Recently we started a project with two young gentlemen who want to build a very useful design tool for the real estate industry.
Who are you and what kind of project are you working on?
We are two friends working on a startup which will make life easier for real estate agents in Poland and worldwide. We want to provide them with tools to present real estate in the best possible way.
How did you start looking for a software development provider?
We contacted top software houses from Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot and we made an appointment with every one of them to verify which one is the right one. It was an interesting experience to compare and choose the best one (it was a subjective opinion of course).
How many software houses did you interview?
We have interviewed 6 software houses and 2 independent freelancers. We wanted to make sure that we don’t miss anything and have a clear picture of different approaches and offers. We knew that after choosing the tech team we will be working with them for the next couple of weeks or even months, so we needed to be sure that we feel comfortable with what they say and what they offer as a tech partner.
What was the criteria of your choice?
First of all (and perhaps this is the most important factor), we wanted to be deeply understood. We wanted to be sure that the software house with which we will cooperate will take us seriously and our work together won’t be just another contract for them.
The next advantage we were looking for were recommendations and testimonials from people around us. We listened carefully and everyone who was cooperating with Desmart was saying great things about them.
We also wanted to make sure that the software house has the know-how to run the project successfully. We contacted our mentor who pointed out all the questions we have to ask the software house representatives to make sure that they are capable of doing the task.
What kind of positive and negative impression did you get when talking to different companies?
We hated when companies were talking to us with complicated “IT language” (don’t get us wrong – it’s good to know what technologies and frameworks you are going to use, but we don’t want to hear about it for 90% of the time!).
Next negative impression we had was the fact we were treated as just another contractor. Only two companies asked us insightful questions and wanted to know more about our business model.
It made a positive impression on us when someone really cared and was honest with us.
Every meeting we had with Desmart was with the CEO, the project manager and the developer. They dedicated so much attention to us, even though we haven’t signed the contract at that point!
What surprised you at Desmart?
We had to make a pitch and convince you that you should get involved in our project! We love the idea of the 2-day workshop before the development starts. It’s time to get to know the dev team better and explain our ideas. It’s hard to write all the ideas in the specification. Paper accepts everything, the reality might surprise you.
What kind of lesson can you share with other people looking for a software house?
Well, first of all – you have to like the people you are working with. Of course, you also need to see their previous projects and make sure that the software house is able to deliver – talk with their previous clients and ask for opinions. Make sure that they want your success as much as you do! Don’t choose people who say “yes” to everything and never ask relevant questions. They are the tech guys – you tell them WHAT and WHY you want to build and they tell you HOW you should create it. Last but not least, make sure they care about you and the deliverability of the project.
Thanks for the interview.