Reali’s Tech Journey (Part 2 of 3)

January 16, 2020


Although Reali’s updated app makes the process of selling a home look easy, it took a lot of work behind the scenes to get to that point. Earlier in the week, we shared some of our conversation with Reali’s Head of Product Stacy Hoover and our Engineering team about Reali’s new seller tools. Today, they’re getting more into the details of what it took technically to rebuild the app.

We talked earlier about the strategy behind rebuilding Reali’s service. On the back end, what went into rebuilding the app to support sellers?

Stacy: We actually had to go into a year-long code freeze to rebuild the app and filed a new patent on the new tech.

Eran Knaz, Head of Research and Development: Like many hyper-growth startups, we had just kept building instead of worrying about tech debt. By the time we decided to redesign, the tech landscape had shifted. The original backend was a monolith, and we rewrote for microservices to allow us to scale.

Kobi Naparstek, Mobile Team Lead: From a mobile perspective, the infrastructure of the original app didn’t support what was on our long-term roadmap – the most obvious challenge being that it did not support sellers. 

Stacy: A big part of the rebuild was also for Echo, our back-office software for agents to use on desktop. For some perspective, we were on an old version of Angular and we needed to update to version 7. We also just launched Echo on the Go, which is mobile support for our agents — this is a big milestone as we talk about the tech evolution of Reali’s tech stack.

The app started as a buyer-only tool. How did it evolve to what it is today?

Stacy: When Version 1.0 of the app launched in 2017, it looked and felt like a standard “discovery” platform for buyers – where you could look at homes for sale. We used that to learn from and eventually redesigned our entire service over the next few years. Our team reimagined the app, yes, but we also reworked how we interacted with clients, what our processes were, how our back-office software works, and the databases we were using. And we also rethought and rebuilt the entire experience for buyers, sellers, and agents.

First, we relaunched the app with revamped buyer tools in 2018. Now that we’ve launched the seller tools, the app supports everyone in the home buying and selling process.

Got it. So, most of the tech had been revamped in 2019, when the revamped buyer tools launched. Why didn’t the seller tools launch at that time?

Stacy: Well, to make it even more confusing, we actually designed the seller experience before we redesigned the buyer side!

Then why launch the buyer side first?

Stacy: Although the buyer journey has some loops – like in discovery and the offer if you don’t win – it’s pretty linear. There’s only one way to buy a house. But the seller experience is more complicated, which is why we designed the buyer tools first.

Home buyers and sellers are a very different group, too. A lot of buyers are repeat buyers. They’re younger, and a little more comfortable with technology and the mobile experience. By rereleasing the buyer tools first to an audience that we knew would be more comfortable and receptive, we were able to ensure that we were building on a strong foundation when we released the seller tools. 

Next, learn more about where Reali’s app is headed.