Modernizing the way real estate websites collect leads.

While at Lovely, I worked on a number of different projects. Lovely is a RentPath company which owns Apartment Guide,,,, and I did projects for each one yet I spent most of my time with the team. There, I worked as a lead product designer.

Date: 2016-01-11
Services: Website Design, UX

Brief has been around for nearly two decades. Using years of data and user interviews, we compiled a list of pain points for Renters and Landlords.

One of the biggest pain points with, not only our renters but our landlords too was coordination. Fragmented communication (email, calling, etc) and long delays between chats made the apartment hunting experience grueling to all. To combat this we created Book A Showing. With this new feature, the renter would need to find a listing they like and a time that works for them. After that, the visit would be scheduled and all the renter would have to do is show up.


true MVP of Book a Visit was complicating. What are the bare minimum feature offerings we need for this product? 

Book a Visit could have quickly become bloated. Many landlords deal with “Browsing Billy” leads where renters will come to visit but can’t actually afford the listing. So do we only allow renters with the means to set visits? If so, then we’d have to validate their income. Do we validate their credit score too? While we’re at it, why not background checks too? Furthermore, how do we get a landlords hours of availability? This would require a revamp of our posting tool too.

As you can see, this could have become a never ending list of features. Luckily our product team found a way to keep the barrier of entry low. At launch, Book a Visit was only pushed out to large apartment complexes. These buildings already had hours of availability so we could use those hours to create visit times. This limited the need for landlord tools and gave us the opportunity to push Book a Visit to production. Also, large apartment complexes would often deal with “browsing billy” types–it wasn’t their biggest pain point. Thousands of booked visits later, our team had tons of data and user interviews to iterate with to scale our product further.

confirm visit
my upcoming visits
missed visit

Final Thoughts

Even though we launched with a scaled down MVP, the product and design team could have used their time much better.

When planning for which features would be pushed to production, we came up with a huge list of ideas: Validating a renter’s income and credit score through 3rd party integrations, creating a landlord dashboard to manage their appointments, a new search experience, a brand new posting tool that capture’s a landlord’s availability, and so on. Not only were all these products fully designed, but they were all developed too.

With such a long list of products to be designed and developed, we had very little time to test and iterate these features. If I were to do this project again, I would push out each feature incrementally and let the user feedback dictate the wants and needs of our renters and landlords.