Build a new product on Facebook to find apartments.
0 votes
in Product Design by (16 points) | 1.2k views

5 Answers

+1 vote
    1. Questions:

      1. Page or Marketplace?

      2. Part of or different product itself?

      3. Goals? Why we’re building this?

    2. Users

      1. New City Dwellers → College Student

      2. Changing Jobs or City → Mid Aged

      3. Investment → Older

      4. People who want to rent out

    3. Pick New City Dwellers: Their Problems:

      1. Doesn't know much about the city, area, expensive, cheap, locality

      2. Doesn’t have furniture

      3. Rent/Lease Paperwork and documentation problems

      4. Wants to make new friends both don’t know, willing to share the room

      5. Scheduling with the owner

    4. Business Goals

      1. Engagement

      2. Connect People

    5. Solutions

      1. Find Apartment based on Price, Locality, Friends

      2. Ability to find, rent out, buy furniture

      3. Ability to generate agreements and other documents

      4. Ability to find nearby services

      5. Rating system

      6. Ability to make and find friends

      7. Ability to list apartments

    6. Prioritize:

      1. Find Apartment

      2. List Apartment

    7. Metrics

      1. Number of users using this features - Find and List

      2. find/list

      3. # Found

    8. Summary:

      1. Creating a page with apartment listing having filters like area, locality, price, likelihood to make friends, nearby friends

      2. Creating a page to list the apartments

by (68 points)

The structure is good. I would suggest to revisit the solution. The solution is also stating the pain points. Ex. Ability to generate agreements and other documents is a pain point. What is the solution to mitigate this. Have a pre-prepared contract/agreement laid out for the buyer and the seller. The seller has the ability to change the details like starting date, rent etc in the contract.  I would suggest pick top 2 pain points and drill down the solution for those. Prioritize solution based on impact to the user, dev complexity. 

Thanks for the feedback, Garima. I will look into those points
0 votes
Goal of this product is to help people find apartment. It can be done using an app of facebook

The KPIS we can use

1.  No of users %  of FB users , who are users of apartment app. This is absed on how many users have seen the app atleast once.

2. Active users: Users who came to app and searched/ booked apartement open house or personal viewing

3. Monthly active user( who have done a search/post : coment/like/share/react about an apartment or apt community)

4. Succesful renter: %users who rent an apartment thru facebook

5. No of likes/shares/ reactions/shares on apartments

Will focus on #2, increase user engagement


user pain ponts: 1. Find list of apartmet with required size, Bed/Bath, location

2. have to call leasing office to schedule viewing

3. Find from friends how is that apartment complex, management ( hit or miss)

4. have to call leasing office tofind if apt available in their complex

5. Paperwork to lease


1. Simple Design an app which takes user input and shows ranked list of apartment with required size, Bed/Bath, location

2> Chatbot: Simple app , backed by AI assitant or human to answer questions and help

3. Voice based apt search: more advanced, takes user perosnalized preferences from FB , other social sites, minimized input, uses A?ML to run from me, my friends etc and recommends

Will build 2 irst as it meets user needs, will reme many pain points and is trustworthy

Features to build:

1. Estimates user needs based on user info( Age, city, current size, income ) . User can filter or over-ride criteria

2. Friends can provide ratings, post comments about apartment. Users can filter based

3. view leasing office schedule to   Book viewing

The KPIs are well defined. The apprach is not streamlined. Refer to on how to answer design question. Always start with clarifying questions like. 1. Is this for specific region ? 2. The question says build a new product, are they looking for an app or web pased? 3. Should it be embedded in the current app ex marketplace or a seperate app under Facebook company like instagram? Once you have the clarifying questions. Identify the goal (business goal) what would FB get out of this? Are they looking to monetize this app? or just get more users? or retain current section of users? After the goal is set, identify the persona. For whom we are building the app? Buyers (looking for apartment) or Sellers (Selling the apartment) .. buyers category can be divided into three broad category: single , married with no kids and family. Pick a persona and state out their pain points and dive into solution. 

