Conceptualising a New Rental Service
Renting is a process that many people will experience in their lifetime and it can be a stressful and overwhelming process. I was asked to collaborate with a small startup to help them conceptualise a new and intuitive rental service.
Explore how the service might work and establish a proof of concept which can be used to help pitch the service to potential users and investors.
Rewarding Good Tenants
Before I joined, the founder's original idea was to help landlords and estate agents to spot bad tenants. He had experienced the first-hand the impact of letting to a tenant who caused damage to his property. He wanted to save other landlords and estate agents from being subject to the same problems. However, a co-founder of the business suggested that a better model might be to reward good tenants.
Being at such an early stage in the process of designing the service, anything was possible. I worked with the founders to gather requirements about what they wanted to achieve from their venture and set out to see how we might conceptualise an idea and test it with customers.
The Rental Process in London
I thought it would be useful to get a better understanding of the details and events of the rental process. Working with the product owner who had insight into the property rental sector I created a flow diagram. It shows a typical rental process in London. I wrote hypothetical dates to get an idea of the timeframe between events while thinking about the thoughts and feelings a renter might be having during this process.
With a rental process there are a lot of parties involved so it was important for me to map out the various moving parts to decide the minimum number of screens needed for the service. From this I then started to idenity key moments that a user might face.
The service went through many different ideas for a business model and possible delivery but without a way to visualise the service, it was difficult to quantify its value. The prototype was used to help demonstrate the problem they were solving for and how it could be achieved. It was used to present to both investors and stakeholders to get buy-in.