With the ever-changing situation in the housing market, it is important to continually look for new ways to bring supply and demand together and stimulate the market. Internet plays an increasingly important role and provides more opportunities for online sales of real estate. Manamo supports the market with its online auction site where real estate is sold at auction. A good and reliable application for an auction site is however crucial. Invantive realized this application for Manamo.

Manamo

Property auction site Manamo was founded two years ago and had as its main goal to realize a yield as high as possible for buildings that are forced to be sold. “If property owners can no longer afford the burden of mortgage, then their building is often sold at foreclosure by the mortgage lender. A building will yield far less that way than it is actually worth”, says Alex Willemsen, co-owner and co-founder of Manamo. “By putting these buildings on the market under their market value and selling them online for the highest bidder, they can still fetch a reasonable amount. The gap between market value and foreclosure value decreases that way. This is better for both the owner as well as the mortgage lender.” On the website of Manamo potential buyers can bid for a building after an online registration. After the auction has closed the highest bidder has the possibility of buying the building. Before potential buyers put in an offer, they can visit one of the visiting days that Manamo organizes in collaboration with brokers.

Development

“The power of Manamo is the interactivity of the website, which allows bidders to directly react to a bid. We needed a good auction application that could live up to this interactivity”, says Willemsen. “There are modules in existence for auction sites, but because the online auction of real estate still involves a bit more than that of a concert ticket, we went looking for a software specialist that could satisfy our demands and desires. Invantive seemed like an appropriate partner that thought along with us just fine from the very beginning.” In collaboration with Invantive Manamo has thought about which functions an auction site should have. Invantive then developed the operations of these functions and the trajectories. “Invantive developed the application from the ground up, which is why the way the website works is completely tailored to everything that happens in the auction of real estate”, says Willemsen.

For example, it is important for auction site Manamo that data concerning the course of the auctions were safely stored, since bidders need to be able to see it when they desire to. The integrated real-time data warehouse is crucial for that. “Invantive has adviced us excellently on matters we had not even considered ourselves”, says Willemsen. “Data on the auction site had to be well-secured against hackers and Invantive has thought about what should happen in the case of a malfunction.”

Collaboration

The realisation of the auction site took up nine months. During that time there was a lot of contact between Manamo, Invantive and the media agency which was responsible for the design of the website. Invantive ensured the proper functioning of the auction site. The designer made sure the site looked nice and that its functioning was clear to the user. “The collaboration between all parties went very smoothly. Mainly because there were short communication lines and because Invantive was excellent in thinking of the importance of the final product”, says Willemsen. There was still some confusion at Manamo about the development process of the application though. “I assumed that we merely had to express our wishes and that Invantive would then realize the application completely without Manamo. But in practice it appeared that Invantive expected quite a lot of input because of the chosen iterative approach”, says Willemsen.“Especially in the test phase I have regularly scheduled time to test out various parts of the application. The advantage of that was that I was able to exert a lot of influence on the final result.”

Invantive only completed part of the application every time, with certain functionalities that would already work. These functionalities were then tested by Manamo, after which Invantive adapted the application if necessary and subsequently developed it further. That is how every time a more complete application would be delivered. “Since I had no experience with the purchase of a software solution, it took a while before I understood the importance of taking time to test it yourself”, says Willemsen. “In hindsight it is actually quite logical that the application had to be completed part by part and had to be tested. When it comes to the concrete foundation of a house you also need to be sure that it is done well, before you can build the house on top of it.”

Future

Stability and reliability are key words to Manamo. “It took a while before the website functioned completely, because a newer version of Oracle had to be purchased for that. But ever since the website has been running, there has not been a single bug or malfunction”, says Willemsen. “That continuity is very important to us, to be able to guarantee a trustworthy bidding system.” The users of the auction site have also responded very positively. Because Manamo is still relatively new, participants of the auction site are interviewed on their experiences. They have all indicated that the site works nice and easy. “We get a lot of satisfaction from buyers that are enthusiastic about the way of bidding and from satisfied sellers that have got rid of their house quickly for a relatively good price thanks to Manamo ”, says Willemsen. “Our goal is to expand strongly in the next few years with the online auction of buildings and that way service a lot more enthusiastic buyers and sellers of real estate.” The auction application of Invantive is already ready for this growth, because it is build in a way that auction site Manamo can expand easily with new functions and possibilities. This way Manamo can react to every possible development in the housing market.