The solution stated are good, for each solution try to think about impact to business , impact to customers and effort to build that solution. Based on that prioritize the solution. Good Luck!

0 votes
Context: FB wants to build a new feature to make apartment hunting easier.

Potential personas:

1. Recent graduates living in major metro areas
2. Young professionals moving / re-locating for new opportunities
3. Other personas - generally people seeking living accomodations

Lets focus on persona #1 - a recent graduate living / moving to a new metro areas to find / take-on a new job.

Persona needs:
1. Apartment hunting / discovery is painful - requires you to scour craigslist, deal with brokers, call and make appointments
2. No easy way to find rooms available in apartments especially in cases where apartments are expensive (e.g. NYC, SF)
3. How can you find roommates with common needs in terms of location, budget needs

Lets prioritize on discovery - providing the ability for recent graduates to find apartments based on their constraints.

Potential solutions:
1. Provide a utility within FB Marketplace that allows recent grads to explore apartments for rent
2. Create a new feature that allows users to form "apartment cliques" where they can find apartments together based on location, neighborhood and combined needs
3. Enhance the recommendation feature which can use AI to recommend any apartment postings by businesses)

Pick #1: Utilizing the marketplaces feature will align well with FB's goals of connecting people whilst also providing incremental value to the marketplace. We can enhance this with apartment listings based on a users' criteria along with recommended properties. Recommendations can also include links to furniture in the marketplace based on the zipcode of the potential apartment. Whilst, this enables discovery - we can take it a bit further. We can enable best tips on how to close / sign contracts, what they should look out for in terms of legal jargon and how not to get trapped by broker fees. The marketplace can screen out broker related listing - thereby only allowing for owner listings.

How do we measure success?
1. Number of recent graduates
2. % of recent graduates searching for aparments on FB
3. % utilizing the marketplace to search for apartments --> bookmarking potential listings --> sharing with "apartment cliques"
4. % engaged --> recent graduates making contact with apartment owners to come see the property and move forward
5. % related engagement --> recent graduates utiklizing marketplace to further explore goods, services (e.g. moving)
0 votes

Clarifying questions:

  • What do you mean by a new product? Would it be a different product altogether or add a new feature on Facebook?
  • Is there any particular region to focus upon?
  • Would it be a mobile app or for all platforms like mobile, desktop and so forth?
  • What is the goal of adding apartments searching product/feature?
  • This would be an apartment search feature on facebook that allows house owners or brokers listing their properties and tenants to see the listing and connect with the owners.
  • Given the penetration of the internet in the US, I will be focusing on the US and then it could be scaled across other countries.
  • The Facebook Mobile app got millions of active users I think it's prudent to launch a new feature with a mobile app.
  • The goal is to diversify facebook across real estate vertical that helps increase customer engagement and it will tie with the ultimate mission of facebook "to bring the world close together"
I will explore the kinds of the users that would find apartments feature and then will move in finding use cases. After that, I will prioritize and find the most pressing pain point that would closely link to fulfill the goal of increasing customer engagement on the mobile app.Then I will brainstorm the ideas that would address the needs of users.
There are two categories of users:
  • House owners or brokers who would list their properties for selling or renting.
  • Apartment finders who would like to see a listing with detailed descriptions and clear pictures.
    • Recent graduates and moved into new cities and have no idea about the local real estate.
    • 25- 30 years old age group who are newly married or have a family but like to buy or rent an apartment with the least hassle possible.
    • Old age people or newly retired and like to buy a home at a quiet and tranquil place.
I will be focussing on recent graduates on the buying side because these are the people who face a serious problem when moved to a new place. They are foreign to tons of things while settling down in any big city
Use Cases:
  • As a home finder, I would like to search for an apartment with minimum efforts involved i.e. want to see the search results as close as possible to my keywords.For instance, if I type top two bedrooms under $1k in New York City 5th avenue there won't be a need to add a filter to get results.
  • I would like to check a crime rate for my zip code to make sure that I would be moving in a safe region.
  • I would like to communicate with the listing owner and accept a reply with as soon as possible.
  • I would want a clear and real view for apartment including how big is the kitchen, restrooms and so forth.
  • I would like to compare the listings across multiple data points like price, square footage, etc.
Among all of the pain points, the most serious problem is to get a real view of an apartment because most of the time pictures been edited and misinformed a buyer. If you are not able to physically go and check the place you ended up feeling cheated. Security ranking is also a big problem for potential residents if you're not in very known locations for those you could check online but tI would add this in the roadmap and discuss in the second version.
  • We could make a compulsory adding high definition video recording for all rooms, kitchen, etc. there are few sites have an option of video addition but that's not compulsory.
  • We could integrate a device like Nest that has an option to do a virtual tour with real-time cameras. 
  • We could use a Virtual Reality(VR) devices to give real house feel to the buyers having linked with VR glasses.
I would recommend adding a high definition 3d video option to get real-time view of a property. The efforts involved is medium because it only requires handling storage capacity to store high-quality videos. We could have a rating system to rate the quality of video on scale 1 to 5.
by (18 points)
0 votes



