Kinetech Digital Execution Strategy & Engineering leadership enable eXp's (NASDAQ: EXPI) Global Expansion at an unprecedented rate; 14 countries in 12 months while maintaining compliance
The Kinetech FinTech Cloud© and composable architecture enable global expansion
Enables new countries where eXp expands to be launched in 1-day
Lowers Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by empowering business administrators while removing maintenance demands from the internal eXp engineering teams
Scalable architecture supports unlimited number of countries (tenants)
Reflexive application supports the unique business rules / steps for each country including dependencies, conditional visibility and more.
Deployed standalone payment microservice app to process transactions in most currencies enabling new payment processing capabilities for a new country to be configured in minutes.
Supports 20+ languages (and growing)
"Moving our application from single to multi-tenancy, utilizing the run-time configurations as part of the set-up reduced time to launch our onboarding application for new countries from months to weeks."
- Ceilia Cravens | Sr. Product Manager, International, eXp Realty
About eXp Realty (NASDAQ: EXPI):
eXp Realty is one of the fastest-growing real estate technology companies in the world with more than 72,000 agents operating in 18 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, India, Mexico, Portugal, France, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Italy, Hong Kong, Colombia, Spain, Israel, Panama and Germany. eXp Realty has re-defined the world of traditional real estate by replacing brick-and-mortar offices with their unique cloud-based platform.
Business leaders determine when, where, and how an organization expands its reach. However, the technology used to carry out those plans must support (and ideally enable) the company, otherwise they will remain just that - plans - and never materialize into reality.
In our first installment of their success story, we outlined how Kinetech enabled eXp Realty to kick-off an international expansion with Australia and the United Kingdom by using Mendix to develop the first version of the Join Application. In this case study, we’ll outline how Kinetech refactored the original Join Application so that it could support multiple countries and serve as the sole new agent join application (the “Global Join Application”) for all countries outside of the United States and Canada. This is a perfect example of the compounding benefits of low-code. We will also highlight an entirely new application that was developed called the Payment Application, which is a microservice focused exclusively on payment processing.
One of the primary challenges Kinetech had to solve was how to ensure the international engineering team remains an enabler of the leadership team’s international expansion plans. At the same time, Kinetech had to ensure that our technical solution was consistent with the microservice architecture and governance practices defined by eXp. The engineering team had to avoid 'application sprawl' and focus on the scalability of each individual application and the overall ecosystem. The most difficult challenge to overcome was how to build applications that were both standardized and customizable, where the benefits of both models were realized and the drawbacks minimized.
Ideally, their new solution had to:
- Lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by empowering super users to work without involving the IT department.
- Scale to support unlimited countries and their unique workflows while minimizing design time.
- Support multiple currency types and be configured by an administrator (Vs. IT personnel)
- Remain GDPR compliant by allowing system administrators to store data in ring-fenced geographies and allow users to request and have information captured about them in the system be permanently deleted
- Enable global expansion via a microservice architecture
They selected the Kinetech FinTech Cloud to do so.
With an elite team of certified Mendix expert engineers, Kinetech offered the expertise and know-how needed to deploy and configure a microservice architecture to bring all of the pieces together, delivering at a speed that only a low-code-powered solution can provide.
Solution: White-labeled Kinetech FinTech Cloud© :
Working hand-in-hand with eXp internal development teams, product owners, and IT teams, Kinetech configured our composable FinTech Cloud© modules to meet the needs of every stakeholder in the process.
Kinetech’s first priority was to re-architect the existing Join Application to scale to support an unlimited number of tenants (countries in this case). Branded as the Global Join Application, this solution needed to operate as a microservice that would be a part of a global microservice architecture.
The Global Join Application also needed to support the unique business rules and requirements for each country. This could vary from a handful to many steps within the new agent application process including: new agent submission, payment processing, language translation, separate management teams, terms / conditions, outbound contact to the team and applicants, file document storage, and much more.
In our first installment, we discussed how the new agent application process, business logic, and user interface were designed reflexively. This allows eXp Realty’s end users to dynamically (i.e. at runtime vs. requiring code changes by the development team at design time) create complex questionnaires that include dependencies, conditional visibility and more within the actual eligibility application.
Converting the original join application to a global multi-tenant microservice required that Kinetech refactor it using the same advanced architectural principles used to build the reflexive questionnaire outlined in in our first installment.
However, this time those principles had to be expanded to include all aspects of the application process against a single module. Kinetech refactored the application so that it now supports an unlimited number of tenants, and requires little to no engineering effort to do so.
End users of the Join Application can now launch the service within a new country in less than one day.
