Lello Imóveis is a traditional real estate company from São Paulo, Brazil, with over 60 years of history.
They work with all kinds of properties, however, Lello is mostly known in the residential and property management segments. They approached us because the company is looking to differentiate itself and gain more customers on the commercial (real estate that is used for business activities) side as well.
As of March 2022, all clients and types of property were the same for the company in terms of journey and customer service. However, they started to realise that they should treat residential and commercial very differently. The Customer Experience (CX) team thought the customer journeys were very similar for both segments and the personas differed, but, with some preliminary research, learned that was not the case.
How we worked
This is where I came in, to conduct research for Lello's commercial segment and find out more about the clients and their journey.
Before meeting with the client, I did some Desk Research to learn more about Lello, the real estate market, my client's competitors, and any market trends.
That way, I had a better context for my first meeting with the CX team, my main stakeholders for this project.
After a few rounds of meetings, I decided to facilitate a workshop session with the CX team to define our problem space and a Research Plan.
We started by mapping our stakeholders for the project:
Then, we did a CSD (Certainties, Assumptions and Questions, in Portuguese) matrix, where we listed what we were certain about, our assumptions and the questions we need to answer through research.
With this information in mind, I conducted a Research Planning activity in which we described the context, problems (the customers' and the business'), some goals and KPIs, research questions and the participants we need.
Benchmarking and competitive analysis
I analysed direct (and indirect) competitors to study and verify market trends and raise ideas for possible ways to innovate and add value to the project. The players mentioned by stakeholders were analysed to identify new trends, references, best practices and opportunities.
Players from other sectors and markets that could be used as inspiration for the project were also analysed. Furthermore, I did a competitive analysis to gain insights into what they offer to the clients.
Getting stakeholders' vision and buy-in
From there, I did some Stakeholder Interviews with teams such as sales, customer success, some branch managers and other people who work with the clients directly. That allowed me to gather some insights and opportunities into what Lello needs to do to dominate the commercial real estate market through the lens of its own employees.
This was a generative study combining quantitative and qualitative methods, as such:
I ran a quick survey to get some quantitative data and gain more extensive information from respondents. However, since the client didn't have the budget for compensation and we were on a tight schedule, we were only able to get 80 valid responses.
Even though this didn't provide us with statistical value (which was the intention originally, but we ran out of time), it helped validate and complement the research.
For the qualitative side of the study, I did 1x1 interviews with 20 clients from Lello's commercial segment. The participants were property owners (selling or renting), tenants and buyers.
We then organised all the information from the interviews in categories such as demographics, habits, and also according to our research questions. This made it easier to analyse and compile to get everything ready for the workshops stage.
Including stakeholders in as much of the process as they can be a part of is so important to do a thorough job and get their buy-in for research. In this project, I was able to facilitate 8 workshops with the teams.
We focused on defining our most important personas and customer journeys for the commercial segment. Here are some of the activities I prepared and facilitated:
Creating a shared vision of WHY we were building personas and customer journeys, how they will impact Lello's work, and any relevant success criteria
The client didn't want to have a "too specific" persona, so my colleague suggested using persona spectrums and I looked into it to understand this method. Then I proposed an activity based on this article, in which everyone categorized our main profiles of clients according to some relevant preferences and behaviours, which already helped understand how to offer better service to each profile.
Using an Eisenhower Priority Matrix, everyone prioritised our groups of clients to define where we should begin journey mapping.
Based on data gathered from research and also the knowledge of Lello's team, we came up with some qualitative personas:
And finally, we arrived at the journey map for each persona, identifying needs, pain points, touchpoints, opportunities for improvement, etc.
We are still in the final stages of this research, as soon as we have results of its impact, I will share here 😄