Free access to property transactions for home-owners and agents





Integration, Backend, Front end, Mobile, UX
STBB wanted to offer their clients, property owners and real estate practitioners a streamlined, online platform for property transactions as well as a secure repository for storage and use of legal and compliance documentation. We collaborated with them to develop a mobile app that modernises the entire process with workflow visibility while creating a great customer experience.

The Situation

STBB, in step with their commitment to client service, was looking to streamline their online approach to the sale and purchase of a property. We partnered with STBB to develop a legal-specific online solution that could integrate with other programs, particularly LegalSuite, a well-known conveyancing software package.

Prior to launch, we conducted thorough market research using analysts to strike a balance between what will enhance the day-to-day performance of estate agents in the market and what clients require.

The Objectives

We came on board and were involved in every step of the development process, from strategy and concept design to software/app development and design. This included:

  • Developing an online platform for property transactions
  • Building a secure repository to store legal and compliance documentation.
  • Identifying the challenges that would need to be overcome to deliver a solution that would not only satisfy the business process requirements of STBB, but more importantly, address the primary needs of the app users.
  • Deciding how this information should be displayed and presented.

The Challenges

  • With a project of this scope and magnitude, it is often underestimated how much time and information is required to deliver a workable solution.

  • One of the main challenges was managing and improving the quality of the information provided by the end user.

The Solution

Following an agile development process, starting with a ‘sticky-board’ approach:

1. The information was collated, while taking into account how, what, and where the information will be displayed. This, combined with the graphic component, comprised phase

2. Phase 2 involved launching the app into the market, where it was well-received. Managing and improving the quality of the information provided by the end-user was, however, a critical factor as the quality of the output is solely dependent on the quality of the input. The requirement to conduct an audit resulted in improved functionality with each update over the preceding two years. A significant advantage to STBB from the first release was high brand visibility as well as superb user experience.

3. In addition to the STBB Direct App, we also developed an additional key component to the app eVault. eVault is a personalised, online legal and compliance assistant that saves time by streamlining legal processes such as collecting the necessary documents (e.g., identity documents, marriage certificates, and unabridged birth certificates etc.) for FICA compliance. This Dropbox-like repository allows users to store original and/or certified copies of any documents in their private eVault, ensuring complete confidentiality and sole access to the documents uploaded.

The Results

The entire process from inception to launching the STBB DirectApp took 13 months while developing the eVault functionality required approximately another 18 months. This additional functionality has made STBB Direct the ultimate legal property mobile app solution. Moreover, the documents and communications remain in the eVault in perpetuity, offering the client a complete record of all interactions and documents.

The STBB Direct App is the ideal tool for doing cost calculations on the go. And it can perform a variety of calculations relating to the sale or purchase of a property, such as transfers and bond costs, bond repayments, agent commission and capital gains tax. It also allows users to share the calculations directly from the app with a buyer, seller or a third party.

As a bonus, estate agents dealing with STBB can now track the progress of their transactions on their mobile devices, using the STBB Direct App. Notifications can be set up for pre-selected milestones during the transfer process. An estate agent can obtain the ever-popular STBB Progress Reports directly from the device with the tap of a button – anytime, anywhere. Estate agents have access to the details, documents, progress notes and contacts relating to a specific transaction ensuring constant communication and keeping the agent in control of the transfer process. This was all made possible by the exceptional vision of Philip Steyn, Director and Partner at STBB and the excellent skills of the Polymorph team.

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