Having top talent is only the baseline. Even more crucial is the organization, operations, and the focus on delivery.
Ira Zlotowitz Founder & CEO, GPARENCY
Ira Zlotowitz

How Forwardslash helped GPARENCY
shake up
a 100-year-old industry

Meet Ira Zlotowitz, human powerhouse. His personal mission is to disrupt the conventional broker model in the commercial real estate industry. After decades of experience in the field, he realized there were gaping injustices in the system:

Firstly, brokers take a standard percentage in commission no matter the size of the loan or how much work was involved on their end. This results in buyers paying higher fees than necessary, without any corresponding increase in value or benefit. Moreover, brokers have access to information not available to the buyer, which puts the buyer at a disadvantage and forces them to be reliant on the broker.

The time was ripe for a disruptive change, and Ira was determined to lead the way. He embarked on a mission to make the industry more fair and transparent for buyers.



Power to the people!

Ira decided to turn the traditional model on its head and present the GP with a “broker’s toolkit” – a collection of tools needed to succeed in commercial real estate, from sourcing to closing.

This was the seed of GPARENCY, a membership-based marketplace that would rethink fees, share resources, and grant anyone direct access to all the functions previously only in the broker’s domain – effectively leveling the playing field for all those interested in real estate.

Setting up a marketplace like this would demand an exceptionally high degree of technological prowess from the development team. Ira turned to Forwardslash to help.

Preparing for takeoff

We immediately kicked off with a deep dive into the world of real estate and finance. In order to act as a full partner to GPARENCY, we had to first have a solid understanding of the industry, with all its nuances. A thorough understanding of the GPARENCY world would be the foundation to enable us to deliver high-quality results with speed and precision, and to fully meet GPARENCY's needs and expectations.

Assessing the challenge

Creating the GPARENCY platform posed a serious challenge, as it was a complex piece of technology with no resemblance to anything previously built.

Essentially, we needed to build an end-to-end platform that would incorporate all functionalities related to the real estate life cycle. It was to be membership driven, involving processing transactions and creating new accounts. It had to enable users to access off-market property deals and quickly obtain quotes from a network of bankers. It had to include a comprehensive database of lenders that filters based on location, loan type, and other factors. And it had to integrate with numerous internal and external systems, keeping up with live data being pulled from all directions.

Bringing this platform into existence would involve a vast array of skills and tight project coordination. We knew that following strict and proven methodologies was the only way to build the platform quickly while ensuring its stability, ability to withstand a huge amount of traffic and activity, and potential to be built upon in the future.

Perfecting the look

Aside from a robust development infrastructure, GPARENCY needed a branded visual appearance. We got to work crafting their UI style guide, to be used throughout the project at every touchpoint. Our team of designers created a unique look and feel that effectively balanced elements of both real estate and startup aesthetics, resulting in a cohesive branded identity that aligned with GPARENCY's vision.

In order to create a visually distinctive design, we incorporated elements of glassmorphism, an emerging style that uses translucent elements to convey the impression of glass. This design style not only paid tribute to the numerous windows associated with commercial buildings, but also reflected the transparent values of the company.

Building, testing, adjusting

From solution and technical architecture, to DevOps and setting up servers, our team worked closely with GPARENCY to build a robust and scalable platform. Our approach, as always, was a highly agile one. We tested our ideas and iterated upon them constantly, allowing us to identify and address any issues quickly and streamline the development process. We also gathered real-time market feedback throughout the process and adjusted accordingly. By taking a data-driven approach, we were able to help GPARENCY deliver a platform that truly met the needs of their audience.

Having top talent is only the baseline. Even more crucial is the organization, operations, and the focus on delivery.

Sholom Rubin UX Strategist @Forwardslash

It’s all about delivery

At Forwardslash, we know it's not just about having top talent, but also having strong operations that ensure successful results. Building heavy technology is incredibly complex, with countless evolving and ever-moving pieces that need to be coordinated seamlessly. Without strong operations in place, even the most successful team can struggle to deliver – and clients need certainty of execution.

To ensure smooth delivery and quality results, we never cut corners when it comes to operations. Throughout building GPARENCY we focused heavily on documentation – including writing detailed user stories and thoroughly validating and clarifying requirements. We also prioritized project management, including backlogs, backlog trimming, and scrum master duties. By staying on top of these critical operational elements, we were able to deliver with confidence, knowing that every detail had been considered and planned for.

GPARENCY were developing this software as a service offering, and as such they were already marketing and signing up customers. A timely, successful launch was critical – and certainty of execution is the Forwardslash promise.

Becoming true partners

Choosing Forwardslash is like onboarding a new partner to your team. Our approach is holistic; we don’t simply rent out talent by the hour. Rather, we join you in your vision and supply the resources you need to actualize it. With our partnership model, we were able to deliver quickly and reliably for GPARENCY by seamlessly plugging in the right resources and getting them onboarded and running right away. As a true partner would, we scaled our resources up and down to work in concert with GPARENCY's team and fill any gaps that emerged. As their team shifted and evolved, we adapted accordingly, ensuring that our combined team always had the right resources in place to move steadily toward the GPARENCY vision.

Real change in real estate

Since its launch in 2021, GPARENCY has received impressive recognition, including being ranked as one of LinkedIn's Top Startups. With their powerful platform, they’re shaking up an industry and paving the way for more equitable access to opportunity in real estate. We’re proud to have played a critical role in helping GPARENCY achieve its success and make a real impact in the real estate industry.
This isn’t just a project we’re working on together. We’re partners.
Ben Schweitzer Co-founder, GPARENCY
Ben Schweitzer

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Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.