Case study: Smarttakst
Smarttakst is an app for appraisers used to create reports for properties that are being sold. To put it in a few words - it's a smart reporting tool that allows appraisers to do their job on site more efficiently as the app guides them through all mandatory things they need to check and automatically generates a report for their customer.
Inside you can find an enormous amount of options to check: pipes condition, mold, internal structures, furniture, electrical safety. The list goes on and on. Later this information will be shared with your customer in a simple PDF format for evaluation.
Eventually, It will be used in the prospect of the property that is being sold so that the buyer can see the condition of the property before they buy.
At Devhouse we knew the founders of Smartakst for a while before they came up with this particular project. At that point, we've already built a couple of solutions for them and the collaboration was successful. When they came up with Smartakst, we thought the idea was simple and straightforward. There was a clear market for it, too. So, we loved the fact that we're about to work with our long-term partners and create something valuable.
The design was ready for us to use, however, after thorough research and discussions we decided to tweak it just a little to ensure a friendlier UX.
We also knew exactly where this app is supposed to work. So, instead of trying to create a universal solution for PCs and smartphones, we only focused on tablets.
This kind of approach is always best for the startup. Simplify everything until you prove the idea actually works. So, the next smart thing that Smartakst did was find the first customers fast. Right away a few real estate agencies were ready to try the product, and we could use this information to avoid spending the budget on building unnecessary features. On our end, we meticulously tested the app, as well, to make sure it runs smoothly.
Getting to the market fast is important but if you launch an awkward, buggy solution, you may not have a second chance with customers either. So, pick your battles.
We started by visualizing the whole idea to create a universal smart solution that would generate reports for users to fill in. The biggest challenge here was to design the application architecture. We ended up with a dynamic app that renders UI based on the template. Even though the final product looks very simple, there's a lot of work and difficult logic behind it. One example would be the dependencies between the questions. Based on the given answers, the system provides different outcomes and scenarios for further interaction.
There were 2 huge iterations. To be completely honest one of them was even too huge to complete in one go. We hit the point where we had to reexamine the architecture, but in the end, this awesome structural and clean solution was built.
With the second iteration, we even created a smart admin panel that now allows users to build their own types of reports. It's a new feature and it requires some getting used to and learning from the user end. However, we are sure that it'll give certain freedom to the customers to twist and turn reports to suit their needs and make the whole reporting process even easier.
Another challenge that had us sweat was the support of offline work. There were a lot of dead ends but we did not have an option to fail.
Now Smartaskt works both online and offline, so real estate agents don't have to worry about going off-grid.
We can't help but share the latest feature we are implementing. Although, it's still a bit of a secret. Remember we mentioned not spending an extra budget on unnecessary features? So, now that the hypothesis is proven and we know for sure that people want to use Smartaskt and are willing to pay for this solution, we want to make it even better. We are implementing a communication feature that would allow us to assign tasks to brokers and real estate agents, ask for reports and send them back to agencies for evaluation. This feature will surely make communication faster, allow to avoid the use of unnecessary messengers, and lose track of tasks.
Smartaskt is a perfect example of meticulous work and step by step reaching the goal. We believe in the project's success and hope for many more years of collaboration.
Krister Koen, Founder / CEO: "For me, it is important to work with an efficient team that understands the need of bootstrapping a project to keep costs down in the early days of a company.
Devhouse has a lot of experience working with startups and truly knows how to get a product up and running quickly focusing on the most important aspects. Unlike many other companies, they do not only execute but are also great advisors during the development process to keep things as easy and focused as possible. I have been working with Devhouse for several years and on several projects and they always deliver the same quality!"