One of our clients came to us with a need for dramatically simplifying tenant coordination for commercial real estate projects. We began a joint venture project to build a custom platform in the tenant coordination space. We started talking business, and the small company that came to us with the idea realized something-- they wanted the app, but didn't want to own it! They didn't have time to run a tech business with the work they were already doing.
After extensive research in the market, we decided to build the product under our ownership with help from the client—and they would get to be the first users and help shape how the product would meet their needs. Tenant Tracker makes it easy to track deals, manage construction status, and see detailed reports of properties. By moving data out of Excel and into The Cloud, Tenant Tracker automates many existing manual processes, makes accessing tenant data a snap, and provides sharable status reports. In addition, Tenant Tracker can be used anywhere, because it's designed for a rich mobile experience.
We built the first working prototype over a summer with a talented development intern and a project manager. We used a fairly standard vanilla scrum process – leveraging Pivotal Tracker and some other basic tools – to deliver the foundations of the product. As we created the clean and working code, we sent it to the client for feedback every two weeks. We added new features to build the product into the usable solution we wanted.
Once we were happy with the foundation we created, it was time to add some sexiness. We pulled in designers and user experience experts to make the product something we could sell to other potential users. We created a logo and turned the out of the box rails and bootstrap product into a beautiful web application that was usable for both computers and tablets. We continue to actively create feature improvements and work directly with the application users for feedback.
Though we are still in the beginning stages of this product, there are some obvious wins. We validated the market by bringing on additional customers immediately. We found a niche market we can really succeed in. What we’ve done so far is very well received with potential partners. And we have integration deals brewing. This product is one we are so happy with now, because we see the potential in it’s future.