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Real estate auction site 1ClickOffer.com

 
   

Challenge

The company AuctionOffer, Inc., for which we designed the company site AuctionOffer.com was in need to create an auction platform, providing users with a possibility to buy and sell real estate, render intermediary and consultant services and services on the deals crediting. In the result of a preliminary discussion of the project the following requirements the new site should satisfy were formulated:
  1. Provide users with wide opportunities on the creation, editing, search and view of sales and bids offers;
  2. Provide a possibility to consult users and render assistance at the creation of sales offers and conclusion contracts;
  3. Automate the process of sales offers creation and bids placing;
  4. Maintain a possibility of holding negotiations between the certain participants directly;
  5. Provide users with a wide range of information during the auction and keep them informed about all events they could be interested in;
  6. Be easy, convenient and user-friendly;
  7. Provide and wide range of functionality on control, site adjustment and presenting of a comprehensive information about the process of its operation;
  8. Provide a possibility to pay the services rendered.

Solution

The bond MS SQL Server 2005 and MS ASP.NET 2.0 was chosen for the implementation of the demanded functionality. Initially the decision on the portioning of all users into 5 groups with regard to the role executed by the site user was taken. Thus, we received the following 5 groups of users and vested them with the corresponding authority:
  1. Seller � chooses his representative, i.e. Agent, presents information on the real estate to the Agent, creates and edits the sales offers, views bids, makes deals, hold negotiations with buyers;
  2. Buyer � chooses his representative, i.e. Agent, searches and views the existing sales offers, places and edits bids, gets consultations from Agent, makes deals, holds negotiations with sellers;
  3. Agent � can be either Buyer�s or Seller�s representative. Creates and edits sales offers, views bids, searches sales offers, makes deals, holds negotiations with Sellers and Buyers, renders consultant services, controls the process of making deals;
  4. Lender � grants loans to Buyers;
  5. Administrator � controls the site settings and received comprehensive information about the process of its operation.
For each role we designed a separate set of pages and Wizards, and the look and the content of pages is automatically adjusted depending on a certain logged user, who views this page. Thus, each site user received a set of pages intended specially for him.

For a possible rendering of consultations to the users, a technology on which an Agent can give advices to the Buyer during Bids creation was designed.

For the automation of creating sales and bids offers we used automatically filled in and automatically calculating fields, data entry into the forms on the base of preliminarily entered information and different Wizards. For example, all data from a preliminary agreement can be automatically entered into Wizard of creation of sales offers, and Agent�s advices to Buyer can be automatically entered into the Wizard�s entry field at the bid creation. Besides, we implemented the import of information about real estate from the external RETS servers, and a certain RETS server can be chosen from the list of servers supported by the system and the site Administrator received an opportunity to add and adjust settings of interaction with new RETS servers supported by the system. To make bids creation easier, we implemented the mechanism of automatic creation of overlaying bids at the placing of a new bid by one of the Buyers and called this mechanism �AutoBidding�. The user at his own discretion can adjust it and switch on for a guaranteed bid placing with the highest price.

In order to provide a possibility of direct negotiations between the users we implemented the Wizard under the code name �Counter Offer�. Its essence is that Seller, Buyer and their Agents could make counter offers to certain users on certain sales offers after the auction is closed, and both Seller and Buyer may make a non-limited number of �Counter Offers� and in the result of this process come up to the agreement, satisfying both sides. In order for the users to be able to exchange different data, we implemented a
 
possibility of receipt and sending of faxes with the use of �eFax� service.

In order for the users to be aware of all the events taking place on the site and in the system, we implemented a sending of messages about important events via Email, and the display of mostly important messages on the user�s personal pages.



We used AJAX technology at the site creation in order to make is convenient for users, that is why pages are not completely refreshed, they do not twitch and do not irritate users. We also used more stylish and convenient for a user AJAX controls rather than standard ones. To provide a possibility of determining a location of the real estate we used GoogleMap, in particular, GoogleMap API and any user can preset some location and see on the map how to reach the desired real estate object.



In order to provide a set of functionality on control, site adjustment and presenting of comprehensive information about the process of its operation we implemented the Administrator Panel. The site Administrator received wide abilities on the control over users, sales offers, bids, news and messages, site parameters, rates for the services rendered, adding of support and adjust settings of interaction with new RETS servers, getting of different reports on the site condition and on the process of its operation.



To provide a possibility to pay the services rendered by the site we implemented a support of PayPal paying system.

Software and Services

ASP.NET 2.0(VB.NET), C#, ADO.NET, AJAX, HTML, JavaScript, IIS 6.0, MS SQL Server 2005, MS Visual Studio 2005.

Results

In the result of the development, our client received a site satisfying all requirements demanded. GoogleMap and eFax service support were implemented on the site, as well as AJAX technology, PayPal paying system and exterior RETS servers expanding its functionality.