Read Reviews Before You Rent
Top Landlords is a user-centered application and website assisting renters to find the perfect landlord/rental home combination. Renters can search a comprehensive list of Top Landlords based of their geographic location, read landlord reviews, download rental applications or set up appointments.
If you have a specific rental in mind, you can search for a potential landlord by name or address. Previous renters can leave a review about their experience for potential renters to consider. For example, “landlord refuses to fix damage.” Landlords have incentive to be rated their area’s Top Landlord.
After considering my interests and strengths, I hit upon the first iteration of Top Landlords. I identified a problem in the San Francisco Bay Area: outrageous rent. This creates a new type of renter, someone capable of paying top dollar, who in turn has high expectations of their landlord. This subsequently creates a group of landlords as their primary position.
I created a platform to empower renters by way of communication. Landlords are more likely to be responsive and respectful if renters are publicly sharing their experiences.
Once a renter reviews a landlord, they are sent an invitation to join. If they choose to join, they can respond to reviews and/or list properties as available. Landlords have incentive to make the Top 10 Landlords list in their area. This makes their property more desirable and lucrative. At that point they receive professional photography compliments of Top Landlords.
In terms of revenue sources, I predict 80% would come from local advertising. 15% from brand advertising (think moving companies and storage chains), and the remaining 5% from affiliate revenue—for example, Zillow or property management companies.
Website Profile Page
Mobile Information Architecture
Name: Louis Navarro
Location: San Francisco, California
Scenario: Louis got a tip on a rental property near his new office from a co-worker. The co-worker’s uncle is the landlord, William Cunningham. Louis would like to hear an unbiased opinion of Will before reaching out to him.
Task: Louis is a return user. Search for the landlord, William Cunningham. If his reviews are 4+ stars, check out available properties, choose one and send a message.
Result: Arrive at a screen indicating your message was sent.
Name: Lauren Hayes
Location: Belmont, California
Scenario: Lauren is a single mother. She just received a promotion at work. She’s ready to move out of her apartment and rent a house with a backyard for her young son. Her landlord, Tom Stevens, has nearly taken her entire deposit (without justification) which she needs to put down on her new house. Come to find out from neighbors, Tom has done this with his previous 3 tenants. Lauren wants to share her experience with others.
Task: Sign Up for Top Landlords using Facebook. Leave a review about previous landlord, Tom Stevens.
Result: Arrive at a screen indicating your landlord review has been successfully posted.
User Flow One
Name: Tom Stevens
Location: San Carlos, California
Scenario: Lauren is a tenant of Tom’s and just posted a review about her experience as his tenant. Tom received an email notification from Top Landlords with an invitation to join. Tom downloads the app, creates a profile, and replies to Lauren’s negative review.
Task: Sign into the Top Landlords application, create a profile and reply to Lauren’s review.
Result: Arrive at a screen illustrating your reply has posted.