Often, when I tell people I’m a product manager, I’m welcomed by an oh-so-familiar blank stare and a polite smile. It’s been said that the best way to gain understanding with someone is to relate the topic to something they already understand. And in relation to what real estate professionals do, the closest comparison is the work done when learning what a buyer wants in their next home.
Consumers will often tell their agent about the attributes of the home they want, such as the desired number of bedrooms. However, a good agent will dig deeper and find out more information. In this example, is the buyer looking to have an extra room for a home office or are they expecting to have frequent overnight guests? By knowing this information, the agent can find homes that the buyer never would have considered.
The MRIS product managers go through a similar type of discussion when learning how our products can provide the most value to our customers. It’s our job to ask questions and gain insight to problems you encounter. Only then can we find a solution that will not only help real estate professionals, but delight your future clients.
A good example of this process can be seen in the new mobile product. If we simply responded to feature requests such as, “include a map” or “have it show homes near me”, I’m sure our customers would have really liked the new product. But we want to do better than that and dig deeper. Through focus groups, surveys and one-on-one interviews, our team asked a lot of questions to learn how a mobile product would be used. One of my favorite answers was when an agent told us that it’s common for her to be out with a buyer and have the buyer ask, “What about that house?” when they drove by. The agent said she would love it if we could provide her with a tool that gives her information about when it was last sold, how long it’s been on the market, price changes, and tax information. Now that we know how the product will be used, we can create a better product beyond just mapping.
Hopefully this explanation helps you understand what the MRIS product management team does and how we work to bring you outstanding products that make your life easier. When you see the first release of the new mobile product this summer, you’ll have to let us know how we did. And as always, if you have any suggestions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.