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How should Facebook help people with a relocation?
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+1 vote

Clarifying questions:

  1. Who is the user - a family, single person (eg: student), an old couple?
  2. What is the purpose for the relocation?
  3. Is it within the city, country or a cross country relocation?
  4. What does the relocation include?
  5. Do we plan to use the existing features like Groups and Pages or can we introduce a new feature?
  6. Do we know the budget for relocation?
  7. Who am I? A product manager at FB working on feature development?

Goal: What is the goal for FB with this feature? Assumption - Keeping the mission in mind where FB is all about building communities and bringing the world closer, leveraging the network to make relocation hassle free since the current moving process is expensive, time consuming and inefficient. Also, as a PM, I notice our users frequently posting questions/concerns on relocation, looking for help and feedback.

User Groups:

There are different categories of people needing to relocate.

  • Family or Student – Moving for a work/college opportunity
  • Small size company – Moving to a more centrally location space
  • School within a city – Moving to a bigger location with a playground
  • Gym – Need a bigger space and more centrally located or for cheaper rent
  • Store - Need a bigger space and more centrally located or for cheaper rent
  • Restaurant - Need a bigger space and more centrally located or for cheaper rent

I would like to go with relocation a family (Parents and kids) to a new city since one of the parent’s work opportunity. I chose this group because I feel the concerns and effort with relocating a family is much more than a commercial establishment.

User Pain Points:

Even the thought of relocating a family with kids sounds like a nightmare. When moving to a new place, one needs to take care of things in the current location as well as the new location Here are some of the pain points keeping in mind both the locations;

 Current location:

  1. The current home needs to be sold or rented out. The family needs to find the right tenant and a property management company to maintain the property while they are away. If they don’t own the property, the family needs to find a tenant to sub lease in case the lease isn’t over.
  2. Sell the things they don’t need – furniture/cloths/toys/books/car and simultaneously pricing the items appropriately
  3. Donate items they don’t want to sell or is not worth selling
  4. Find a storage space in case the family wants to move some of the items later on
  5. Have to inform friends/family/kids school/healthcare doctors so they can share notes with the new healthcare hospital
  6. Arrange a get together (Farewell) with everybody
  7. Find Movers that’s reasonably priced with good ratings
  8. Wanting to do one last thing ( a good restaurant/ parks/ stores) before they the leave

 New Location:

  1. Find a place to stay (Buy or rent a home) that’s also a good school district with a good neighborhood, understand what a reasonable price is
  2. Find good local schools
  3. Buy new furniture/car if needed
  4. Borrow furniture from people who are willing to donate
  5. Explore local markets, finding hobby classes/tutors
  6. Find appropriate establishments for other needs like a gym, a chiropractor

I’d like to focus on helping the family find a new place that’s also a good school district with a good neighborhood, understand what a reasonable price is. The reason for picking this pain point is I feel like the other pain points are partly taken care by the different FB Groups we have and also the Marketplace feature and also;

  1. Solving this pain point would have maximum impact on the user
  2. Will have high frequency of usage
  3. Although the implementation effort might be high, the value to FB and user will also be high

 

Solutions:

  1. The biggest hassle about finding a place with all the pre-requisites is the effort and expense that goes into driving down/flying in to see the place

 I propose we have a Virtual reality free viewing feature within FB that’s exclusively designed to tackle relocations. Customer journey for this feature;

  • User selects the VR feature that’s in the FB menu just like Groups and Pages
  • User enters the new location name (Eg. Boston), preferred locations, with a help of a checklist the user checks the other requirements they have – school district, downtown, suburbs, area pricing, neighborhood safety, public commute proximity, market/gym/restaurants proximity, airport proximity (if he’s somebody that travels frequently on work), pollution level, price comparison 
  • User sits back to scrolls through the options presented.
  • User can opt to see the feedback/ratings from his network on a certain place and also read/ view feedback from people out of his network
  • User can share the shortlisted locations with friends and family to view.
  • Owners of homes can choose to include their property in this feature for a price.
  • We show an imaginary inside view of the Unlisted homes

 2. Use Machine learning to understand if a user on FB is relocating. Eg: A user posts about getting a job in a different location, we flag them as a potential user of the relocation feature.

 Before relocating, in order to help the family visit the new location and find a place to stay, we will connect them to all the connections (1st, 2nd and 3rd connections) who are

  • Driving down there and probably can hitch them a ride
  • Are already located in the new location to get firsthand information
  • Home owners in the new location
  • Real estate agents in the new location
  • Have kids going to schools in a particular school district
  • Share Marketplace information relevant to that location

The idea is to curate all the stay, neighborhood, schools information in a particular area.

Imagine a layout like LinkedIn that suggests connections (plus the companies that person can connect you with)

Prioritize the solutions:

Solution#1

Impact on the user experience: High

Impact on the company: High (Helps with engagement, wow factor)

Level of effort: High

Time to build: High

Development cost: High

Ease of use: High

Value: High

 

Solution#2

Impact on the user experience: High

Impact on the company: High

Level of effort: Medium

Time to build: Medium

Development cost: Low

Ease of use:High

Value: High

 

Although #1 has high cost to dev, I’d like to go with it due to the eventual benefits it would bring in. Benefits like buzz around the feature, huge engagement increasing the MAU and session length, new user acquisition, decrease in lazy registrations. It will also be a good partnership with Oculus rift.

 

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