Designing the first demand-based real estate marketplace
UI, UX, Product Strategy,
The win-win solution for property owners & seekers
A 2023 study showed that seventy percent of new homebuyers have struggled with buyer’s remorse. Soaring home prices, fierce bidding wars, and a scant supply have cast a shadow of urgency and perplexity upon potential homeowners. On the renter’s side, rent prices continue to creep higher every year, and landlords frequently have the upper hand. The gap that separates seekers from property owners is the same void that Gitcha is working to bridge.
Rather than burdening seekers with the task finding property and taking blind leaps of faith, Gitcha allows the seeker to become the sought-after. Prospective buyers and renters convey their exact preferences to property owners and sit back, inviting sellers to reach out to them. This empowers buyers and renters to be in control, enabling them to concentrate solely on homes that fit their criteria. It also benefits sellers who may be uncertain about selling by providing market insights and aiding in decision-making. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Crafting a user-centered property search
Before Gitcha was created, there wasn’t an effective solution to articulate a buyer or renter’s wants and needs for their next property. Recognizing this challenge, we took on the mission of transforming the property search experience. We set out to create a user-centered solution that addressed this fundamental problem by introducing the concept of “want-ads.”
With the flexibility to incorporate even the most intricate details and “nice-to-haves,” users could now craft personalized, compelling ads that precisely communicated their property aspirations. Moreover, we broke down the barriers between seekers and property owners by offering a public-facing feed, enabling buyers and renters to openly showcase what they were looking for. Whether pursuing a purchase, rental, or short-term rental, our intuitive design optimizes the creation process for each unique journey, providing a cohesive, organized, and highly effective solution for property seekers.
Providing new insights for property owners
The real estate landscape was not only challenging for property seekers but also posed significant hurdles for property owners. The question of whether there was sufficient demand for their property before taking the leap to list it on the market loomed large. By walking through the user journey of someone considering selling or renting out their property, we were able to highlight many gaps in the process Gitcha could fill that would provide property owners with the information needed before making this big decision.
Creating the “match” feature on the want-ad feed serves as a powerful incentive for property owners to add their properties, as it seamlessly connects them to eager buyers and renters who are potential matches for their listings. Moreover, we leveraged advanced APIs that could effortlessly collect basic property information with just the input of an address. This lowers the barrier to entry for property owners, ensuring that they can effortlessly gauge demand and add their property with confidence.
Facilitating a tailored communication stream
During our discovery phase, we identified an absence of a streamlined communication channel in the traditional real estate market. Property owners face the challenge of reaching out to buyers or renters without any assurance of their interest. Conversely, seekers find themselves sifting through a barrage of property listings, unsure if any align with their desires. We aimed to simplify this interaction with the Introduction tool, offering a comprehensive solution to bridge this communication gap.
The Introduction tool provides buyers and renters with the ability to receive private, tailored offers directly from property owners. Recipients preview the details that matter the most and determine if the property matches their criteria. This transforms the process into one of high-intent engagement, where property owners can proactively reach out to potential matches, and seekers can curate their offers. We took careful consideration in prioritizing the privacy of everyone by keeping identifying information hidden until both parties have expressed interest. Introductions streamline this communication, allowing for the initiation of a transaction with confidence.
The agent-centric experience
Real estate agents have long grappled with the limitations of traditional methods when it comes to representing their clients effectively. The reliance on immediate connections or social media channels to share clients’ wants and needs has often led to inefficient and inconsistent outcomes. For clients looking to sell or rent their properties, the reliance on traditional MLS platforms often translates into waiting for prospective buyers and renters to make inquiries. What agents needed was an all-in-one tool that could transcend these challenges, allowing them to expand their reach and streamline their representation of clients’ interests.
Through hearing testimony from various real-estate agents, we recognized these hurdles and responded with a comprehensive suite of tools tailored to enhance the agent experience. Gitcha’s agent experience includes the Client Dashboard, a centralized hub where agents could efficiently manage and analyze their clients’ portfolios. With the ability to oversee their properties, want-ads, and introductions, these users have a powerful tool that not only expands their reach, but enhances their ability to provide effective and tailored representation.
Translating design into function
Ensuring a smooth design-to-development transition was paramount for this extensive product spanning Desktop Web and Mobile App. To guide developers effectively, we organized our design system and style library, highlighting component usage across both platforms. Additionally, our high-fidelity design files featured comprehensive annotations and various system states, streamlining the handoff process.
Our commitment to seamless development extends beyond in-house projects. Even when not directly involved, we offer support to external developers, fostering a collaborative environment. Our goal is to facilitate efficient dev-handoff experiences, ensuring our designs translate effortlessly into functional products.