Getting a 3x return in the first 30 days

How Forty Seven South built a real estate app that tripled their investment in the first 30 days.

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3x return in 30 days

Caleb Pearson was having drinks with a couple of friends when the idea first struck him. 

Caleb is a successful real estate agent who owns his own agency. At the time they were growing fast, becoming one of the top firms in the Charleston area. Now, he and his business partner Justin were looking to get into real estate investing.

The Idea

To be a successful investor, they needed to find good deals on houses. Caleb had been thinking about hiring a couple of interns to scour the MLS and find properties that might fit the bill. Then, he could send offers and see who was willing to play ball.

Then it hit him: what if instead of hiring a bunch of interns they built an app to automate the entire process?

Finding a team

Caleb and Justin are the first to tell you they’re non-technical founders. Justin had experience managing technical teams, but neither had any interest in writing code. That’s why they brought their idea to Krit.

We were immediately excited about the idea and its practicality. Unlike so many of the app ideas we hear, if you just used the application it would make money. There was no need to sell anything. So we quickly started scoping out the MVP for Forty Seven South.

Building the MVP

Even though it seemed like a sure bet, we still had to prove that the concept would work.

The first version was built for just one team. Our philosophy is that you can always add support for multiple users later, when you’re ready to start selling the product to more customers.

Takeaway

Start as small as you can so that you can quickly build and test your product. You can always add more later on.

Our first big challenge was figuring out how to get the listing data from the MLS. We developed an integration using the Simplyrets API. Every MLS is a little different, which makes working with their data massively complicated. By building the integration with Simplyrets we saved thousands on the MVP and made it possible to quickly expand the app into new areas.

Designing and intuitive interface

When designing the app, we weren’t as concerned about creating a slick brand. The team already had a simple brand they were happy with. But since users were going to be working with lots of data, we wanted to make sure it was easy to navigate and that the data wasn’t overwhelming.

Saving time by saving filters

The MLS has quite a lot of data for each listing, so the app had to support a wide array of filtering options. To make filtering through all of these options faster, we created Saved Filters, which allow you to create a set of filters that can be saved and easily applied to property listings anytime.

Focusing on the right data

Although the Saved Filters made it easy to quickly run certain searches, sifting through all of the data was still a tall task. To help with this, we decided to make the columns in the table that displayed all of the listings customizable. So if you were running searches based on square footage and ZIP code, you could make the Square Footage, Price / Sq.Ft., and ZIP Code columns visible while hiding the Bedrooms, Bathrooms and other columns.

We also included highlighting in the table to show if the price had gone up or down recently (and by how much), and highlight for listings that have been on the market for a certain period of time. These features, combined with sorting, make it incredibly fast to find and submit an offer for a very specific type of property.

By having columns that can be hidden or show, the listings table becomes fully customizable.

The Results

The final product made it incredibly easy to run complex filters on listings in the MLS and quickly send out offers on listings. This meant Caleb and Justin could see who was willing to play ball, and find the best deals on houses.

Before, it may have taken an intern half an hour to find a listing and send out a single offer. Now, through the app, you can send out thousands of offers in under 5 minutes. 

Caleb and Justin quickly began using the application themselves, and within 30 days had closed on three houses for an average of $30,000 under list price. Before even selling the properties, the application had already saved them hours and close to $90,000.

Next Steps

The next step for Forty Seven South is bringing the application to real estate investors all over the country. After the test was successful, we iterated on the application, making it possible to handle multiple investors. Forty Seven South has begun rolling out in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida, with more states on the way.

And if you’re interested in bringing a project of your own to life, I’d love to talk to you. Email andrew@builtbykrit.com and use the subject line “Re: Case Study.”

Takeaways

●      Start small.

●      It’s great to build an app that saves users time or makes them money.

●      It’s best to build an app that does both.

"We were blown away with how user-friendly the app was, and it worked like a charm."

Caleb Pearson
Founder of Forty Seven South