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Japan Home Finder is the premier multi-listing property search website specializing in assisting the expatriate community in Japan. Their team of bilingual real estate experts provide the personalized service needed to ensure that you find that perfect property in Japan.

Background

Japan Home finder is a Japan-based company. They help expats find homes to live in while they work overseas in Japan. Japan Home Finder decided to find a web developer with English proficiency and chose to look in Australia because of the similar time zone.

There were a lot of unique features in the brief for this project. We were ready for the challenge and keen to breathe new life into their site. We started by working out how to improve the general appearance of their site, upgrade the user interface design, improve ease of use, and create layouts and menu that would be responsive on different devices.

It was important to Japan Home Finder to have a website that met the needs of its users. This meant integrating map interactivity, having a solid login/registration page, and including easy ways to navigate through homes including:

  • Sorting through hot properties.
  • Using a quick property search feature.
  • Searching by region, school, serviced, or newest properties.
  • Implementing easy enquiry.

And to make it easy for the team at Japan Home Finder to make updates, we created a CMS/admin area which allows easy updates for content, such as property images, text, page headers, SEO updates, banners, and more.

Methods

Although Japan Home Finder is located overseas, we were able to smoothly and effortlessly manage the project and communication. We set up regular Zoom meetings throughout the duration of the project which easily addressed any potential issues that could result from working with a client/web developer in a different country.

For the website itself, we used Laravel API and used Vue.js on the front  end. This allowed us to have the interactivity of maps that was necessary to make the website experience easy and simple for expats trying to understand where exactly they should be looking for a home.

One of the most important aspects of this project was ensuring we were able to migrate thousands of properties over to this new site without any issues. During the development phase, we tested this migration multiple times. Once we confirmed everything was working smoothly, we finalised the migration live using automated migration scripts.

Results

Upon completion of the project, Japan Home Finder was left with a beautiful, easy-to-use clean looking site. We were able to combat any confusion or issues expats might experience when looking for a home in Japan by predicting what challenges they might face when house hunting and providing options like search by train line, search by train station, and being able to look directly on the map to find areas in which they might like to live.

Additionally, we created an enquiry page where users can select what features, locations, and other particulars they’re looking for in a home. This generates lists of homes that are emailed to users so they can find properties with ease. And with all properties, it’s now possible to generate a PDF summary with property attributes listed for easy printing or digital records.

The outcome of the new Japan Home Finder website is exactly what it needed to be and more, making it easy for the company to grow and for expats to have an easier transition to living abroad in the beautiful country of Japan.

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