RealityNinja Logo

RealtyNinja gives real estate agents the power to build beautiful, customizable websites that enhance marketing and capture leads. RealtyNinja uses Fastly to automatically update 1,000+ sites with data from Canada’s numerous real estate boards, and deliver high-quality images, so visitors see up-to-date, trustworthy real estate listings.
Industry: SaaS, High Tech
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Customer since: 2012

Favorite features

Instant Purge
Surrogate Key Purge
Image Optimization
Fastly TLS
Fastly Fiddle

RealtyNinja’s image serving architecture has grown to scale 10x with Fastly, optimizing 80+ million images

When RealtyNinja began life as a bootstrap startup, content delivery network (CDN) technology was not on its radar. But as business and user expectations grew, customers started asking for faster websites that kept their end users engaged. With MLS information widely available, home buyers won’t wait long for a page to load, and many don't give slow sites a second chance.

They came to Fastly to get the speed and performance their users expect, so they can focus on their core business. RealtyNinja chose Fastly instead of other CDN vendors because it was quick and easy for its small, globally distributed developer team to use with their existing tech stack, including AWS.

“We choose our tech based on what’s the best tool for the job, and what’s going to require the least amount of maintenance and technical debt down the road. That’s why we chose Fastly. It’s a dream to work with.”

Casimir Loeber

Co-Founder and Lead Developer

Delivering on industry content requirements with instant purging

If end users see old versions of files and obsolete information, real estate agents risk damaging their reputations and losing potential clients. Fastly’s Instant Purge capabilities protect against that risk, so websites always serve fresh content and leads aren’t lost. There are also legal implications: RealtyNinja’s agreements with the real estate boards that provide listing data require that out-of-date information lasts for no more than 24 hours on any of its websites. That includes price changes, sale status, and updated images. If they fail, they can be fined or face lawsuits.

RealtyNinja uses surrogate key purging as a way to tag content, to make purging even faster. In the past, if even 1% of images were wrong, they would have to purge 100% of the cache. Waiting for the cache to rebuild can bog down performance and increase a website’s load time. Using surrogate keys, developers can tag objects of any scale selectively, from individual images or listings to a whole board’s input.

“Purging is a hard problem for a small startup. What we love about purging on Fastly is just knowing that it works, it works quickly, and it’s really easy to do. Honestly, I use Fastly so I can sleep at night!”

Casimir Loeber

Co-Founder and Lead Developer

Transforming 80+ million images per month, in real-time

In the early days, RealtyNinja had a mobile app and a desktop website. Now, its real estate agents’ end users expect a seamless experience that’s accessible wherever they want it, something responsive websites are designed to provide. For RealtyNinja, that meant a jump from serving one small and one large user-supplied image to dealing with an array of screen sizes and display types. And the variables keep growing as new devices are released.

Before adding Fastly’s Image Optimization to its toolkit, RealtyNinja managed this new reality by having workers running in the background, resizing and optimizing user-uploaded images. Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be running at once, purging the Fastly cache every time. Image Optimization streamlined that process by moving image transformation to the edge cloud network. Keeping that work at the edge reduces latency, and it dramatically simplified life for the RealtyNinja dev team. In turn, homeowners and buyers get a great experience and top-quality images whether they are in the office or glance at their mobile on the run.

“Being able to delete the image optimizing bit of our homegrown architecture was massive. Fastly replaced a huge amount of complexity. Now I rely on Fastly’s Image Optimization and just forget about it.”

Casimir Loeber

Co-Founder and Lead Developer

Ensuring security and protecting Google page ranks with Fastly TLS

Providing a great website is about more than design. By using RealtyNinja, real estate agents don’t have to worry about the details of security protocols. That became especially important in 2018, when Google started to downgrade websites not using HTTPS—basically making good security a factor for SEO. RealtyNinja uses Fastly TLS to automate security at scale, so both new and legacy websites get the benefits.

It’s one more way both RealtyNinja and Fastly are providing the kind of invisible technology that users trust precisely because they don’t have to remember it’s there.

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