Build a new product on Facebook to find apartments.


Ok, the question is clear, but I have one question. Is it for renting or selling? 


You decide.


I think a product can carry both of it, but for simplicity, I will focus on the renting side because the frequency in renting is bigger. 




So I am planning to go like this: First I will try to think about why would FB want to design that in the first place and I will try to set a business goal. Then I will ideate around the user problems and after that, I will move into the solution space. Does it sound ok?




Ok, first, why would FB want to build a product to help people find apartments in the first place? 


Considering FB’s mission giving power to people to build community, I can see how this fits. Because even though we rent apartments and live in those apartments, we are actually living in a community that represents our needs and our social preferences. For example if a person enjoys going out to a cinema, it would be important for him to live in a place that he can easily do so. Also, the chances are there are other people who are living nearby are also interested in cinema. 


So considering the FB mission, I would say that the business goal to design this product would be:


BUSINESS GOAL: Helping people find an apartment where they could live close to likeminded people.  - And here at the end I would expect people to be friends in FB with their neighbors. And this is a difficult goal, so I would also watch how fast the person finds an apartment and also the number of events or places that this person go to 


Since I have set a goal for FB for this area, now I can focus on what people go through when they actually look for an apartment. 


First there are two roles here. The ones who list their space and the ones who are looking for an apartment.  


The lister is dealing with finding a decent person to rent his apartment, but he is more passive after he lists his apartment. Because if he lists the apartment he needs to show the people who are looking for an apartment and if there  is no application he is basically waiting.


But if we focus on the person who is looking for an apartment, not only we would reach the product success easier because he would be the main decision-maker of renting a home but this user fits our business goal better. So I will try to list some of the things that this person is going through.



  • Decide on the neighborhood(s)

    • Is it safe

    • Is it good for my transportation needs

    • What is around? 

      • Supermarket

      • Cinema 

      • Restaurants etc.

  • Filter the apartments in that neighborhood according to:

    • Price

    • Specific personal criteria like AC 

    • Etc.

  • Make a shortlist

  • Visit 

  • Move


So considering my business goal of helping people live in a place where they feel they are in a community, it makes sense to focus first on the problem of focusing the right neighborhood for him. Especially since FB knows already about what this person likes and does not like, also his social circle I think it would bring a unique benefit to the problem of finding an apartment for a person.


And I think it is important to set the design intention here to be EASY and PERSONALIZED as much as possible so that they would feel that FB is making this difficult job easier.


So I designed a product like this -> You go to the relevant page and you select the city you are moving and automatically you see a list of neighborhoods that are ranked according to your needs. The ranking is also listed as filters on the top.

  • So if the person who really likes hiking we see a filter on the top saying “Close to Trails”

  • The cards also have this information, for example, each card says 

    • 2.2 miles to xx trails

    • 50 restaurants in the neighborhood

    • Mostly families are living here 

    • Your friend X and Y lives in this neigborhood

    • 2 people from your FB group Chess lives here

  • And if the person clikcs to a filter we can just list the available aprments there via 3rd party API for the MVP. 


And if we see that people are moving the 

by (16 points)
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