Real Estate Express
Real Estate Express, a McKissock company, is the leading online school for real estate and broker licensing education where you can enroll and start your real estate career
Real Estate Express (REX)
Real Estate Express hired WebDevStudios to rebuild their real estate licensing and education platform on WordPress. We migrated them off a proprietary content management system by migrating data from their API provided to us via JSON feeds. Real Estate Express have their own in-house designers that provided us with over 30 Photoshop mockups for us to carve and slice into pages and templates for their website.
Extensive Needs Analysis and Discovery
The team at REX (Real Estate Express) had a fair amount of requirements for the development of their site that were complex and not fully fleshed out. We recommended an extended discovery phase that took several weeks in order to fully define all of the requirements for the project, right down to the smallest detail in order to fulfill their specifications.
The biggest factor in the success of a custom development effort is a clear understanding of the project, shared between our team and our client. We take a collaborative approach here and work with you, as a team, to determine the best approach to deliver a great product, while working with you to avoid communication problems and agree on issues that can impact cost and timeline. We have a defined a process within our project lifecycle to ensure this shared understanding – we call this process: Discovery.
Custom PSD-to-WordPress Conversion
For this project, the client’s team provided us with multiple desktop Photoshop mockups and we were tasked with converting those mockups into WordPress templates in order to build out their custom theme. Because we were provided with only desktop mockups, we also needed to focus our development on making sure the end product was fully responsive on all devices for a flexible user experience. Using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, SASS, Media Queries and extensive cross-browser testing, quality assurance rounds and user testing – we ensured that the user experience is seamless across all devices from desktop, to tablet, to smartphones.
Data Sync with Custom API
The content plan for the REX project was mixed between data that the client would be manually entering themselves, via the CMS platform and data that we needed to sync from their custom built API. The API data included things like real estate course information, pricing and descriptions. Along with assisting them with the build of the API to make sure that we had the correct API endpoints & arguments to pass to retrieve the relevant data – we then built a script to sync that data on a timed schedule so that anytime they updated their API on their end, the content changes would be reflected on their website.
This process included a deep dive into their data, particularly around the real estate course data they provided via their API. Once we knew what the data was, we performed an extensive data mapping exercise in order to correctly map the API endpoints & data to the correct fields in WordPress, often times requiring us to create custom fields in order to handle the data.
The Real Estate Express web site is equal parts manual content entry done by their editorial staff and equal parts data dynamically driven by their API so they have full and finite control over the content presentation and delivery on their site today.