“There’s an app for that” became a common phrase after Apple threw it into a commercial in 2009. Sesame Street sang it to the world in 2010. Over a decade later, you would not be hard pressed in finding an app or a service that accomplishes most of what you need for your business. However, there lies the problem: it does most of what you need. This means your business will have to find another app that can do the rest (hoping it will work well with the others), sacrifice efficiency to do manual work, or build out its own solution.
Based in Austin, Texas, Offerd is a Multifamily Acquisitions Firm that combines proprietary analytics and software tools to more than 10,000 categories to shape and execute targeted sourcing campaigns specific to a client's precise acquisition strategies. Here is how it works: let’s say a buyer wants to pursue a property. Offerd will facilitate the communication with the buyer and does the difficult work, such as discovery calls and negotiations, on behalf of the buyer. They provide their clients with large datasets of properties and access to analytic tools available for in-depth, strategic research.
Being a modern-day start-up, Offerd had identified a critical pain point and sought to address it. Afterall, there was no app for that (yet). Offerd partnered with Kinetech to build an app that had the CRM capability of HubSpot, the dynamic mapping power of ESRI’s ArcGIS, and could integrate their own internal systems into a single platform..
The buildout was no small task. How do you take multiple systems with different data handling methods and make them speak to each other in real time? Kinetech had to ensure the application would be furnished with the following:
- Track deals, communications, and uploaded documents from HubSpot
- Allow clients to search multiple data sources with a single set of criteria
- Give clients the ability to reflexively strategize and analyze acquisition plans
- Visually display those search results through an ArcGIS Online map with the ability to refine and interact with properties within said map
- Transfer data between the four involved systems
- Notify clients in-app and through email when status changes or progression occur on a property,
- Be able to expand to different property types as Offerd grows
And be fast.
Travis Farese, CEO of Offerd, outlined to the Kinetech team that their focus needed to be geared toward seamless client experience and ability to deliver powerful sets of features in a timely manner. When Kinetech discussed how we leverage Mendix’s low-code rapid application development platform to bring content to market in a matter of weeks and not months, Travis responded with a resounding, “I’m excited! Let’s get to it!”
The success of this app depended heavily on one key concept: everything and everyone talks to each other in real time, and no action is left unsynchronized. This paved the way for REST APIs to take priority for data handling; Any action taken reports back to the other services the necessary information they need to progress an acquisition. Knowing that this project would be integration intensive, Kinetech conducted research on each platform the application would need to interact with. As the application would house the integrations under the same roof, Mendix lets us draw the lines between tables managed by all parties. This is rather important as schema data from ESRI does not match schema data from HubSpot.
"Mendix turns one developer into five but you have to have a solid and experienced team to tap into that competitive advantage. Kinetech has that team and really delivered for our business on time and on budget. Looking into the future we are integrating Kinetech even further into our organization and the speed at which we can release new features to meet customer demand makes Mendix and Kinetech an easy business decision."
- Travis Farese | CEO at Offerd
Mendix offers a large amount of out of box functionality ranging from simple form building to API creation/management. Kinetech was able to reduce the amount of hard coding that needed to be done in preparation for standard functionality and jump head first into architecture, configuration, and custom work that would go around the APIs.
While building the CRM integration, we made great use of HubSpot’s API and webhooks. The webhooks allow accounts to be created, deal progression and status changes reported, and other actions that Offerd can configure on HubSpot. We ingest the information that comes from the webooks and use Mendix to map the data we need, and dispose of the data we do not. Tracking deals and communications are done through HubSpot’s robust API. Combining this functionality with a front-end set of dashboards and views for a client gives them access to more information and visual results of where their engaged deals stand.
A big challenge any start-up will face is how to get a new product or service to market before anyone else, as well as how to do it better than the competition. Kinetech leverages Mendix to save time and money when delivering custom solutions that work for organizations like Offerd. They are now able to provide their clients more in depth property information and options to work when considering large multi-family acquisitions. Having the capacity to connect any number of systems without compromising performance gives Offerd the upper hand in their efforts to become a top-tier resource for multifamily property acquisitions. The app built by Kinetech let’s Offerd remove the confusion of email threads, the multiple browser tabs to different services, and the worry about how their various 3rd party services are going to work together.
“When I was told what I was going to be building, I was full of joy because it would give me further evidence that Mendix can be instrumental in timely business process automation. We brought together services that were not specifically built to work together, when they themselves were created. Couple that with the beautiful UI/UX we implemented and Offerd is looking like a real player in the property acquisition game, as young as their company is.”
- Jason Imeidopf Jr | Lead Developer at Kinetech
There was no legacy system to replace, which made development flexible in regards to what Kinetech had to account for. Although, when working with numerous integrations, Mendix made it possible to quickly and reliably develop a solution around each service and their nuances without ever calling into question the possibility of Offerd achieving synchronicity.
The app delivered was born from a need to bring various online solutions into a single platform and help a startup get information out to its customers. It has transpired into a hub that combines the CRM features of HubSpot, the geographical prowess of ESRI’s ArcGIS, and the data integrity of three different databases. This serves as a prime example of the weightage that Mendix can bring to any app. Offerd can now say “there is an app for that!”