Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, so I designed an elegant iOS App which takes the “Open House” address and displays the optimal locations for placing the Signs. The product value is centered around the intelligence in the placement algorithm to help achieve end user goals.
Signs to Leads
My mom is a realtor and I helped her with a couple of open houses. I helped with placing open house signs at strategic places to maximize traffic to the house which increases leads. The problem is, where do you place the open house signs in order to achieve the maximum amount of leads?
There are around 2 million active licensed realtors, each hosting around 24-30 open houses per year on an average across the US resulting in approximately 4-8 leads per home. Well, that is ~500 million potential deals each worth 3-6% commission on average. That is a multi-billion dollar potential impact per year!
I always have been thinking about doing something about it but, the high school workload, volunteering and tennis kept me busy. HSHacks IV was a perfect opportunity and huge motivator for me to pursue my idea.
What it does:
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, so I designed an elegant iOS App which takes the open house address and displays the optimal locations for placing the signs. The product value is centered around the intelligence in the placement algorithm to help achieve end user goals.
How we built it:
Used Swift 4 with UIViews integrated with Google Maps. The placement algorithm invokes geonames.org APIs to implement an early version of the placement algorithm.
Challenges we ran into:
I see challenges as opportunities. It was an opportunity for me to build my very first iOS app and I have some python programming experience.
- The first challenge was to understand and talk to the users and do reasonable research in a relatively short span of time to build and deliver product to user expectations.
- Learned Swift4 from scratch - OOPs, view controllers, multi-threading, Xcode, CocoaPods, etc.
- My first venture into the world of APIs - WHAT/WHY, API Keys, limits, constraints, security, JSON handling, HTTP/S and much more.
- Realized the product lifecycle and the importance of each phase including endless debugging and testing to get the app to work.
An intuitive iOS App that is ready for beta users. I am eager to take it to the App Store to get early user feedback so that I can prioritize incremental features and keep the cycle going.
What we learned:
A simple idea to a building end-user tangible product is very rewarding. Hackathons spur enthusiasm which encourages collaboration and inspires creativity. This is my first Hackathon and it was an amazing opportunity.
The iOS App is functional. However, there are numerous more features that can be added based on the user feedback and priority. Examples include:
- improve placement algorithm to include safety concerns, accessibility for drop-off/pick-up, peer input, community constraints, city ordinances & guidelines, traffic patterns, road directions, integrate other databases, suggest appropriate directional or turn signs, factor parks, identify best routes/entrance and much more to increase the reliability and accuracy
- apply AI/ML techniques on relevant data to deliver insights and build an intelligent system
- panoramic view integration
- virtual open house sign tour
- social elements to enable realtor community
- dashboard and reporting