How Black Peak Built A Property Booking Web Application with Webflow
- London-based firm August offers a stress-free way to own shares in vacation properties across Europe
- Their unique business model involves acquiring and managing vacation homes for their customers
- Black Peak helped August create a no-code booking platform, giving the team complete control over their backend logic & functions
Who is August Collection?
Ever wanted to own a vacation home but worried about the stress and cost of managing one? Enter August, a London-based company on a mission to make your vacation home stress-free and flexible.
August aims to make owning a holiday home stress-free. August’s platform lets people own shares in properties scattered throughout Europe. They manage everything; sourcing, renovating, and managing beautiful properties. Their customers are a select community of global homeowners who appreciate the attention to detail.
August’s business model is simple; they create a holding company comprised of 4 or 5 homes and 17 or 21 shares, respectively. People can then buy as many shares of said company, and voila, you now own a portion of all properties within the company.
How does August do it?
Managing multiple properties across multiple countries is quite a logistical challenge, as is managing each property's availability and ensuring all owners get their fair share at each property.
August developed a system to manage the booking process of these properties, as well as a unique currency to ensure every guest gets their fair share. This system was developed fully from code and forced the Marketing and Product team to reach out to their developers whenever they needed to make a straightforward content or design change—causing significant delays in their team being able to push edits to the product.
August’s platform was managed and centrally controlled by one developer, with no access to their back-end code platform without going through their developer. If August wanted to make a simple change to the booking rules, they would have to either have coding knowledge, or brief their developer, wait for their developer to be free, quality check their developer's work and then push the new change live. This process could easily take weeks.
Black Peak's Solution
Enter Black Peak, a Webflow Design Agency & Wized development agency with immense experience creating no-code & low-code web apps, specifically for the real estate industry. Our tool-set enables us to Utilize the power of Webflow’s Designer, and Wized, to build extremely powerful Webflow Web Applications.
At Black Peak, our approach to custom application development is deliberate and meticulous. We take the time to thoroughly map out each application, working closely with our clients to create detailed wireframes that capture all necessary automation, functions, and calls.
This initial phase can take several weeks to ensure a solid foundation before any actual development begins. Once the application is well-defined, our team switches gears, adopting a rapid, sprint-like approach to design and development. Within a few weeks, the conceptual idea transforms into a tangible product, and users can start testing specific sections of the application. The typical development cycle lasts 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the application's complexity, encompassing the design phase as well.
When August reached out to Black Peak, we knew immediately that this would be no easy feat. The client was asking for a boiled version of Airbnb, but we love a challenge.
The benefits of a low code Web Application made it a no brainer for August to go in this direction. We used Webflow, Wized & Xano since their marketing site was already built on Webflow, and their team was trained to use it.
Utilizing no-code allows August to change booking rules with the flip of a switch; changes that used to take weeks now take 5 minutes as August’s team can log in directly to the backend and have complete control over their booking logic.
Building a boiled-down AirBnB, while simplified, was still a complex task. August’s Web Application includes features like a community forum, where members can discuss their favourite restaurants in the area, and a proprietary currency, that ensures all members get their fair shot at booking their holiday in the French Alps.
The previous availability calendar for August was challenging to read because of its generic layout. However, Black Peak tackled this issue by adopting a new approach that eliminated the traditional calendar design completely. Instead, our design utilizes colour coding to present open weeks and half weeks in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. As a result, users can quickly check the calendar's availability within seconds.
The backend was built entirely on Xano, utilizing background tasks to notify users when a week at a specific property opened up & functions to ensure users can’t book more than one week in the ski season when staying in the French Alps.
August uses background tasks for:
- Automated Emails
- Point Drops
- Property Availability Updating
Xano API Branching
Since our team started using Xano to build web applications, we have experienced remarkable success and have no intention of returning. Xano functions as a powerful SQL database, capable of handling simple tasks and intricate algorithms, acting as the "brain" behind our applications.
With its seamless setup, Xano efficiently processes requests, retrieves data, and presents it to front-end users. We have utilized it for diverse functionalities, ranging from creating marketplaces where users can explore, purchase, sign up, register, and book services.
We also utilized Xano’s API branching feature to ensure we can continue building features on a staging branch while the production environment runs smoothly.
Since working with Black Peak, August has been able to focus their resources where it matters and not waste time managing a fragile platform. The platform processes thousands of API calls daily and provides customers a smooth & elegant booking process.
We are incredibly impressed with the capabilities of Black Peak and their ability to deliver outstanding results. Their utilization of Wized has been a game-changer for our organization, providing a significant upgrade to our operations. The no-code approach implemented by Black Peak has empowered our team to not only understand the inner workings of our system, but also manage it efficiently without the need for constant developer support.