A tailored experience for real estate end-users

Building real human connections and delivering a better platform with Newst

Country
Sweden
Services
UI/ UX, Backend, Frontend
Industry
Real Estate
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What is Newst?

Stockholm’s real estate market is due for some rapid changes as the city focuses on becoming Europe’s most attractive urban center. Newst.se, a commercial real estate platform, has been created as a direct response to this situation. Newst offers a better environment for clients, real estate owners, and consultants.

It supports the leasing of residential properties, stores, offices, restaurants, and more. All the user needs to do is create a personalized profile and enter their search requirements – Newst’s team does the rest.

2_Building real human connections and delivering a better platform 2_Building real human connections and delivering a better platform
An alliance for a brighter, user-focused future

Fifteen real estate companies in Sweden have united to create SF Invest, hoping to speed up their industry’s development. They are the people behind Newst. According to Andreas Nordgren, CEO of SF Invest and Newst.se, many aspects of the industry are outdated. In particular, companies spend little time on tailoring and improving the experience of their customers.

SF Invest is out to disrupt this status quo. They want to improve the relationship between all the participants of a lease process, make finding the right property easier, and assist customers more fully – especially those with limited knowledge of real estate.

3_An alliance for a brighter, user-focused future 3_An alliance for a brighter, user-focused future
Outperforming competitors with a better product

Newst created a marketplace for buying and renting commercial real estate. They needed Netguru’s assistance in delivering a high-quality product with advanced functionalities and to create a well-established brand. Custom integrations with third-party content were built with Ruby and helped to push the platform beyond users’ expectations.

The integrations included:

  • Allowing new Facebook and Instagram campaigns to be ordered easily
  • ‘Husfoto’ for ordering images and videos for listings, and the ability to request new photos 
  • ‘Fortnox’ for invoices and an ‘UpSale’ integration for the CRM to allow registered businesses within the app to manage the types of listing, show active listings, and get stats
  • ‘Stripe’ for payments and ‘Elastic Search’ to bring more search results into the app

The project team also needed to build with scalability in mind, preparing for Newst’s internal expansion – Newst currently has around 4,500 active users and 6,000 active listings. 

To distinguish the platform from competitors, everything needed to be wrapped up in a beautiful, modern, and intuitive user interface – Newst’s business value translated into a coherent product.

4_Outperforming competitors with a better product 4_Outperforming competitors with a better product
Demystifying real estate in Sweden

Big commercial real estate marketplaces offer over 10,000 listings. Often, these lack the basic information needed for a customer to make a decision, such as the price, crucial information, and good photos of the space. Newst makes things so much easier by approaching the leasing process from the customer’s side. This forward thinking has attracted multiple investors, including Catena, Klovern, and Svenska, with a total value of €14 billion.

Using the Scrum framework to focus on real value

The team defined the project’s scope and built a product that directly answered the needs of potential tenants, real estate consultants, and property owners. 

We were given the challenge of: 

  • Configuring Newst’s architecture to be scalable and resilient 
  • Creating a well-documented API to accommodate different data standards and formats
  • Developing the platform to be future-proof
The power of testing

Our standard process at Netguru involves extensive testing through multiple points of inspection with the business logic of the application written in Ruby. We test internally and with partners during bug bashes as we launch an app’s alpha version. Currently, our developer team is writing tests for the business logic, and our QA team is in the process of running integration tests for third-party services to make sure they perform as expected.  

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Netguru was very fast and helpful during the design phase, and the platform’s look is great. The setup we worked out for Newst is a really good base that we can build upon. It’s very important to have a company that understands the vision behind the product and one that you can rely on.

Andreas Nordgren
CEO at Newst
When the community appreciates your efforts

The first version of the Newst.se platform was delivered in less than a year for a major real estate event in Sweden. It continues to receive positive feedback from the community. With almost 4,000 listings at launch, it was already set to succeed. The company has grown and since developed its business model, changing its industry in positive ways.

Newst delivers unique value to three types of users. It remains flexible in presenting complex data and shifts the industry’s focus from investors to end-users and their needs.

6_When the community appreciates your efforts 6_When the community appreciates your efforts
The future of Newst and the Swedish real estate market

Andreas Nordgren, Newst’s CEO, already has more than five ideas for how to improve Newst going forward. 

They include:

  • Digitizing lease agreements to speed up the entire process 
  • Leveraging data insights to identify more opportunities 
  • Leasing out offices that are already fully equipped with various services, including heating, cleaning services, internet connection, etc 

The people behind the platform are also likely to expand to other related areas of the real estate industry. Netguru is likely to remain a technology partner, helping to push the project to the limits of its potential.

Quote

In the real estate sector, if you have the best property and the best location you can be undigital for the next hundred years and it’s because you have the best asset. And the asset is static. So that creates a very conservative environment. But we want to find disruptive elements and keep the innovation pace going

Andreas Nordgren
CEO at Newst
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