A Case Study:
MLngn, short for Multiple Listing Engine, is a Vancouver-based real estate application. Their goal was to create a digital marketing platform and online portfolio for brokerages and agents, plus build a backend for administrator control. The mobile application allows realtors to manage and promote their listings and reach buyers in a way we’ve never seen before.
An application built from scratch for brokerages to offer a central location for their agents to manage their listings through a personalized dashboard. The application allows agents to generate multiple QR codes for open house signs and marketing materials.
Throughout discovery, the Acorn team extensively researched
and applied two major real estate API’s: Bridge and Repliers. Both interface with MLS and various local real estate boards across North America. In addition to technical components for the integration, we distilled and applied the legal, branding, compliance, and access rules & regulations of the respective listing services and real estate boards.
INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE & USER EXPERIENCE
We worked closely with MLngn’s in-house development team
to prototype the three-tiered user-authentication process to log in to the app while our UX designers worked to produce user flows and responsive wireframes for the three separate application users, and their interactivity throughout.
MLngn required attention to detail on the user access model and Role Based Access Control (RBAC) system. The project required a brokerage, an agent, and a “super admin” to be able to register a brokerage who would then recruit an agent. Once an agent was registered to the system, a QR code was dispatched via SendGrid to their email with a copy of the code they could use. Since this project was conceived during COVID19, it was advantageous to make use of the renewed interest in QR codes. It was a perfect fit to apply a QR code to a property listing and, in doing so, created a value add for realtors who wanted a straightforward way to capture leads on the properties they were selling. These QR codes are used on physical sign riders, business cards, etc... to bring foot traffic directly to the MLngn sites relevant to the agent and listing.
DESIGN & PROTOTYPING
Acorn’s design team generated creative assets
in parallel with a promotional video team to help keep continuity between the style guide, the application purpose, and the animated explainer video. We facilitated for each brokerage, and agent, to upload their own logo into the application for their own custom look. As required, we built clickable prototypes for the MLngn sales team to use for client and investor pitches throughout the process. A series of email templates were created for sales reach outs, form/sign-up confirmation, and promotional requirements. As MLngn was being continuously developed while the product fit and feature priority were still being determined through investor, sales, and customer feedback, we operated an extremely iterative process with weekly deployments and multiple features in flight at any given time.
DEVELOPMENT & DATABASING
MLNGN was built on Microsoft Azure using Next.js and GraphQL
It was designed to fetch data from the Bridge API and the Repliers API - two data vendors which provision real estate data. Acorn set up multiple repositories on GitHub to allow separation of concern for: server functions, the graph itself, the role-based authenticated dashboard experience, and the public facing display of the property listings. The API allowed us to relate an agent's ID to the properties they were trying to sell, and automatically created splash pages and associated QR Code links for each procedurally.
Once the QR code was dispatched to the relator after registration, a page was built on our servers to render their associated property listings. MLNGN will allow for a custom registration of domain names so that the user experience for the realtor is turnkey.
Conclusions & Insights
The premise of the development effort on this project was to make a holistic solution for generating property listing pages for realtors. The costs and time producing branded landing pages, while simultaneously performing manual data entry for leads, comes at the expense of the person-to-person interaction of building good real estate clients. By integrating with MLS serving APIs, automating the summarization of property information, and automatically creating great looking listing and landing pages MLngn allows realtors to do the most important part of their job: build a repertoire of meaningful clients and sell homes.
Bridge API, Repliers API, Graph QL, Microsoft Azure, Azure Devops, Next.js, Typescript, Styled Components, Node.js