HomeFinder.com: online property listing is looking into new business opportunity: home-sharing. It wants to be part of creating share ”Homes”- not just houses by helping people create an enjoyable living environment.
Connect home seekers so that they can rent home together from Homefinder listings.
As rent in San Francisco skyrockets, more people choose to home share. Homefinder.com,
a property listing website, sees opportunity in exploring home sharing market.
There are few home share listing sites. Yet there are no property businesses that focus on the home share market.
And people searching for home share do not look into property.
Our team had to find a way to connect share seekers to our listings. Through user research and journey mapping, we identified 2 insights.
People dislike the process of searching for home share.
Browse listing, messaging each renter, organizing viewing: Searching for home share takes time and it is stressful.
People matter as much as home.
Yet it is hard to check the personality match before moving in.
With those insights, we came to idea of creating a platform to connect individual home seekers to the houses by their house preferences.
But it was lacking most important insight: “People matter”.
During the interviews, many talked about their negative experience in having housemates they do not get along with.
This idea made house search effective, yet it will not help people create a “Home”.
We conducted second round of research and brainstorming session to find ways to connect people. Instead of researching for competitors, this time, we researched into mechanics of “Matching like minded people”
by looking into matchmaking apps (Tinder, Coffee meets Bagel) and
services that create community (WeWork, Meetup, General Assembly).
This brought us to realize that key to connecting like-minded people is old-fashioned ”physical meetings”.
With this finding, we focused on creating events that connect share seekers and
build in other mechanics around this main feature. People will be introduced to
houses listed on Homefinder.com with people you liked at the event as a priority.
conventional home share search
Homie finder home share search
- When signing in, SNS account has to be used for security verification
- Search by your current location or search by name of the city
- District could be searched via name or map
- Feature to add more than one city
- Display average room price in the area
- Auto-fill available personal information from SNS
- As an app focuses on physical meeting, this will be landing screen
- Select from upcoming events or events user saved
- Drop down for change location
Connect with people at the event
- Bump to exchange contact
- Confirmation/ search again feature
- Like or dislike at the spot without opponent knowing it
Matched home lists and schedule viewing
- Matched home list with potential share mates
- People disliked at the event will not be in the share mates list
- Prioritize in people who has already met
- Message/ request information feature for those who never met
- Schedule viewing at the spot without contacting rentier
- Create more revenue by utilize existing network and looking into new market.
- Get connected with younger generation, Brand homefinder.com so they will use home finder when purchasing houses.
With the rise in rental price in San Francisco, many people choose to share the accommodations. Therefore, there are increasing needs.
We identified two kind of services people use when searching for share-homes.
1. Executive communal living
Owned by businesses. Priced higher than usual share rooms.
2. Share home listings
Allows individuals to post/ browse share home listings
We conducted user research by interviewing/ online survey and contextual inquiry. After collecting all the data, we created affinity map to find user insights. To clarify the findings, persona, empathy map, user journey map were created.
Problem statement / ideation / concept evaluation:
After identifying the user insight, we created problem statement and ideate the solution using the technique called "design studio" . In design studio, each of us comes out with as many ideas as possible to solve the problem. After repeating this exercise for few times, we wrote down our idea on the post it notes, evaluate each idea against the success criteria we created earlier. We also get feedback from the people and decided on one idea to test out.
Service blue print / business model campus
Testing requires time and man power. Before proceeding to concept testing, we created service blue print and business model campus to validate the feasibility of the concept.
To validate the concept, we conducted the party inviting home seekers. We gave paper prototype name cards. Participants exchange name cards. If participants are happy living with the person exchanged the card with, participants writes their name on the back to show the interest.
We received many positive feedbacks. Also, 3 of participants in the party started living together. It validated some possibility in the app.
As concept was validated, we moved onto designing interface. We started from creating the list of features then selected crucial features to be designed (MVP). We tested and iterate design couple of times.