Streamlining of the offer submission process by modularizing the interface and workflows, which decreased median offer submission time by 47% and increased on-platform offer submission rate from 59% to 80%. This improved overall usability and helped drive adoption of the platform.
Ribbon was a first of its kind real estate technology company transforming the real estate transaction by delivering certainty, transparency and joy to the home buying process. Consumers and realtors deserve a better experience, and we have designed an open platform that welcomes everyone in the ecosystem to participate.
As the design lead for the Offers Platform team at Ribbon, I worked closely with our engineering manager and team of software engineers to define our product strategy and create value for our customers through our digital experience and offerings for real estate agents specializing in home buying process.
The most important value add that we were bringing to the market, based on our data and user research, was that our financial products that allowed our users to close on homes through cash-offers and appraisal contingency waivers were very popular during this time. We were able to allow prospective homeowners who were unable to compete in this market with all-cash buyers by giving them the access to our funds up-front to make a competitive offer, without the capital personally held.
2021 was an unprecedented year in the American real estate market. Home values grew at a pace never seen before, and we were experiencing a seller’s market, where demand exceeded supply for a large chunk of the first half of the year. Source
Stress points for real estate agents through a weak understanding of our product, as well as UX pain points made for a less-than-ideal experience. Agents were troubleshooting with our account managers and customer support frequently because of errors, poor communication and low visibility into Ribbon’s process.
Concurrently, our product was not set up in a way that would make changes to the user experience happen without taking on a lot of technical debt. Many of the processes that were put in place presupposed the idea that real estate agents would want to work on one property for their client and submit an offer. This ended up not being the case. Most agents were looking at multiple homes and were forced to run through many steps that had been previously completed for each home their client wished to see.
My hypothesis: Underlying code is difficult to extend and debug because there are added complexities to make the information architecture work within the existing UX. if we create a modularized experience that can serve as the foundation for future offer experience that would not compromise the current product. This required working closely with the engineering manager to ensure we were always working towards a product that can be iterated on quickly.
Increase Buying Agent Adoption
The Offers Platform should provide a seamless software experience from website to login to understanding what we do to getting started. The software should drive more agents to start offers and submit offers through the product to listing agents with little issues with usability.
Behavior we want to see:
Modularize the product to streamline the journey into the product so that the user is afforded the right about of information at the right time.
Agents encounter issues that block them from being able to submit offers via RibbonHub
Across desktop, mobile web, and supporting iOS app (feature timeline for iOS app is distinct, but needs to be considered once new products are introduced into the native app. Live site can be accessed here.
One of our Q3 team goals was to reduce the median time it takes an agent from starting an offer to submitting an offer. We were able to decrease this number by 47% in Q3 (3.6 hours -> 1.9 hours)
Themes from what we learned and what we’ll take into Q4 and into Q1 of 22.
We found that in Q2 is historically when there's the highest demand for our product . Plan is to do big bets/experimentation in Q4 to test/train team in Q1. Use Q1 to invest in stabilizing processes ahead of Q2.
Team OKRs that have come out of the work thus far, for q4 of 2020.
Make sure this takes into account seasonality
Due to the lean nature of the start-up world, through pairing closely with the engineering manager on our team and reaching out to product operations for support, we shared ownership of product management as well in the absence of a dedicated product manager for our team. Additionally, I work cross-functionally across the product teams to ensure our brand across all offerings is unified under our single company vision of making homeownership achievable for all.
We broke down the opportunity areas into our site architecture. Site map and work rollout order needed to be considered to not create technical debt and continue to support our current product without breaking our current user flows.