All country specific capabilities are configured in the Global Join Application by the production support team and do not require additional development from the engineering team nor have the need to perform a deployment to launch a new country. This design not only largely removed the engineering team from the international expansion process but it also ensured little to no ongoing maintenance - dramatically lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The engineering team is now brought in only when a new set of features and functionality are requested.
Microservice #2 - Payment Application
After the Kinetech completed the conversion of the Join Application to be a multi-tenant global microservice, we began development on an entirely novel and autonomous microservice for payment processing, called the Payment Application. The Payment Application is an ideal candidate for a stand alone solution within a global microservice ecosystem because it has a clearly defined /specific use case and is uncoupled from all other applications in the eXp ecosystem.
Separation of the payment function into its own microservice improves the resiliency of the overall ecosystem of applications because the individual services (Join, Payment, etc) may be taken offline (or become unavailable) without impacting other services. The infrastructure (database, network, storage, etc) may also be allocated to each application independently of the other services, which ensures the appropriate resources are provisioned based on actual need.
The Payment Application is also available to connect to any other application within the global ecosystem, and developers may leverage the existing design to do so. The steps to configure and set-up a new country within the Payment Application are similar to the runtime configurations made within the Global Join Application.
Each new country, or any entity, may be configured by end users, which allows eXp Realty to launch a new payment processing capability in a country within a few minutes. There is no need to engage the engineering team.
All that is required by the developers of other applications is to build the business logic within their respective solutions that will redirect the end user to the Payment Application. Everything else is still managed by the Payment Application. This serves as another example of a single scalable design that may be reused over and over again. Read more about Composable Applications.
eXp Realty may now accept payments globally!
The rapid expansion into 14 countries within 12 months brought another challenge for the Kinetech Team to address. If the Global Join and Payment Applications are to be accessible to people from different countries then there is a good chance the solution will need to be multilingual. We addressed the challenge with a combined use of out of box Mendix translation capabilities plus custom built language translations that are managed at runtime by eXp Realty’s production support team.
Kinetech's solution is now supporting over 20 languages (and counting) which ensures there is no language barrier to join eXp Realty. Runtime translations ensure eXp’s production support team has the tools it needs to customize both the end user experience and the core functionality of the applications to meet the unique needs of each country, market and customer base.
eXp Realty’s expansion into 14 new countries (and counting) in 12 months speaks for itself. The speed and scale with which they have been able to expand globally was facilitated, by the Global Join and Payment Applications in combination with bold leadership.
Kinetech was able to transform what is typically a bottleneck, the IT and development team, into a facilitator and enabler via rapid business expansion into new markets.
eXp Realty may now launch both the Global Join and Payment Applications in new markets in less than one day, with minimal effort.
The power of intelligent and scalable architecture was realized because the entrance into each new country does not require additional development effort. All of the set-up steps may be completed within the application by an end user. Now, only new functionality requires additional development by Kinetech, and most of that development is a one-time effort. Once it is built, the end users own the administrative keys and are able to quickly rollout and leverage the functionality in new countries.
Intelligent / future proof architecture will continue to ensure that the applications built by Kinetech are scalable and that eXp Realty's expansionary plans are not hindered by the limitations of their development team. After all, the IT organization should enable and facilitate the business rather than be a bottleneck that hinders it.
Outcomes of Project & Success Metrics:
- eXp's Join & Payment Application has facilitated the growth to over 85,000 Agents Worldwide
- The cloud platform now supports agents in 24 countries and growing
- Enables new countries where eXp expands to be launched in 1-day
- Lowers Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by empowering business administrators while removing maintenance demands from the internal eXp engineering teams
- Scalable architecture supports unlimited number of countries (tenants)
- Reflexive application supports the unique business rules / steps for each country including dependencies, conditional visibility and more.
- Deployed standalone payment microservice app to process transactions in most currencies enabling new payment processing capabilities for a new country to be configured in minutes.
- Supports 20+ languages (and growing)
- Q1 2023 Revenue was ~ $850 Million
"Kinetech was a huge part of the success of eXp’s ability to expand globally at record pace. They are an outstanding partner for any business looking to improve upon their Mendix utilization and scale for future.”
- Ceilia Cravens | Sr. Product Manager, International, eXp Realty
Kinetech is the leading developer of Low-Code, cloud-native, digital experience, automation, and core systems software applications for the financial, industrial, and public sectors. With over 10 years of Mendix implementation experience, the highest concentration of advanced Mendix developers in the United States, and the strongest track record of customer success, you can be confident partnering with us on your most important modernization initiatives. Our composable service offerings are configured and integrated with other web services (APIs), platforms, and enterprise applications.