Real Estate Lookup

iOS App in Objective-C

1 December 2018

Skills

  • iOS
  • Objective-C
  • Xcode
  • JSON
  • git
  • AppStore deployment
About a 1 minute read.

Results

  • Heavily used by Real Estate community.
  • Citizens easily able to access property data on their phones.

Summary

Real Estate Lookup was the second iOS application released by Mecklenburg County. With over 10,000 installs, it was our most popular internally developed mobile app.

Background

In 2003, the Real Estate Lookup web site was released. Despite a complete technology refresh in 2011, the Tax Department refused to allow IT to update the design of the site. No consideration was given to updating the design for mobile use.

I proposed to my manager that we create an iOS app to address mobile users. Fortunately, during the 2011 technology refresh, an API was created, so I was able to access this RESTful service to access the data. The app allowed users to look up property by a number of search criteria and also allowed them to search properties nearby, using CoreLocation. Results were shown on a MapView with drilldown to individual properties.

As the County property images were out-of-date due to budget issues, I utilized Google Streetview images through an API to provide recent photos of property.

The app was heavily used by Real Estate Agents, Home Owners’ Associations and citizens, until the app was retired in late 2018 when the back end systems were replaced with a new vendor system. Tax Department management decided against updating API to utilize the new backend. This made the app non-functional and it was gracefully shut down.

The app was conceived of and designed by me. My work included:

  • Design of all UI and graphic elements.
  • All iOS client code.
  • App build and deployment via the Apple AppStore.