By Anders Skjærholt
In the past 9 months Boligmappa has rebuilt the consumer-facing application from scratch, as a progressive web app in React. We’ve done so in order to better serve the 469,000 property owners which are entrusting us with their data by using our platform every day. It looks something like this:
In the future we are aiming to increase the accessibility of this data, by setting up Boligmappa as an OIDC Identity Provider. Thus, if the consumer grants you access to their data, we will have the means to do so in a secure and efficient matter.
However, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. More on our OIDC plans, and a breakdown of how the new Boligeier API v2 actually works in a future blog post. This post will highlight a few key new features to the forthcoming Boligeier API v2, and emphasise the potential business value of our API. We are always looking for new collaborators with interesting value-propositions, so if you are interested in integrating it into your own services, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which problems do we intend to solve?
At the very highest level, the Boligeier API is designed to solve a multitude of potential use-cases:
See the complete service history of a property.
Allow clients to create, read, update & delete data on behalf of the property owner (e.g. upload images to a property they own)
See which professional (electrician, plumber, etc.) has documented work on any given property, including what they have done.
Lookup all properties where the property owner is the rightful owner, as registered in the cadastre (matrikkelen) by Statens Kartverk.
View core data associated to those properties as registered in the cadastre, such as buildingType, constructionYear, size (BRA).
View core financial data associated to the properties, such as mortgagors/mortgagee, loan amount and rights & liens (rettigheter og servitutter)
The list could go on, but the gist of it is that we are trying to make property life-cycle management as simple as possible for the owners of the property. And to do so we believe that structuring the data, and making it accessible to the property owner in the interface they prefer is of great importance.
For those of you that have had a look at Boligeier API v1 you will recognize a few familiar concepts and functions in Boligeier API v2. However, we’ve added a few new core concepts which deserves a mention:
The concept of “events” is intended to allow the property owner and third parties to associate different entities, such as images, documents, free-form input, professionals and associated metadata together. When we put this together we are able to produce a chronological list of events which in total constitutes the service history of the property. In our own application it looks like this;
With events we can feed information from very different sources and compile them into something that makes sense for the property owners. Do you want to combine maintenance documentation from plumbers, electricians etc. with images, receipts etc. from the property owner? Well, that’s what “Events” is designed to do. In the future we’ll be plugging versatile sources of data into the events feature, in order to get a more holistic view of the property. To give one example; We could take data from yr.no regarding extreme weather events and bundle it with the ensuing damage claim filed to the insurance company because the property got flooded. The idea is that the “event” entity is flexible enough to allow for new types of data, which previously had no rightful place in Boligmappa. We think this is the way to go for the future; more data, from various sources which are structured in an intuitive & flexible manner. 😃
As you will see from our new visual profile, the front-end is more appealing and user-friendly. One of the main reasons for this is the emphasis on imagery in the application. Images can now be associated to the property itself, a room, or an event.
With this added emphasis on images in the UI, the user is also nudged into uploading more content. This is of course great since you will get access to more content, as compared to the previous version of the API. The same argument holds for other types of user-generated content, such as events, documents and rooms which is approaching a rate of 10,000 creations per month on an upward trend.
In the legacy version of Boligmappa there was a feature to publicly share the contents of your property, however the flow turned out to be cumbersome for many and the feature was never widely adopted.
In the new flow the UI is greatly simplified. Pick when to start sharing, and when to end the sharing - and that’s it. The system generates a publicly accessible URL which the users can share in property listing ads, to their friends or to the plumber that is coming to fix the sink next week.
We believe that some of the greatest value propositions that can be built on top of our system revolves around the idea that the data needs to be accessible to the right people, at the right time and in the right context. With the Boligeier API v2 this will be easier to achieve than before.
We Are Just Getting Started
Above I’ve highlighted some of the central features that will differentiate the Boligeier API v2, as seen from a product point of view. The good news is that we are just getting started, and in the pipeline we are working on:
Private 1:1 sharing
A job marketplace which match property owners with professional
A more comprehensive financials section detailing property price estimates, price history and neighbourhood transactions.
If you’d like to hear more about any of these plans, please don’t be shy, find me at email@example.com and we’ll talk. We’re especially eager to hear from you if you have opinions on how you’d like to integrate our services, be it as APIs, plug&play components, SDK’s or anything else!