Home buying, reinvented.
Problem + Goals
Having been in the real estate industry for a long-time, Casa Blanca’s founders wanted to challenge the status quo. They wanted to create a modern, visual experience for shopping for a home in a big city that would recommend homes based on criteria that matters to city dwellers such as home type (condo, co-op or townhome), whether a building is near a subway station, has an elevator, or is pet-friendly.
We worked closely with Casa Blanca’s founders to develop an app strategy that was geared towards the primary audience who does a lot of the searching for city homes: women. We created a tinder-style UI experience that would make it easy to show recommended homes and let users swipe left or right to unlike or like homes. We also created an app experience for Agents and a communication system that made it easy for shoppers and agents to stay connected and keep track of offers on homes. Last but not least, we powered all of this with a custom built CMS and an integration with a data feed provided by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).
To date Casa Blanca has raised 4.1M.
- App Strategy
- User Scopes and Journey Maps
- Home Buyer App UI / UX Design
- Mobile App Strategy
- Mobile App UI/UX Design
- Mobile App Development
01. Mobile App Strategy
Tinder for Home Shopping
From our initial conversations with the founding team at Casa Blanca, it was clear that they wanted to break the mold for your standard home buying/shopping app. They had used a lot of real-estate apps and thought that there had to be a better way to help people find the perfect home. They also wanted an app experience that would proactively provide suggested homes from the start instead of forcing users to search for homes. From these requirements and through research and strategy sessions, we settled on a user experience akin to dating. We wanted to showcase suggested homes quickly and effortlessly and learn from what a home buyer liked and disliked.
02. Mobile App UI/UX Design
Two Apps in One
We’re big believers in delivering an outstanding first-time user experience for app users. We worked closely with the Casa Blanca founders to create an app experience that was open and didn't require a sign-in to use. This was something that a lot of other real-estate apps required that we thought took away from a home buyer’s main goal which is to see homes. Via a seamless onboarding experience featuring an intuitive series of questions, we quickly gather a user’s home preferences and then start presenting them with homes right away.
Since real-estate agents are such a key part of the home buying process as well, we worked with the Casa Blanca founders to create a separate app experience for their agents. This makes it easy for agents to keep track of all of their clients, message with them, and manage offers on homes.
03. Mobile App Development
A platform of this size has a lot of moving parts: mobile app, backend, web admin, and integrations. We developed a full backend in Node.js and front-end web admin in React.js. We developed the app using Swift and Reactive Swift. As part of the development process we had to develop a basic recommendation engine for homes and integrate with a real estate listings feed. As a standard part of our development process we deployed production and staging environments so that we could test new functionality before making it available on the production app. Once the project was completed, we were able to seamlessly transition ownership of the entire system to Casa Blanca’s team.
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