is never black and white. Our design and engineering teams churned out iteration after iteration, helping Bungalo Homes discover their competitive edge. We worked closely with the client, making daily decisions and keeping all teams organized, aligned and productive through shifts and changes.
“It was a fairly elaborate engagement, and I have nothing but praise for Praxent. Since going live, we’ve sold five homes with the platform, and five clients have given us perfect Net Promoter scores (NPS). It seems our product is resonating with our consumers.”
Greg Stewart, COO, Bungalo
Positioned Bungalo to sell 300 homes before the end of the year
“If you have a clear understanding of what your objectives are and what kind of output you’re seeking, then Praxent is the right group to reach out to. They can fulfill any role needed to execute the project, providing a small, nimble team or scaling up as necessary.”
Ben Gammon, VP of Product, Bungalo
Introduce your business and what you do there.
Greg Stewart (COO): I’m the COO of a startup called Bungalo, which is part of a larger business called Amherst Residential. Amherst partners with institutional investors, helping them buy, rehabilitate, and manage single-family homes across the country. Within their organization, Bungalo sells high-quality pre-owned homes directly to homebuyers.
Ben Gammon (VP of Product): I’m the VP of product.
Opportunity / Challenge
What challenge were you trying to address with Praxent?
GS: Amherst had a lot a useful infrastructure geared toward buying and maintaining real estate for institutional investors. However, they lacked the experience to translate that into a consumer product. We wanted to leverage their technology to create a web platform that catered to homebuyers. Our goal was to make it as easy as possible to purchase a single-family home through our software.
BG: I joined the team along with our other co-head of product to design the platform, but we didn’t have any internal engineers to handle the build at the time. So, we conducted an extensive RFP to find a local partner that could support the development for the first phase of our web platform from scratch. We wanted a team that could work in the trenches with us on a day-to-day basis.
What was the scope of their involvement?
BG: Our product consists of two sides: a listing platform that showcases refurbished homes and a transaction platform that provides consumers all the necessary tools to traverse the homebuying process. With our software, users can purchase a home online from start to finish in a fast, seamless way.
GS: Initially, we spent a lot of time mapping out the consumer pain points when buying a home, outlining the products and services we wanted to create in response. With that research, Praxent worked with us to scope the project and prioritize the tasks involved. We knew we wanted to get a product to market within six months, so they helped us narrow down our requirement list to the most impactful core features.
What is the team composition?
BG: Praxent knew from experience exactly what resources we needed to achieve our goals. They assembled a flexible team with complementary skills, including a project manager, a UX/UI specialist, four frontend developers, two backend developers, and a team of product owners.
What is the status of this engagement?
GS: We started working with them towards the end of Q4 2017. By March 2018, we completed the prototype and launched the platform by mid-July 2018.
Results & Feedback
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
GS: It was a fairly elaborate engagement, and I have nothing but praise for Praxent. Since going live, we’ve sold five homes with the platform, and five clients have given us perfect Net Promoter scores (NPS). It seems our product is resonating with our consumers.
From a quality perspective, the system hasn’t experienced any downtime nor major issues. We caught all the minor bugs during the QA process, so there haven’t been any surprises post-launch. Recently, we’ve hired a senior CTO, a head of engineering, and a head of QA who have all been impressed by the quality of the platform.
How did Praxent perform from a project management standpoint?
GS: Considering all the moving parts, this was a project management masterpiece. Besides our group, there were other internal tech teams, outside consultants and branding agencies, and a new engineering team who were touching the project on a daily basis. Praxent did a great job of keeping us organized.
Every week, they gave us an updated dashboard about how many hours they’d spent, if we were on track, and where we were at risk. Not only did this ensure a transparent process, but it also allowed us to effectively budget our expectations. We assigned story points to each feature, looking at the effort involved at a granular level and translating them into monetary terms. It was a tough task, but they were mindful of our threshold and managed to deliver under budget.
What did you find most impressive about them?
BG: The body of work they produced under our circumstances was no joke; they did a fantastic job. Although we had so many stakeholders with varying cultures and priorities, Praxent’s team was helpful in mediating between our partners. They displayed a nuanced project management approach and made sure that we got what we needed. They’re a growing business that exerts a high level of professionalism.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
BG: If you have a clear understanding of what your objectives are and what kind of output you’re seeking, then Praxent is the right group to reach out to. They can fulfill any role needed to execute the project, providing a small, nimble team or scaling up as necessary.
On Time / Deadlines
Service & Deliverables
Value / Within estimates
Willing to Refer
We’ve already recommended them.
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