Captivate Real Estate

Needfinding & Customer Development

Project Summary

Captivate Real Estate is an online assistant tool that provides services to real estate agents.

The Context

Strategy development


Currently, Captivate Real Estate only provides video oriented services for property buyer, seller, and agents. The team is ready for expansion and growth, however, they are unsure about exactly which additional service to provide to deliver the most impact to property buyer, seller, and agents.

THE Project GOAL

Provide Captivate Real Estate’s team with a comprehensive list of pain points that property buyer, seller, and agents experience. This will help the team develop the right strategy to launch additional services under Captivate Real Estate umbrella.


Limited timeframe: 1 week
Very specific type of user demographic


User Researcher

One of the Product Designer in a small team of designer and growth practitioner.


The Results

We hypothesized that if our strategy recommendations below were to be implemented, the most congested timeframe in the buying/selling property process will be shortened by half as shown below:

Let’s dig deeper:

Project Breakdown

Selected design process:

- 1 -


  • Stakeholders’ goals
  • The backstory
  • Validated personas
  • Customer timeline

- 2 -


  • interviewed buyers
  • interviewed seller
  • interviewed agents

- 3 -


  • identified pain points
  • plotted pain points into customer experience journey map

- 4 -


  • new hypothesis for Captivate Team

1. Hypothesis Formation

Proposition: Show them how hard realtors work to earn their respect back while making realtors seem smart enough to feel indispensable

Stakeholders' Goals

Captivate Real Estate wants to provide more value to their agents through providing the tools to help them close more deals by:

  • Generating leads and referrals
  • Making them stand out on-line and therefore land more listings
  • saving time
  • Improving communication with clients: automate messaging, timely response, 24/7 guidance

The Backstory

Buyers and Sellers don’t believe that their realtors have value equaling their cost

  • Clients feel that realtors don’t seem to do enough
  • Realtors don’t come off as having valuable expertise

Validated Personas

Customer Timeline

We did additional preliminary research to understand the end-to-end customer experience journey for all user personas: buyers, sellers, and agents.

2. Experiments

Comprehensive User Interviews

In order for us to understand the different mental models between buyers, sellers, and real estate agents, as a group we collectively interviewed 11 buyers, 7 sellers, and 7 real estate agents. 

Afterwards, we wrote down all of the relevant pain points that each customer segment experienced on color coded post its. To help us synthesize the information, we placed them into categories below:

3. Synthesis

During the process of our synthesis, we decided to not only dive deep into which pain point categories that Captivate should address, but also when within the timeline would the applied strategy will result in the most impact.

In order to do that, first, we had to synthesized our gathered pain points into an infographic (see below) that not only visually display the number of affected user, but also, display which category seems to affect the most user. From this information, we then were able to draw relevant hypothesis and design strategy recommendations.

Second, to help us understand when (if applied) will our design suggestion make the most impact on the overall customer experience journey, we took the same pain point post-its and placed them where they would normally occur on the overall customer experience journey of buying or selling a property.

4. Recommendations

Ultimately, we developed another infographics that helps us better understand which pain point categories happen when on the overall user experience journey.


As this project focus was on customer development and needfinding, our stakeholder prefers to see the result of our work in the form of a newly formulated hypothesis. Ultimately, the new hypothesis will guide the Captivate Team move forward with their product development.

New Hypothesis

We hypothesized that if the strategy recommendations above were to be implemented, the most congested timeframe highlighted above will be shortened by half as shown below:

Client Feedback

From: Misha Chellam, Founder

…recorded not necessarily what sellers & buyers said but what they meant by what they said. I was very pleased to see when you mapped it on the board to find an emotional underpinning to the research instead of just factual presentation….you were able to point places in a timeline where they were experiencing that specific emotion. Selling is ultimately about understanding people’s emotions…so that was very powerful

Ultimately, the results were exactly what we were looking for and now based on your findings I have a clear understanding of what buyers and sellers in the real estate market want and now we can move towards the solutions you offered.