Advance Status Feature

Get on-demand insights and updates quickly with the new advance status dashboard.
Get on-demand insights and updates quickly with the new advance status dashboard.

eCommission provides residential and commercial real estate agents with advance payment of commissions before their scheduled closing date. My role was to improve the overall user experience and visual identity of their web presence.

Problem

In efforts to avoid delays when an agent or broker applies for a cash advance, eCommission customers need a tool that will allow them to identify the current funding status and next steps. Additionally, account managers experience heightened phone and email traffic specifically related to pending applications.

A look at my initial brain dump documentation once we discovered a need to develop a status tool.
A look at my initial brain dump documentation once we discovered a need to develop a status tool.

Goal

Increase customer satisfaction by providing on-demand insight and status updates, accelerated wire transfer transaction times, as well as, reduce business operation cost by customers viewing their funding status online. Lastly, fund more deals!

Research

During this phase, a short and focused survey was emailed to customers who were qualified for new deals, in addition to those who funded within the last 60-90 days. I also consulted with our support team members to further understand the problem from their point of view. This allowed me to gather an abundance of information quickly with no budget.

From there, I combined all my findings into key insights that I would use to understand the basic user needs and rank their concerns.

Survey results of ~135 respondents granting us deeper insight into most urgent concerns.
Survey results of ~135 respondents granting us deeper insight into most urgent concerns.

Insights

  1. It is important for agents to have a timely alert and notification communication when all parties have signed the advance agreement, as well as when funding has been approved.
  2. Brokers and agents alike want clear visibility into when (date/time) they could expect to have their funds deposited by wire transfer into their checking accounts.
  3. On-demand access to a single access point to gain visibility into the current funding status and where it is at in the process.
  4. Provide instructions and expectations upfront when an agent will need assistance from their broker or title company to be proactive in providing that information timely.
Flow diagram outlining an approach to show users where they are in their current funding process.
Flow diagram outlining an approach to show users where they are in their current funding process.

Personas

I crafted two user personas to comprehend the needs desired from such a tool our team is committed to developing. Meet Tami, a newer agent who is looking for stability having just switched careers 3 years ago. And of course, Winston, an accomplished agent with years of experience who is extremely busy and accustomed to special treatment.

Two user profiles to understand the needs of Tami and Winston, users who would benefit from this feature.
Two user profiles to understand the needs of Tami and Winston, users who would benefit from this feature.

Competitive Analysis

To build the right solution, I wanted to see what current design patterns exist. I looked into financial institutions before turning my focus to indirect competitors such as retail fashion, furniture, freight, and food delivery services. Gathering this much inspiration and ideas excite me and begin sketching potential solutions.

A collage of screenshots to assess current patterns and tools that exist in the wild today, that may solve a similar problem.
A collage of screenshots to assess current patterns and tools that exist in the wild today, that may solve a similar problem.

Sketches

I performed several rounds of sketching to quickly iterate over concepts. I present and share the sketches and communicate my initial thoughts with stakeholders. Here, we sit in a room, look at the sketches, distribute the feedback to collectively agree and vote on a direction together.

Piles of hand-drawn sketches. A quick, efficient and low-cost way to communicate solutions.
Piles of hand-drawn sketches. A quick, efficient and low-cost way to communicate solutions.

Visual Design

Fully armed with knowledge, user flows, features requirements and project scope I explore the visual design direction. Establishing a minimal interface design that aligns with our brand. More context and insight into what is happening and what is needed during this process is vital so I continue to iterate as the interface evolves.

For the sake of efficiency, I created a UI style guide for use in development to keep me from having to swap back & forth between design and code software to color pick hex values or memorizing font weights.

An evolution of design mockups Part I. An evolution of design mockups Part II.
An evolution of design mockups as the UI matures and settles into the current visual design direction.

Development

Development begins with the individual components to write clean, legible and maintainable code. Take a look at some of that concept work, here.

Sketch sheet organizing all the text styles, fonts, colors and class names to make front-end code easier to read and scale.
Sketch sheet organizing all the text styles, fonts, colors and class names to make front-end code easier to read and scale.

Solution

Agents and brokers can successfully view their advance status dashboard by accessing a link that will be sent immediately via text to their cell phone number upon creating a new contract with eCommission. This same URL is provided in their confirmation email and is accessible by logging into their account online.

Animated GIF of an account that has multiple properties.
Animated GIF of an account that has multiple properties.

Single Property

Agents with a single property can now see all their advance details and current status. If more help is needed agents can chat with a live account manager and get assistance quickly by referencing property details on their new dashboard.

Multiple Properties

Often, an agent might have two or more pending sales in progress at the same time. Those customers can view advance status progress of those deals by selecting the street address they’d like to see.

Mobile responsive mockups of the single & multi-property dashboard.
Mobile responsive mockups of the single & multi-property dashboard.

Conclusion

I loved working on this project and very grateful to the folks at eCommission for not only this specific opportunity but also for allowing me creative freedom and allowing me to do a ton of work I am proud of for their company.

“Beautiful, nice work! This looks good! ” — James C., President of eCommission

This was one of the many highlights during my time at eCommission. It was a chance to work on something that would be impactful & provide great return value for both the business and the agents that depend on their service.

See it live by signing up for a real estate advance at eCommission.com.

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