Real Estate Mobile App

timeline
2020 – 2022
Skills
Strategy, Planning, Design Oversight

Overview

Equator’s real estate search service (Foreclosure Listing Service) has gone unnoticed by the public. There is a disservice in the online space with websites charging REO home buyers access to outdated or inaccurate REO property information. It’s in the best interest of lenders, real estate agent users, third party vendors and homebuyers to give access to lender direct listings by hosting a FREE REO and traditional real estate property search site.

My Role

In my role as the UX Lead, I led the design effort of a 5 person UX team. I worked with a team of researchers to establish the research approach and Program managers to define the UX roadmap. Also collaborated with BA’s, project owner, developers, architecture and multiple business teams. 

I worked closely with the CEO to show the strategy and design work as well as report on timelines.

I created project plans, concepted and delivered wireframes, clickable prototypes, product flow diagrams, visual designs, branding and documentation as well as app store icons and graphics. 

Understanding the Problem

Traditionally lenders have the ability to manage loans starting at 30 days from default, meaning early on in the process and throughout the sales cycle of a distressed home. However, the homeowner has no access to this data via internet; it’s snail-mailed. This puts the homeowner at a great disadvantage when timing is of the essence in saving a home from foreclosure. 

The Equator platform and mobile app aims to put this important data in the hands of the homeowner.

Problem Discovery
Business Context
User Perspective
Business Goals = User Needs
Solution

Objective

For Equator to launch a category leading mobile app that carries over the best qualities of their website and provide access to loans and real estate transactions.

Goal

2 million unique visits per month.

Target Groups

Primary – First time home buyers are an appealing customer segment for the REO housing market because they come with purchasing offers that carry no contingencies for selling an existing home before closing on the new one. In 2011, first time home buyers made up 37% of the business. This is a young group between the ages of 24-34 years old with an average income of $59,000/year. 

Secondary – Real estate investors differ from our primary audience in the way they go about considering properties for purchase. For investors, the process is more data-driven than emotionally driven. Investors purchase low, make renovations and sell for a profit.

Strategy

The research for this project needed to be validated for their new target audiences. So I started with formulating user interview questions with out UX researcher and setup interviews for him to conduct. Then we brought the results not a presentation to sell to our stakeholders. We also interviewed agents as they are the liaisons between the lenders and homebuyer. 

Then we created personas and journey maps and validated are assumptions as we moved along the process. From there we mapped out the experience and navigation as there was a lot information that the UX team wanted to layout and simplify for our new user base.

Research

User Testing

We started with the desktop site and did qualitative user testing. I wanted to observe challenges that the users might be facing and identify any pain points that existed on the main site before we designed for mobile

User Interviews

We also talked to 20 real estate agents and 10 consumers that might be interested in the platform and asked them for features that would move them to use the mobile app.

Personas

Myself and the UX team created personas and would continue to validate these as we talked to more users and agents.

Journey Map

Identify users current pain points and struggles with the current application.

Site Map

The challenge for the navigation was to allow agents and vendors to have the same flow as the consumer without the same data.a

Concept

Initial Sketches

My sketch book goes everywhere with me. It’s where my process of laying out all of the elements that create a product begins.

Wireframes

From my sketches I designed lo-fi wireframes in Azure. The engineers and product owner were reviewing these wires daily and I delivered final wires in 1-week design sprints.

Visual Design

Clean.

Bold.

Simple.

Results

Results

The Mobile platform received high praise from the stakeholders.The team branded the mobile app as the “the future of the short sale market”. 

The design team not only produced the new look of the company but saw a marked increase in consumer user signups (+24%), agent users (+17%), return visits (+15%), and agent signups (+12%) resulting in 1.3 registered users and ad sales all saw a sizable improvement as well.

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