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WoningNet Serves 1.3 Million Home Seekers Seven Times Faster

1.3 million home seekers
3 months for mobile MVP
7x faster responses
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WoningNet is a shared service center to around half of the Netherlands’ housing associations, serving 1.3 million home seekers. Its housing portals use an OutSystems backend that matches appropriate properties with eligible home seekers.

In mid-2020, WoningNet needed to launch a new mobile app to give home seekers “everything they need under one roof.” By using OutSystems, WoningNet launched its “DĀK” (“Roof”) app on iOS and Android with single-source efficiency. With a 4.5-star rating on the App Store, it’s clear that users love it.

  • Customer Experience
  • Business Process Management
  • Case Management
  • Digital Core Systems
  • ISV
  • Legacy Modernization
  • Mobile Applications
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Web Apps & Portals
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"Building DĀK on OutSystems was a no-brainer. It gives us the speed to get to market faster, the agility to improve our product continuously, and single-source authoring for iOS and Android. Plus, we’ll reuse lots of this development when we modernize our web portal."

Freek van Eijk Product Owner, WoningNet

How to Serve 100 Housing Associations and 1.3 Million Home Seekers More Efficiently?

WoningNet traces its history back to post-war reconstruction and helping thousands of war victims find housing. Today, WoningNet is a shared service center, providing systems and a contact center used by around half of the Netherlands’ housing associations and 1.3 million home seekers.

With potentially hundreds of home seekers chasing every rental property, managing waiting lists and the property distribution process is an exacting science, as Freek van Eijk, Product Owner at WoningNet, explains.

“We serve around 100 housing associations across 15 regions which have separate property pools and waiting lists for home seekers. Waiting lists aren’t simply a matter of who’s been waiting the longest. Priority is determined according to numerous criteria such as age, profession, and whether there are children. Some homes are designated for key workers, or those with disabilities, or other factors. And these rules vary between different regions.”

“We’re collecting improvement suggestions from the feedback feature built into the app to drive continuous improvement. The app store 4.5-star rating and responses from users are tremendous.”

Freek van Eijk Product Owner, WoningNet

Because of the complex algorithms for matching eligible tenants with suitable properties and prioritizing waiting lists, it’s no surprise that many housing associations rely on WoningNet’s specialized IT services rather than building their own systems.

WoningNet adopted OutSystems in 2016 to modernize a sixteen-year-old portal built on an Oracle backend and Sitecore front-end. OutSystems was used to replace the Oracle backend with a new housing remediation system called “WRB.”

“WRB runs over 700 million calculations per day,” explains Freek. “The purpose is to match properties to eligible home seekers, so that site visitors only see properties that match their eligibility criteria.”

It used to take around 45 minutes to process 10,000 users. Having rearchitected this using OutSystems light BPT, the process takes just a few minutes.

Although each housing association currently has its own portal, WRB provides a single backend that serves them all.

WoningNet has other OutSystems applications which help manage waiting lists. For example, VRS a rules-based system that assigns appropriate priority to key workers and those with special needs. Given the sensitive personal details that WoningNet processes for 1.3 million citizens, the security credentials of OutSystems are always front of mind.

With a successful track record of OutSystems development behind it, OutSystems was the obvious choice when WoningNet needed to launch a mobile app for home seekers.


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Why WoningNet chose OutSystems:
  • Speed-up development and improve agility
  • Deliver public-facing web and mobile apps
  • Enterprise-grade scalability and security

From Design Sprint to MVP in Three Months of Development

Despite the sophistication behind WoningNet’s portals, emails and phone calls from home seekers kept the contact center overly busy. This inflated WoningNet’s operating costs, as around half of the housing regions used its central contact center.

“Although the most important goal was to improve CX for home seekers, we knew that we could make the whole process much more efficient if we could automatically push real-time status updates to home seekers,” says Freek. “The result would be far less demand on our contact center.”

Since over 70 percent of portal visits came from mobile devices, a mobile app was the obvious route forward. By making status notifications more granular and automated, home seekers would be much better informed of their queue position or required actions, and WoningNet would make a significant efficiency saving.

Freek discussed the opportunity with OutSystems sales and delivery partner Team Resilience, which had previously helped with performance optimization of the WRB application.

