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Residential Social Network

Lead designer

Project timeline: 4 months

What is it?

Residential social network is a platform where people living in the same neighborhood can communicate and share content with each other. It helps establish and build better social bonds with your neighbors and helps keep the community safe.

The Task

Our customer (i.e. the property management team), wanted to find a way to keep people engaged in a community and help establish better relationships with their neighbors, which in-turn has a direct effect on move out rates. 

Better relationships = Lesser move outs

The task was to build relationships leveraging technology, to have a positive effect on the business and the tactical goals were to,

- Improve the social interaction between residents 

- Increase the lease renewal rates

- Serve as a tool to interface with the property teams (maintenance, rent payments etc.)

My Role

I was the PM and the lead designer of this effort and I led the vision and the strategy for the product.  I scoped out what is possible to build first and planned release cycles for the product with incremental improvements. I had a visual designer helping me convert my wireframes into final designs.

I knew establishing relationships was the primary goal of this project, so I needed to figure out what motivates people to build relationships, how to drive adoption of a new platform with all residents, what would add value to the residents in using this app.

The Process

I started the project off by conducting stakeholder interviews to understand what was the business goal behind this effort. Then I interviewed about 15 residents in 3 apartments communities to understand pain points they had in terms of knowing and communicating with their neighbors and engaging with their property management teams.  

Concept Definition

After understanding the needs of the stakeholders and users, it was evident that there was a need for a tool that helped in communication, staying informed, and building rapport in a residential community. 

The product was designed with a mobile-first strategy as mobile was identified as the preferred way for most people to be interacting with this application.

The app was also designed to work on the web, for residents that need an alternate way to access the content.


I identified some key areas that are important in a social tool, and at the same time features that would add value to both the resident and the property owners, like, the rent payment and maintenance request areas of the application.

I used Balsamiq to start putting some ideas down.


Research yielded what the most common types of communication a resident wants to have with their neighbors/community will be in the form of a post, event, classified ad. 

I identified that it is common for residents to come together and communicate on a common interest, so Groups were born.

Residents wanted to send alerts to others in the community if they wanted to alert them of an active event so, Emergency Alert was born


In terms of features, the application would allow users to post something in any of the following structured formats- A post, an emergency alert, an event or a poll.

User testing

Once I completed the wireframes, I created a clickable prototype that I could use for testing. I created scenarios and I recruited some real residents to go through the application. 

The feedback and the discussions that happened around the testing helped fine tune the design and enhance background feature sets like content moderation etc. 

Visual designs

As the wireframes were being iterated, I collaborated with my visual designer to help me convert the updated designs to high fidelity. 

Execution and Outcome

The MVP version of this product was planned as a communication tool between property management and the residents, so property management team can create announcements and alerts for residents with events and emergencies happening at the property.


The residents will be able ​to submit maintenance requests and pay their rent using the app.

The app will be published in the Apple App Store in Summer 2021 will be pilot released to 5 properties. I will be collecting the feedback based on the pilot usage and will be planning subsequent releases with improvements for Fall 2021.

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