Getting your prop tech idea out to market involves a lot of moving parts, but Laura Szabo, Chief Product Officer with Hungarian portal Ingatlan, knows how to nail it.
Here she offers her top five ways to ensure that your product succeeds.
1. Be first in the market
If you have a great product that your team has ideated, built and prepared for market, what are you waiting for, asks Szabo.
“Many product development processes fail with the time-to-market part because they want to make it perfect and they don’t go live because it isn’t perfect,” she tells Property Portal Watch.
“I think you should go live with the first version that you think has value for the customer and you can really stand beside it and say: ‘This is my product and it is good’.”
Ingatlan released an agent’s profile platform last year which worked like a catalogue system where buyers could search for agents. It wasn’t fully formed when they released it, but it was the first of its kind on the market – and it took off.
“At first it was just pictures with agents and you could search through them and it was not much else,” she says.
“Our first thought was that this is not enough, we have to go and move forward with it. But the market reaction was ‘oh, that’s something new and I want to be in it. Please take my picture.’
“It was a really good decision to go out first – we could evaluate what kind of value we could give to the agents.”
2. Have a point of difference
Your product should be as unique as possible, says Szabo. You need to give something new to your audience – whether they are consumers searching for a home, private sellers or real estate agents – and it needs to have that ‘wow’ factor.
“When you play poker there is one hand which takes it all – your product should be like that,” she said. “It should have those characteristics where the customer wants it and is not even considering anything else.”
3. Keep your solution simple
You might over-think the way your product will work from the back end, but you don’t want your customers to be doing it from the front, says Szabo.
“In the end, the customer or the user should feel that it is really simple,” she says. “You don’t want the customer to think why have they put that button there or why we chose to put those options in that package – nothing like that.”
Szabo said Ingatlan launched their private advertiser interface four years ago but it was a tricky platform to use, so they have kept improving it.
And this evolution is key to improving products long after they have been rolled out.
“I think it is never done,” she says. “It is a process that you should do always. People change, trends change.”
4. Tell the world about it
“You could have the best solution and the best time to market and the simplest solution but nobody knows about it,” Szabo says. “You need a good marketing communication for it.”
It may sound obvious but Szabo says to target your communication message – if it’s a product primarily for agents, don’t waste time or money telling consumers about it and vice versa.
Ingatlan has a PR and marketing team which spreads the word about new products primarily via its three websites, Google and its own database.
5. Measure everything but the kitchen sink
Szabo says her team sets main KPIs and then breaks that down into smaller KPIs which anyone in the entire company – not just the members of Ingatlan’s eight product development teams – can view at any time.
“We should measure everything, the user flow, operations spending like Google AdWords and all the micro conversions which means success of the product,” she said. “We have a very big dashboard for all our KPIs which is transparent throughout the company and everybody can look at that and see what’s happening. This is how we try to keep in people’s minds that it is a very important thing to have the measurements of the efficiency of the product.”
Laura Szabo is a keynote speaker at the Property Portal Watch conference in Madrid, 28-30 September. Her address is titled: Influencing the market by innovation.