Cohome

Democratize homeownership for all home-buyers

Overview

Cohome is a startup company that enables more people to buy properties and build home equity. We aimed to offer a trustworthy platform through our secure algorithm to pre-screened buyers and connect financially qualified buyers together to share homeownership. Our vision is to enable more people to fulfill their dream of owning a home and stop renting. I was responsible for the end-to-end design. As a Product Designer, I worked closely with the engineering team and delivered the MVP together.

TIMELINE: May 2020 - March 2021

ROLE: I worked as a Product Designer at Cohome and I’m responsible for the end-to-end experience design including user research, information architecture, low to high fidelity wireframe, rapid prototyping, usability testing and creating design system.

TOOLS: Sketch / InVision / Jira / Adobe Illustrator / After Effects

Problems

The houses in general are too expensive to afford.

How might we make homeownership accessible for everyone?

Solutions

Cohome provides a secure networking system to pre-approve buyers’ financial status, and matching financially qualified buyers to co-buy houses together. We want to lower the threshold and enable more young renters to start building their home equity.

Marketing Research

Homeownership is a lot of people’s dreams. However, for the average renter buying the median-priced home in America, it will take about 6.5 years to save for a 20% mortgage down payment. Also, renter usually spends 34% of his or her income on rent. High rents and skyrocketing home prices are hurting young renters from buying a house.

  • The average home value has appreciated by 5%.

  • Owning a house helps you build home equity.

  • On average, you can build home equity to over $18,000 per year by co-owing.

User Interview

To learn more about potential users’ opinions on our co-buying concept, we interviewed young renters, agents and real-estate investors.

Key Takeaways:

  • The average home value has appreciated by 5%.

  • Owning a house helps you build home equity.

  • On average, you can build home equity to over $18,000 per year by co-owing.

Ideate

Based on the results of the user research, we want to encourage buyers to start from creating buying groups and connecting with other person who’s also interested in the same property. They can also choose to have investors to join the buying group and help them with the downpayment. We decided to begin from sketching site map to clarify the structure and to find the solutions.

Problem Solving

Feature01: Affordability

Cohome estimates individual co-buying power for users by their income, monthly spent, budget, and credit score. Then we classified the searching results into three affordable levels, minimum, medium, and maximum. The classification can provide users a better understanding of which house is more affordable and vice versa.

Feature02: Percentage

We require users to decide how many percentages of the house they want to own when they create a buying group. Before we decided to use this method, we were thinking to let the user choose which room they would like to occupy. However, this method couldn't clearly define users' ownerships, and it's not thoughtful for investors who do not want to live in the house. Cohome also suggests the percentage of ownership based on users' affordability.

Feature03: Group List

The buying groups list provides enough information for users to understand the group status before they click on the view details button. Here show the types of buying groups, how many rooms are available, and how many percentages have been invested. If users are interested in any group, they can go to the details to learn more information.

Design System

The design system is helpful while designing the product. These elements keep the consistency of our design and improve the working efficiency of the engineering team. Now, we are still updating our design library as well as adding new mobile size components.

Intro Video

I worked closely with our marketing team about the video content and delivered the concept with the storyboard to visualize the idea. The main goal of this video is to let people understand our product and convince them to trust our platform.

Takeaways

As a product designer at Cohome, I learned a lot from many perspectives. While designing the co-buying feature, I researched to make sure the task flow is reasonable. I interviewed some agents to learn about the process of buying a house and found out there are some constraints; for example, for loan buyers, there will be maximum 4 spots for one property. I'm grateful to have this opportunity to participate in the process of launching a product and successfully accomplished the MVP in time. This product is still in process, and by working with the whole engineering and marketing team, I always learn something new during our meeting.

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© 2021  Designed by Yutzu Su. Reach me at suyutzu95@gmail.com