After spending what felt like a year without an idea, albeit it was only an hour, we decided to think about the jobs our friends or their parents had done and what we could do to improve such a job. A property management app was inspired by one particular adult who complained about the inefficiencies of managing property with current software.
What it does
The app allows a property manager to save all of their locations in the app, access the revenue and leasing history of each individual property or all of them at once, and send and receive messages to or from any renters they added through the app. Most importantly, the app incorporates as many automatic payments as possible to reduce the workload of managing properties.
How we built it
To build this we split into two groups, one to start designing and programming the frontend, the app itself, and one to design and create the backend framework. The frontend group started by laying out the overall flow of the application using Xcode's interface builder, then returned to add the functionality of each individual page. The backend group started by mapping the relationship between the different data models then created this system using Ruby on Rails. The projects were integrated once the backend was sufficiently developed for testing, and the backend group began working on the application.
Challenges we ran into
Very early on we realized that the scope of our application relative to our experience with programming, especially with regards to making an app and the database for it, meant we would have to work overtime to get it finished on time. To try to give us a boost in finishing it, we had to sacrifice the time we would have spent designing a beautiful UI, instead hoping to achieve functionality first and use whatever time we had left to improve the appearance. This did not turn out as well as we hoped, since we were unable to finish the functionality within the app, so now our project has a very stale and significantly underdeveloped UI.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
At our first hackathon, we worked very hard on our application, and we definitely learned a lot as well. At the very least, we got a very good start on we can turn into a real product! Furthermore, we managed to make the app upload both a user, a test rental unit, and some other information to the database. Being able to integrate a front end and back end was our major goal for this hackathon, so we are very happy that we achieved this.
What we learned
We learned how to assemble an application from start to finish, many things about Objective-c and ruby on rails, how to coordinate with a team on an idea, and what hackathon is really like.
What's next for Re-M: The Real Estate Manager
After this competition, we hope to continue working on this application, fix some of the kinks, and then begin market research to evaluate how useful the product is to both managers and renters. After that, we hope to place our application on the marketplace and form a company!