The companies decided that a design thinking workshop with a panel of home seeker volunteers would provide the best kick-off to this new project.

“We advertised for volunteers using a banner on the housing portals. We had hundreds of volunteers, so it was easy to invite a representative panel to join the design workshop. Then we used the same volunteers for continuous feedback throughout the build phase.”

Freek van Eijk Product Owner, WoningNet

“The design workshop was a real eye-opener,” says Freek. “Unanimous feedback from workshop participants sent some of our design assumptions back to the drawing board. It’s the first time I’ve used such a rigorous design thinking approach. Thanks to Team Resilience, this was a great success.”

As the product owner, Freek led a co-creative agile development team. Team Resilience provided the UX design and architecture expertise—to ensure a future-proof application—and two developers to build DĀK and support the app store deployment. WoningNet team members included a scrum master, a business analyst, an OutSystems developer, and two testers.

Following the one-week design workshop, the development of the initial MVP took place in the last three months of 2020. “It wasn’t just front-end development,” explains Freek. “We needed a new data architecture at the backend to maximize performance. The new database synchronizes with the WRB application.”

During the first three months of 2021, WoningNet added around 20 users per day to the application testing panel. Freek captured feedback directly inside the application and via user interviews supported by Lookback, a remote user research tool recommended by Team Resilience.

“I responded to every piece of user feedback we received,” says Freek. “We used clickable prototypes with the testing community to refine feature suggestions before passing requirements to developers.”

Three months of iterative development transformed the MVP app into the polished DĀK mobile app, which went live on iOS and Android app stores in April 2021.

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Team Resilience

Team Resilience is entirely specialized in high-speed development of enterprise applications with the OutSystems low-code platform, unlocking its full potential and power. Our mission is to help...

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DĀK Mobile App Puts Everything Under One Roof for Netherlands’ Home Seekers

According to user reviews, DĀK is a great success, with a 4.5-star rating on the app store. “We’re still collecting improvement suggestions from the feedback feature built into the app,” says Freek. “But the response from users has been tremendous. Virtually the only negative comments concern home availability, not the app itself.”

Glad there is an app

Very nice to search for a home in this way. There always seem to be improvements and they respond quickly to the mail if you have a question.


Great app, easy to use and very clear! I had discovered a small “error” and informed the app about it. I received an answer within 30 minutes with a solution.


I love the app, always been waiting for an app for this. You can easily adjust your details and you can immediately see your position and what type of contract it is.

Twenty-one workflow statuses trigger immediate push alerts in the DĀK app, so applicants have real-time alerts as their housing application moves through the queue. Whenever an action is needed to progress their application, the app immediately alerts them.

“We’ve analyzed and compared the response time between home seekers using DĀK and those using the portal. DĀK users are over seven times faster to confirm their intention after viewing a property, which means housing associations can accelerate the process for all concerned.”

Freek van Eijk Product Owner, WoningNet

A significant benefit of the mobile app is that it places all of WoningNet’s housing associations “under a single roof.” Users can search and apply for homes in multiple regions, and the backend rules ensure they just see houses for which they are eligible. By comparison, home seekers that don’t use the DĀK app have to access several regional housing association portals if they’re searching in multiple regions.

WoningNet expects to complete the DĀK roll-out to all 15 housing associations by the end of 2021. Three regions are already live, and once the largest region, Amsterdam, goes live in late 2021, over 60% of WoningNet’s home seekers will be able to use the app.

“We took great care with the architecture design to include a lot of configuration options,” explains Freek. “So, a single application can serve all fifteen housing associations. Although switching on each region is just like flicking a switch, we have to configure a few different rules and fields, specific to each region.”

Ultimately, minimal custom development is needed per housing association, reducing the risk of technical debt and making the application more cost-effective to maintain and continually improve.


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Commenting on the time saving provided by OutSystems for ISVs, Freek says, “Hosting in the OutSystems Cloud reduces our infrastructure workload. And the DevOps features provided by the OutSystems platform remove lots of heavy lifting. We’ve even extended the built-in capabilities of OutSystems LifeTime, using Jenkins to achieve a continuous delivery pipeline that supports daily deployments from dev to test. Then just before the end of each three-week sprint, we deploy to acceptance for final testing before pushing to production.”